POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

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Accept internship or pass?

Accept judicial internship and end the job search
42
95%
Decline and hope for something better
2
5%
 
Total votes: 44

Anonymous User
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POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:47 pm

I have an offer from a U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for a summer judicial internship. Standard 8 weeks in the state (but not city) I want to practice in, non-paid, probably a decent amount of legal experience + looks good on resume.

But I have about 200 outstanding applications to various firms and other judges. Due to a variety of factors (school, grades, WE, diversity, personal connections, etc) - I think I have a decent chance at some sort of BigLaw 1L summer associate position. As well as some other judicial internships in a more desirable city.

Should I accept the offer and end the job search or decline and hope for something better?

(I will not accept the judicial internship and renege if something more desirable comes up)

imchuckbass58
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:11 pm

My personal opinion is that it should depend on an honest assessment of your chances at the firm job. If it's almost certain (>75%, roughly), then I'd say hold out for firms. Otherwise, I'd say take the internship and run knowing it'll look great on your resume. Keep in mind all you really have to gain is the money from a firm job. In terms of prestige/experience, an SA position is only marginally better than a COA internship in many firms' eyes (if that).

I'm not sure of your details or the market you're targeting so I can't really hazard a guess as to your chances, but I will say it is really bad there as far as SA positions are concerned, and at my school (CCN) I've seen a lot of people vastly overestimating their chances and being disappointed. The only people I know who have gotten 1L SA positions are diverse (in the URM sense - AA or mexican). There may be others, but I have yet to meet them. There are numerous people I know with HYP undergrad and finance WE that have struck out. Then again, most people at my school are targeting a hard-hit major market.

Again, don't want to malign your chances without knowing your circumstances, but I want to encourage a realistic assessment. There are SA positions out there, and maybe you will get one of them, but on the other hand you have little to lose by "settling" for a COA internship, aside from the money.

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nealric
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby nealric » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:23 pm

How long do you have to wait?

I wouldn't hold out too much hope for a biglaw 1L clerkship though. Things are insanely tough in that department. However, if you get one, take it.

Here's the deal: it doesn't really matter what you do 1L year. Even a COA internship isn't that helpful because 1) They really aren't all that hard to get 2) You usually won't do much substantive work (although there are exceptions). But a law firm job could get you a permanent job offer. That pretty much trumps other things.

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dresden doll
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:30 pm

Isn't there a rule prohibiting students from turning down judges? And if so, aren't your hands pretty much tied at this point? Just askin'.

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kurla88
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby kurla88 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:42 pm

Turning down judges is poor form in general, and I especially would not turn down a federal appellate judge in the state you want to practice. If he only wants 8 weeks, you could try split summer in case firm works out?

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Aeroplane
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby Aeroplane » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:45 pm

dresden doll wrote:Isn't there a rule prohibiting students from turning down judges? And if so, aren't your hands pretty much tied at this point? Just askin'.
There isn't an official rule AFAIK (like the NALP Dec 1 job application date for 1L's), unless OP's career services specifically has one (which some do), but there IS a very very strongly emphasized convention/etiquette that says not to turn down judges.

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wiseowl
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby wiseowl » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:48 pm

yep, you're stuck. especially for something as high up as CoA. congrats on that though!

Anonymous User
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:02 pm

nealric wrote:How long do you have to wait?

I wouldn't hold out too much hope for a biglaw 1L clerkship though. Things are insanely tough in that department. However, if you get one, take it.

Here's the deal: it doesn't really matter what you do 1L year. Even a COA internship isn't that helpful because 1) They really aren't all that hard to get 2) You usually won't do much substantive work (although there are exceptions). But a law firm job could get you a permanent job offer. That pretty much trumps other things.


I agree they're not terribly hard to get (though not easy, either), but I disagree that you won't do much substantive work.

I'm doing a COA internship this summer. Check back with me after, but I was told in the interview that I would completely handle my own cases, as in a clerkship (though obviously with a lighter load than the clerks). That is prior to oral arguments, read the briefs, do the research, write a bench memo and present it to the judge. Then after oral arguments and discussion among the judges, write the opinion subject to general guidance given by the judge as to what he wants to hold.

I'm anticipating some menial work as well (filling out forms, etc), but I was told the majority of my time would be spent writing bench memos or opinions.

imchuckbass58
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:03 pm

I definitely second the suggestion to try to split if you can - a lot of judges are flexible about start and end dates.

Oblomov
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby Oblomov » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:21 pm

Take the internship; it you decide you want to clerk after graduation, it will help.

That said, if you do get an offer ask the judge about splitting the summer. If he's supportive, do it. If he grumbles about it, don't.

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nealric
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby nealric » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:31 pm


I'm anticipating some menial work as well (filling out forms, etc), but I was told the majority of my time would be spent writing bench memos or opinions.


I've just talked to a lot of people who just filed papers most of the time and just wrote a memo or two. Obviously, it's entirely judge dependent.

Renzo
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Re: POLL: 1L judicial intern with US appeals judge vs. law firm

Postby Renzo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:21 pm

Unwritten law of the land is never turn down a judge.




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