2 year clerkships?

(Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about clerkship applications and clerkship hiring. 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: 351028
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

2 year clerkships?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 11, 2020 2:20 pm

Do any current or former clerks have any thought on 2 year clerkships? Anyone wish they had a second year or felt that doing one was valuable? More so at the district or COA level?

The Lsat Airbender

Silver
Posts: 1073
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:01 pm

Conventional wisdom is that they are suboptimal in most of the ways that matter to law students: you come out behind financially, you don't get much marginal value in terms of career development for the extra year, the "clerk alumni" pool for that judge is 1/2 the size, and it makes a second clerkship (e.g. to work on a CoA) look really weird.

Judges like them because they spend a smaller proportion of their year training new clerks (especially if they do a tick-tock where "senior" clerks train the newer ones).

For those reasons, they tend to be a tad less competitive, but are still about as prestigious as a normal clerkship, so it can be a chance for people with marginal credentials to clerk if they're cool with the downsides.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351028
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:49 pm

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:01 pm
Conventional wisdom is that they are suboptimal in most of the ways that matter to law students: you come out behind financially, you don't get much marginal value in terms of career development for the extra year, the "clerk alumni" pool for that judge is 1/2 the size, and it makes a second clerkship (e.g. to work on a CoA) look really weird.
I guess I'll have to disagree with most of this as two-year d. ct. clerk who went on to a subsequent COA clerkship. I really enjoyed both years at the district court, and I still felt like I was picking up useful skills/knowledge when I left. It's not a great idea if you've got massive loans or a dying urge to be in private practice, but it worked out fine for me.

nixy

Gold
Posts: 2689
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by nixy » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:07 pm

I don’t think one two-year clerkship makes a second clerkship look really weird at all, as long as the second clerkship is at a different level court - I think employers all know that some judges just require 2 years, and if you want both DCt and COA experience, that’s how it goes. I think it can complicate job searching in the sense that you might have to take a class year cut or something, but I don’t think in itself it looks weird.

I agree that if you’re going to a firm after there’s a financial consideration, and I think the second year can start to drag in the sense that you’re doing a lot of the same thing over again. But it would depend a little on what kinds of cases you get (also how much you like your judge!). I also agree that a second year isn’t going to provide any real career benefit you won’t get from one year. But plenty of people do two-year clerkships and it’s fine. If I had a choice between one year and two, in a vacuum I’d take one, but if it was two years and no clerkship, I’d do two years (but I’d also probably take a two year term with a judge known to be awesome over one year with an asshole, or if money were a big issue and I had a biglaw job, I might pass on the two-year term and work a couple years and reapply. Lots of considerations).

The Lsat Airbender

Silver
Posts: 1073
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:14 pm

Agree with both the above posts, which are more knowledgable than I am. I see that I came off a little too pessimistic. Any Article III clerkship is a great opportunity, and two-year gigs aren't some weird exception.

I do still think it's kind of a raw deal financially if you're doing the usual clerkship>biglaw path.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 351028
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:53 pm

This is just one example, but the majority of d.ct judges in the Northern District of Georgia (which covers Atlanta) only have two-year clerkships, so the Atlanta firms have all gotten used to that and worked around it. But anecdotally, some NDGa clerks who have gone on to biglaw Chicago and NYC had to take a class year cut because firms were not as accommodating (but they still got the two-year clerkship bonus)

Anonymous User
Posts: 351028
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:53 pm
This is just one example, but the majority of d.ct judges in the Northern District of Georgia (which covers Atlanta) only have two-year clerkships, so the Atlanta firms have all gotten used to that and worked around it. But anecdotally, some NDGa clerks who have gone on to biglaw Chicago and NYC had to take a class year cut because firms were not as accommodating (but they still got the two-year clerkship bonus)
Not just NDGA. SDGA, MDFLA, and SDFLA rely heavily on two year clerkships. Nobody familiar with the eleventh circuit or practice there bats an eye at them and they’re basically equally compeTitive with one year spots

justanotherlurker

New
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by justanotherlurker » Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:53 pm
This is just one example, but the majority of d.ct judges in the Northern District of Georgia (which covers Atlanta) only have two-year clerkships, so the Atlanta firms have all gotten used to that and worked around it. But anecdotally, some NDGa clerks who have gone on to biglaw Chicago and NYC had to take a class year cut because firms were not as accommodating (but they still got the two-year clerkship bonus)
I'm actually surprised they had success getting the two-year clerkship bonus. Most two-year district court clerks I know were only offered the market one-year bonus.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351028
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:26 am

justanotherlurker wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:53 pm
This is just one example, but the majority of d.ct judges in the Northern District of Georgia (which covers Atlanta) only have two-year clerkships, so the Atlanta firms have all gotten used to that and worked around it. But anecdotally, some NDGa clerks who have gone on to biglaw Chicago and NYC had to take a class year cut because firms were not as accommodating (but they still got the two-year clerkship bonus)
I'm actually surprised they had success getting the two-year clerkship bonus. Most two-year district court clerks I know were only offered the market one-year bonus.
Yeah this surprises me too, as my understanding was that the larger bonus was reserved only for those who did 2 clerkships, not a single, two-year clerkship.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Anonymous User
Posts: 351028
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:26 am
justanotherlurker wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:53 pm
This is just one example, but the majority of d.ct judges in the Northern District of Georgia (which covers Atlanta) only have two-year clerkships, so the Atlanta firms have all gotten used to that and worked around it. But anecdotally, some NDGa clerks who have gone on to biglaw Chicago and NYC had to take a class year cut because firms were not as accommodating (but they still got the two-year clerkship bonus)
I'm actually surprised they had success getting the two-year clerkship bonus. Most two-year district court clerks I know were only offered the market one-year bonus.
Yeah this surprises me too, as my understanding was that the larger bonus was reserved only for those who did 2 clerkships, not a single, two-year clerkship.
Current 2nd year clerk here. Re bonuses, I accepted an offer with the same bonus as ppl who did two clerkships, but different firms had different policies it seemed. I worked for two years first, so I'm a bit more senior. I think that isn't ideal, but didn't seem to be a deal breaker with firms. I was rejected from a CoA clerkship partially bc 3 years of clerking is a lot and I'd be pretty senior by the time the CoA position started (at least the Judge kindly said that).

At my new firm, I'll be paid with my class year, but partner consideration is delayed a year. I thought that was totally fair and I think I prefer it.

I've really enjoyed the second year. Frankly, it's just way easier to deal with the BS and you can focus on the more interesting stuff. Plus 2 years gives you more of a chance to land some bigger cases/have actual trials. I'm also much closer and more comfortable with the judge this year.

IMHO, 18 months would be ideal for everyone.

TL/DR - from my experience, much of the above is correct. 2 years has many "soft" upsides, but there are noticeable (but not insurmountable) financial/future employment downsides.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351028
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:48 pm

justanotherlurker wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:11 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:53 pm
This is just one example, but the majority of d.ct judges in the Northern District of Georgia (which covers Atlanta) only have two-year clerkships, so the Atlanta firms have all gotten used to that and worked around it. But anecdotally, some NDGa clerks who have gone on to biglaw Chicago and NYC had to take a class year cut because firms were not as accommodating (but they still got the two-year clerkship bonus)
I'm actually surprised they had success getting the two-year clerkship bonus. Most two-year district court clerks I know were only offered the market one-year bonus.
FYI the clerkship market bonus in Atl is not 50k for 1 year or 70k for two years (singicnsntly less)

lavarman84

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

Re: 2 year clerkships?

Post by lavarman84 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:30 pm

A one-year clerkship is better than a two-year clerkship. After the first year, you have it down pat and aren't learning much. That second year mainly benefits the judge (although, it does allow you to build a stronger relationship with the judge and get more chances to see new things). I had an absolutely phenomenal boss with a great QOL for my two-year clerkship, so I didn't mind the two years at all. But one year is superior for the clerk.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Judicial Clerkships”