Latest Clerkship Bonus Market Forum

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Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:11 pm

Currently a district court clerk and going on to COA clerkship this coming year. What is the latest news on clerkship bonuses in biglaw and lit boutiques? Reviewing older threads, it seems like 50k for one and ~70-75k for two was common but not necessarily "market," if there even was a market.

Have things changed over the past couple years? Do firms still offer a bump for two clerkships vs. one? Would be great to hear from 2020-21 clerks that just joined firms too.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:11 pm
Currently a district court clerk and going on to COA clerkship this coming year. What is the latest news on clerkship bonuses in biglaw and lit boutiques? Reviewing older threads, it seems like 50k for one and ~70-75k for two was common but not necessarily "market," if there even was a market.

Have things changed over the past couple years? Do firms still offer a bump for two clerkships vs. one? Would be great to hear from 2020-21 clerks that just joined firms too.
My impression (former dist. ct. clerk, current COA clerk) is that market for two qualifying clerkships is 70-75k. Some firms (Kellogg, Quinn) have much higher clerkship bonuses, but, as far as I can tell, those continue to be the exception. Would also be curious to hear from recent clerks if this is accurate, though.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:16 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:11 pm
Currently a district court clerk and going on to COA clerkship this coming year. What is the latest news on clerkship bonuses in biglaw and lit boutiques? Reviewing older threads, it seems like 50k for one and ~70-75k for two was common but not necessarily "market," if there even was a market.

Have things changed over the past couple years? Do firms still offer a bump for two clerkships vs. one? Would be great to hear from 2020-21 clerks that just joined firms too.
My impression (former dist. ct. clerk, current COA clerk) is that market for two qualifying clerkships is 70-75k. Some firms (Kellogg, Quinn) have much higher clerkship bonuses, but, as far as I can tell, those continue to be the exception. Would also be curious to hear from recent clerks if this is accurate, though.
Nothing has changed, the bonus numbers have not tracked upward with inflation or increased salaries. If you want a larger clerkship bonus, you still have to have multiple offers and play one firm off another.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:16 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:11 pm
Currently a district court clerk and going on to COA clerkship this coming year. What is the latest news on clerkship bonuses in biglaw and lit boutiques? Reviewing older threads, it seems like 50k for one and ~70-75k for two was common but not necessarily "market," if there even was a market.

Have things changed over the past couple years? Do firms still offer a bump for two clerkships vs. one? Would be great to hear from 2020-21 clerks that just joined firms too.
My impression (former dist. ct. clerk, current COA clerk) is that market for two qualifying clerkships is 70-75k. Some firms (Kellogg, Quinn) have much higher clerkship bonuses, but, as far as I can tell, those continue to be the exception. Would also be curious to hear from recent clerks if this is accurate, though.
Nothing has changed, the bonus numbers have not tracked upward with inflation or increased salaries. If you want a larger clerkship bonus, you still have to have multiple offers and play one firm off another.
Do they really negotiate against each other? Does the prestige of the judge help here? Prior work experience? Something else?

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 2:03 pm

I joined a firm in 2020 after two clerkships, and had offers of $70k and $75k.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 2:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:40 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:16 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:11 pm
Currently a district court clerk and going on to COA clerkship this coming year. What is the latest news on clerkship bonuses in biglaw and lit boutiques? Reviewing older threads, it seems like 50k for one and ~70-75k for two was common but not necessarily "market," if there even was a market.

Have things changed over the past couple years? Do firms still offer a bump for two clerkships vs. one? Would be great to hear from 2020-21 clerks that just joined firms too.
My impression (former dist. ct. clerk, current COA clerk) is that market for two qualifying clerkships is 70-75k. Some firms (Kellogg, Quinn) have much higher clerkship bonuses, but, as far as I can tell, those continue to be the exception. Would also be curious to hear from recent clerks if this is accurate, though.
Nothing has changed, the bonus numbers have not tracked upward with inflation or increased salaries. If you want a larger clerkship bonus, you still have to have multiple offers and play one firm off another.
Do they really negotiate against each other? Does the prestige of the judge help here? Prior work experience? Something else?
Not really. If you're more senior (~5 years) firms may treat you as a lateral. SCOTUS is different and the bonus for that has gone up.

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 2:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:40 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:16 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 12:11 pm
Currently a district court clerk and going on to COA clerkship this coming year. What is the latest news on clerkship bonuses in biglaw and lit boutiques? Reviewing older threads, it seems like 50k for one and ~70-75k for two was common but not necessarily "market," if there even was a market.

Have things changed over the past couple years? Do firms still offer a bump for two clerkships vs. one? Would be great to hear from 2020-21 clerks that just joined firms too.
My impression (former dist. ct. clerk, current COA clerk) is that market for two qualifying clerkships is 70-75k. Some firms (Kellogg, Quinn) have much higher clerkship bonuses, but, as far as I can tell, those continue to be the exception. Would also be curious to hear from recent clerks if this is accurate, though.
Nothing has changed, the bonus numbers have not tracked upward with inflation or increased salaries. If you want a larger clerkship bonus, you still have to have multiple offers and play one firm off another.
Do they really negotiate against each other? Does the prestige of the judge help here? Prior work experience? Something else?
Not really. If you're more senior (~5 years) firms may treat you as a lateral. Prestige doesn't matter until you get to SCOTUS.

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:09 pm

Kellogg Hansen offers $175k for 1+ federal district/COA clerkship, although my understanding is that in practice they typically hire people who have done multiple.

It seems more than a little problematic that firms dangle the prospect of 5- or 6-figure bonuses—above already astronomical Big Law salaries—at the beginning of a clerkship term and then file briefs in cases that those clerks will (at least effectively) decide. But who knows, maybe early-career lawyers are the first group of humans in history to be completely immune to being influenced by the possibility of financial gain.

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:09 pm
Kellogg Hansen offers $175k for 1+ federal district/COA clerkship, although my understanding is that in practice they typically hire people who have done multiple.

It seems more than a little problematic that firms dangle the prospect of 5- or 6-figure bonuses—above already astronomical Big Law salaries—at the beginning of a clerkship term and then file briefs in cases that those clerks will (at least effectively) decide. But who knows, maybe early-career lawyers are the first group of humans in history to be completely immune to being influenced by the possibility of financial gain.
I don't know a single judge that does not make their clerks recuse themselves from cases that involve a firm they have an offer with.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 06, 2021 1:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:09 pm
Kellogg Hansen offers $175k for 1+ federal district/COA clerkship, although my understanding is that in practice they typically hire people who have done multiple.

It seems more than a little problematic that firms dangle the prospect of 5- or 6-figure bonuses—above already astronomical Big Law salaries—at the beginning of a clerkship term and then file briefs in cases that those clerks will (at least effectively) decide. But who knows, maybe early-career lawyers are the first group of humans in history to be completely immune to being influenced by the possibility of financial gain.
I don't know a single judge that does not make their clerks recuse themselves from cases that involve a firm they have an offer with.
Also, the causal story here makes no sense--a firm isn't going to hire you because it received a favorable decision from your judge. And the overwhelming majority of clerks will have 0 cases with Kellogg Hansen on them.

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Nov 07, 2021 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 06, 2021 1:02 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 10:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 8:09 pm
Kellogg Hansen offers $175k for 1+ federal district/COA clerkship, although my understanding is that in practice they typically hire people who have done multiple.

It seems more than a little problematic that firms dangle the prospect of 5- or 6-figure bonuses—above already astronomical Big Law salaries—at the beginning of a clerkship term and then file briefs in cases that those clerks will (at least effectively) decide. But who knows, maybe early-career lawyers are the first group of humans in history to be completely immune to being influenced by the possibility of financial gain.
I don't know a single judge that does not make their clerks recuse themselves from cases that involve a firm they have an offer with.
Also, the causal story here makes no sense--a firm isn't going to hire you because it received a favorable decision from your judge. And the overwhelming majority of clerks will have 0 cases with Kellogg Hansen on them.
When I clerked, my judge required us to recuse from cases involving any firm that we thought there was any chance we might interview with. One of my co-clerks ended up not touching basically any case with a decent biglaw firm on it. There are some weird aspects of the clerk hiring process, but influence on case outcomes is not remotely one of them.

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:15 pm

Very stealthy rolling this out in the middle of EOY bonus season, but apparently MTO is now at 80k/105k for clerkship bonuses now.

https://www.mto.com/careers/judicial-clerks

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:15 pm
Very stealthy rolling this out in the middle of EOY bonus season, but apparently MTO is now at 80k/105k for clerkship bonuses now.

https://www.mto.com/careers/judicial-clerks
This is big. I wonder how many will follow MTO, though. They're pretty elite in the post-clerkship landing circle, as far as I know.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:37 pm

Yeah it seems more like an attempt to even the playing field from a recruiting perspective against the boutiques that are already there, but maybe significant in pushing GDC, Latham, etc. to that level. Also arguably the only place that won't necessarily be rough from an hours perspective (not a lifestyle firm but also not Kellogg/SG/HH to my understanding) but still provides above-market clerkship bonuses.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:37 pm

delete double-post

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:15 pm
Very stealthy rolling this out in the middle of EOY bonus season, but apparently MTO is now at 80k/105k for clerkship bonuses now.

https://www.mto.com/careers/judicial-clerks
This is big. I wonder how many will follow MTO, though. They're pretty elite in the post-clerkship landing circle, as far as I know.
I know traditional big law firms (e.g., Latham, Kirkland, GDC) have not offered 80k/105k for all candidates, but does anyone know if they've matched MTO or higher bonuses on an individual basis for a candidate who they really like?

I have an offer from a traditional big law firm and am wondering if I spend spend time interviewing at MTO/boutique firms who offer higher bonuses only for negotiating leverage.

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:51 pm

My recollection is that KH requires you to spend at least 2 years to keep the bonus, anyone know if that's still true?

Also, anyone know what Wilkinson Stekloff (I think what the firm is calling itself now) offers for a clerkship bonus?

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Dec 12, 2021 2:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 4:37 pm
Yeah it seems more like an attempt to even the playing field from a recruiting perspective against the boutiques that are already there, but maybe significant in pushing GDC, Latham, etc. to that level. Also arguably the only place that won't necessarily be rough from an hours perspective (not a lifestyle firm but also not Kellogg/SG/HH to my understanding) but still provides above-market clerkship bonuses.
Patterson Belknap pays 80/100 clerkship bonuses with better hours than most biglaw, FWIW, although I believe senior associate compensation is below market.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jan 29, 2022 6:13 pm

Any updates on the bonus market?

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 30, 2022 4:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:15 pm
Very stealthy rolling this out in the middle of EOY bonus season, but apparently MTO is now at 80k/105k for clerkship bonuses now.

https://www.mto.com/careers/judicial-clerks
This is big. I wonder how many will follow MTO, though. They're pretty elite in the post-clerkship landing circle, as far as I know.
I know traditional big law firms (e.g., Latham, Kirkland, GDC) have not offered 80k/105k for all candidates, but does anyone know if they've matched MTO or higher bonuses on an individual basis for a candidate who they really like?

I have an offer from a traditional big law firm and am wondering if I spend spend time interviewing at MTO/boutique firms who offer higher bonuses only for negotiating leverage.
Anyone?

Anonymous User
Posts: 427428
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 30, 2022 1:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 30, 2022 4:41 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:15 pm
Very stealthy rolling this out in the middle of EOY bonus season, but apparently MTO is now at 80k/105k for clerkship bonuses now.

https://www.mto.com/careers/judicial-clerks
This is big. I wonder how many will follow MTO, though. They're pretty elite in the post-clerkship landing circle, as far as I know.
I know traditional big law firms (e.g., Latham, Kirkland, GDC) have not offered 80k/105k for all candidates, but does anyone know if they've matched MTO or higher bonuses on an individual basis for a candidate who they really like?

I have an offer from a traditional big law firm and am wondering if I spend spend time interviewing at MTO/boutique firms who offer higher bonuses only for negotiating leverage.
Anyone?
You can try but I doubt it works. Others have tried this strategy, and I've never heard of it succeeding.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 30, 2022 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 30, 2022 1:37 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 30, 2022 4:41 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:15 pm
Very stealthy rolling this out in the middle of EOY bonus season, but apparently MTO is now at 80k/105k for clerkship bonuses now.

https://www.mto.com/careers/judicial-clerks
This is big. I wonder how many will follow MTO, though. They're pretty elite in the post-clerkship landing circle, as far as I know.
I know traditional big law firms (e.g., Latham, Kirkland, GDC) have not offered 80k/105k for all candidates, but does anyone know if they've matched MTO or higher bonuses on an individual basis for a candidate who they really like?

I have an offer from a traditional big law firm and am wondering if I spend spend time interviewing at MTO/boutique firms who offer higher bonuses only for negotiating leverage.
Anyone?
You can try but I doubt it works. Others have tried this strategy, and I've never heard of it succeeding.
Isn’t the market slightly different now? HH has always had above market clerkship bonuses. This is new for MTO, which competes with other boutiques and firms that have only paid the traditional market clerkship bonuses.

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

Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Jan 30, 2022 7:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 30, 2022 2:23 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 30, 2022 1:37 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Sun Jan 30, 2022 4:41 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:25 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 2:15 pm
Very stealthy rolling this out in the middle of EOY bonus season, but apparently MTO is now at 80k/105k for clerkship bonuses now.

https://www.mto.com/careers/judicial-clerks
This is big. I wonder how many will follow MTO, though. They're pretty elite in the post-clerkship landing circle, as far as I know.
I know traditional big law firms (e.g., Latham, Kirkland, GDC) have not offered 80k/105k for all candidates, but does anyone know if they've matched MTO or higher bonuses on an individual basis for a candidate who they really like?

I have an offer from a traditional big law firm and am wondering if I spend spend time interviewing at MTO/boutique firms who offer higher bonuses only for negotiating leverage.
Anyone?
You can try but I doubt it works. Others have tried this strategy, and I've never heard of it succeeding.
Isn’t the market slightly different now? HH has always had above market clerkship bonuses. This is new for MTO, which competes with other boutiques and firms that have only paid the traditional market clerkship bonuses.
I doubt it. Some big firms, like Munger, simply march to their own drum beat (Wachtell, Boies, Williams & Connolly, ...). Quinn has had a $105k/$125k clerkship bonuses for years and it hasn't changed the bonus market. Munger has more in common with Quinn than it does Latham.

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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 31, 2022 11:07 pm

Anyone know if magistrate judge clerkship are the same for fed clerkship bonuses or if they’ll bump you down?

Anonymous User
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Re: Latest Clerkship Bonus Market

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Jan 31, 2022 11:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Jan 31, 2022 11:07 pm
Anyone know if magistrate judge clerkship are the same for fed clerkship bonuses or if they’ll bump you down?
I am under the impression firms do not give bonuses for magistrate judges, but I am not 100% certain about all firms

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