When will post-clerkship hiring return from the war?

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When will post-clerkship hiring return from the war?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:39 pm

I'm a 2019 grad coming off of a federal clerkship in what I'd call a medium city (everyone knows where it is, and a handful of AmLaw firms have offices here, but it isn't a major market). I've been job searching basically since January with no luck. In January, I was told to wait until June or so to start searching for real. Of course, all that blew up when COVID happened. I had some promising interest from two of the bigger firms in the area, but both of them eventually decided not to hire any associates at all. I've also been ghosted by firms post-interview a couple times, which has been interesting.

I've been working with a recruiter a little (in addition to my own efforts), and that's worked better than anything I've done on my own, although it's still pretty dead. I'm admitted in Texas, and have been focusing my search there. I've currently got an offer from a firm to work as a contract associate with the hope of transitioning to full-time. As much as I like this firm, though, it's still entirely possible the full-time thing could fall through and I'll be back job searching after the contract term is up, so that's terrifying.

All that said, my question is: does ANYONE have ANY ballpark projections (or inside information, if hiring partners browse TLS, ha) on when post-clerkship-type hiring for permanent positions might begin to pick back up again? Every opportunity I'm seeing currently wants someone with more experience than I have (three to five years, as opposed to one year spent clerking postgrad and that's it). I'm nervous and stressed and feeling lost, and I'm looking to get other peoples' perspectives on how bad the market really is, and how long it might stay bad. If you have any advice on where to look for job postings other than LinkedIn and the state bar career center site, that would be appreciated too.

diesel0408

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Re: When will post-clerkship hiring return from the war?

Post by diesel0408 » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:57 pm

I'm in essentially the same position. I haven't reached out to any recruiters yet, although I believe there was a thread discussing recruiters from not too long ago that I may want to re-visit.

How has your experience been working with recruiters as a clerk? I did reach out to one recruiting operation and was told they didn't work with clerks, only true laterals.

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Re: When will post-clerkship hiring return from the war?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:55 pm

diesel0408 wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:57 pm
I'm in essentially the same position. I haven't reached out to any recruiters yet, although I believe there was a thread discussing recruiters from not too long ago that I may want to re-visit.

How has your experience been working with recruiters as a clerk? I did reach out to one recruiting operation and was told they didn't work with clerks, only true laterals.
I think there are definitely some recruiters who won't work with clerks, because most firms don't want to pay the recruiter AND a clerkship bonus, but that's not all of them. The one I've been working with has mostly been helping me look at more regional and midsize firms that pay decently (not Cravath, but six figures plus) but wouldn't be paying a clerkship bonus anyway. I l would probably start there to get some experience and then try to lateral up. I've both been informed and seen for myself that most AmLaw firms aren't hiring right now. I've gotten three or four bites total (including the contract job), and I think the low number there has been mostly because of COVID. One big upside is that interviewers will tell the recruiter how you did! I learned I'm actually a pretty good interview.

I'd say reach out to more recruiters from different companies if it's something that interests you. I connected with this one on LinkedIn. They should always tell you before sending your materials anywhere so you have control over where you apply. It's not for everyone (and I find TLS can be super snobby when folks struggle with the job hunt), but it may get you somewhere safe to land and gain experience.

diesel0408

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Re: When will post-clerkship hiring return from the war?

Post by diesel0408 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:22 pm

On another note, I've recently noticed job postings on third party sites (e.g., lawcrossing, etc.) that are not listed on the law firm's website. I find them through a google jobs search. These are posting that have only been up for a few days and are for well known firms. I've seen this for about three firms over the last couple days. Has anyone else experienced this? Is it common for third party websites to post openings before they go up on the law firm's page?

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