Another District Court Clerkship?

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Fort Kickass

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Another District Court Clerkship?

Post by Fort Kickass » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:02 am

I'm currently clerking for a district judge in Atlanta. I practiced for a year at a midsize firm in NYC before clerking and I graduated with very good (but not spectacular) grades from a T7-T9. My term expires at the end of this month and I don't have anything lined up yet. I've been applying to firms in NYC (biglaw, boutiques, and some mid-size firms), as well as circuit court clerkships (2020 and 2021 terms, though there is basically nothing left for 2020 at this point).

I'm getting pretty nervous that I'll have nothing, because I understand the market is NYC is beyond abysmal right now and may not get better for a while. I'm wondering if it would be smart to weather the storm and apply for another district court clerkship; I see there a few available, including one in the 11th Circuit (S.D. Fla.); I figure I'd have a decent shot at one in the circuit in which I'm clerking. My judge (whom I have a good relationship with) wouldn't let me renew.

Good idea? Am I being illogically scared about the market? Would doing another district court clerkship be hurtful to my career (I'd still want a circuit court clerkship and thereafter go practice lit at a firm). I appreciate any feedback. Thanks and I hope y'all are staying safe.

lavarman84

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Re: Another District Court Clerkship?

Post by lavarman84 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:21 am

Speaking bluntly, something is better than nothing. It's not ideal, but it's better than unemployment. The market is uncertain right now. You could have a job by the end of the month, or you could be out of luck for a little while. If you can land another D. Ct. clerkship, take it. It buys you more time to land a circuit or land a firm job.

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Re: Another District Court Clerkship?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:51 pm

Normally I'd say that another district court clerkship would be a waste of your time. But job > no job, so take whatever you can get. Clerkship hiring at firms is basically nonexistent right now because no one wants to pay out clerkship bonuses.

istan

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Re: Another District Court Clerkship?

Post by istan » Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:51 pm
Normally I'd say that another district court clerkship would be a waste of your time. But job > no job, so take whatever you can get. Clerkship hiring at firms is basically nonexistent right now because no one wants to pay out clerkship bonuses.
At what point do you think firms will just reduce or eliminate clerkship bonuses? That would suck but still be preferable to clerks finding themselves unhireable for the foreseeable future...

decimalsanddollars

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Re: Another District Court Clerkship?

Post by decimalsanddollars » Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:46 pm

I'd do the second clerkship for basically the reasons others have identified. If you're facing a no-job situation, I would absolutely clerk again. Be prepared for a situation in a year where you're taking a 1-year class haircut and getting only one bonus, but that's better than being out on your ass.

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Re: Another District Court Clerkship?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:38 pm

istan wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:31 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:51 pm
Normally I'd say that another district court clerkship would be a waste of your time. But job > no job, so take whatever you can get. Clerkship hiring at firms is basically nonexistent right now because no one wants to pay out clerkship bonuses.
At what point do you think firms will just reduce or eliminate clerkship bonuses? That would suck but still be preferable to clerks finding themselves unhireable for the foreseeable future...
TBH I don't know since there are still some firms honoring clerkship bonuses/return offers, usually for former summer associates. But I agree. If I were in current clerks' shoes, I would offer to forego my clerkship bonus in order to get hired.

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