Law School Discussion

Quitting my law clerk position

Quitting my law clerk position
« on: February 02, 2011, 02:13:12 AM »
I'm working as a law clerk at a personal injury firm that's fairly involved in the bar association. It's only a few weeks into the semester and I'm already pretty burned out between doing 15 hours at school, working 20 and doing law review (where I've already been told if I get a low-pass this semester I'm out).

I'm worried about not doing a great job at work (no complaints over anything major yet, so maybe I'm just needlessly anxious) and ultimately leaving a bad impression if I stick it through the semester... would it be okay to be straightforward, tell them I'm over-extended and give them two weeks notice, or is that career suicide on account of the firm's involvement in the legal community?

How common is it for law clerks to quit during a regular semester, and is it generally considered understandable by the firm? I've got an interview with a firm I'm hoping will hire me for this summer when I would have a lot less stress, and it's very tempting that if I get that job (which is one I think I'd be much more suited for, I took this one because I need the money) to quit this one and hope I can make a good impression this summer... so ideally I'd like to leave here amicably before I piss anyone off.

Re: Quitting my law clerk position
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 08:52:03 AM »
My $0.02?  You have just accounted for 35 hours in a week - thats nothing from a real-world perspective.  Throw in 30 or 40 hours/week for studying and you still have a very managable schedule.  This is law school and the clerkship can be invaluable to you in the future.  School and clerkship should be priority 1 and 2, unfortunately that does not leave much for anything else - but that is what you signed on for.  Time management and prioritizing may be an issue - you are not supposed to have free time or a personal life.  This is the 3-year-suck-it-up-and-suffer period that will get you the experience and education you need to succeed after law school.  Having the clerkship now will put you ahead of your competition after graduation.  I would look for other areas to cut (e.g. sleeping in, weekends out and football on Sundays) or take a hard look at how I am managing my time. 

Re: Quitting my law clerk position
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 02:07:48 PM »
IIRC a lot of schools strongly limit how much work you can do during the semester - everyone at the firm has been in law school and knows what it is like.  I don't think you'd rock the boat by telling them you are overextended and need to focus on your studies.  Maybe cut your time in half if you don't want to quit all together.  Law school doesn't have to be miserable, suck it up and suffer stuff - its a bit of work yeah but should be an enjoyable time.  You've got your whole life to work 100hr weeks, might as well enjoy yourself a little in school. 
HLS 2010