Rural Practice Committee
Why You Should Participate
The committee had many members
who had hired an associate, and all were aware of associates who had been hired
by attorneys in smaller communities. They had all heard or experienced the
horror stories from colleagues about hiring one, two or even three associates,
investing $40,000 to $60,000 and a couple of years of training in each, and
then having them leave about the time they could begin bringing revenue into
the firm. To add insult to injury, the associates often left "toxic” files for
the lawyer to clean up.
The summer clerkship program
eliminates most of these problems. Here’s why:
The commitment is for the
summer only, with the number of weeks determined by mutual agreement between
the attorney and the student. At the end, the attorney and student part ways.
If the match was a good one and the student was a 1L, there is an opportunity
to have him or her come back the next summer. There’s also the possibility the
student may continue providing some services to the attorney during the school
The match gives you an
opportunity to evaluate the student without the pressure of hiring him or her
in a permanent relationship as would be the case with
an associate. It also gives the student an
opportunity to evaluate you and the community
and small towns in general.
The investment is a
fraction of that made in an associate, and part of the investment can be
recouped by billing some of the clerk’s time.