Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

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DeSimone
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Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby DeSimone » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:15 am

I've heard a few versions, but want to see if there is a consensus opinion. What is the general hierarchy of 1L summer gigs?

Goals: firm job during 2L summer and upon graduation, possibly a clerkship.

I have no offers currently in hand, but exploring several routes: firm summer associate, intern for a federal district judge, some government positions.

Thanks.

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ntugwater
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Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby ntugwater » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:41 am

1. Legal job
2. Everything else
3. Nothing

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vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:58 am

DeSimone wrote:I've heard a few versions, but want to see if there is a consensus opinion. What is the general hierarchy of 1L summer gigs?

Goals: firm job during 2L summer and upon graduation, possibly a clerkship.

I have no offers currently in hand, but exploring several routes: firm summer associate, intern for a federal district judge, some government positions.

Thanks.


1. Good grades
2. Some sort of Legal Job
3. Nothing

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:02 pm

Quoting myself from another thread:

Anonymous User wrote:As long as it's legal, it doesn't make a difference.*

*In most cases, for standard 2L hiring practices amongst different employers.

That asterisk is pretty key. I worked at a 'prestigious' law firm firm my 1L summer, and I guarantee you it didn't significantly impact my success looking for jobs as a 2L. Comparing my success to my peers among the 20-40 cases where I knew people's stats pretty well, a common trend emerged. The following things mattered, a lot:

1) 1L GPA / making law review
2) Prior work experience, particularly when relevant (patent work, congressional work, finance, etc.) but also just a 'maturity' boost and occasionally for establishing geographic ties
3) Personality / maturity (though in 8/10 cases I think this was a proxy for pre-LS experience. For the most part being charming wasn't enough on its own/)
4) Diversity / x-factor (a catch-all category for intangibles: language skills, diversity, personal connections to the firm, etc.)

What people did as a 1L just didn't correlate to their job hunting prospects. Some people with "crappy" 1L summer work (RAing for random professors) got stellar jobs because they have the above factors pointing in their direction, some people with "baller" 1L summer work (big firm gigs, DOJ level govt work) got shut out because they didn't have the above factors working for them. Most people were somewhere in-between.

Hopefully that's enough to convince you that you shouldn't think about your 1L summer in terms of what doors it can open for you when it comes time to do OCI or look for a full time job. But that's not the entire story. Your 1L summer is probably a throw away experience for recruiting 'as long as it's legal' - but it's still a big opportunity FOR YOU. It's a great way to get exposure to a practice are you're interested and work on your speech for recruiting. It's very compelling to be able to say during an interview "I thought I wanted to do X, but obviously wasn't exposed to it during 1L. I'm glad I worked for Y during my summer because it helped confirm my interest in X, which is why I am applying to your firm." It's probably just as compelling to say "I thought I wanted to do X, but after doing it every day at Y during my summer I think I'd rather do Z, which is why I'm applying to your firm."

So it can really help your pitch, but more importantly it can help you figure out your desires. You can be a litigator after working for a professor 1L summer, but if you work for a judge, or a DA's office, or even a PD's office, you'll be on much sounder footing yourself.

Another important caveat, and the reason I said 'amongst different employers' above, is that for some people 1L summer can = full time employment. I actually know people who beat the bushes enough to get a 1L summer big firm gig in a small / hometown market, then struck out during 2L OCI, and are now returning to that market. It's great pay and jobs the people like, so for them 1L summer may literally have made the difference between a 6 figure salary and unemployment or underemployment at graduation. Not everyone can do that even if they want to, but it's a very real factor.

Finally for some career trajectories it really does matter. When people say it doesn't, they're almost always speaking from the point of view of a law student hoping to land a large firm job via 2L OCI. If you're not looking for that path, your 1L summer is going to play a big role in developing your network and branching out. For those interested in public interest, being an RA as a 1L will hurt since employers are going to be looking for a strong commitment to PI and it's (comparatively) simple to land a PI job over the summer. For those looking to get into a smaller legal field, 1L summer can be the time to start building the connections and nursing the network to make it happen.

I split my 1L summer between a judge and a firm that did non-litigation work, and it was wonderful. It really helped me think about those two career paths, and gave me an opportunity to watch and interact with attorneys in both "camps." It was stressful to split, but I think something like that, if you could swing it, would be great for somebody on the fence. In terms of substantive work, I think the people I know who worked for judges (myself included) came out on top. It's likely that working for a judge you'll spend a lot of time researching and writing to help resolve cases (whether by drafting opinions or writing bench memos).

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby Sup Kid » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:05 pm

DeSimone wrote:I have no offers currently in hand, but exploring several routes: firm summer associate, intern for a federal district judge, some government positions.

I really hope you're at HYS, considering its the end of January and almost none of those positions are still available. At this point, you should be applying to state-level judges and state/local government positions, as well as some PI stuff. The chances of getting one of the positions you listed when you are still "exploring" them, is not a good sign. Also, I agree with everyone else that your 1L summer doesn't really matter, just get something legal-related that you can talk about during OCI.

legends159
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby legends159 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Quoting myself from another thread:

Anonymous User wrote:As long as it's legal, it doesn't make a difference.*

*In most cases, for standard 2L hiring practices amongst different employers.

That asterisk is pretty key. I worked at a 'prestigious' law firm firm my 1L summer, and I guarantee you it didn't significantly impact my success looking for jobs as a 2L. Comparing my success to my peers among the 20-40 cases where I knew people's stats pretty well, a common trend emerged. The following things mattered, a lot:

1) 1L GPA / making law review
2) Prior work experience, particularly when relevant (patent work, congressional work, finance, etc.) but also just a 'maturity' boost and occasionally for establishing geographic ties
3) Personality / maturity (though in 8/10 cases I think this was a proxy for pre-LS experience. For the most part being charming wasn't enough on its own/)
4) Diversity / x-factor (a catch-all category for intangibles: language skills, diversity, personal connections to the firm, etc.)

What people did as a 1L just didn't correlate to their job hunting prospects. Some people with "crappy" 1L summer work (RAing for random professors) got stellar jobs because they have the above factors pointing in their direction, some people with "baller" 1L summer work (big firm gigs, DOJ level govt work) got shut out because they didn't have the above factors working for them. Most people were somewhere in-between.

Hopefully that's enough to convince you that you shouldn't think about your 1L summer in terms of what doors it can open for you when it comes time to do OCI or look for a full time job. But that's not the entire story. Your 1L summer is probably a throw away experience for recruiting 'as long as it's legal' - but it's still a big opportunity FOR YOU. It's a great way to get exposure to a practice are you're interested and work on your speech for recruiting. It's very compelling to be able to say during an interview "I thought I wanted to do X, but obviously wasn't exposed to it during 1L. I'm glad I worked for Y during my summer because it helped confirm my interest in X, which is why I am applying to your firm." It's probably just as compelling to say "I thought I wanted to do X, but after doing it every day at Y during my summer I think I'd rather do Z, which is why I'm applying to your firm."

So it can really help your pitch, but more importantly it can help you figure out your desires. You can be a litigator after working for a professor 1L summer, but if you work for a judge, or a DA's office, or even a PD's office, you'll be on much sounder footing yourself.

Another important caveat, and the reason I said 'amongst different employers' above, is that for some people 1L summer can = full time employment. I actually know people who beat the bushes enough to get a 1L summer big firm gig in a small / hometown market, then struck out during 2L OCI, and are now returning to that market. It's great pay and jobs the people like, so for them 1L summer may literally have made the difference between a 6 figure salary and unemployment or underemployment at graduation. Not everyone can do that even if they want to, but it's a very real factor.

Finally for some career trajectories it really does matter. When people say it doesn't, they're almost always speaking from the point of view of a law student hoping to land a large firm job via 2L OCI. If you're not looking for that path, your 1L summer is going to play a big role in developing your network and branching out. For those interested in public interest, being an RA as a 1L will hurt since employers are going to be looking for a strong commitment to PI and it's (comparatively) simple to land a PI job over the summer. For those looking to get into a smaller legal field, 1L summer can be the time to start building the connections and nursing the network to make it happen.

I split my 1L summer between a judge and a firm that did non-litigation work, and it was wonderful. It really helped me think about those two career paths, and gave me an opportunity to watch and interact with attorneys in both "camps." It was stressful to split, but I think something like that, if you could swing it, would be great for somebody on the fence. In terms of substantive work, I think the people I know who worked for judges (myself included) came out on top. It's likely that working for a judge you'll spend a lot of time researching and writing to help resolve cases (whether by drafting opinions or writing bench memos).


fantastic post! I hope this gets stickied

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drylo
Posts: 291
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:41 am

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby drylo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:33 pm

legends159 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Quoting myself from another thread:

Anonymous User wrote:As long as it's legal, it doesn't make a difference.*

*In most cases, for standard 2L hiring practices amongst different employers.

That asterisk is pretty key. I worked at a 'prestigious' law firm firm my 1L summer, and I guarantee you it didn't significantly impact my success looking for jobs as a 2L. Comparing my success to my peers among the 20-40 cases where I knew people's stats pretty well, a common trend emerged. The following things mattered, a lot:

1) 1L GPA / making law review
2) Prior work experience, particularly when relevant (patent work, congressional work, finance, etc.) but also just a 'maturity' boost and occasionally for establishing geographic ties
3) Personality / maturity (though in 8/10 cases I think this was a proxy for pre-LS experience. For the most part being charming wasn't enough on its own/)
4) Diversity / x-factor (a catch-all category for intangibles: language skills, diversity, personal connections to the firm, etc.)

What people did as a 1L just didn't correlate to their job hunting prospects. Some people with "crappy" 1L summer work (RAing for random professors) got stellar jobs because they have the above factors pointing in their direction, some people with "baller" 1L summer work (big firm gigs, DOJ level govt work) got shut out because they didn't have the above factors working for them. Most people were somewhere in-between.

Hopefully that's enough to convince you that you shouldn't think about your 1L summer in terms of what doors it can open for you when it comes time to do OCI or look for a full time job. But that's not the entire story. Your 1L summer is probably a throw away experience for recruiting 'as long as it's legal' - but it's still a big opportunity FOR YOU. It's a great way to get exposure to a practice are you're interested and work on your speech for recruiting. It's very compelling to be able to say during an interview "I thought I wanted to do X, but obviously wasn't exposed to it during 1L. I'm glad I worked for Y during my summer because it helped confirm my interest in X, which is why I am applying to your firm." It's probably just as compelling to say "I thought I wanted to do X, but after doing it every day at Y during my summer I think I'd rather do Z, which is why I'm applying to your firm."

So it can really help your pitch, but more importantly it can help you figure out your desires. You can be a litigator after working for a professor 1L summer, but if you work for a judge, or a DA's office, or even a PD's office, you'll be on much sounder footing yourself.

Another important caveat, and the reason I said 'amongst different employers' above, is that for some people 1L summer can = full time employment. I actually know people who beat the bushes enough to get a 1L summer big firm gig in a small / hometown market, then struck out during 2L OCI, and are now returning to that market. It's great pay and jobs the people like, so for them 1L summer may literally have made the difference between a 6 figure salary and unemployment or underemployment at graduation. Not everyone can do that even if they want to, but it's a very real factor.

Finally for some career trajectories it really does matter. When people say it doesn't, they're almost always speaking from the point of view of a law student hoping to land a large firm job via 2L OCI. If you're not looking for that path, your 1L summer is going to play a big role in developing your network and branching out. For those interested in public interest, being an RA as a 1L will hurt since employers are going to be looking for a strong commitment to PI and it's (comparatively) simple to land a PI job over the summer. For those looking to get into a smaller legal field, 1L summer can be the time to start building the connections and nursing the network to make it happen.

I split my 1L summer between a judge and a firm that did non-litigation work, and it was wonderful. It really helped me think about those two career paths, and gave me an opportunity to watch and interact with attorneys in both "camps." It was stressful to split, but I think something like that, if you could swing it, would be great for somebody on the fence. In terms of substantive work, I think the people I know who worked for judges (myself included) came out on top. It's likely that working for a judge you'll spend a lot of time researching and writing to help resolve cases (whether by drafting opinions or writing bench memos).


fantastic post! I hope this gets stickied


Agreed.

03121202698008
Posts: 3002
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:07 am

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby 03121202698008 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:34 pm

Just an FYI, most judges have already hired. I accepted an offer from a federal judge Jan 3rd and was last spot. More than half of judges responded back saying no positions or already hired. The ones that hadn't were interviewing throughout Jan and had already selected candidates. At least for Detroit/DC markets...

uci2013
Posts: 226
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:32 am

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby uci2013 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:51 pm

blowhard wrote:Just an FYI, most judges have already hired. I accepted an offer from a federal judge Jan 3rd and was last spot. More than half of judges responded back saying no positions or already hired. The ones that hadn't were interviewing throughout Jan and had already selected candidates. At least for Detroit/DC markets...


At least in the CA market, I've heard back from a number of judges/justices asking for grades and saying their chambers are waiting for grades. But I've also been hearing a lot of "no externs this year" as well.

mike7174
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:32 pm

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby mike7174 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:10 pm

You're telling me firms aren't going to care--at all--if someone worked at main DOJ over podunk-town public defender? Don't buy it.

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vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:25 pm

mike7174 wrote:You're telling me firms aren't going to care--at all--if someone worked at main DOJ over podunk-town public defender? Don't buy it.


Hierarchy:

1) Grades
2) What you did before law school
3) Maturity/Interview skills/Etc.
4) Other factors including where you worked 1L summer.

In direct response to your post:

(1) 1L summer intern hiring at DOJ is often a product of luck more than anything else
(2) The small town public defender will likely provide more substantive assignments and provide more responsibility
(3) It's about what you get out of your summer experience and how you are able to sell it.
(4) There's a very, very big difference between where one works as an intern and where one works as an attorney. You, and many others on this board, seem to equate 1L summer internship experience with real work experience. The truth of the matter is that the 1L summer intern works on a handful of projects over the summer. Most of the time, the 1L only has a rudimentary understanding of the law, and while all these experiences are valuable, the 1L isn't making but so large of a contribution.

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DeSimone
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Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby DeSimone » Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:53 pm

Sup Kid wrote:
DeSimone wrote:I have no offers currently in hand, but exploring several routes: firm summer associate, intern for a federal district judge, some government positions.

I really hope you're at HYS, considering its the end of January and almost none of those positions are still available. At this point, you should be applying to state-level judges and state/local government positions, as well as some PI stuff. The chances of getting one of the positions you listed when you are still "exploring" them, is not a good sign. Also, I agree with everyone else that your 1L summer doesn't really matter, just get something legal-related that you can talk about during OCI.

I just happened to be outside of HYS, but I do have interviews scheduled with federal judges and firms through OCI, among others. But thanks for the $.02 anyway.

Thank you, Anonymous and others for constructive advice.

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Veyron
Posts: 3598
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Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby Veyron » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:18 pm

Sup Kid wrote:
DeSimone wrote:I have no offers currently in hand, but exploring several routes: firm summer associate, intern for a federal district judge, some government positions.

I really hope you're at HYS, considering its the end of January and almost none of those positions are still available. At this point, you should be applying to state-level judges and state/local government positions, as well as some PI stuff. The chances of getting one of the positions you listed when you are still "exploring" them, is not a good sign. Also, I agree with everyone else that your 1L summer doesn't really matter, just get something legal-related that you can talk about during OCI.


This is not true, 1Ls at Penn haven't even done spring OCI yet.

legends159
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Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby legends159 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:38 pm

mike7174 wrote:You're telling me firms aren't going to care--at all--if someone worked at main DOJ over podunk-town public defender? Don't buy it.


sorry to bust your bubble but yeah, firms don't care. they have a formula for hiring and that involves the above mentioned criteria.

when you do OCI you'll realize that it's all about how you talk about your 1L summer experience rather than the line on your resume.

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby Sup Kid » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:40 pm

DeSimone wrote:I just happened to be outside of HYS, but I do have interviews scheduled with federal judges and firms through OCI, among others.

Having interviews scheduled is different than exploring the different jobs -- I thought you meant you were still in the research phase. Good luck with your search.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Hierarchy of 1L summer employment options?

Postby Renzo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:03 pm

legends159 wrote:
mike7174 wrote:You're telling me firms aren't going to care--at all--if someone worked at main DOJ over podunk-town public defender? Don't buy it.


sorry to bust your bubble but yeah, firms don't care. they have a formula for hiring and that involves the above mentioned criteria.

when you do OCI you'll realize that it's all about how you talk about your 1L summer experience rather than the line on your resume.


I would say there are a very few, very limited number of excptions to this otherwise accurate general rule. If, for example, you have a PhD, DO NOT work as an RA for your 1L summer. No one will ever believe you want to be anything but an academic. Similarly, if you want to work in a very competitive public interest area, what you do your 1L summer can give you bona fides in that field, if you lack them; this won't get you a job, but it might save your resume from the trash.




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