Employers’ & clerks’ end of summer concerns
The end of summer brings a host of concerns for employers and clerks.
Not surprisingly, some of the employers’ and clerks’ end of summer concerns are similar, covering issues related to work product and how or whether professional relationships developed. Employers have practical concerns about whether their businesses will be able to support new employees in 18 months; clerks need to know whether (and why) they would accept a job if it were offered.
Employers’ practical concerns
- Business of law. Can we project that there will be enough work 18 months from now to support all of the 2L clerks to whom we want to make offers?
- Recruiting strategies. Can we afford to take a hit to our campus reputation by “no-offering” someone from an important school for us?
- A helpful “no.” If we must “no-offer” a clerk, are we prepared to provide true and helpful reasons, and help (including some kind of references) for the clerk’s upcoming job search.
- Relationships with CSO. Will we provide the clerk’s career office with timely notification of the “no-offer?” We know that CSOs want some notice so that they can help no-offered students. We also know that there may be privacy issues that may need a legal opinion about how to proceed.).
Employers’ technical concerns
- Have we given each clerk enough opportunities to do work that can be reviewed?
- Have we given each clerk sufficient feedback so that early problems might be resolved?
- Have the problems been addressed or resolved to the reviewers’satisfaction?
- If asked, has the clerk volunteered to pitch in when needed to work on an emergency project?
- Has each clerk had opportunities to connect with formal and informal mentors?
- Have we been able to see each clerk interacting with a range of future colleagues (lawyers, clients, staff, vendors, etc.) to get a sense of her level of professionalism?
- Do we have a collective belief that he wants to work here? If not, why not?
For law clerks
- Have I completed all of the projects that I have been given?
- Have I received feedback that I have been able to act on?
- Have I participated in some (not necessarily all) of the events and activities that the employer has sponsored?
- If I had the opportunity to pitch in and work on an emergency project, did I say “yes” or, if I had to decline, did I provide a satisfactory explanation (not “I have to go to the theater.”)
- Have I connected with formal and informal mentors, as well as other lawyers and staff so that if asked, that they might give positive reports about me?
- Have I told someone (at least one person) that I really want to work here?
- Would I accept a job if it were offered? Why or why not? If not, be prepared to say “no” with grace and dignity. Talk to your career services professionals for guidance.
- If I get no offer, I will breathe deeply and contact my career office right away for appropriate strategies to deal with rejection, and to get started on a new search.
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