GDC clerkship bonus below market?

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GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:40 am

I'm hearing GDC does not pay the market $70k for two clerkships (i.e. district ct and COA). Is this true?

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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:45 pm

It was true until a few years ago. They now pay market ($70k for both).

—former LA/NYC/DC office (maybe it’s different for Dallas, Denver, etc?) GDC summer, current clerk

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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:03 am

I've heard that in the LA office they don't give a bump for two. I believe one or two is 50 or 60k.

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rpupkin
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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm hearing GDC does not pay the market $70k for two clerkships (i.e. district ct and COA). Is this true?

I'm not sure $70K for two clerkships is really the "market" standard. It's not like $180K for first-year associate salary or the $50K bonus for one federal clerkship. Some firms offer extra for two clerkships, some firms don't.

What I've noticed some firms doing lately is offering an extra $20K (so $70K instead of $50K) for two clerkships, but then starting the associate as a second year instead of as a third year. Associate candidates accept this far too readily. The firm has to cough up an extra $20K in bonus but saves $45K in year-end compensation.

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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:31 pm

Former GDC summer here. Can confirm that GDC matches market bonuses for both 1 and 2 clerkships.

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bruinfan10
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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby bruinfan10 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:52 pm

rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm hearing GDC does not pay the market $70k for two clerkships (i.e. district ct and COA). Is this true?

I'm not sure $70K for two clerkships is really the "market" standard. It's not like $180K for first-year associate salary or the $50K bonus for one federal clerkship. Some firms offer extra for two clerkships, some firms don't.

What I've noticed some firms doing lately is offering an extra $20K (so $70K instead of $50K) for two clerkships, but then starting the associate as a second year instead of as a third year. Associate candidates accept this far too readily. The firm has to cough up an extra $20K in bonus but saves $45K in year-end compensation.

a preftigous megafirm with a really high vault ranking tried that with me. declined the offer immediately after they spelled that out.

that said, i've been surprised that a number of firms are paying $70k for two clerkships without officially advertising that policy. I wonder if it may vary from candidate to candidate.

and yes, gdc used to cheap out on second year clerkship bonuses, but i believe they are now paying 70k more often. In general, more firms are paying 70k now than in just a few years past.

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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:05 pm

bruinfan10 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm hearing GDC does not pay the market $70k for two clerkships (i.e. district ct and COA). Is this true?

I'm not sure $70K for two clerkships is really the "market" standard. It's not like $180K for first-year associate salary or the $50K bonus for one federal clerkship. Some firms offer extra for two clerkships, some firms don't.

What I've noticed some firms doing lately is offering an extra $20K (so $70K instead of $50K) for two clerkships, but then starting the associate as a second year instead of as a third year. Associate candidates accept this far too readily. The firm has to cough up an extra $20K in bonus but saves $45K in year-end compensation.

a preftigous megafirm with a really high vault ranking tried that with me. declined the offer immediately after they spelled that out.

that said, i've been surprised that a number of firms are paying $70k for two clerkships without officially advertising that policy. I wonder if it may vary from candidate to candidate.

and yes, gdc used to cheap out on second year clerkship bonuses, but i believe they are now paying 70k more often. In general, more firms are paying 70k now than in just a few years past.

Yeah. I just found out that my firm has been paying $70K for a couple of years now for two clerkships. This is consistent with both your points--(1) more firms are doing it, but (2) the firms aren't really talking about it.

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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:34 pm

Has anyone had any luck negotiating to 100k for D Ct./CoA?

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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:04 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:Has anyone had any luck negotiating to 100k for D Ct./CoA?

Some firms with heavy patent-lit practices will pay Federal Circuit clerks a bit more, but I haven't heard of $100k for a non-SCOTUS clerk.

If you want to maximize your chances of an "above market" clerkship bonus, treat it like law school admissions and scholarships: apply to several firms and get multiple offers, and then go back and forth among the firms, trying to get firms to top each other. Some firms will negotiate in this manner up to a point.

Just speaking for myself, I don't have the personality for that type of approach. (I also think that going to the firm that pays the highest clerkship bonus is a terrible way to choose a law firm.) But if you really commit yourself to the goal of getting the highest bonus that you can, I bet you can squeeze an extra $10K or so out of someone.

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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:13 pm

rpupkin wrote:
FascinatedWanderer wrote:Has anyone had any luck negotiating to 100k for D Ct./CoA?

Some firms with heavy patent-lit practices will pay Federal Circuit clerks a bit more, but I haven't heard of $100k for a non-SCOTUS clerk.

If you want to maximize your chances of an "above market" clerkship bonus, treat it like law school admissions and scholarships: apply to several firms and get multiple offers, and then go back and forth among the firms, trying to get firms to top each other. Some firms will negotiate in this manner up to a point.

Just speaking for myself, I don't have the personality for that type of approach. (I also think that going to the firm that pays the highest clerkship bonus is a terrible way to choose a law firm.) But if you really commit yourself to the goal of getting the highest bonus that you can, I bet you can squeeze an extra $10K or so out of someone.


Thanks, this seems like solid advice. You think it would be best to try to snag an offer from Kellogg/Susman for the $175k/$125k and then see if any other firms will match? Or are those firms too sui generis to leverage other firms with?

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rpupkin
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Re: GDC clerkship bonus below market?

Postby rpupkin » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:36 pm

FascinatedWanderer wrote:Thanks, this seems like solid advice. You think it would be best to try to snag an offer from Kellogg/Susman for the $175k/$125k and then see if any other firms will match? Or are those firms too sui generis to leverage other firms with?

No one is going to match Kellogg or Susman. If you get offers at those places, you can certainly try to use them as a basis for asking for a higher bonus from a market-paying firm, but, if such a firm offers you anything extra, it'll probably be on the order of $5K or $10K, and not the $100K+ needed to match Kellogg.




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