Why do people pass up [or not pass up] clerkships for BL?

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sandwhich
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:02 pm

Why do people pass up [or not pass up] clerkships for BL?

Postby sandwhich » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:30 pm

Is it because of the salary difference coupled with the overwhelming desire to pay off debt as soon as possible?

It seems to me that one of the best things you can do to start your career (in litigation or academia) is a clerkship. Is this a misconception? I get this from clerks who have gone on to work at big firms after their clerkship. It seems some partners love showing off their shiny prior-clerks to new clients, even as JAs. Is the clout and experience worth the opportunity cost?

TheOnePercent
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Re: Why do people pass up [or not pass up] clerkships for BL?

Postby TheOnePercent » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:45 pm

The financial opportunity cost + forced one-year move elesewhere in the country + questionable payoff in terms of improved transactional BigLaw exist options = highly unappealing (in my situation). Particularly if you're an older student and/or already going to a legit firm to begin with.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Why do people pass up [or not pass up] clerkships for BL?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:47 pm

If you're not going into litigation, I don't think clerkships offer any value (those with experience feel free to correct that assumption). Even more specifically, I wonder if the benefits are still significant if you're not doing specifically trial or appellate lit work.

Moreover, I gots bills to pay and mouths to feed.

I can see going the clerkship route if you want to keep the door open to being a law professor or judge. But frankly, if you want these jobs you're either A. not at Harvard/Yale and therefore delusional or B. at Harvard/Yale and frankly you've got a fast track to money provided you're not a mouth-breather with poor connections.

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DCfilterDC
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Re: Why do people pass up [or not pass up] clerkships for BL?

Postby DCfilterDC » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:54 pm

Hmmm... so the fact that Columbia has such an abysmal clerkship % is really just due to self-selection?

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seizmaar
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Re: Why do people pass up [or not pass up] clerkships for BL?

Postby seizmaar » Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:03 pm

doing a clerkship can give you valuable time to upgrade/switch to gov't if your firm is holding your spot. that's not what i intended to do but it's what happened. and i think the job is pretty awesome. but the pay is pretty meh, despite low COL. the upside is your BL friends buy you all your meals/alcohol when you visit them.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Why do people pass up [or not pass up] clerkships for BL?

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:05 am

Doesn't mean shit for most corporate attorneys

You lose $50k pretax

For litigation or gov't, yea it would be silly to decline a clerkship opportunity.




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