Freaking Out

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A'nold
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Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:11 pm

I chose not to go the "externship" route because I did not want to pay to go work somewhere and the fact that I am transferring and the whole credit situation made it weird and a big hassle. My school's career services office is non-existent. You have to do EVERYTHING on your own. This externship program is the school's only Saving Grace and I opted out of it. Anyway, I passed up a decent opportunity to clerk for a federal magistrate judge that I could have likely been hired for based on my good grades. I also held out (had very little hope, but still) that my high ranking would get me something paying. Now I have nothing *cue background violin music." :cry:

Basically, as most who have been reading on this forum and the transfer forum have probably gathered, I don't give a crap what I do (even though I will admit clerkships sound cool) and what kind of prestige the job has AS LONG as I don't get screwed come OCI this summer. I don't want to be "that guy" as BradyToMoss commented awhile back on another thread. I don't want a black hole on my resume.

Now, I live in the middle of nowhere with a tiny legal market w/in driving distance of a few other tiny legal markets. The big ass market for this state is far enough away that I'd have to move. I need my savings (not much) so I can afford to move when (hopefully) I transfer. I will take any job that will at least not make my OCI interviewer frown and at least make it a non-issue. I was not the highest grade for any of my classes but was likely top 3 or 4 for each class. Add to this fact that the only professors I was "close to" (not really) were the professors that I got LOR's from for transferring and asking for an RA position seems kind of pointless. Suggestions? Does it count as legal work if I warn customers at the drive through at McDonald's to take special care because the coffee is HOT?

I can live with family in Seattle or a friend in Portland if need be, if anyone has any geographically specific advice.
Last edited by A'nold on Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gglr24
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby gglr24 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:17 pm

Why not a RA?

Anonymous User
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:19 pm

.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:21 pm

There should be plenty of legal aid programs in Seattle and Portland that would be willing to take an intern for a summer. Blanket them with resumes. Live on your friend's couch for a summer if you have to.

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:29 pm

vanwinkle wrote:There should be plenty of legal aid programs in Seattle and Portland that would be willing to take an intern for a summer. Blanket them with resumes. Live on your friend's couch for a summer if you have to.


Thanks. Are legal aid jobs enough to not getted looked down upon by firms? As a transfer, depending on the school firm jobs are a possibility and as a top student at my current school as well so I now suddenly care how I will look to them.

This whole process was much easier when I figured I'd be like top 1/3 at a t3 school and go work local gov., not that I'd trade the position I'm in now, haha.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:38 pm

A'nold wrote:Thanks. Are legal aid jobs enough to not getted looked down upon by firms? As a transfer, depending on the school firm jobs are a possibility and as a top student at my current school as well so I now suddenly care how I will look to them.

This whole process was much easier when I figured I'd be like top 1/3 at a t3 school and go work local gov., not that I'd trade the position I'm in now, haha.

It depends on how you play it. If you tell a firm "I did this because I had nothing else to do" I doubt that'll impress them much. But if you find something that you find interesting, you can tell them something else entirely, something like, "I spent my summer providing pro bono services to battered women who couldn't afford legal representation of their own," then you can talk about those experiences and why they were meaningful to you (and they probably will be in some way while you're doing them, even if you initially take it as just a job).

There are services providing assistance to indigent defendants, the homeless, battered women and children, immigrants needing legal services to avoid deportation... It'll give you a chance to do something helpful to the community you live in for the summer, and that's how you tell it to the law firms. Lots and lots of people do non-profit legal aid work over the summer. In fact, it's becoming one of the 1L job options of choice with 1L BigLaw jobs pretty much gone and the more prestigious criminal/civil rights internships getting gobbled up by 2Ls desperate to find something to do.

It's a hell of a lot better for your resume than doing nothing. And you can also be honest about your intentions to work for a firm when you graduate, without much question. They're going to understand that you couldn't find firm work as a 1L; almost no one can right now.

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:47 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
A'nold wrote:Thanks. Are legal aid jobs enough to not getted looked down upon by firms? As a transfer, depending on the school firm jobs are a possibility and as a top student at my current school as well so I now suddenly care how I will look to them.

This whole process was much easier when I figured I'd be like top 1/3 at a t3 school and go work local gov., not that I'd trade the position I'm in now, haha.

It depends on how you play it. If you tell a firm "I did this because I had nothing else to do" I doubt that'll impress them much. But if you find something that you find interesting, you can tell them something else entirely, something like, "I spent my summer providing pro bono services to battered women who couldn't afford legal representation of their own," then you can talk about those experiences and why they were meaningful to you (and they probably will be in some way while you're doing them, even if you initially take it as just a job).

There are services providing assistance to indigent defendants, the homeless, battered women and children, immigrants needing legal services to avoid deportation... It'll give you a chance to do something helpful to the community you live in for the summer, and that's how you tell it to the law firms. Lots and lots of people do non-profit legal aid work over the summer. In fact, it's becoming one of the 1L job options of choice with 1L BigLaw jobs pretty much gone and the more prestigious criminal/civil rights internships getting gobbled up by 2Ls desperate to find something to do.

It's a hell of a lot better for your resume than doing nothing. And you can also be honest about your intentions to work for a firm when you graduate, without much question. They're going to understand that you couldn't find firm work as a 1L; almost no one can right now.


Thanks. This is great advice. I will look into this.

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Lane Meyer
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby Lane Meyer » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:50 pm

Wait, why aren't you taking the internship with the federal judge?

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Aeroplane
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:55 pm

gglr24 wrote:Why not a RA?

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:00 pm

The internship was an "externship" through the school and the deadline is past. My OP explains the situation.

To the last poster: I am going to try to see if any of my good professors need an RA. I just have a sneaking suspicion that this isn't extremely common at my school.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:06 pm

A'nold wrote:To the last poster: I am going to try to see if any of my good professors need an RA. I just have a sneaking suspicion that this isn't extremely common at my school.

Oh ok. I thought you weren't even asking. never mind.

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Attucks
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby Attucks » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:29 pm

A'nold wrote:I chose not to go the "externship" route because I did not want to pay to go work somewhere and the fact that I am transferring and the whole credit situation made it weird and a big hassle. My school's career services office is non-existent. You have to do EVERYTHING on your own. This externship program is the school's only Saving Grace and I opted out of it. Anyway, I passed up a decent opportunity to clerk for a federal magistrate judge that I could have likely been hired for based on my good grades. I also held out (had very little hope, but still) that my high ranking would get me something paying. Now I have nothing *cue background violin music." :cry:

Basically, as most who have been reading on this forum and the transfer forum have probably gathered, I don't give a crap what I do (even though I will admit clerkships sound cool) and what kind of prestige the job has AS LONG as I don't get screwed come OCI this summer. I don't want to be "that guy" as BradyToMoss commented awhile back on another thread. I don't want a black hole on my resume.

Now, I live in the middle of nowhere with a tiny legal market w/in driving distance of a few other tiny legal markets. The big ass market for this state is far enough away that I'd have to move. I need my savings (not much) so I can afford to move when (hopefully) I transfer. I will take any job that will at least not make my OCI interviewer frown and at least make it a non-issue. I was not the highest grade for any of my classes but was likely top 3 or 4 for each class. Add to this fact that the only professors I was "close to" (not really) were the professors that I got LOR's from for transferring and asking for an RA position seems kind of pointless. Suggestions? Does it count as legal work if I warn customers at the drive through at McDonald's to take special care because the coffee is HOT?

I can live with family in Seattle or a friend in Portland if need be, if anyone has any geographically specific advice.


Man, this is intense. First up, you had to be assessing your options before the judicial externship ship sailed. The local nature of your school's market is not something that's crept up on you over the last month...I'm assuming you knew this when you enrolled. Take stock early on of the situation, and if the career services office is truly non-existent, just make the best of it. Your school's alumni are out there somewhere.

That said, if your school has judicial externships lined up, I'm guessing they have ones with other agencies (i.e. prosecutor's office, PD, or other PI work). Have these deadlines also passed? Best of luck.

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:39 pm

Attucks wrote:
A'nold wrote:I chose not to go the "externship" route because I did not want to pay to go work somewhere and the fact that I am transferring and the whole credit situation made it weird and a big hassle. My school's career services office is non-existent. You have to do EVERYTHING on your own. This externship program is the school's only Saving Grace and I opted out of it. Anyway, I passed up a decent opportunity to clerk for a federal magistrate judge that I could have likely been hired for based on my good grades. I also held out (had very little hope, but still) that my high ranking would get me something paying. Now I have nothing *cue background violin music." :cry:

Basically, as most who have been reading on this forum and the transfer forum have probably gathered, I don't give a crap what I do (even though I will admit clerkships sound cool) and what kind of prestige the job has AS LONG as I don't get screwed come OCI this summer. I don't want to be "that guy" as BradyToMoss commented awhile back on another thread. I don't want a black hole on my resume.

Now, I live in the middle of nowhere with a tiny legal market w/in driving distance of a few other tiny legal markets. The big ass market for this state is far enough away that I'd have to move. I need my savings (not much) so I can afford to move when (hopefully) I transfer. I will take any job that will at least not make my OCI interviewer frown and at least make it a non-issue. I was not the highest grade for any of my classes but was likely top 3 or 4 for each class. Add to this fact that the only professors I was "close to" (not really) were the professors that I got LOR's from for transferring and asking for an RA position seems kind of pointless. Suggestions? Does it count as legal work if I warn customers at the drive through at McDonald's to take special care because the coffee is HOT?

I can live with family in Seattle or a friend in Portland if need be, if anyone has any geographically specific advice.


Man, this is intense. First up, you had to be assessing your options before the judicial externship ship sailed. The local nature of your school's market is not something that's crept up on you over the last month...I'm assuming you knew this when you enrolled. Take stock early on of the situation, and if the career services office is truly non-existent, just make the best of it. Your school's alumni are out there somewhere.

That said, if your school has judicial externships lined up, I'm guessing they have ones with other agencies (i.e. prosecutor's office, PD, or other PI work). Have these deadlines also passed? Best of luck.


Thanks. The problem with this school is that they push these externships where it is a class and they charge you tuition. Internships are much harder to come by and the externship opportunities seem to gobble up most of the good internship jobs. I might ask the career office if the offices that didn't get bids for externships are still open to the idea of getting interns. Maybe I'll just get the scraps. :|

2L's at the top of the class, while they have an uphill battle, seem to do o.k. (I'm talking the top 5% and above) but 1L's are kind of SOL, regardless of grades. I just didn't want to pay for my summer job. It's bad enough not getting paid, but to have to pay? Srsly?

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:49 pm

I heard of someone on another thread going to LinkedIn and looking up people who went to their prospective law school.

Maybe going to that site and e-mailing alumni would be a good start???
(0L...I only posted because of the linkedin thing)

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Blindmelon
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:53 pm

Start networking like crazy! I can't emphasize this enough. Look at friends.. friends' friends, old family, high school friends.. anything. Found out if anyone is at a firm or doing anything legal, swallow your pride and call (don't email). It worked wonders for me. I contacted friends of friends from about 8 years ago. Alumni I found are helpful, but personal connections are better - also UG alumni who went to your LS are the best.

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:59 pm

Blindmelon wrote:Start networking like crazy! I can't emphasize this enough. Look at friends.. friends' friends, old family, high school friends.. anything. Found out if anyone is at a firm or doing anything legal, swallow your pride and call (don't email). It worked wonders for me. I contacted friends of friends from about 8 years ago. Alumni I found are helpful, but personal connections are better - also UG alumni who went to your LS are the best.


That is definitely a good idea. Very helpful thread so far, thanks guys.

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:47 am

Would anyone "cold email" judges? There is a list of all the local judges' emails for a state district court in an area that I would like to spend my summer. Is this bad form?

engineer
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby engineer » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:04 am

A'nold wrote:Would anyone "cold email" judges? There is a list of all the local judges' emails for a state district court in an area that I would like to spend my summer. Is this bad form?


I can only provide anecdotal evidence here, but one of my friends did cold-interviews when she got out of law school. She went to a FTT and, after graduating, just walked into firms, asking if a senior partner had a few minutes. It's definitely not a recommended approach, but it does show confidence and a hell of a lot of courage. A lot of people may be offended by that, however.

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:19 am

engineer wrote:
A'nold wrote:Would anyone "cold email" judges? There is a list of all the local judges' emails for a state district court in an area that I would like to spend my summer. Is this bad form?


I can only provide anecdotal evidence here, but one of my friends did cold-interviews when she got out of law school. She went to a FTT and, after graduating, just walked into firms, asking if a senior partner had a few minutes. It's definitely not a recommended approach, but it does show confidence and a hell of a lot of courage. A lot of people may be offended by that, however.


Thanks. What do you think about emails though? Do you have to have some kind of connection (i.e. the judge advertising w/ your school's career office) or can you just up and email the judge? Ugh. I have to admit, I did not thoroughly think out my 1L summer, geesh.

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kings84_wr
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby kings84_wr » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:28 am

Lots of my friends are cold calling chambers and asking if they take interns. Basically they are just going through the local judge list and calling. Its not the ideal way to go about it, but at least you can hit up a bunch of them.

I got my internship by mailing a judge a cover letter and resume without any info if they took interns, albeit it was Dec/Jan.

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A'nold
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby A'nold » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:33 am

kings84_wr wrote:Lots of my friends are cold calling chambers and asking if they take interns. Basically they are just going through the local judge list and calling. Its not the ideal way to go about it, but at least you can hit up a bunch of them.

I got my internship by mailing a judge a cover letter and resume without any info if they took interns, albeit it was Dec/Jan.


That's cool that you got your internship like that. I guess it's going to be pounding the pavement for me over the next few weeks. I am targeting lower level state district courts in hopes that all of the internship slots are not filled.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby ZXCVBNM » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:44 am

Standard procedure is to mail or call the judge's chambers. Email usually doesn't go over too well. That being said, if you have nothing to lose and it's faster...

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kings84_wr
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby kings84_wr » Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:47 am

Yeah at my school there are a lot of people in your situation, I think 1l hiring is just really brutal this year.

If you just hit up a lot of places I bet you find someone thats interested, plus you can mention your grades, so it will make you look more attractive. Ive been told that at least in Indiana, most of the state courts have not hired anyone at this point, and sometimes only hire interns if they are contacted by students.

engineer
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby engineer » Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:08 am

A'nold wrote:
engineer wrote:Thanks. What do you think about emails though? Do you have to have some kind of connection (i.e. the judge advertising w/ your school's career office) or can you just up and email the judge? Ugh. I have to admit, I did not thoroughly think out my 1L summer, geesh.


Honestly, if I were you (and I'm not in too different a situation, honestly... I just have lower Fall semester grades, but I'm not completely precluded from transferring just yet), I would do my research first...a LOT of research. I think the scientific term is "metric fuck ton," but that's beside the point. Find out if the judge is published in any journals/law reviews; if so, read his or her articles. Become familiar with the judge's interests and any significant cases over which he or she presided. It's a lot of front-end work, but if you get an offer, it's entirely worth it.

When you make the phone call, be honest and polite; say that you're a law student at X school interested in Y, and that you're curious whether he or she has a couple minutes to maybe sit down and talk about the possibility of a judicial internship. This should at least get your foot in the door, and if you get a few minutes of the judge's time, try to talk about his or her research and whatnot.

As a corollary, I used this approach MULTIPLE times with researchers whom I had never met. I would cold-call (e-mail) researchers in scientific fields (engineers/scientists actually prefer e-mail over the telephone, and in that world, a cold-call is socially unacceptable) and ask if they had a few minutes to discuss some of their research. I'd mention how interested I am in it and drop the question of whether they're hiring during that interview, but I'd phrase it carefully. I had a couple really, really good experiences with this approach, but again, this was for scientific internships.

270910
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Re: Freaking Out

Postby 270910 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:27 am

engineer wrote:
A'nold wrote:
engineer wrote:Thanks. What do you think about emails though? Do you have to have some kind of connection (i.e. the judge advertising w/ your school's career office) or can you just up and email the judge? Ugh. I have to admit, I did not thoroughly think out my 1L summer, geesh.


Honestly, if I were you (and I'm not in too different a situation, honestly... I just have lower Fall semester grades, but I'm not completely precluded from transferring just yet), I would do my research first...a LOT of research. I think the scientific term is "metric fuck ton," but that's beside the point. Find out if the judge is published in any journals/law reviews; if so, read his or her articles. Become familiar with the judge's interests and any significant cases over which he or she presided. It's a lot of front-end work, but if you get an offer, it's entirely worth it.

When you make the phone call, be honest and polite; say that you're a law student at X school interested in Y, and that you're curious whether he or she has a couple minutes to maybe sit down and talk about the possibility of a judicial internship. This should at least get your foot in the door, and if you get a few minutes of the judge's time, try to talk about his or her research and whatnot.

As a corollary, I used this approach MULTIPLE times with researchers whom I had never met. I would cold-call (e-mail) researchers in scientific fields (engineers/scientists actually prefer e-mail over the telephone, and in that world, a cold-call is socially unacceptable) and ask if they had a few minutes to discuss some of their research. I'd mention how interested I am in it and drop the question of whether they're hiring during that interview, but I'd phrase it carefully. I had a couple really, really good experiences with this approach, but again, this was for scientific internships.


I think this makes more sense with profs / researchers than judges. Almost all judges have a protocol for dolling out 1L internships, and it almost always runs through the clerks. Standard operating procedure is just to fire off a cover letter / transcript / resume / references... I don't think you'd do much except irk them by calling, judicial chambers are historically massively over-worked as it stands, and at this point there's basically no way you could cold call a judge who isn't already sitting on a massive pile of applications.




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