Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

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Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 22, 2018 2:17 pm

Rising 2L scheduled to start my summer job next week. The position I applied for was labeled "summer associate" but my official offer letter said "law clerk". Throughout the interview process my contacts with the firm openly referred to it as the "summer position".

My question is for the purposes of LinkedIn/my resume, should I call the position summer associate or law clerk? From what I understand the terms have slightly different meanings. I just don't want to appear like I'm misleading anyone. Can I call the position summer associate? Or is this a whole lot of nothing?


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Re: Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

Postby 1styearlateral » Tue May 22, 2018 2:31 pm



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Re: Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

Postby sparkytrainer » Tue May 22, 2018 2:40 pm

What type of firm is it?


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Re: Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

Postby ur_hero » Tue May 22, 2018 3:11 pm

I mean, the title matters less than clarifying whether the position is intended to progress into a full-time position.

Did you ever ASK whether they were looking for a full-time hire? It it expected to translate into that? Or were they clear it's possible but not guaranteed? What's the firm's history with these kind of positions - was anyone else there currently hired in that manner? Does the firm have other people with the title "Summer Associate" while you're just "Law Clerk"? Or have you just asked anyone whether there's even a difference? (maybe it's deliberate and means something....maybe it's just what they call it....Or maybe no one has even given this terminology a second thought and you are stressing over nothing)

Just a few important questions you should hopefully know the answer to if you accepted an offer.


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Re: Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

Postby NoLongerALurker » Tue May 22, 2018 3:34 pm

My firm made us list Law Clerk after the fact when listing the position for the bar, so it might just be some weird bar based terminology requirement. In all I’m sure it matters 0 percent, and if you’re in a typical summer program at a large firm I’d definitely just say summer associate.


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Re: Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

Postby SFSpartan » Tue May 22, 2018 3:46 pm

This could be deliberate, or it could just be what the firm calls their summers. Best to check with HR, rather than the internet.


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Re: Law Clerk or Summer Associate?

Postby thelastlaugh » Tue May 22, 2018 4:26 pm

When I got admitted, you could not list yourself as an "associate" if you were not actually a lawyer, per the NY 1st Department. Therefore, the real title of summer associates in NY for bar purposes is "law clerk." But everyone calls them summer associates.

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