2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities.
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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:It's still very early, but interviews and offers have already been going out at some litigation boutiques in LA.


Woah, really?! Can you share some of the firm names please?

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:26 pm

Hi all,

I did a clerkship for a flyover district court from 2016-2018. The job search process was brutal for me, and I am writing to tell you to go in with the attitude of longevity and perseverance. It worked out for me, and it can/will work out for you too.

I ended up with my dream job - big law in New York - and it only happened after many...many...MANY rejections. I would say my applications easily numbered over 300. I had over a dozen callbacks, nearly all of which ended in rejections. I also had callbacks with several federal government honors programs that didn't pan out. I was starting to look at big law in the state I was situated (which was not my ideal) only towards the spring, say April. That was a little late, but there were still bites (I went to T14, though).

But one of the last big firms in my ideal city to interview me took me on. After many months of rejection (picture enough rejection letters to wallpaper the Taj Mahal) I finally broke through. Apply, apply, apply, and don't give up. Rejection in May does not mean the game is over. I did not secure my job until late June. A lot of people on here are acting like jobs should be figured out by December or so. WRONG. The vast majority of my peers did not secure something until well into the spring.

Keep your heads up and your applications frequent!

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:48 am

Anonymous User wrote:Is there a strategy to applying to multiple cities for big law? I worked in biglaw in two cities before my current clerkship, and I'm open to returning to either. I have a slight preference, but I'm much more concerned with getting an offer. I'm also open to going to a third because it's home/where I want to settle and I wouldn't mind returning sooner if it were the only place I got an offer. The threads in previous years on this topic make me nervous so maybe I'm being overly cautious and pessimistic.


What about applying to different offices of the same firm?

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:09 pm

In the middle of a 2-year d. ct. clerkship and have a COA clerkship after that. I did public interest/gov't in law school but am seriously considering going to the private sector after clerking. But, I didn't do a 2L SA so I have no offer waiting for me. Any advice for making myself more attractive to firms during the years of clerking? I feel weird attending networking events because I don't really know anyone, and I can't really go to law school networking events because I'm not a current student. FWIW I had the grades/credentials for big law, just thought I wanted to do gov't.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:04 am

Finished my 1L year below median at a lower T-14. Managed to claw my way up to almost top 1/3 by graduation and land a fairly non-completive district clerkship near the large secondary market I am targeting. Split my 2L summer between an in-house gig with a tech company and my states AG office. How much will my 1L year matter in post-clerkship hiring, will firms still only care about my 1L grades or will my better performance in 2L and 3L redeem me? FWIW I improved my grades without taking a bunch of easy A classes.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby cantdecide » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:00 pm

Anyone have good post-clerkship/graduate cover letter samples?

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby LBJ's Hair » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In the middle of a 2-year d. ct. clerkship and have a COA clerkship after that. I did public interest/gov't in law school but am seriously considering going to the private sector after clerking. But, I didn't do a 2L SA so I have no offer waiting for me. Any advice for making myself more attractive to firms during the years of clerking? I feel weird attending networking events because I don't really know anyone, and I can't really go to law school networking events because I'm not a current student. FWIW I had the grades/credentials for big law, just thought I wanted to do gov't.


If this is federal CoA and you're targeting at a major market, I genuinely don't think you need to do anything other than "don't get fired." You'll be a very attractive candidate and can just cold email the appropriate V20 recruiting email address starting around the halfway point of your clerkship asking about opportunities, attaching a copy of your resume. Source - friends who went through this process.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby BulletTooth » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Finished my 1L year below median at a lower T-14. Managed to claw my way up to almost top 1/3 by graduation and land a fairly non-completive district clerkship near the large secondary market I am targeting. Split my 2L summer between an in-house gig with a tech company and my states AG office. How much will my 1L year matter in post-clerkship hiring, will firms still only care about my 1L grades or will my better performance in 2L and 3L redeem me? FWIW I improved my grades without taking a bunch of easy A classes.


Your 1L grades are probably still going to matter but not nearly as much as they would if you were interviewing at OCI. Also, some might look only at your overall GPA and not scrutinize your 1L grades. If the topic comes up, I would sell your improved performance as a positive.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:24 am

BulletTooth wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Finished my 1L year below median at a lower T-14. Managed to claw my way up to almost top 1/3 by graduation and land a fairly non-completive district clerkship near the large secondary market I am targeting. Split my 2L summer between an in-house gig with a tech company and my states AG office. How much will my 1L year matter in post-clerkship hiring, will firms still only care about my 1L grades or will my better performance in 2L and 3L redeem me? FWIW I improved my grades without taking a bunch of easy A classes.


Your 1L grades are probably still going to matter but not nearly as much as they would if you were interviewing at OCI. Also, some might look only at your overall GPA and not scrutinize your 1L grades. If the topic comes up, I would sell your improved performance as a positive.


This may be the wrong place to ask this, but any tips on how to sell increase in grade performance? I struggled with this a lot during OCI. I was probably bottom 15% my first semester and I was exactly top 25% my second semester, and, short of telling the interviewer that 2 weeks into law school I lost one of my best friends to an overdose (I have no idea how the affected my grades), I don't really have a "story" for my grade improvement. After meeting with my professors about my shitty exams, I understood what I did wrong and, more or less, law school just started to click. I never really had some come to Jesus moment where I made a pivotal change. This story did not work during OCI and I am worried that it just makes firms think I am a "slow learner." My career services offices suggests that I just ignore my first semester all together, but I feel like it is something that has to be addressed.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Dipper » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:
BulletTooth wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Finished my 1L year below median at a lower T-14. Managed to claw my way up to almost top 1/3 by graduation and land a fairly non-completive district clerkship near the large secondary market I am targeting. Split my 2L summer between an in-house gig with a tech company and my states AG office. How much will my 1L year matter in post-clerkship hiring, will firms still only care about my 1L grades or will my better performance in 2L and 3L redeem me? FWIW I improved my grades without taking a bunch of easy A classes.


Your 1L grades are probably still going to matter but not nearly as much as they would if you were interviewing at OCI. Also, some might look only at your overall GPA and not scrutinize your 1L grades. If the topic comes up, I would sell your improved performance as a positive.


This may be the wrong place to ask this, but any tips on how to sell increase in grade performance? I struggled with this a lot during OCI. I was probably bottom 15% my first semester and I was exactly top 25% my second semester, and, short of telling the interviewer that 2 weeks into law school I lost one of my best friends to an overdose (I have no idea how the affected my grades), I don't really have a "story" for my grade improvement. After meeting with my professors about my shitty exams, I understood what I did wrong and, more or less, law school just started to click. I never really had some come to Jesus moment where I made a pivotal change. This story did not work during OCI and I am worried that it just makes firms think I am a "slow learner." My career services offices suggests that I just ignore my first semester all together, but I feel like it is something that has to be addressed.


My understanding is that most places will look at your overall GPA. 1L grades matter far more for OCI only because that's all that firms have to go on. I think explaining it the way you did works fine -- once you learned how to write a law school exam (which is not the same as understanding the law), your grades improved dramatically. I know a number of very successful people for whom that was the case.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:34 pm

when cold-emailing recruiters at firms/applying via online portals, is it advisable to attach a LOR from your judge? Or, to state it another way, is there any reason not to attach a LOR from your judge, even if none is required?

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby BulletTooth » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:when cold-emailing recruiters at firms/applying via online portals, is it advisable to attach a LOR from your judge? Or, to state it another way, is there any reason not to attach a LOR from your judge, even if none is required?


I don't see how it could hurt. It will probably just get added to your file, and if you get an opportunity to interview, the interviewer would have access to it and could read it. The only reason I might not send one is if the firm specifically says, apply with a resume and cover (or something to that effect).

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:15 am

I got a LinkedIn message from a recruiter.

I have no idea how that works. Does she get a cut if I go through her? Why would I respond instead of just applying to the firm myself?

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:06 pm

hey all. question: is there a "market" level of seniority given to clerks who come to biglaw after completing 2 federal clerkships that are either (A) 1 district ct. and 1 COA OR (B) 2 COA? I have a friend whose firm is only giving her 1 year of seniority for one of the above scenarios. She is wondering if she should apply other firms or if she would be likely to receive an offer only giving her 1 year of seniority anywhere she applied.

To the extent market matters, my friend is not working in NYC/DC.

My friend thanks you in advance for any advice!

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:hey all. question: is there a "market" level of seniority given to clerks who come to biglaw after completing 2 federal clerkships that are either (A) 1 district ct. and 1 COA OR (B) 2 COA? I have a friend whose firm is only giving her 1 year of seniority for one of the above scenarios. She is wondering if she should apply other firms or if she would be likely to receive an offer only giving her 1 year of seniority anywhere she applied.

To the extent market matters, my friend is not working in NYC/DC.

My friend thanks you in advance for any advice!

It varies. There are plenty of firms that will give you two years of credit, though it’s also not unusual to only offer one. So if she isn’t wedded to the current firm, and is in a major market, yeah I do think it’s worth applying elsewhere.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:09 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:hey all. question: is there a "market" level of seniority given to clerks who come to biglaw after completing 2 federal clerkships that are either (A) 1 district ct. and 1 COA OR (B) 2 COA? I have a friend whose firm is only giving her 1 year of seniority for one of the above scenarios. She is wondering if she should apply other firms or if she would be likely to receive an offer only giving her 1 year of seniority anywhere she applied.

To the extent market matters, my friend is not working in NYC/DC.

My friend thanks you in advance for any advice!

It varies. There are plenty of firms that will give you two years of credit, though it’s also not unusual to only offer one. So if she isn’t wedded to the current firm, and is in a major market, yeah I do think it’s worth applying elsewhere.


Similar question. I worked corporate (M&A) big law for two years then clerked. Looking to go back to a firm to do litigation. How much credit should I expect? Would it be a mistake to seek credit for all three years given lack of lit experience?

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Elston Gunn » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Elston Gunn wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:hey all. question: is there a "market" level of seniority given to clerks who come to biglaw after completing 2 federal clerkships that are either (A) 1 district ct. and 1 COA OR (B) 2 COA? I have a friend whose firm is only giving her 1 year of seniority for one of the above scenarios. She is wondering if she should apply other firms or if she would be likely to receive an offer only giving her 1 year of seniority anywhere she applied.

To the extent market matters, my friend is not working in NYC/DC.

My friend thanks you in advance for any advice!

It varies. There are plenty of firms that will give you two years of credit, though it’s also not unusual to only offer one. So if she isn’t wedded to the current firm, and is in a major market, yeah I do think it’s worth applying elsewhere.


Similar question. I worked corporate (M&A) big law for two years then clerked. Looking to go back to a firm to do litigation. How much credit should I expect? Would it be a mistake to seek credit for all three years given lack of lit experience?

Don’t have any direct experience with this, but I would probably just expect one year of credit. And yeah, I think it would be a mistake to take 3 years even if you could get it, as you’d just be so far behind.

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby OutoftheWoods » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:07 pm

Got a clerk reception at a boutique firm coming up. What's the etiquette for these things? Is it basically just make a connection + meet up at another time + ask about open positions = profit?

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:05 pm

I've heard that Hueston Hennigan in LA is actively looking to hire clerks right now

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Re: 2018-2019 Post-Clerkship Hiring

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:45 am

Should someone thinking about "trading up" from her SA firm after a clerkship (with whom she accepted an offer) worry about her SA firm finding out? Sizable legal market but not DC/NY/Chi.

Obviously, this person would not tell anyone at her SA firm or list anyone from her SA firm as a "reference."

Thank you!!



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