Clerkship Bonus List

(Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities)
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Clerkship Bonus List

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:57 am

Hi all. Doing a clerkship has become a bigger financial hit now that the market rate for biglaw starting salaries is 180k, students are coming out of law school with so much debt, and big markets have even higher cost of living. There has been some movement to increase clerkship bonuses among firms but no real pooling of information for ease of access. So I wanted to start this thread and focus on the following three things:

(1) The market rate for clerkship bonuses (fed district court) is 50k (with possibly higher at few firms if COA), right?

(2) Is there an accurate and updated list of clerkship bonuses for V100 firms anywhere? There seem to be two out there. One is a 2007/08 list and the other is an ATL list that they update now and again. But it's not clear if these are accurate.

(3) For former clerks who went to a firm and got a bonus, how did you figure out your firm's bonus amount? Did you negotiate it or is it pretty standard?

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Re: Clerkship Bonus List

Post by rpupkin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:02 am

(1) Market is still $50K, but QE went to $70Kish last year. Market is generally $50K for COA as well, but some firms will pay extra (usually around $70K instead of the usual $50K) if the COA is a second clerkship. Also, I understand that some firms will pay higher bonuses for a Federal Circuit clerkship, regardless of whether it's a first or second clerkship.

(2) Not that I know of.

(3) Depends on the firm. Some firms are willing to negotiate clerkship bonuses (and class year, for that matter). It never hurts to ask.

Let me add some unsolicited advice: don't pick a law firm based on clerkship bonus. I know the money seems like a big deal when you're coming out of law school, but in the long run it's way more important to pick the right firm. The fact that Quinn Emmanuel is the "market leader" should tell you something. The extra $20K (or whatever) won't seem significant in three years.

Find the best law firm for you, negotiate as much of a bonus (and/or class-year bump) as you can get, and then be happy with that.

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