Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship Forum

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Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 14, 2022 9:57 pm

I'm leaving biglaw to clerk, but the start is right before bonuses are paid out :( Has anyone had luck in still getting their bonus after leaving (without having to come back)?

Part of me thinks I'm crazy based on the amount of money I'm leaving on the table, but I really need the career change.

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Re: Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2022 8:39 am

If you're not gonna come back there is no way they're going to give it to you. Just take the hit. It can't be that much right? I suspect it is going to be the normal scale without the special bonus.

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Re: Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:57 am

Yeah, I don’t see any way you can get them to make you whole without you committing to going back.

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Re: Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2022 10:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Sep 15, 2022 8:39 am
If you're not gonna come back there is no way they're going to give it to you. Just take the hit. It can't be that much right? I suspect it is going to be the normal scale without the special bonus.

OP here, that's what I thought sadly. Normal scale, no special (+$50k)

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Re: Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship

Post by Joachim2017 » Thu Sep 15, 2022 11:34 am

Especially when you consider your actual take-home after taxes, at this level I don't think it's a hard decision (might be different if you were at a boutique/above-market firm where even after taxes you were foregoing like $120k+).

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Re: Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Sep 15, 2022 12:31 pm

If we're talking a week or two it's at least conceivable that the judge would be willing to shift your start date, depending on a current clerk's willingness to stick around.

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Re: Forfeiting Biglaw Bonus for Clerkship

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:52 am

That's what my judge did for one of my co-clerks. The clerk wanted to wait until after the bonus paid so the current clerk stayed on a little longer. I believe the remaining two clerks shared the new clerk's caseload for a couple weeks before he started. If you are missing the bonus by a couple weeks or less than a month, I would certainly talk to the judge about it. Judges are human, too.

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