Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

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LesPaul1995

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Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby LesPaul1995 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:32 pm

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Last edited by LesPaul1995 on Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BasilHallward

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby BasilHallward » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:36 pm

LesPaul1995 wrote:I am a senior and have worked to help pay for my tuition and living expenses; still do. Due to reading some things on here and other forums, it seems like a good idea to get an internship to make it look like I can apply knowledge that I learned to real world applications. That being said, is getting an internship so important that I stop my job (personal trainer) and take on one that is either unrelated to law, or unpaid? Legal internships are a dime a dozen and often unpaid, but I'm worried that no internships/co-ops will weaken my app. I work part time though, so will this really be affected during admissions?


It won't hurt your app for law school in the slightest. I advise that you keep your job and make money. Focus on your GPA and LSAT. Those metrics will be the drivers of your success.

BigZuck

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:37 pm

They basically just care about LSAT/GPA, I wouldn't disrupt your life/plan to pick up a rando internship

Being a personal trainer will look a lot better/be more interesting than being an unpaid gofer for 3 months

Mikey

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby Mikey » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:39 pm

Not having an internship won't hurt you, but you have work experience so that's good. Only pick up an internship if it's something you're interested in.

GeneralLawyer

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby GeneralLawyer » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:49 pm

Borderline irrelevant for apps, I wouldn't worry about it. You might want to pick it up to help get a 1L job. Some places will use any previous legal experience as a plus, and of course it would be something to talk about in an interview in addition to your current paying job. That is somewhat marginal though, so it depends on how much you need the income from your current job. If you need it, stick with it.

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LesPaul1995

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby LesPaul1995 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:18 pm

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ronanOgara

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby ronanOgara » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:20 pm

LesPaul1995 wrote:So BASICALLY; if you were to have an internship on a resume versus an additional 2 points to your LSAT (due to the extra time you had studying) everyone should take the latter?


Yes.

GeneralLawyer

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby GeneralLawyer » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:26 pm

LesPaul1995 wrote:So BASICALLY; if you were to have an internship on a resume versus an additional 2 points to your LSAT (due to the extra time you had studying) everyone should take the latter?


Hell, id be tempted to take .5 of a point over a random filler internship when it comes to law school admissions in a vacuum.

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mjb447

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby mjb447 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:41 pm

ronanOgara wrote:
LesPaul1995 wrote:So BASICALLY; if you were to have an internship on a resume versus an additional 2 points to your LSAT (due to the extra time you had studying) everyone should take the latter?


Yes.

LawschoolHopeful2k16

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby LawschoolHopeful2k16 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:02 pm

Everyone is ignoring that OP can always try to find a paid internship or an unpaid internship with a sizable stipend (either from the company, OP's school, outside sources, etc.), which would be the best if both worlds.

The best experience to have on a resume would be related to showing that you're a good student, have analytical skills, are mature, have advanced knowledge in some areas, etc.

That said, schools won't really hold it against you if you work a random summer job in order to get through school. However, they would definitely prefer to see you with a paid internship over something like lifeguarding. And they might give an edge to the person with a kick-ass unpaid internship, since it shows that they have advanced skills in xyz, meanwhile they can only give someone who takes random summer jobs the benefit of the doubt.

So if it's not economically feasible to do something besides a summer job, it might be a good idea to do other activities, like extracurriculars, research or work with a professor, or write about in your personal statement, that show that you have/ are developing the same skills that are needed for/ developed while interning or working in the real world.

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:31 pm

LawschoolHopeful2k16 wrote:Everyone is ignoring that OP can always try to find a paid internship or an unpaid internship with a sizable stipend (either from the company, OP's school, outside sources, etc.), which would be the best if both worlds.

The best experience to have on a resume would be related to showing that you're a good student, have analytical skills, are mature, have advanced knowledge in some areas, etc.

That said, schools won't really hold it against you if you work a random summer job in order to get through school. However, they would definitely prefer to see you with a paid internship over something like lifeguarding. And they might give an edge to the person with a kick-ass unpaid internship, since it shows that they have advanced skills in xyz, meanwhile they can only give someone who takes random summer jobs the benefit of the doubt.

So if it's not economically feasible to do something besides a summer job, it might be a good idea to do other activities, like extracurriculars, research or work with a professor, or write about in your personal statement, that show that you have/ are developing the same skills that are needed for/ developed while interning or working in the real world.

I think a paid or unpaid internship with a sizeable stipend is kind of a unicorn for an undergrad to get. But, regardless, I still think "I worked as a personal trainer all through undergrad to pay for school" will look better than some random internship like every other candidate will have on their resume.

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby LawschoolHopeful2k16 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:08 pm

BigZuck wrote:
LawschoolHopeful2k16 wrote:Everyone is ignoring that OP can always try to find a paid internship or an unpaid internship with a sizable stipend (either from the company, OP's school, outside sources, etc.), which would be the best if both worlds.

The best experience to have on a resume would be related to showing that you're a good student, have analytical skills, are mature, have advanced knowledge in some areas, etc.

That said, schools won't really hold it against you if you work a random summer job in order to get through school. However, they would definitely prefer to see you with a paid internship over something like lifeguarding. And they might give an edge to the person with a kick-ass unpaid internship, since it shows that they have advanced skills in xyz, meanwhile they can only give someone who takes random summer jobs the benefit of the doubt.

So if it's not economically feasible to do something besides a summer job, it might be a good idea to do other activities, like extracurriculars, research or work with a professor, or write about in your personal statement, that show that you have/ are developing the same skills that are needed for/ developed while interning or working in the real world.

I think a paid or unpaid internship with a sizeable stipend is kind of a unicorn for an undergrad to get. But, regardless, I still think "I worked as a personal trainer all through undergrad to pay for school" will look better than some random internship like every other candidate will have on their resume.


I have to disagree with a lot of this.

I didn't state it too well, but mainly what I meant was that a well-qualified candidate shouldn't really be held back by financial constraints.

If someone needs the income because their family can't afford to shell out a few thousand dollars to support them for the summer while they work for free, there are often many ways to still get an internship that won't leave them thousands of dollars in the hole.

On top of paid internships, a lot of schools offer stipends to people who can't afford to take unpaid internships for the summer. So do some other independent organizations. And many companies offer at least some sort of stipend to at least cover commuting, parking etc. It requires more work to find these opportunities, and the person might have to take an internship that not quite as glamorous or one that's close enough that they can live at home, even if the commute is hell, but it's not exactly unicorn status.

If theres the issue of making enough money to come out ahead and pay for school, that might be tougher, as a lot of internships don't have stipends that pay that much, but if OP is working part time, so like 20 hrs a week making $10/hr for 12 weeks over the summer, they're only bringing home $2,000 after taxes and might be better off taking out a loan and landing an internship that will throw them 500$ for the summer.

And finally, "I worked as a personal trainer all through undergrad to pay for school" isnt a fair comparison. It's probably about as good as someone who took just a summer internship and didn't work during the school year. But OP can work during the school year and try to find an internship for the summer.
I'd argue that someone who worked during the school year, but interned somewhere half decent for the summer will look better than someone who just worked the whole time. Yeah it's unfortunate that the one candidate had to work to get through school, and that's taken into account, but the other candidate will have worked during the school year too, and then learned more valuable skills over the summer.

*note: I'm referring to internships where you actually learn stuff and make at least semi-meaningful contributions. I'm not talking about working for a local company of 8 people that is skirting labor laws by calling the guy who files papers and sweeps the parking lot an intern.

Also, OP can always try to land a job that is more related to law or business or something. Even being a receptionist at a small law firm would teach them things.

Amother possibility is that OP could both intern and work over the summer, doing each part time.

And finally, OP might want to look into doing research at their school. Research isnt exactly law relates but it develops a lot of skills that are important to law school. Many schools offer free housing and then a stipend for the summer that will let them come out ahead even after takin into account living expenses. And some also offer some form of paid research position during the school year or a position that comes with a stipend.

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby LawschoolHopeful2k16 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:10 pm

PS, I'm not trying to be overbearing or write a novel.
I'm just speaking as someone who worked summer jobs the first three summers during college and then realized that I should have instead interned and learned more applicable skills, since there were ways to get funding that is at least pretty comparable to minimum wage.

BigZuck

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:17 pm

Applicable skills? Like what?

Are you basing this advice on your experience getting a legal job? Your experience during OCI? Or what?

Also I think the OP is a senior, not sure what summer internships are even possible at this point.

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby LawschoolHopeful2k16 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:25 pm

BigZuck wrote:Applicable skills? Like what?

Are you basing this advice on your experience getting a legal job? Your experience during OCI? Or what?

Also I think the OP is a senior, not sure what summer internships are even possible at this point.


Skills like how to analyze spreadsheets and papers, write briefs, present findings, manage projects. Those skills are way more related to law than flipping burgers, mowing lawns, or being a personal trainer.

I'm basing this on the research I've done and what I've heard from deans of admission. Having a legal job doesn't have to do with knowing about the law school application process.

And true. I forgot the whole OP stating they were a senior. Instead just take my comments as applying to people in a similar position as OP but younger.

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Re: Internships Really Matter In This Scenario?

Postby BigZuck » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:39 pm

Listening to admissions deans is easily a T2 (arguably T1) mistake that a person can make when it comes to applying to law school

The OP has a job that pays their bills, and that will be an interesting thing to have on their resume when it comes time to apply for a legal job. It's way, way better to have that than some rando internship.



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