1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)

US Attorney's Office or Federal Judge?

US Attorney
17
55%
Federal District Judge
14
45%
 
Total votes: 31

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spinsta
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1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby spinsta » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:58 pm

I have 2 internship offers for this upcoming summer right now: One with a federal district judge and another with the US Attorney's Office (Criminal division). I go to a T5 school and have decent grades (top half of the class). I am interested in a clerkship when I graduate, but primarily plan on Biglaw. Any preference between these two internship options?

legends159
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby legends159 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:02 pm

Are they both in SDNY?

If so go for the USAO.

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spinsta
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby spinsta » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:05 pm

The US Attorney is in NY, the federal judge is not.

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chadwick218
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:12 pm

spinsta wrote:The US Attorney is in NY, the federal judge is not.


US Attorney!!!

If you are interested in a judicial externship, it is always possible to do during the fall semester. It is harder to work in the US Attorneys office during the semester. Congratulations!

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spinsta
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby spinsta » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:42 pm

I think I'm leaning US Attny's office - any other opinions out there? Perhaps a dissent?

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chadwick218
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:47 pm

spinsta wrote:I think I'm leaning US Attny's office - any other opinions out there? Perhaps a dissent?


The only way that I would dissent is if you offer was with a Federall Appellate Judge or one of a handful of federal district court judges that are very widely known.

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Blindmelon
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:56 pm

Is USAO that prestigious? I'm about median at a T30 and got a job there in Boston. I took it because I'm really interested in the work, but had no idea it had any cache.

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spinsta
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby spinsta » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:57 pm

Btw - sorry about posting this in the wrong section. Can a moderator transfer this to the correct forum?

Renzo
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:57 pm

Wait. You have an OFFER from a federal judge, and you are asking if you should turn it down? Because I think people's advice will change if that's the case. Your school might even forbid you from turning it down.

Renzo
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:59 pm

Blindmelon wrote:Is USAO that prestigious? I'm about median at a T30 and got a job there in Boston. I took it because I'm really interested in the work, but had no idea it had any cache.

Any USAO is good experience, but the SDNY/EDNY are particularly competitive/prestigious.

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spinsta
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby spinsta » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:00 pm

Blindmelon wrote:Is USAO that prestigious? I'm about median at a T30 and got a job there in Boston. I took it because I'm really interested in the work, but had no idea it had any cache.


I have the same question - I suppose USAO in NYC is probably a bit more prestigious, but it seems to be about on par with working with a judge. In general, there aren't very many prestigious options for 1Ls. Although nailing a summer gig at a Biglaw firm in NYC for 1L summer seems pretty ballin (and impossible) to me.

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spinsta
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby spinsta » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:07 pm

I do have an offer from a federal judge. If I take the USAO job, I will have to turn it down. To my knowledge, my school (NYU) does not require me to accept it.

legends159
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby legends159 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:36 pm

NYU might not have a written policy but it's common knowledge that if a judge gives you an offer the only way you can turn it down is if you have an offer with another judge.

If you are thinking of turning down the judge, which I think you should, you need to let him know ASAP and potentially send him a letter afterward letting him know the details of your situation and how it was a difficult decision but you wanted to stay in NY for personal reasons.

Judges are very proud people and they usually don't defer to anyone except other judges.

I was offered a judicial internship and I had to turn down biglaw callback interviews because I didn't want to offend the judge, especially one who just hired a clerk from our school last year.

legends159
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby legends159 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:49 pm

USAO, like working for a judge would be a fantastic experience depending on the luck of the draw and probably also your expectations going in.

Some people who worked for the USAO did a lot of amazing stuff and had a ton of responsibilities. Others just did, what they thought was, boring research all summer in an office.

It's the same with a judge. But really what one person considers boring another would consider fascinating.

As for the prestige factor, if it matters, goes like this:

USAO (civil) > USAO (criminal) > Fed Judge at a major city (DC/SDNY/SF/LA/Chic) > Fed Judge at a non-major city.

nicdmx
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby nicdmx » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:00 pm

For what its worth, a partner at a V50 firm in DC told me that he was much more impressed with firm internships than with judicial internships. I would extrapolate to say that the job with the US Attorney would be equally more impressive. His reasoning seemed to be mostly concerned with the fact that a summer was too short to get much out of a judicial internship......I'm sure you can't go wrong though.

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chadwick218
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:08 pm

nicdmx wrote:For what its worth, a partner at a V50 firm in DC told me that he was much more impressed with firm internships than with judicial internships. I would extrapolate to say that the job with the US Attorney would be equally more impressive. His reasoning seemed to be mostly concerned with the fact that a summer was too short to get much out of a judicial internship......I'm sure you can't go wrong though.


I have heard this as well from a few V50 partners. In fact, I was told by a V50 partner to go ahead and take a 1L position at a smaller NALP 250 firm despite having no real intention of returning my second summer than settle for a judicial externship.

Renzo
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Re: 1L Summer Job: Internship with Federal Judge or US Attorney?

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:34 pm

legends159 wrote:NYU might not have a written policy but it's common knowledge that if a judge gives you an offer the only way you can turn it down is if you have an offer with another judge.

If you are thinking of turning down the judge, which I think you should, you need to let him know ASAP and potentially send him a letter afterward letting him know the details of your situation and how it was a difficult decision but you wanted to stay in NY for personal reasons.

Judges are very proud people and they usually don't defer to anyone except other judges.

I was offered a judicial internship and I had to turn down biglaw callback interviews because I didn't want to offend the judge, especially one who just hired a clerk from our school last year.

This. And if anyone in OCS/PILC finds out that you turned down a judge, their head is going to explode.




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