1L Paid SA in a Secondary Market vs. Anything in New York?

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1L Paid SA in a Secondary Market vs. Anything in New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 03, 2010 2:41 pm

I'm a 0L eyeballing 1L summer prospects. I have a couple connections at local firms in my hometown (secondary, maybe terciary) market that I might be able to work towards a 1L SA. Depending on the firm, they would pay between $1,300 and $1,500 a week (slightly below market for the area.) However, I want to work NYC biglaw in the future, preferably M&A, PE, or securities practices. The local firms have more of a litigation/toxic torts focus.

I know banking on a 1L SA is laughable, and landing one anywhere is a huge long shot. But humor me: If I were to be offered one, would it be preferable to take a $1,300/wk SA at a secondary market firm, or any legal work in NYC?

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Re: 1L Paid SA in a Secondary Market vs. Anything in New York?

Postby 270910 » Mon May 03, 2010 2:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm a 0L eyeballing 1L summer prospects. I have a couple connections at local firms in my hometown (secondary, maybe terciary) market that I might be able to work towards a 1L SA. Depending on the firm, they would pay between $1,300 and $1,500 a week (slightly below market for the area.) However, I want to work NYC biglaw in the future, preferably M&A, PE, or securities practices. The local firms have more of a litigation/toxic torts focus.

I know banking on a 1L SA is laughable, and landing one anywhere is a huge long shot. But humor me: If I were to be offered one, would it be preferable to take a $1,300/wk SA at a secondary market firm, or any legal work in NYC?


Easy.

First: The (accurate) conventional wisdom is that it doesn't matter what you do your 1L summer 'as long as it is legal.' An exception would be if you happen to land multiple offers, but for any student at any law school that's fairly unlikely.

Second: Given that, you have two objectives: The first is to expose yourself to an area of the law that will help you develop (i.e. focuses on your interests and gives substantial writing and research experience). The second is to make money - literally fistfulls of money - hand over fist and as quickly as possible.

Thus for NYC big law, working at a firm in a secondary market is a perfectly fine choice for the summer. You won't be looked down on for not taking 'anything' in NYC, it's probably actually going to look more impressive on your resume. 1L summer jobs that pay - much less pay something north of 1K per week - are extraordinarily rare and coveted things.

So in sum, well paying legal work >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> non well paying legal work as a 1L. By and large. Obviously interning at SD/ED NY might be a wonderful life experience, but it won't be a silver bullet to getting an NYC big firm gig (or even clerkship), so you'd be well advised to 'take the money and run' as it were.

And a piece of info - big firms in big markets do very little 1L SA hiring, so (as it looks like you implied in your post) it'd be crazy to expect 1L summer NYC big law. (But not crazy to try, especially depending on the timing of your applications, interviews, and offers - which makes all of the difference during the 1L job hunt).

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Re: 1L Paid SA in a Secondary Market vs. Anything in New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon May 03, 2010 3:02 pm

Thanks disco!

I emailed the recruiting manager for one of the firms, and she said they hired 9 1L summers last year. The firm lists 165 lawyers on their website, and the vast majority of them are from the regional state schools. This position would be ideal for me, I think, because it's close to family and friends. It's a split summer, though: they only hire for the first six weeks. So at $1,300/wk I'd make $7,800. I guess that's not a bad haul for the firm experience.

Now my only concern is getting the job. I wonder if going to a T14 is a detriment in this situation? :?

270910
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Re: 1L Paid SA in a Secondary Market vs. Anything in New York?

Postby 270910 » Mon May 03, 2010 3:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks disco!

I emailed the recruiting manager for one of the firms, and she said they hired 9 1L summers last year. The firm lists 165 lawyers on their website, and the vast majority of them are from the regional state schools. This position would be ideal for me, I think, because it's close to family and friends. It's a split summer, though: they only hire for the first six weeks. So at $1,300/wk I'd make $7,800. I guess that's not a bad haul for the firm experience.

Now my only concern is getting the job. I wonder if going to a T14 is a detriment in this situation? :?


1) $ 8 grand your 1L summer would probably put you in the top 0.5% of 1L summer earners. Seriously. These gigs are super hard to find.

2) Going to a T14 is the opposite of a disadvantage. Many (most?) 1L summer positions from T14 schools are a student here or there back to a local market.

3) T14 students have greatly expanded opportunities in other areas - judicial internships, RAs with famouser profs, easier access to DA's offices, etc.




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