Paraclerking as a 1L?

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:31 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Lieut Kaffee wrote:
JethroTull wrote:I may be in the minority here, but I think being a paralegal at that firm would hurt your chances for 2L SA there and at other firms. The kind of work you do your 1L summer is just as if not more important for OCI purposes as the place you work your 1L summer. (The one exception might be working in house at a big corporation.) Your experience there will be a key talking point in every interview you have. So the goal for 1L summer is to find a paying gig at a prestigious place, but also to do substantive work. Also, you'll need a good writing sample. Paralegals can't even write basic memos. Your best bet is to ask the partner you're close with to help you find a good summer job at another firm or with a judge he knows.

You're aren't the first person to blatantly misread the posts. OP has already secured a judicial externship which will provide all the substantive experience a 1L could want and future employers would expect. We're talking about the paralegal thing as something to a) make some money, b) maintain an in with a "reach" firm, and c) fill time for which the OP has no meaningful alternative.

For OCI purposes, OP could easily get away with just doing the part-time externship (as has been advised ITT) and just talking about that. I bet OP's summer would be full of free time, which would be nice. I still don't see why an employer would ever look down on choosing to work instead, particularly at a law firm. I have peers who are planning to serve tables to supplement their part-time substantive jobs.


You wouldn't put waitering on your resume? Nor should op put paralegal on it.

Believe it or not, I'm not the person planning to do this, but I've heard it from two or three people. You're right about the resume though, so point taken. I'd do the paralegal thing and ask career services about the resume part.

09042014
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:36 pm

Lieut Kaffee wrote:Believe it or not, I'm not the person planning to do this, but I've heard it from two or three people. You're right about the resume though, so point taken. I'd do the paralegal thing and ask career services about the resume part.


Theres no shame in doing PT work for money over summer. He'll it's the smart thing to do. But you don't put it on your resume.

I agree. OP definitely should do it, but ask career services about putting it on her resume.

Anonymous User
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:12 pm

OP.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it, and will talk to career services about whether or not to put it on my resume.

I still disagree with the majority. The firm will almost certainly allow me to just put "Summer Intern" as opposed to "Paralegal". I think that when an employer sees I was a paralegal at a very prestigious firm, and they liked me enough to hire me as an intern as a 1L (if they know their summer program so well as people have said they will know they take 0 1Ls in that program), they will be impressed, especially the fact that I did this while interning in a judge's chambers.

I also asked the partner for her advice on whether or not this would look good, and she said she thought it was a great idea. FWIW.

09042014
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it, and will talk to career services about whether or not to put it on my resume.

I still disagree with the majority. The firm will almost certainly allow me to just put "Summer Intern" as opposed to "Paralegal". I think that when an employer sees I was a paralegal at a very prestigious firm, and they liked me enough to hire me as an intern as a 1L (if they know their summer program so well as people have said they will know they take 0 1Ls in that program), they will be impressed, especially the fact that I did this while interning in a judge's chambers.

I also asked the partner for her advice on whether or not this would look good, and she said she thought it was a great idea. FWIW.


Everyone knows V10's have Summer Associates, not Summer Interns. And when someone at OCI asks about, you'll either have to make an unbelievable lie, or admit you did paralegal work.

I just don't think anyone is going to be impressed with Summer Paralegal.

Anonymous User
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:23 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it, and will talk to career services about whether or not to put it on my resume.

I still disagree with the majority. The firm will almost certainly allow me to just put "Summer Intern" as opposed to "Paralegal". I think that when an employer sees I was a paralegal at a very prestigious firm, and they liked me enough to hire me as an intern as a 1L (if they know their summer program so well as people have said they will know they take 0 1Ls in that program), they will be impressed, especially the fact that I did this while interning in a judge's chambers.

I also asked the partner for her advice on whether or not this would look good, and she said she thought it was a great idea. FWIW.


Everyone knows V10's have Summer Associates, not Summer Interns. And when someone at OCI asks about, you'll either have to make an unbelievable lie, or admit you did paralegal work.

I just don't think anyone is going to be impressed with Summer Paralegal.


I respect your opinion, but I'm not convinced. OH NO WHY DID YOU WORK AT THAT FIRM THATS RANKED HIGHER THAN US (IN ADDITION TO DOING WHAT EVERY OTHER 1L DID) DOING THE EXACT KIND OF WORK OUR FIRST AND SECOND YEAR ASSOCIATES DO. YOU SUCK.

09042014
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I respect your opinion, but I'm not convinced. OH NO WHY DID YOU WORK AT THAT FIRM THATS RANKED HIGHER THAN US (IN ADDITION TO DOING WHAT EVERY OTHER 1L DID) DOING THE EXACT KIND OF WORK OUR FIRST AND SECOND YEAR ASSOCIATES DO. YOU SUCK.


They aren't hiring you to paralegal in their firm now are they? Lawyers don't seem to see paralegal work as equal to lawyer work. They are dicks like that.

Talk to your career services adviser. They'll know about this stuff. You maybe be right, but I doubt it.

thescienceguy
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby thescienceguy » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it, and will talk to career services about whether or not to put it on my resume.

I still disagree with the majority. The firm will almost certainly allow me to just put "Summer Intern" as opposed to "Paralegal". I think that when an employer sees I was a paralegal at a very prestigious firm, and they liked me enough to hire me as an intern as a 1L (if they know their summer program so well as people have said they will know they take 0 1Ls in that program), they will be impressed, especially the fact that I did this while interning in a judge's chambers.

I also asked the partner for her advice on whether or not this would look good, and she said she thought it was a great idea. FWIW.


Everyone knows V10's have Summer Associates, not Summer Interns. And when someone at OCI asks about, you'll either have to make an unbelievable lie, or admit you did paralegal work.

I just don't think anyone is going to be impressed with Summer Paralegal.


I respect your opinion, but I'm not convinced. OH NO WHY DID YOU WORK AT THAT FIRM THATS RANKED HIGHER THAN US (IN ADDITION TO DOING WHAT EVERY OTHER 1L DID) DOING THE EXACT KIND OF WORK OUR FIRST AND SECOND YEAR ASSOCIATES DO. YOU SUCK.


I think the work sounds great. However, the weird part is calling yourself a "summer intern." If you really are so sure that they would appreciate all the substantive work that you do, then why hide the fact you were a paralegal? It seems a little sketchy to call yourself an "intern" when you're really a paralegal. Especially because they'll probably wonder about it. V10s dont take "summer interns" - everyone knows that. I've been an interviewer before in another industry, and if I were interviewing you, it would make me a little doubtful about the integrity of your resume.

But then again, ask your careers services person. They'll know best.

Anonymous User
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:01 pm

thescienceguy wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it, and will talk to career services about whether or not to put it on my resume.

I still disagree with the majority. The firm will almost certainly allow me to just put "Summer Intern" as opposed to "Paralegal". I think that when an employer sees I was a paralegal at a very prestigious firm, and they liked me enough to hire me as an intern as a 1L (if they know their summer program so well as people have said they will know they take 0 1Ls in that program), they will be impressed, especially the fact that I did this while interning in a judge's chambers.

I also asked the partner for her advice on whether or not this would look good, and she said she thought it was a great idea. FWIW.


Everyone knows V10's have Summer Associates, not Summer Interns. And when someone at OCI asks about, you'll either have to make an unbelievable lie, or admit you did paralegal work.

I just don't think anyone is going to be impressed with Summer Paralegal.


I respect your opinion, but I'm not convinced. OH NO WHY DID YOU WORK AT THAT FIRM THATS RANKED HIGHER THAN US (IN ADDITION TO DOING WHAT EVERY OTHER 1L DID) DOING THE EXACT KIND OF WORK OUR FIRST AND SECOND YEAR ASSOCIATES DO. YOU SUCK.


I think the work sounds great. However, the weird part is calling yourself a "summer intern." If you really are so sure that they would appreciate all the substantive work that you do, then why hide the fact you were a paralegal? It seems a little sketchy to call yourself an "intern" when you're really a paralegal. Especially because they'll probably wonder about it. V10s dont take "summer interns" - everyone knows that. I've been an interviewer before in another industry, and if I were interviewing you, it would make me a little doubtful about the integrity of your resume.

But then again, ask your careers services person. They'll know best.


My response to an interviewer: "They wanted me so bad, they made up an intern position!!! Can you believe it."

Kidding =P

JethroTull
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby JethroTull » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:49 pm

Lieut Kaffee wrote:
JethroTull wrote:I may be in the minority here, but I think being a paralegal at that firm would hurt your chances for 2L SA there and at other firms. The kind of work you do your 1L summer is just as if not more important for OCI purposes as the place you work your 1L summer. (The one exception might be working in house at a big corporation.) Your experience there will be a key talking point in every interview you have. So the goal for 1L summer is to find a paying gig at a prestigious place, but also to do substantive work. Also, you'll need a good writing sample. Paralegals can't even write basic memos. Your best bet is to ask the partner you're close with to help you find a good summer job at another firm or with a judge he knows.

You're aren't the first person to blatantly misread the posts. OP has already secured a judicial externship which will provide all the substantive experience a 1L could want and future employers would expect. We're talking about the paralegal thing as something to a) make some money, b) maintain an in with a "reach" firm, and c) fill time for which the OP has no meaningful alternative.

For OCI purposes, OP could easily get away with just doing the part-time externship (as has been advised ITT) and just talking about that. I bet OP's summer would be full of free time, which would be nice. I still don't see why an employer would ever look down on choosing to work instead, particularly at a law firm. I have peers who are planning to serve tables to supplement their part-time substantive jobs.


You sound like a tool. What I meant to say is that ALL paralegals are looked down upon w/r/t being hired as a lawyer, no matter what firm you worked at, especially if you're a male.

phonepro
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby phonepro » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:59 pm

JethroTull wrote:
You sound like a tool. What I meant to say is that ALL paralegals are looked down upon w/r/t being hired as a lawyer, no matter what firm you worked at, especially if you're a male.


That is not true at all. I was a paralegal at a top firm, and its the only reason I got any CBs for a 1L SA position. Employers talked extremely positive about the fact that I already knew what it was like working at a top firm. Even besides actual substantive work, just knowing the culture, how to bill hours, etc. is a positive.

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erico
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby erico » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:10 pm

JethroTull wrote:I may be in the minority here, but I think being a paralegal at that firm would hurt your chances for 2L SA there and at other firms. The kind of work you do your 1L summer is just as if not more important for OCI purposes as the place you work your 1L summer. (The one exception might be working in house at a big corporation.) Your experience there will be a key talking point in every interview you have. So the goal for 1L summer is to find a paying gig at a prestigious place, but also to do substantive work. Also, you'll need a good writing sample. Paralegals can't even write basic memos. Your best bet is to ask the partner you're close with to help you find a good summer job at another firm or with a judge he knows.


So the kind of work you do with a big corp is less important?

Renzo
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:31 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
I respect your opinion, but I'm not convinced. OH NO WHY DID YOU WORK AT THAT FIRM THATS RANKED HIGHER THAN US (IN ADDITION TO DOING WHAT EVERY OTHER 1L DID) DOING THE EXACT KIND OF WORK OUR FIRST AND SECOND YEAR ASSOCIATES DO. YOU SUCK.


They aren't hiring you to paralegal in their firm now are they? Lawyers don't seem to see paralegal work as equal to lawyer work. They are dicks like that.

Talk to your career services adviser. They'll know about this stuff. You maybe be right, but I doubt it.


Desert Fox makes a point that's at least worth considering. I am familiar with one firm (and there may be more) that as a policy doesn't hire their former support staff as associates, for fear it will be too awkward for the lawyers to have to treat a former peon as an equal.

Anonymous User
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 03, 2011 8:17 pm

Hey, I searched for this topic because I am in an almost identical situation. I was wondering if you have any further information about what you are going to do this summer, and if you got any particularly good advice from anyone about whether or not to take a paralegal summer internship at a very prestigious firm as a 1L (meaning V top 3).

I also have a job available clerking for a judge that I could do for 4 weeks (the paralegal internship is 8 weeks). Think this is a good idea? Anybody else have any new opinions?

Anonymous User
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 03, 2011 8:23 pm

Also, I'd love to chat with you about what you think about all this (original poster), let me know if you want to discuss outside the forum.

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wiseowl
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby wiseowl » Tue May 03, 2011 9:04 pm

I don't disagree with taking the paralegal position, but you sure as hell had better either put "paralegal" somewhere in the job description on your resume or leave it off altogether. Putting just "Summer Intern" is going to screw you beyond belief when 2L firms call to verify your resume and/or the bar does for C&F.

2LLLL
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby 2LLLL » Tue May 03, 2011 9:09 pm

Do it but leave it off the resume is TCR.

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IzziesGal
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby IzziesGal » Sat May 07, 2011 2:56 pm

I agree with everyone saying no to paralegaling - regardless of what judicial externship you have lined up. Paralegalling is basically taking a step down from what you're in law school to do. Recent college grads with no legal experience whatsoever can become paralegals at big firms before law school.

I didn't read everything, but if you already worked there before, just work the connections you already have. There is NO reason to go back as a paralegal while you are in law school. From my own experience in big law, lawyers are not going to look at you as on the same playing field if you're working as a paralegal instead of as an SA. Drop in on the holidays to say hi, keep in touch with friends in recruiting, ask associates you worked for to lunch, etc.

Good luck

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IzziesGal
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Re: Paraclerking as a 1L?

Postby IzziesGal » Sat May 07, 2011 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP.

Thanks for all the advice guys. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it, and will talk to career services about whether or not to put it on my resume.

I still disagree with the majority. The firm will almost certainly allow me to just put "Summer Intern" as opposed to "Paralegal". I think that when an employer sees I was a paralegal at a very prestigious firm, and they liked me enough to hire me as an intern as a 1L (if they know their summer program so well as people have said they will know they take 0 1Ls in that program), they will be impressed, especially the fact that I did this while interning in a judge's chambers.

I also asked the partner for her advice on whether or not this would look good, and she said she thought it was a great idea. FWIW.


Being a paralegal at a prestigious firm before law school looks good. Being a paralegal while you're in law school is likely going to make hiring partners question why you weren't doing more substantive legal work instead.

Edit: I realize I might be coming across as really rigid, but there are going to be partners screening your resume who are just as - if not, more - rigid. If I were a hiring partner, I would be wondering why you didn't look for legal work for the other half of your summer, and then I would make the assumption that you couldn't get any (regardless of how true it is), and this would hurt your chances at my firm (or any firm). Just my two cents.




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