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easttowest

Applying for clerkships after accepting a 2L job

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The title could be more clear, I apologize.

I was fortunate to land a 2L summer job that often leads to articles and an associate position. I really like the firm and want to start my career there; but, I want to litigate, I like research and writing, and I don't hate admin law/tax, so I'm also interested in clerking somewhere in the Federal Court system (don't have the grades for SCC). 

This is something I need to decide on my own, but I'm interested in hearing any thoughts about the order I should do this in. Obviously the best case for me would be to summer, clerk, then come back employed.  However, the likelihood that I'm hired back as an associate after only spending 2-3 months in the building for a summer can't be high, and perhaps if I really want to clerk I should do it after already completing articles with that firm. 

Any ideas or similar experiences?

 

 

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The vast majority of people clerk to replace their articling. You are not going to lock up an associate position as a summer student - you look for jobs while you're clerking. I don't think most clerks have much trouble finding a job.

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3 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

The vast majority of people clerk to replace their articling. You are not going to lock up an associate position as a summer student - you look for jobs while you're clerking. I don't think most clerks have much trouble finding a job.

I'm under no illusions that I could lock up a job as a summer student. That is why I'm hesitant to forego my opportunity to make my case for hireback during articles.  

I have a lot to think about...

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Sorry to semi-hijack this topic but I'm wondering what sort of grades are needed to land a clerkship at the federal level, or at the provincial appellate level?

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5 minutes ago, capitalttruth said:

Sorry to semi-hijack this topic but I'm wondering what sort of grades are needed to land a clerkship at the federal level, or at the provincial appellate level?

I had 5 A- and 3 B+ in 1L and am not a candidate for the ONCA.  

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35 minutes ago, capitalttruth said:

Sorry to semi-hijack this topic but I'm wondering what sort of grades are needed to land a clerkship at the federal level, or at the provincial appellate level?

Ultimately it depends on what school you go to and what their distribution is like. Your CDO probably can give you a better indication.

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29 minutes ago, easttowest said:

I had 5 A- and 3 B+ in 1L and am not a candidate for the ONCA.  

2A+, ?A, ?A- and 1B+ didn't even get an interview. I found out later one of my LOR didn't get there on time. 

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Grades are important for clerkships, but your writing samples and research experience are also important. The most successful candidates will likely have excellence in all three, in addition to good LORs. Good interview skills, well, yeah, that goes without saying.

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On ‎1‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 6:17 PM, easttowest said:

The title could be more clear, I apologize.

I was fortunate to land a 2L summer job that often leads to articles and an associate position. I really like the firm and want to start my career there; but, I want to litigate, I like research and writing, and I don't hate admin law/tax, so I'm also interested in clerking somewhere in the Federal Court system (don't have the grades for SCC). 

This is something I need to decide on my own, but I'm interested in hearing any thoughts about the order I should do this in. Obviously the best case for me would be to summer, clerk, then come back employed.  However, the likelihood that I'm hired back as an associate after only spending 2-3 months in the building for a summer can't be high, and perhaps if I really want to clerk I should do it after already completing articles with that firm. 

Any ideas or similar experiences?

I know a few individuals who are articling with Crown Law - Criminal and then clerking with the ONCA or SCC afterwards, as opposed to picking one over the other. I imagine if you make a good impression with the firm you're articling with, they want to hire you back, and you effectively say "BRB, going to clerk for the Supreme Court for a year", you wouldn't be blowing your chances of landing an associate position … but that's just my impression and I have no hard evidence in support of my position. 

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46 minutes ago, ghoulzrulez said:

I know a few individuals who are articling with Crown Law - Criminal and then clerking with the ONCA or SCC afterwards, as opposed to picking one over the other. I imagine if you make a good impression with the firm you're articling with, they want to hire you back, and you effectively say "BRB, going to clerk for the Supreme Court for a year", you wouldn't be blowing your chances of landing an associate position … but that's just my impression and I have no hard evidence in support of my position. 

The experience of my fellow clerks who articled on bay and then went and clerked had was that firms were happy they were clerking, but absent some kind of business need that wasn't filled by next years crop of articling students being hired back,  there was likely not going to be a position for them in a year.  

The firms were helpful when the time came to look for a job after clerking, but it was helpful in the same way they are to their articling students that aren't being hired back (good references, help from the articling student coordinator, etc...).

 

SCC clerks probably a different story.

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5 hours ago, kurrika said:

The experience of my fellow clerks who articled on bay and then went and clerked had was that firms were happy they were clerking, but absent some kind of business need that wasn't filled by next years crop of articling students being hired back,  there was likely not going to be a position for them in a year.  

The firms were helpful when the time came to look for a job after clerking, but it was helpful in the same way they are to their articling students that aren't being hired back (good references, help from the articling student coordinator, etc...).

 

SCC clerks probably a different story.

This is what I imagined might happen. I ended up compromising with myself and applying to one court that will certainly help me in the career I want to have.

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For jurisdictions where clerking doesn't fully complete the articling this is not a problem. Typically you would secure the clerkship first during 2L winter and then continue with articling applications as usual that 2L summer, with the benefit of having secured the clerkship already. Then you would proceed to your clerkship after 3L then do a shortened article with the firm to complete the articling requirement and you were in no worse position (and probably better) than other articling students.

I guess you are in a jurisdiction like Ontario where you can be called to the bar just with the clerkship? I would have thought can still apply as you described above in 2L summer for a counsel position after clerkship instead of an articling position. I would think government positions would typically be fine with that. Perhaps it varies for private firms as suggested in the other posts. 

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23 hours ago, atg25 said:

For jurisdictions where clerking doesn't fully complete the articling this is not a problem. Typically you would secure the clerkship first during 2L winter and then continue with articling applications as usual that 2L summer, with the benefit of having secured the clerkship already. Then you would proceed to your clerkship after 3L then do a shortened article with the firm to complete the articling requirement and you were in no worse position (and probably better) than other articling students.

I guess you are in a jurisdiction like Ontario where you can be called to the bar just with the clerkship? I would have thought can still apply as you described above in 2L summer for a counsel position after clerkship instead of an articling position. I would think government positions would typically be fine with that. Perhaps it varies for private firms as suggested in the other posts. 

I am fortunate to have secured a 2L job that all but guarantees articles, so I'm thinking farther down the line to hireback at my summer firm which I like very much. I ended up applying to a court that would best help me make a business case to keep me in mind for an associate position, given my intended area of practice. 

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I'm articling at a small litigation shop and will be clerking next year. They said they'd save a spot for me for when I return.
 

It depends entirely upon your firm, so you may have better luck having this discussion with people there rather than here.

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