Help Me Think This Through Forum

(Seek and share information about clerkship applications, clerkship hiring timelines, and post-clerkship employment opportunities)
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Help Me Think This Through

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:27 pm

Hello, all.

I am in a predicament. I am a 3L and have two potential offers for a clerkship (still waiting). Nevertheless, I am really on-the-fence about whether it will be actually worth it. (Yes, I know now is the time to not be wondering that, but I have just been feeling nervous.)

I summered at a V50 last year in a major market. The firm does not hold offers open for clerks. Although I really want to clerk, I am more drawn to deal work and do not really want to end up in litigation. I wouldn't even mind foregoing a clerkship bonus. My main concern, though, is job security. The clerkships are not in the major market, and I really want to go back (if not to the firm, the market). Not as important, but I also reluctant to miss out on a stipend during the summer and bar prep fees. So in short, I am worried that if I take a possible clerkship opportunity, I will really struggle to get a job.

Any thoughts would be really appreciated. Thank you!


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Re: Help Me Think This Through

Post by nixy » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:41 pm

If you want to end up in deal work and don’t want to be in litigation, why are you considering a clerkship?

Whether you struggle to get a job after a clerkship will depend in part on how competitive you were before the clerkship. Did you have a lot of offers for the summer? I don’t think the clerkships not being in the major market where you want to be is a huge deal - they would help more, potentially, if they were in the major market, but they’re not going to hurt you when you want to go back. The question is more if you’re competitive for those jobs to start with.

Of course doing a clerkship may make getting a non-litigation job tougher in that firms will wonder why you aren’t applying for lit and whether you really want to do corporate work. So that’s something to consider.

(And of course the other factor in looking for a job post-clerkship is what the legal economy is doing at that point, which we really can’t predict so it’s not worth worrying about, but it’s still a big factor.)


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Re: Help Me Think This Through

Post by lavarman84 » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:42 pm

If you want to do transactional work, I'd go work for the firm.

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Re: Help Me Think This Through

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Oct 05, 2021 12:47 pm

OP here. Thanks, all. I think my biggest draw to a clerkship is I am interested in legal issues like some might be interested in fan fiction. In other words, I think it is neat stuff, and though I wouldn't mind being immersed in it for a year, I think a long career on the litigant's side just wouldn't be fulfilling and to me, especially dry.


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Re: Help Me Think This Through

Post by Robot » Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:36 pm

You’re right, it is a bit late to be considering whether you want to clerk. I don’t think you’ll probably have too many problems job-security-wise but I wouldn’t take it if you’d rather be doing deals. That said, some transactional lawyers clerk and have fine careers, it’s unusual but not unheard of.

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Re: Help Me Think This Through

Post by Wild Card » Tue Oct 05, 2021 6:50 pm

a lot of tip-top corporate attorneys clerked. consider it another big gold star on your resume.

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