Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

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Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:49 pm

I'm currently clerking on a District Court (2019-20 term), and I'll be clerking on a Court of Appeals for the 2021-22 term.

Assuming I disclose that I'm clerking in 2021-22 (which I imagine I should) in my applications to firms, am I going to run into the issue of being written off by firms because I will likely be there for maybe 9 months? If so, does anyone have any suggestions on how to navigate the 'gap year' problem?

I technically have an open offer at the firm I summered at, but I'm a little hesitant to take it because I didn't love my experience there. Additionally, I'm trying to switch markets to be with my significant other (firm offer is in NY, and they are in CA). In light of that, I was planning on applying to jobs during my District Court clerkship.

Appreciate any advice.

hlsperson1111

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby hlsperson1111 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:31 pm

Where are you admitted? I don't know that the timing will be a dealbreaker everywhere, but combined with the fact that you are presumably not admitted in CA I think it will be a serious issue.

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:17 pm

hlsperson1111 wrote:Where are you admitted? I don't know that the timing will be a dealbreaker everywhere, but combined with the fact that you are presumably not admitted in CA I think it will be a serious issue.


I graduated in May, so the answer is nowhere at the moment. But, I took the CA bar in July, and assuming I passed, then I would be admitted in CA by the time I'd be done with my clerkship (which ends August-ish 2020). I was thinking of sitting for NY too in Feb, depending on my options.

Maybe I'm being ignorant, but I don't see how that would be a glaring issue considering I could make sure I'd be admitted by the time I would begin working next year (or pretty soon thereafter).

hlsperson1111

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby hlsperson1111 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
hlsperson1111 wrote:Where are you admitted? I don't know that the timing will be a dealbreaker everywhere, but combined with the fact that you are presumably not admitted in CA I think it will be a serious issue.


I graduated in May, so the answer is nowhere at the moment. But, I took the CA bar in July, and assuming I passed, then I would be admitted in CA by the time I'd be done with my clerkship (which ends August-ish 2020). I was thinking of sitting for NY too in Feb, depending on my options.

Maybe I'm being ignorant, but I don't see how that would be a glaring issue considering I could make sure I'd be admitted by the time I would begin working next year (or pretty soon thereafter).


Oh, if you're admitted/soon to be admitted in CA that's much less of an issue. (I assumed you weren't given that you had summered in NY.) I just don't think any firm in CA would be willing to hire you if you were not admitted (or were admitted in NY only) and were only staying for 9 months.

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby lawfan2012 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:31 pm

One option is to ask your judges if they have advice for the gap year. Sometimes they will have ideas for one year followships, etc. depending upon your interests.

I would also think that a future COA clerk might be someone a firm would actively look to hire despite the limited period, but it probably depends on how good your clerkship is.

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:48 am

lawfan2012 wrote:One option is to ask your judges if they have advice for the gap year. Sometimes they will have ideas for one year followships, etc. depending upon your interests.

I would also think that a future COA clerk might be someone a firm would actively look to hire despite the limited period, but it probably depends on how good your clerkship is.


Yeah, I have been playing with the idea of asking the Judges, but I'm a little concerned that if I loop my District Court judge in, they will just be like "oh, why don't you just stay an extra year then" and then I'll be in the somewhat awkward situation of having to turn them down (particularly because I just started like a month ago).

Also, what do you mean by "how good your clerkship is?" Like, I'm not clerking for a feeder judge, but my Judge is also in a pretty competitive market and seems like former clerks do really well.

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:58 pm

I am in an essentially identical situation, OP—just not with CA as the desired destination. When career services at my law school reached out to a major-market (non-NYC) V30 firm well-known for loving clerks, their legal recruitment person said that the firm would not even consider someone for 9 months, and would instead recommend just applying after the CoA clerkship. I was disappointed hearing this news and am not sure how indicative it is of the entire market, but I figured it is one answer to your question.

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
lawfan2012 wrote:One option is to ask your judges if they have advice for the gap year. Sometimes they will have ideas for one year followships, etc. depending upon your interests.

I would also think that a future COA clerk might be someone a firm would actively look to hire despite the limited period, but it probably depends on how good your clerkship is.


Yeah, I have been playing with the idea of asking the Judges, but I'm a little concerned that if I loop my District Court judge in, they will just be like "oh, why don't you just stay an extra year then" and then I'll be in the somewhat awkward situation of having to turn them down (particularly because I just started like a month ago).

Also, what do you mean by "how good your clerkship is?" Like, I'm not clerking for a feeder judge, but my Judge is also in a pretty competitive market and seems like former clerks do really well.


Has your judge not already hired for 2020?

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:14 am

lavarman84 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
lawfan2012 wrote:One option is to ask your judges if they have advice for the gap year. Sometimes they will have ideas for one year followships, etc. depending upon your interests.

I would also think that a future COA clerk might be someone a firm would actively look to hire despite the limited period, but it probably depends on how good your clerkship is.


Yeah, I have been playing with the idea of asking the Judges, but I'm a little concerned that if I loop my District Court judge in, they will just be like "oh, why don't you just stay an extra year then" and then I'll be in the somewhat awkward situation of having to turn them down (particularly because I just started like a month ago).

Also, what do you mean by "how good your clerkship is?" Like, I'm not clerking for a feeder judge, but my Judge is also in a pretty competitive market and seems like former clerks do really well.


Has your judge not already hired for 2020?


No

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am in an essentially identical situation, OP—just not with CA as the desired destination. When career services at my law school reached out to a major-market (non-NYC) V30 firm well-known for loving clerks, their legal recruitment person said that the firm would not even consider someone for 9 months, and would instead recommend just applying after the CoA clerkship. I was disappointed hearing this news and am not sure how indicative it is of the entire market, but I figured it is one answer to your question.

Yeah, that's honestly what I'm afraid of... how unethical is it to not disclose that you have the COA clerkship lol?

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HillandHollow

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby HillandHollow » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:59 am

I am curious why--given your situation--you wouldn't be open to your current judge simply extending your term?

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:21 am

HillandHollow wrote:I am curious why--given your situation--you wouldn't be open to your current judge simply extending your term?

My D.C. clerkship is in, essentially, a flyover location, where (1) I pretty much know no one in the area, and (2) more significantly, my significant other is not able to find a job here (there are literally 0 tech jobs out here, and their Company doesn't have the same flexible work arrangements as some Tech companies do). As such, staying here for another year essentially doubles the long distance, which isn't exactly ideal. My CoA clerkship is close to my significant other, so we wouldn't have to distance beyond this year, assuming I can figure out this gap year.

I'm not completely opposed to the idea, and if it's the best option I can materialize, then of course I'd stay, but to the extent that I can avoid being here for an extra year, I would like to.

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby QContinuum » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I technically have an open offer at the firm I summered at, but I'm a little hesitant to take it because I didn't love my experience there.

Taking that offer would probably be your easiest answer, frankly (aside from extending your district clerkship a year, which you say you don't want to do due to geography). Would your SO be able to work in NY for a year? Many tech companies have large NY offices.

If you apply to other firms and fail to disclose your upcoming CoA clerkship, I can see bridges being burned when you announce your departure. Is burning bridges the end of the world, no, but always better not to burn bridges when you don't have to.

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:21 pm

QContinuum wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I technically have an open offer at the firm I summered at, but I'm a little hesitant to take it because I didn't love my experience there.

Taking that offer would probably be your easiest answer, frankly (aside from extending your district clerkship a year, which you say you don't want to do due to geography). Would your SO be able to work in NY for a year? Many tech companies have large NY offices.

If you apply to other firms and fail to disclose your upcoming CoA clerkship, I can see bridges being burned when you announce your departure. Is burning bridges the end of the world, no, but always better not to burn bridges when you don't have to.

Yeah, unfortunately, they don't have an office in NY (at least for software engineers). But, question, obviously this is solely at the firm's discretion, but would it be equally as bad to see if they would be willing to move me to one of their CA offices, or is that essentially just as bad as applying for a new job and not disclosing?

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Re: Gap year between Clerkships & Job Apps

Postby lawfan2012 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Also, what do you mean by "how good your clerkship is?" Like, I'm not clerking for a feeder judge, but my Judge is also in a pretty competitive market and seems like former clerks do really well.

I just meant that the more objectively attractive you are as a hire for them, the more likely they might be to be willing to risk hiring you for a year—hoping, presumably, that you would return. And how “good” or impressive or prestigious etc. your COA clerkship is is a very rough proxy for figuring that out.



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