importance of internships??? help!

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denysss
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importance of internships??? help!

Postby denysss » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:36 am

Hi!

Most of the comments on this board stress the unimportance of internships - but I wanted to share my case and see whether you think my internships will help my application!

In terms of private sector, I worked for a corporate law firm in Turkey, an international arbitration law firm in France, a white collar/serious crime law firm in England, a general liability law firm in MA. All of these internships lasted longer than 3 months.

In terms of public sector, I worked for the MA State House, a correctional facility in NY, and the NY Criminal Court Law Department. Furthermore, I had a judge clerkship in NY (criminal court). Currently I am working for the MA Attorney General's Office and Suffolk County DA's office.

Do you think these internships would stand out? Or do you think they wouldn't make a difference?

(Oh I'm currently a senior, with a 3.9 GPA from a Top 50 institution - will be taking the LSAT this weekend!)

Thank you for your comments! (:

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theadvancededit
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Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby theadvancededit » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:57 am

What these boards stress (as do schools) are numbers-- your LSAT score and your GPA. Your softs (or, soft factors) are rather impressive and may well help you go from a 'maybe' to a 'yes' or from a 'no' to a 'waitlisted', but it is largely a numbers game. Your GPA is high so, just do your absolute best on the LSAT and you'll be fine.

MumofCad
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Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby MumofCad » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:15 am

I don't think internships are unimportant, but they aren't as impressive as genuine work experience. Usually, regardless of where they are, they amount to little more than photocopying, mail sorting, and general errand running so they are helpful in the sense that you were proactive and busy during your undergrad years, but just don't have the same weight as working would.

That being said, you have 2 things going for you: 1) You have a focused and long-term interest in the law as evidenced by repeated internships in the area. Gatekeepers usually love this.

AND

2) If you can demonstrate that your internships amounted to more than just running errands, they could really help you. This could be done through a solid PS or it could be accomplished through thought-out bullet points in a resume. Do you have something you contributed to that could shine in a resume?

Good luck!

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patrickd139
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Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:38 am

OP: Your internships are not unimportant, they're just not going to overcome any deficiency that might come from your LSAT/GPA combo.

Aside: you did not do a judicial clerkship, at least not in the TLS/legal employment sense of the word. Those are full-time employment positions (usually for one or two years) that are only available after law school. You did a judicial internship or externship.

denysss
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:10 am

Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby denysss » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:40 am

MumofCad wrote:2) If you can demonstrate that your internships amounted to more than just running errands, they could really help you. This could be done through a solid PS or it could be accomplished through thought-out bullet points in a resume. Do you have something you contributed to that could shine in a resume?


I got to do a lot of legal research when working for a judge in NYC and wrote essays which summarized the precedents, importance etc. (for my judge's upcoming cases). I am planning to submit 3 LORs and 2 of them from professors and one from my judge explaining my workload. I thought that may be helpful?

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patrickd139
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Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:43 am

denysss wrote:
MumofCad wrote:2) If you can demonstrate that your internships amounted to more than just running errands, they could really help you. This could be done through a solid PS or it could be accomplished through thought-out bullet points in a resume. Do you have something you contributed to that could shine in a resume?


I got to do a lot of legal research when working for a judge in NYC and wrote essays which summarized the precedents, importance etc. (for my judge's upcoming cases). I am planning to submit 3 LORs and 2 of them from professors and one from my judge explaining my workload. I thought that may be helpful?

Helpful? Yes. But only because you must have LORs, and meeting mandated requirements is helpful. If your numbers are below the range of traditionally accepted applicants for whatever schools you're applying to, these particular LORs are unlikely to overcome that deficiency in a way that other LORs (or any soft factors, for that matter) would.

denysss
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:10 am

Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby denysss » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:48 am

patrickd139 wrote:
denysss wrote:
MumofCad wrote:2) If you can demonstrate that your internships amounted to more than just running errands, they could really help you. This could be done through a solid PS or it could be accomplished through thought-out bullet points in a resume. Do you have something you contributed to that could shine in a resume?


I got to do a lot of legal research when working for a judge in NYC and wrote essays which summarized the precedents, importance etc. (for my judge's upcoming cases). I am planning to submit 3 LORs and 2 of them from professors and one from my judge explaining my workload. I thought that may be helpful?

Helpful? Yes. But only because you must have LORs, and meeting mandated requirements is helpful. If your numbers are below the range of traditionally accepted applicants for whatever schools you're applying to, these particular LORs are unlikely to overcome that deficiency in a way that other LORs (or any soft factors, for that matter) would.


I meant helpful in terms of showing that my internship was not me photocopying or running errands. I do know that you have submit two LORs - and I'll be submitting two from my professors anyway. This LOR would be my third.

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patrickd139
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Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:52 am

Are you asking whether the LOR will better show that it was a substantive experience as opposed to a secretarial one? That depends on what the judge writes in the LOR.

The best place to express what you did during the internship is on the resume line, where you express what you did during the internship.

MumofCad
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Re: importance of internships??? help!

Postby MumofCad » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:06 pm

Yes, the LOR could be very effective as a means of showing that your internship was substantive. Talk to the person writing it about what you would like them to include, regarding the written work, etc. A judge probably already knows, but have an idea of what they are going to include so that your resume and materials coincide and complete a uniform picture of you as a candidate.

Try not to be too discouraged by those seeking to put down your internships. Having good softs is an important factor in the application process. Just make sure your LSAT keeps you in good range for your target schools. The truth is, alot more qualified LSAT/GPA people apply to the top law schools than they have seats for and the difference between getting in/getting good money for most K-JD is going to be some combination of the care you've taken with your app/internships/ECs/honors.

Work now on that LSAT though. These things won't overcome a poor showing. They will merely differentiate you from like candidates in your number range. Good luck!




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