2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:D. Ct. alumni clerk here. I think what i'm figuring is pretty much what i sort of already knew, that these opportunities are great experience but just not worth uprooting your life for. And they won't make a meaningful difference in your attractiveness to firms. Like no one outside of my district seems very impressed at all, and I'm not clerking in a flyover. I'm pretty sure I'm headed for at least temporary unemployment/extremely low-paying legal aid or state/local gvt jobs once I'm done (unless I pass this bar exam next week, which I'm not going to; I probably have market-paying job in the district I'm clerking waiting for me if I do). Not that I necessarily mind that, I hated private practice before and would probably hate it again. Just was a bad, dumb decision to start a clerkship in an election year hoping to use it to get into govt.


Apparently we are the same person. Good luck next week!

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:15 am

Anonymous User wrote:D. Ct. alumni clerk here. I think what i'm figuring is pretty much what i sort of already knew, that these opportunities are great experience but just not worth uprooting your life for. And they won't make a meaningful difference in your attractiveness to firms. Like no one outside of my district seems very impressed at all, and I'm not clerking in a flyover. I'm pretty sure I'm headed for at least temporary unemployment/extremely low-paying legal aid or state/local gvt jobs once I'm done (unless I pass this bar exam next week, which I'm not going to; I probably have market-paying job in the district I'm clerking waiting for me if I do). Not that I necessarily mind that, I hated private practice before and would probably hate it again. Just was a bad, dumb decision to start a clerkship in an election year hoping to use it to get into govt.



I have to admit I'm a little dumbfounded by it, even as a pessimist. It's one of those (among many) things that I think has changed about legal practice since the collapse of 2008. I have a close family member that was working shitlaw coming from a T4 school, did a clerkship, and ended up in a bigfirm immediately after. Practically it makes sense, but as prestige grabbing as our profession is I kind of figured that having a D. Ct. clerkship would open a lot of doors.

As far as the government thing goes, yeah that really has shot just about everyone's AUSA hopes and severely complicated honor program hiring. That was always a side option for me but considering I am looking at going on unemployment in about a month and a half having a few more hail mary passes in my pocket would have been nice.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:34 am

If anyone is reading this thread and getting discouraged from clerking, I do want to emphasize (with sympathies to those that are struggling) that this seems to be a somewhat skewed sample of the post-clerkship hiring process.

I myself have only just started, but none of my predecessor clerks at the D. Ct. level had any trouble and they were pretty quickly snapped up (including by firms like MTO and Keker). Which is to say, if you're a litigator and want to clerk, it's definitely worth it, despite some small uncertainty regarding post-clerk employment plans.

That being said, it also never hurts to check out what former clerks of your judge are up to. Chances are if many are partners, AUSAs, etc. the network alone will mean you won't struggle to find a job.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby los blancos » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:If anyone is reading this thread and getting discouraged from clerking, I do want to emphasize (with sympathies to those that are struggling) that this seems to be a somewhat skewed sample of the post-clerkship hiring process.

I myself have only just started, but none of my predecessor clerks at the D. Ct. level had any trouble and they were pretty quickly snapped up (including by firms like MTO and Keker). Which is to say, if you're a litigator and want to clerk, it's definitely worth it, despite some small uncertainty regarding post-clerk employment plans.

That being said, it also never hurts to check out what former clerks of your judge are up to. Chances are if many are partners, AUSAs, etc. the network alone will mean you won't struggle to find a job.


It is not "definitely worth it"; it often is, but depends a lot on the particular situation.

The point is: if you're thinking about mid-career clerking don't uproot your life to do it unless (a) you're fine with going back where you were before (and have an offer to do so); or (b) you have the types of fancy paper credentials that would've allowed you to make the move you're looking to make anyways and the clerkship is an experience/waypoint.

It's just not a credential that is going to radically if at all alter your prospects. Other than the potentially extremely helpful networking opps, it's not going to magically open doors. Don't think that's really earth-shattering but it wasn't always the case, and it's not really intuitive given how unbelievably competitive these jobs are.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:24 pm

los blancos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If anyone is reading this thread and getting discouraged from clerking, I do want to emphasize (with sympathies to those that are struggling) that this seems to be a somewhat skewed sample of the post-clerkship hiring process.

I myself have only just started, but none of my predecessor clerks at the D. Ct. level had any trouble and they were pretty quickly snapped up (including by firms like MTO and Keker). Which is to say, if you're a litigator and want to clerk, it's definitely worth it, despite some small uncertainty regarding post-clerk employment plans.

That being said, it also never hurts to check out what former clerks of your judge are up to. Chances are if many are partners, AUSAs, etc. the network alone will mean you won't struggle to find a job.


It is not "definitely worth it"; it often is, but depends a lot on the particular situation.

The point is: if you're thinking about mid-career clerking don't uproot your life to do it unless (a) you're fine with going back where you were before (and have an offer to do so); or (b) you have the types of fancy paper credentials that would've allowed you to make the move you're looking to make anyways and the clerkship is an experience/waypoint.

It's just not a credential that is going to radically if at all alter your prospects. Other than the potentially extremely helpful networking opps, it's not going to magically open doors. Don't think that's really earth-shattering but it wasn't always the case, and it's not really intuitive given how unbelievably competitive these jobs are.


+1

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:59 pm

los blancos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If anyone is reading this thread and getting discouraged from clerking, I do want to emphasize (with sympathies to those that are struggling) that this seems to be a somewhat skewed sample of the post-clerkship hiring process.

I myself have only just started, but none of my predecessor clerks at the D. Ct. level had any trouble and they were pretty quickly snapped up (including by firms like MTO and Keker). Which is to say, if you're a litigator and want to clerk, it's definitely worth it, despite some small uncertainty regarding post-clerk employment plans.

That being said, it also never hurts to check out what former clerks of your judge are up to. Chances are if many are partners, AUSAs, etc. the network alone will mean you won't struggle to find a job.


It is not "definitely worth it"; it often is, but depends a lot on the particular situation.

The point is: if you're thinking about mid-career clerking don't uproot your life to do it unless (a) you're fine with going back where you were before (and have an offer to do so); or (b) you have the types of fancy paper credentials that would've allowed you to make the move you're looking to make anyways and the clerkship is an experience/waypoint.

It's just not a credential that is going to radically if at all alter your prospects. Other than the potentially extremely helpful networking opps, it's not going to magically open doors. Don't think that's really earth-shattering but it wasn't always the case, and it's not really intuitive given how unbelievably competitive these jobs are.


As a current DJ clerk, soon to be COA clerk, and mid-level associate before that, its too soon for me to speak on this, but hope you are wrong. I severely uprooted and changed my life to take these gigs and at least feel that I would have had no shot at an AUSA position and hope to now. As far as firms, we'll see. Obviously what people are saying on here make it sound like a near impossibility now.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby los blancos » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
los blancos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If anyone is reading this thread and getting discouraged from clerking, I do want to emphasize (with sympathies to those that are struggling) that this seems to be a somewhat skewed sample of the post-clerkship hiring process.

I myself have only just started, but none of my predecessor clerks at the D. Ct. level had any trouble and they were pretty quickly snapped up (including by firms like MTO and Keker). Which is to say, if you're a litigator and want to clerk, it's definitely worth it, despite some small uncertainty regarding post-clerk employment plans.

That being said, it also never hurts to check out what former clerks of your judge are up to. Chances are if many are partners, AUSAs, etc. the network alone will mean you won't struggle to find a job.


It is not "definitely worth it"; it often is, but depends a lot on the particular situation.

The point is: if you're thinking about mid-career clerking don't uproot your life to do it unless (a) you're fine with going back where you were before (and have an offer to do so); or (b) you have the types of fancy paper credentials that would've allowed you to make the move you're looking to make anyways and the clerkship is an experience/waypoint.

It's just not a credential that is going to radically if at all alter your prospects. Other than the potentially extremely helpful networking opps, it's not going to magically open doors. Don't think that's really earth-shattering but it wasn't always the case, and it's not really intuitive given how unbelievably competitive these jobs are.


As a current DJ clerk, soon to be COA clerk, and mid-level associate before that, its too soon for me to speak on this, but hope you are wrong. I severely uprooted and changed my life to take these gigs and at least feel that I would have had no shot at an AUSA position and hope to now. As far as firms, we'll see. Obviously what people are saying on here make it sound like a near impossibility now.


COA is probably different, most of the folks struggling in here seem to be D. Ct. clerks.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Idon'tcare28 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
los blancos wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If anyone is reading this thread and getting discouraged from clerking, I do want to emphasize (with sympathies to those that are struggling) that this seems to be a somewhat skewed sample of the post-clerkship hiring process.

I myself have only just started, but none of my predecessor clerks at the D. Ct. level had any trouble and they were pretty quickly snapped up (including by firms like MTO and Keker). Which is to say, if you're a litigator and want to clerk, it's definitely worth it, despite some small uncertainty regarding post-clerk employment plans.

That being said, it also never hurts to check out what former clerks of your judge are up to. Chances are if many are partners, AUSAs, etc. the network alone will mean you won't struggle to find a job.


It is not "definitely worth it"; it often is, but depends a lot on the particular situation.

The point is: if you're thinking about mid-career clerking don't uproot your life to do it unless (a) you're fine with going back where you were before (and have an offer to do so); or (b) you have the types of fancy paper credentials that would've allowed you to make the move you're looking to make anyways and the clerkship is an experience/waypoint.

It's just not a credential that is going to radically if at all alter your prospects. Other than the potentially extremely helpful networking opps, it's not going to magically open doors. Don't think that's really earth-shattering but it wasn't always the case, and it's not really intuitive given how unbelievably competitive these jobs are.


As a current DJ clerk, soon to be COA clerk, and mid-level associate before that, its too soon for me to speak on this, but hope you are wrong. I severely uprooted and changed my life to take these gigs and at least feel that I would have had no shot at an AUSA position and hope to now. As far as firms, we'll see. Obviously what people are saying on here make it sound like a near impossibility now.


COA should be different but I don't have a huge sample size from what I know. The main difference is when you work for a COA you are covering multiple states where that is highly relevant to. You work district you cover one or two markets tops. That said while I am disappointed these jobs have not been silver bullets I don't regret doing them. I just think that people overrate them a bit. I certainly did and I should have lowered my expectations a bit. I mean without my clerkships there is no way vault firms would even talk to me and even if I can't land one that is definitely a step forward from law school. At the very least you have something that will be on your resume and attorney bio until the day you retire.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:25 am

God it's bleak in here. From browsing the recent pages on this thread it seems like the consensus is that people's experience has been that unless you had the grades/credentials for big law initially, an AIII clerkship makes you only marginally more attractive -- is that correct?

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby OutCold » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:God it's bleak in here. From browsing the recent pages on this thread it seems like the consensus is that people's experience has been that unless you had the grades/credentials for big law initially, an AIII clerkship makes you only marginally more attractive -- is that correct?

In my experience, that has always been the case.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby FascinatedWanderer » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:32 am

Yes, I think that's right.

My point was just that the struggles people are having in this thread aren't because they clerked, and that for a certain group of elite firms, clerking is still mandatory.

Maybe it won't help you "trade up" in many cases, but it sure will help you move from a generic V5 lit department to Susman Godfrey, W&C etc.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:God it's bleak in here. From browsing the recent pages on this thread it seems like the consensus is that people's experience has been that unless you had the grades/credentials for big law initially, an AIII clerkship makes you only marginally more attractive -- is that correct?

Yeah, I think that's correct - I think FW is right that for certain jobs (I'd add fedgov) clerking is still a prereq, but it doesn't seem to radically transform people's chances.

That said, for people who've struck out and want to get into a big firm, I think it's still a reasonable bet unless there's some other kind of good alternative waiting for you. I know a couple of people who absolutely used their clerkships to get into biglaw who didn't originally have the qualifications. BUT these people clerked in their target market and BUSTED THEIR ASSES to network, talked to anyone who would meet with them, joined Inns of Court and the local bar and so on and attended/volunteered etc. And the target market was a smaller one to begin with, so doubtless different from breaking into (say) NYC or D.C.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:53 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:God it's bleak in here. From browsing the recent pages on this thread it seems like the consensus is that people's experience has been that unless you had the grades/credentials for big law initially, an AIII clerkship makes you only marginally more attractive -- is that correct?

Yeah, I think that's correct - I think FW is right that for certain jobs (I'd add fedgov) clerking is still a prereq, but it doesn't seem to radically transform people's chances.

That said, for people who've struck out and want to get into a big firm, I think it's still a reasonable bet unless there's some other kind of good alternative waiting for you. I know a couple of people who absolutely used their clerkships to get into biglaw who didn't originally have the qualifications. BUT these people clerked in their target market and BUSTED THEIR ASSES to network, talked to anyone who would meet with them, joined Inns of Court and the local bar and so on and attended/volunteered etc. And the target market was a smaller one to begin with, so doubtless different from breaking into (say) NYC or D.C.


Which fedjobs would you say clerking is a prereq for? USAO?

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby OutCold » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:09 am

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:God it's bleak in here. From browsing the recent pages on this thread it seems like the consensus is that people's experience has been that unless you had the grades/credentials for big law initially, an AIII clerkship makes you only marginally more attractive -- is that correct?

Yeah, I think that's correct - I think FW is right that for certain jobs (I'd add fedgov) clerking is still a prereq, but it doesn't seem to radically transform people's chances.

That said, for people who've struck out and want to get into a big firm, I think it's still a reasonable bet unless there's some other kind of good alternative waiting for you. I know a couple of people who absolutely used their clerkships to get into biglaw who didn't originally have the qualifications. BUT these people clerked in their target market and BUSTED THEIR ASSES to network, talked to anyone who would meet with them, joined Inns of Court and the local bar and so on and attended/volunteered etc. And the target market was a smaller one to begin with, so doubtless different from breaking into (say) NYC or D.C.


Which fedjobs would you say clerking is a prereq for? USAO?

I would say any competitive USAO and any competitive component of DOJ.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:19 am

Yeah, I agree, although I would say "any USAO," period (they're all competitive, even if flyover in bumfuck nowhere).

And frankly, I think a lot of the less "prestigious" (by TLS standards) agencies/components tend to evaluate candidates by ticking off boxes of qualifications, at least initially, so LR is a check, top [whatever] grades is a check, clerking is a check. (I am basing this on an old post by twenty about federal hiring, which I think wasn't exactly lawyer-specific and may not be gospel, but also on my own experience getting interviews at different times.) It may not be necessary and it may not get you the job, but it may help put you in a position to get the job.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:44 am

Is it bad form to follow up with a firm one week after your callback? Haven't heard anything and would love to put a pin in the job search with an offer - or at least know if I should keep up my efforts.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby MrT » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:01 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it bad form to follow up with a firm one week after your callback? Haven't heard anything and would love to put a pin in the job search with an offer - or at least know if I should keep up my efforts.

What are you thinking of saying? In my experience, recruiters only care about changes in circumstances and expiring offers. Any other note to them, particularly this early, is generally fruitless.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:12 pm

What are you thinking of saying?


Original Anon here. Something like, "Just wanted to reiterate my interest and ask if I can provide you any further information on my candidacy." Sort of a means of staying top of mind...

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby MrT » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
What are you thinking of saying?


Original Anon here. Something like, "Just wanted to reiterate my interest and ask if I can provide you any further information on my candidacy." Sort of a means of staying top of mind...

I'd probably hold off a little while. Did they give you any indication of when they'd make a decision?

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:50 pm

Did they give you any indication of when they'd make a decision?


Original Anon again. No indication given: the office managing partner was out when I interviewed, and the sense I got was that s/he needed to approve extension of an offer.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby MrT » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Did they give you any indication of when they'd make a decision?


Original Anon again. No indication given: the office managing partner was out when I interviewed, and the sense I got was that s/he needed to approve extension of an offer.

Can you pm me?

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
What are you thinking of saying?


Original Anon here. Something like, "Just wanted to reiterate my interest and ask if I can provide you any further information on my candidacy." Sort of a means of staying top of mind...

They're not going to forget they need to fill the position, and a brief email from you isn't going to make a difference to your candidacy. If they need more info they'll reach out. And I think one week is too short a period for follow up.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby los blancos » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:44 pm

Yeah I'd give it at least a couple of weeks

The waiting game really sucks. I don't know if other professions are like this but both firms and gvt are absolutely awful in this regard.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby Sacred Cow » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:55 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
What are you thinking of saying?


Original Anon here. Something like, "Just wanted to reiterate my interest and ask if I can provide you any further information on my candidacy." Sort of a means of staying top of mind...

They're not going to forget they need to fill the position, and a brief email from you isn't going to make a difference to your candidacy. If they need more info they'll reach out. And I think one week is too short a period for follow up.


You would hope that they wouldn't, but I actually do know one guy who called a month after a callback, and their response was "Oh nobody told you? You got an offer!" I would imagine this situation is very unusual, however.

I agree one week is too short to follow up. Two weeks is when I would start thinking about it, but ymmv.

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Re: 2016-17 Post-Clerkship Hiring Thread

Postby elizathornberry » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:57 pm

Sacred Cow wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
What are you thinking of saying?


Original Anon here. Something like, "Just wanted to reiterate my interest and ask if I can provide you any further information on my candidacy." Sort of a means of staying top of mind...

They're not going to forget they need to fill the position, and a brief email from you isn't going to make a difference to your candidacy. If they need more info they'll reach out. And I think one week is too short a period for follow up.


You would hope that they wouldn't, but I actually do know one guy who called a month after a callback, and their response was "Oh nobody told you? You got an offer!" I would imagine this situation is very unusual, however.

I agree one week is too short to follow up. Two weeks is when I would start thinking about it, but ymmv.


Oh so THAT's what's going to happen when I check back in with the firm I interviewed with 2 weeks ago--they're going to surprise me with an offer! :wink:




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