How much is a federal clerkship worth?

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tlsforumid
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:36 pm

How much is a federal clerkship worth?

Postby tlsforumid » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:13 pm

Hi all. How much impact would a federal court clerkship have on future job prospects? Would it justify the loss of 160,000 first year salary for about 100,000 (50,000 clerkship salary and 50,000 signing bonus)? Would more clients be attracted to it, making me more marketable? Is the experience worth it? I'm not talking about a major circuit like 2/9/DC but maybe the 4th or something like that. Thanks.


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kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: How much is a federal clerkship worth?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:58 pm

Monetarily, no, it's not worth it unless you are dead-set on a litigation firm that requires one and have the grades for such a firm. Think Susman or similar.

ClerkAdvisor
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:38 pm

Re: How much is a federal clerkship worth?

Postby ClerkAdvisor » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:36 am

tlsforumid wrote:Hi all. How much impact would a federal court clerkship have on future job prospects? Would it justify the loss of 160,000 first year salary for about 100,000 (50,000 clerkship salary and 50,000 signing bonus)? Would more clients be attracted to it, making me more marketable? Is the experience worth it? I'm not talking about a major circuit like 2/9/DC but maybe the 4th or something like that. Thanks.


(1) It's not about the circuit, it's about the judge. And there are judges on every circuit who are out of reach of everyone but the top of the class at T10s (or HYS).

(2) By the time you're in a position to 'attract' clients, whether or not you clerked won't matter. Clients care about your past performance.

(3) Clerking isn't about money. Instead, it's about the experience. People who can, and choose to, clerk do so for the experience, not for the money. People choose to clerk because they think (correctly, I think) that it's the best way to begin a career. A good judge will be a great mentor and will invest substantial time and effort into making you a better lawyer. Plus, most judges are far more forgiving of mistakes than stressed out senior associates.

(4) A good district court judge will provide a far more valuable experience than an average COA judge.




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