Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 19, 2020 3:00 pm

I'm a 2L applying to clerkships and am worried about clerking a year out--OCS warned us our firm jobs would be less safe in such an arrangement given the economy. For background, I'm going to one of GDC/WH/C&B in DC this summer and according to the clerkship office I am competitive for COAs in cities as well as the most competitive districts. Should I (1)say fuck it and apply for the clerkships a year out (they are generally the "sexier" ones like SDNY, EDNY, DDC, NDIl, NDCal, 2/7/9/DC), (2) abstain from '22 and '23 and only apply to 2021 and wait til 3-4 years out to clerk if necessary, or (3) add in some of the more respected state supreme courts and possibly magistrates if needed to serve as a filler if I can't land a D.Ct. or COA for 2021 (but then have three clerkships on my resume)?

Also, can't I just not tell my firm I got a clerkship for '22 and then give them notice a month or two before to avoid being an easy target for layoffs? This doesn't seem unethical to me, especially if clerking would be a reason for them to can me.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 19, 2020 3:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:00 pm
I'm a 2L applying to clerkships and am worried about clerking a year out--OCS warned us our firm jobs would be less safe in such an arrangement given the economy. For background, I'm going to one of GDC/WH/C&B in DC this summer and according to the clerkship office I am competitive for COAs in cities as well as the most competitive districts. Should I (1)say fuck it and apply for the clerkships a year out (they are generally the "sexier" ones like SDNY, EDNY, DDC, NDIl, NDCal, 2/7/9/DC), (2) abstain from '22 and '23 and only apply to 2021 and wait til 3-4 years out to clerk if necessary, or (3) add in some of the more respected state supreme courts and possibly magistrates if needed to serve as a filler if I can't land a D.Ct. or COA for 2021 (but then have three clerkships on my resume)?

Also, can't I just not tell my firm I got a clerkship for '22 and then give them notice a month or two before to avoid being an easy target for layoffs? This doesn't seem unethical to me, especially if clerking would be a reason for them to can me.
I pretty strongly disagree with your OCS office's advice because it seems extraordinarily cautious. There will always be a market for elite legal talent, which it sounds like you fit into if you're competitive for D.C. Circuit clerkships (as one example). If anything, the white-shoe firms will likely adjust their summer recruitment by the fall of 2022 to ensure that they have spots for returning judicial clerks. I wouldn't let this dissuade you from applying.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 19, 2020 3:32 pm

OP here. Uncertain of labeling myself "elite legal talent." I am competitive in the sense that it's worthwhile to apply to the DC Cir. and feeders, but it's a reach by any definition. I'm ~10% at H/S and not on the flagship journal.

JusticeJackson

Silver
Posts: 575
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:26 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by JusticeJackson » Tue May 19, 2020 3:40 pm

100% apply and 100% take the job if you get it. I don’t see any value in doing a magistrate or state Supreme Court clerkship if you’re just doing it to kill time. GDC-type firms get it and I don’t think they’d hold it against you. And in any event, if you do a DC Circuit clerkship, you’ll have tons of options, even in a terrible economy. I should know; I did a 9th Circuit clerkship in 2010-2011. Although my stats were much worse than yours I had some really great options when my clerkship ended.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 19, 2020 3:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:32 pm
OP here. Uncertain of labeling myself "elite legal talent." I am competitive in the sense that it's worthwhile to apply to the DC Cir. and feeders, but it's a reach by any definition. I'm ~10% at H/S and not on the flagship journal.
I'd also apply to clerkships you'd be excited about. I have similar stats and recently lined up a post-clerkship job at one of the firms you mentioned. It was shortly before all this craziness, but I think you'd be a competitive candidate for firms if you keep your grades up and add a good clerkship or two to your resume.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 19, 2020 4:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:52 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:32 pm
OP here. Uncertain of labeling myself "elite legal talent." I am competitive in the sense that it's worthwhile to apply to the DC Cir. and feeders, but it's a reach by any definition. I'm ~10% at H/S and not on the flagship journal.
I'd also apply to clerkships you'd be excited about. I have similar stats and recently lined up a post-clerkship job at one of the firms you mentioned. It was shortly before all this craziness, but I think you'd be a competitive candidate for firms if you keep your grades up and add a good clerkship or two to your resume.
Yeah I mean I'd hope to just go back to my SA firm unless I hate it

LBJ's Hair

Silver
Posts: 538
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Tue May 19, 2020 7:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:00 pm
I'm a 2L applying to clerkships and am worried about clerking a year out--OCS warned us our firm jobs would be less safe in such an arrangement given the economy. For background, I'm going to one of GDC/WH/C&B in DC this summer and according to the clerkship office I am competitive for COAs in cities as well as the most competitive districts. Should I (1)say fuck it and apply for the clerkships a year out (they are generally the "sexier" ones like SDNY, EDNY, DDC, NDIl, NDCal, 2/7/9/DC), (2) abstain from '22 and '23 and only apply to 2021 and wait til 3-4 years out to clerk if necessary, or (3) add in some of the more respected state supreme courts and possibly magistrates if needed to serve as a filler if I can't land a D.Ct. or COA for 2021 (but then have three clerkships on my resume)?

Also, can't I just not tell my firm I got a clerkship for '22 and then give them notice a month or two before to avoid being an easy target for layoffs? This doesn't seem unethical to me, especially if clerking would be a reason for them to can me.
You're not wrong for being concerned. There are V10s who weren't taking their clerks back...pre-COVID. If I were a 3L, I would not be thrilled about clerking 2020-21.

My advice: Apply to wherever you want. And renege on the clerkship if the economy is dogshit a year from now (or two years, or whatever) and you're worried you won't be able to get a job post-clerkship/your firm is intimating it won't take you back. Wouldn't normally recommend it, but "I won't have a job a year from now if I take this" is IMO a perfectly fair reason to back out.

In no universe would I do a magistrate/SSC. Waste of time for someone with your credentials in a booming economy, total insanity in a world of 13% (and rising) unemployment.

lavarman84

Platinum
Posts: 8088
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by lavarman84 » Tue May 19, 2020 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:32 pm
OP here. Uncertain of labeling myself "elite legal talent." I am competitive in the sense that it's worthwhile to apply to the DC Cir. and feeders, but it's a reach by any definition. I'm ~10% at H/S and not on the flagship journal.
If I were in your shoes, I'd pursue a clerkship, and I don't think you need to relegate yourself to a SSC or MJ clerkship (unless it's one of the handful of truly elite SSC justices). You'll be fine.

User avatar
Wild Card

Silver
Posts: 840
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Wild Card » Tue May 19, 2020 8:59 pm

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:46 pm
You're not wrong for being concerned. There are V10s who weren't taking their clerks back...pre-COVID. If I were a 3L, I would not be thrilled about clerking 2020-21.

My advice: Apply to wherever you want. And renege on the clerkship if the economy is dogshit a year from now (or two years, or whatever) and you're worried you won't be able to get a job post-clerkship/your firm is intimating it won't take you back. Wouldn't normally recommend it, but "I won't have a job a year from now if I take this" is IMO a perfectly fair reason to back out.

In no universe would I do a magistrate/SSC. Waste of time for someone with your credentials in a booming economy, total insanity in a world of 13% (and rising) unemployment.
True, but I think this is too heavy-handed. A SDNY/DDC clerkship is an extremely powerful credential that one should be able to use to find work at another biglaw firm if need be. Reneging is accordingly insane, unless one were clerking in a district second to SDNY/DDC, such as D.Nj. or D.Md. Even in that case, one learns valuable skills during a clerkship and it remains a distinguishing credential.

For the same reasons, SDNY/EDNY magistrate and NY COA (Garcia or Wilson) / California (Liu or Cuellar) are very much worthwhile to pursue.

Honestly, 60 people graduate magna from HLS every year, 180 (?) cum laude. But how many top law school grads can clerk in any year?

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


User avatar
Wild Card

Silver
Posts: 840
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:48 pm

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Wild Card » Tue May 19, 2020 9:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 3:00 pm
Also, can't I just not tell my firm I got a clerkship for '22 and then give them notice a month or two before to avoid being an easy target for layoffs? This doesn't seem unethical to me, especially if clerking would be a reason for them to can me.
Yes, this is the right way to go.

One day, you will get a call. Within 15 minutes, you'll be escorted out of the building.

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7385
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed May 20, 2020 6:28 am

Wild Card wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 9:05 pm
One day, you will get a call. Within 15 minutes, you'll be escorted out of the building.
Stop scaring the students. That isn't even how it works when associates do get fired (assuming they aren't getting fired for something serious like leaking confidential information).

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 20, 2020 11:01 am

Unless things have changed a lot in the last few years, top 10% at H/S shouldn’t be in the same conversation as MJs or SSCs. I was top 15% from the bottom half of the T14 and clerked on a COA. A top D Ct. or a federal COA seems well within your reach if you’re willing to apply broadly-ish (not saying you have to send apps to every COA judge on the 8th and 10th, but more than 2/9/DC).

I would recommend one of those clerkships even given the current economy. That’s a resume addition that will put you in the front of the line when firms are hiring.

objctnyrhnr

Moderator
Posts: 1328
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:44 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by objctnyrhnr » Tue May 26, 2020 9:00 am

The potential career upside from doing even a standard a3, in my view, outweighs what you perceive as a risk. Also, we’ll have a vaccine by that point so things likely won’t appear as dire.

My sentiments become even stronger if you get an uber prestigious a3/COA.

Echo the above re don’t bother with magistrates or SSCs.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 9:44 am

I can only relate my own experience, which was that I have similar credentials, was at a v10, left after a year to clerk, was not welcome
back, and learned that the post-clerkship hiring market is wayyyyy worse than OCI. Check out the post clerkship hiring thread if you don’t believe me. You are competing for fewer jobs with more qualified applicants, and you cost more to the firm to hire because of the 50,000 bonus.

Also you don’t always have control over the situation at your firm. I had good reviews and got along with everyone I worked with, but there just wasn’t much work to go around. My firm asked several lit associates to join funds... If I had remained an associate I don’t think I would’ve been fired, but coming back meant the firm could second guess whether it was worth it to dilute everyone’s hours again.

Anyway, point is clerkships are not the unalloyed good people here say they are and they don’t necessarily help very much. The safe choice is to just stay at the firm, and clerk when you’re ready to leave for good. And beware your school’s advice on the matter because they benefit from saying a high percentage of their grads clerked.

User avatar
BansheeScream

New
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:46 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by BansheeScream » Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm

I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 3:14 pm

While I think a top clerkship (or any federal clerkship) is likely enough of a resume booster to argue in favor of clerking, I left a DC firm big on clerkships with a promise that I could come back after my clerkship, and the firm is now reneging. So it is happening and should be something you consider. I also had guarantees from various partners that I could come back, but Covid has changed how a lot of firms operate, and those people might not have the power they used to (i.e, hiring decisions may not be being made by individual offices/practice groups anymore). So just go in knowing you may need to apply elsewhere, despite the promises from partners.

All of this is moot if the economy is recovered by the time you clerk, which fingers crossed, it will be.

LBJ's Hair

Silver
Posts: 538
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm

BansheeScream wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm
I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.
To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2020 10:53 am

LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm
BansheeScream wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm
I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.
To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.
Anon from above who wasn't able to come back to his firm. Complete agree with this -- I had conversations with partners before I left for the clerkship who made it "clear" that there was no risk to clerking, that I had good reviews and would be welcome back, etc.

Lurk2020

New
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:48 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Lurk2020 » Wed May 27, 2020 3:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:53 am
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm
BansheeScream wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm
I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.
To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.
Anon from above who wasn't able to come back to his firm. Complete agree with this -- I had conversations with partners before I left for the clerkship who made it "clear" that there was no risk to clerking, that I had good reviews and would be welcome back, etc.
Who are the brand name firms that are failing to fulfill their promises to bring back clerks?

User avatar
BansheeScream

New
Posts: 83
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:46 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by BansheeScream » Wed May 27, 2020 3:37 pm

Lurk2020 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:53 am
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm
BansheeScream wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm
I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.
To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.
Anon from above who wasn't able to come back to his firm. Complete agree with this -- I had conversations with partners before I left for the clerkship who made it "clear" that there was no risk to clerking, that I had good reviews and would be welcome back, etc.
Who are the brand name firms that are failing to fulfill their promises to bring back clerks?
Seconding this. Everyone on this board encourages people to out firms for way less. Our recruitment team has told us you basically email a month before with your intention to return. It seems to be wildly inappropriate to keep up this rouse when you could be interviewing at other firms.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2020 4:16 pm

I was told by Greenberg Traurig I'd be welcomed back, but when the time came, I was told the firm didn't have the work to bring me on. Obviously GT isn't very brand name. And I ended up at a much, much better firm, so oh well. But I had to do some serious last-minute scrambling to land the job. My close GT contacts have reached out several times since then and have asked me to come back, so I don't think it was necessarily lip service. But the firm is a business and it's not going to bring on another associate salary if it doesn't need to.

Also, even with my experience, I highly recommend clerking, even if it's a year or two after graduation. Just keep your eyes open for other jobs, because the one you left might not be there.

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2020 6:11 am

BansheeScream wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:37 pm
Lurk2020 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:53 am
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm
BansheeScream wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm
I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.
To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.
Anon from above who wasn't able to come back to his firm. Complete agree with this -- I had conversations with partners before I left for the clerkship who made it "clear" that there was no risk to clerking, that I had good reviews and would be welcome back, etc.
Who are the brand name firms that are failing to fulfill their promises to bring back clerks?
Seconding this. Everyone on this board encourages people to out firms for way less. Our recruitment team has told us you basically email a month before with your intention to return. It seems to be wildly inappropriate to keep up this rouse when you could be interviewing at other firms.
Simpson thacher

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2020 6:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:11 am
BansheeScream wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:37 pm
Lurk2020 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:53 am
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm
BansheeScream wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm
I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.
To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.
Anon from above who wasn't able to come back to his firm. Complete agree with this -- I had conversations with partners before I left for the clerkship who made it "clear" that there was no risk to clerking, that I had good reviews and would be welcome back, etc.
Who are the brand name firms that are failing to fulfill their promises to bring back clerks?
Seconding this. Everyone on this board encourages people to out firms for way less. Our recruitment team has told us you basically email a month before with your intention to return. It seems to be wildly inappropriate to keep up this rouse when you could be interviewing at other firms.
Simpson thacher
and actually I just confirmed on the firm website that they also did not bring back another person I knew at the firm, same situation, who told me he had spoken to a partner and received assurances that he would be taken back a month before he contacted recruiting to begin re-onboarding

Casper123

New
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:56 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Casper123 » Thu May 28, 2020 7:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:18 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:11 am
BansheeScream wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:37 pm
Lurk2020 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:53 am
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm
BansheeScream wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 2:09 pm
I'm in your same shoes but a year ahead. I'm going back to my SA firm for like 8 months then clerking for a district court and COA for the next two year. My firm is of similar caliber in DC to the ones you mentioned and after speaking with my partner mentor etc., there really isn't any risk. It seems to be extremely rare for elite DC shops not to invite people back who were SAs. If you're able to get a solid offer for a year or two out, I would take it. Not to mention if we're really in a downturn it may be better to be clerking for a year or two while the economy bounces back a back.
To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.
Anon from above who wasn't able to come back to his firm. Complete agree with this -- I had conversations with partners before I left for the clerkship who made it "clear" that there was no risk to clerking, that I had good reviews and would be welcome back, etc.
Who are the brand name firms that are failing to fulfill their promises to bring back clerks?
Seconding this. Everyone on this board encourages people to out firms for way less. Our recruitment team has told us you basically email a month before with your intention to return. It seems to be wildly inappropriate to keep up this rouse when you could be interviewing at other firms.
Simpson thacher
and actually I just confirmed on the firm website that they also did not bring back another person I knew at the firm, same situation, who told me he had spoken to a partner and received assurances that he would be taken back a month before he contacted recruiting to begin re-onboarding
1. I don't think Simpson Thacher DC can be compared to Covington/GDC/WH DC.
2. Is there a risk that OP will not be welcomed back? Maybe there is a tiny risk but the risk that OP ends up working with a partner or in a group he/she doesn't like or that partners think his work sucks (and therefore wants to leave or gets pushed out) is way higher. There are so many reasons why people need to look for a new firm at some point. Clerking does not seem to be a particularly risky move.
3. I am a bit surprised that some people seem to suggest that OP shouldn't clerk. I don't see a H/S top 10% graduate with a decent district court or COA clerkship having trouble finding a job at another firm.

Anonymous User
Posts: 350971
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Should I be Wary of Clerking a Year Out?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2020 8:20 am

Casper123 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 7:51 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:18 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 6:11 am
BansheeScream wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:37 pm
Lurk2020 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:53 am
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:40 pm


To reiterate -- there were brand name V10 firms that were refusing to take back clerks *pre-COVID*. You think they'd tell former summers that, if they asked? Absolutely not.

Not saying this is going to happen you, and congrats on the clerkship.

But like, let's get real about how this works: Until you're a full-time employee, the partners are selling you. "Of course you can focus on appellate work!" "Yeah, anyone who wants to go to a US Attorney's goes." "First years don't do much document review." Etc.
Anon from above who wasn't able to come back to his firm. Complete agree with this -- I had conversations with partners before I left for the clerkship who made it "clear" that there was no risk to clerking, that I had good reviews and would be welcome back, etc.
Who are the brand name firms that are failing to fulfill their promises to bring back clerks?
Seconding this. Everyone on this board encourages people to out firms for way less. Our recruitment team has told us you basically email a month before with your intention to return. It seems to be wildly inappropriate to keep up this rouse when you could be interviewing at other firms.
Simpson thacher
and actually I just confirmed on the firm website that they also did not bring back another person I knew at the firm, same situation, who told me he had spoken to a partner and received assurances that he would be taken back a month before he contacted recruiting to begin re-onboarding
1. I don't think Simpson Thacher DC can be compared to Covington/GDC/WH DC.
2. Is there a risk that OP will not be welcomed back? Maybe there is a tiny risk but the risk that OP ends up working with a partner or in a group he/she doesn't like or that partners think his work sucks (and therefore wants to leave or gets pushed out) is way higher. There are so many reasons why people need to look for a new firm at some point. Clerking does not seem to be a particularly risky move.
3. I am a bit surprised that some people seem to suggest that OP shouldn't clerk. I don't see a H/S top 10% graduate with a decent district court or COA clerkship having trouble finding a job at another firm.
You are a 3L, correct? Why are you giving your advice about post clerkship hiring when you’ve never tried to do it? Why don’t you take a look at the post clerkship hiring threads on TLS and get back to me on whether what the people there are saying fits with what you think it would be. And LOL at trying to draw a distinction between STB and the firms you mentioned. Perhaps there is some minor distinction among law student litigation snobs but the notion that a V10 with 4.5 million PPP a year is unrepresentative of ‘truly elite’ firms or whatever point you’re trying to make is absurd. Also, it was STB NY.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”