Internships for Undergraduate

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Internships for Undergraduate

Postby albatross92 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:11 pm

Hello all,
I'm a rising sophomore at the University of Scranton, where I have a 4.0 gpa. I understand from reading this forum before that LSAT and GPA are incredibly important in the grand scheme of law school admissions, and I intend on working to keep this GPA high and am preparing for the LSAT already.
My question, though, concerns "softs." I would hope to attend Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Penn, or Georgetown Law in the future, and I suppose my concern is that I need a really great or elite internship to seem competitive for admissions purposes. For the upcoming fall semester, I've secured an internship with my Senator's district office, and am in my college's Honors Program. I'm also planning to volunteer at a nearby legal clinic in the spring when this internship ends.

Yet, I'm frantically searching for the greatest internships for the summer of 2012, but they all seem too expensive for me to act on; or, I could choose two or three additional internships locally.

So, I reiterate - is a top internship for law school admissions purposes really worth it?

Thank you for any insight you all can bring to the matter.

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Re: Internships for Undergraduate

Postby ebo » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:28 pm

All that really matters are LSAT and GPA. A great internship is fine and dandy, but in the end I don't think it's going to open any doors for you that your LSAT score and GPA haven't already opened. An "elite internship" is by no means a prerequisite for admission to a top law school

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Re: Internships for Undergraduate

Postby mrtoren » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:37 pm

If you need money, get a paying job and acquire some work experience. If you enjoy political work, do a political internship. If you have a passion for the environment, do something environmentally related. The bottom line is that you should do whatever is best for you. Don't try to build the cookie cutter portfolio. You will be able to write better essays about your experiences if you actually liked them.

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Re: Internships for Undergraduate

Postby 094320 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:27 pm


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Re: Internships for Undergraduate

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:35 pm

Doing an internship is great. Beyond that, things like where you're doing it matters a lot less. If you can great internships at high cost or local internships for cheap, do the local internships.

Also, the best "soft" you can have (both for law school applications and for job-hunting) is post-UG work experience. Work for a year or two after graduating. Find something interesting to do there--not necessarily prestigious, but interesting--and it'll help you out greatly in the long run.

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Re: Internships for Undergraduate

Postby PolarBear » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:31 pm

I faced this dilemma as well.

I suggest you take the local internships and forego the "expensive" internships. Let's be honest, most people who are interning for their Senator aren't doing things of huge importance. You usually do menial tasks that are necessary for the office to run, but nonetheless it is grunt work. I had the option of going to do the grunt work internship in D.C. or doing it in my local government. I ultimately chose to take the local internships and while there, I worked hard and made some great connections. From this internship, I secured a job in government (which would look better on your resume than an internship except in extreme cases). They work with my schedule at college (I take a lot of night classes), but I am doing things that are big ticket items.

Not only that, but through my experience, I have been offered jobs in D.C. (and I'm still in college) to go work for Senators on committees, etc. I plan on taking an offer for next summer.

Ultimately, it was very tough for me to turn down the internships that I thought would look great on a resume, and choosing the more affordable options, however it has turned out wonderful for me and I believe I am in a position I would not have been if I took the more expensive internships. Plus, I made money by taking this route, rather than losing money paying for housing in D.C. to push paper, etc.

In politics, if you actually want to make a difference, it's all about who you know. If your goal is just to put down "Intern for Senator _____," then take the more expensive internships, but if your goal is to actually do something substantial, I'd recommend starting in local government and working your way up through networking. It's not easy, but it's definitely doable.

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Re: Internships for Undergraduate

Postby anstone1988 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:16 pm

Please forgive my ignorance, but what does K-JD stand for?

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Re: Internships for Undergraduate

Postby pichu » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:26 pm

anstone1988 wrote:Please forgive my ignorance, but what does K-JD stand for?

Kindergarten to Juris Doctor. It's a play on K-12 (kindergarten to senior year of high school).

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