Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

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TigerBeer
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Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby TigerBeer » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:07 pm

I'm a 1L at a MVPB with above median grades, hoping to stay there. Want to end up in big law.

I've been told many times that it doesn't matter what you do 1L summer, but in the same breath that person will add a qualifier to that statement (Career services said that RAing might not be great if you have no real work experience).

The places I'll probably be working at this summer are all unpaid public interest type places. Disabled persons rights, children's rights, tenant's rights, civil rights litigation type places. Doesn't this kind of work tend to box you into the public interest path?

Any big law firm that deals with these issues will generally be on the defendant's side. What if you're interviewed by a real asshole Ayn Rand free market warrior type who wouldn't want to hire you for ideological reasons? Some guy who owns rental properties who has a pending habitability suit against him probably wouldn't look kindly on a job candidate who worked for a pro bono org that does that kind of work.

I guess what I'm asking is if I should keep trying and find a small private firm or a judicial internship or something before I accept one of the public interest positions. FWIW, I lean left and generally agree with the causes and would probably find the work interesting, but ultimately I want at least 2 years in big law to pay the bills. I just don't want to be fucked over by Milton Friedman's devotees.

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Cavalier
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:15 pm

As long as it's law-related, it basically doesn't matter. Sure, some jobs will be more impressive than others, but nothing will make obtaining a summer associate position noticeably more difficult. And don't think that your interviewers will frown upon your work; many of them will have done pro-bono civil rights type work themselves. Sure, you might run into an "asshole Ayn Rand free market warrior type" who rejects you for your summer work, but if you intern for a judge you also might run into an attorney who hates that judge and rejects for being associated with him. Don't worry about it.

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OGR3
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby OGR3 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:17 pm

TigerBeer wrote:I'm a 1L at a MVPB with above median grades, hoping to stay there. Want to end up in big law.

I've been told many times that it doesn't matter what you do 1L summer, but in the same breath that person will add a qualifier to that statement (Career services said that RAing might not be great if you have no real work experience).

The places I'll probably be working at this summer are all unpaid public interest type places. Disabled persons rights, children's rights, tenant's rights, civil rights litigation type places. Doesn't this kind of work tend to box you into the public interest path?

Any big law firm that deals with these issues will generally be on the defendant's side. What if you're interviewed by a real asshole Ayn Rand free market warrior type who wouldn't want to hire you for ideological reasons? Some guy who owns rental properties who has a pending habitability suit against him probably wouldn't look kindly on a job candidate who worked for a pro bono org that does that kind of work.

I guess what I'm asking is if I should keep trying and find a small private firm or a judicial internship or something before I accept one of the public interest positions. FWIW, I lean left and generally agree with the causes and would probably find the work interesting, but ultimately I want at least 2 years in big law to pay the bills. I just don't want to be fucked over by Milton Friedman's devotees.


I have yet to meet a big law associate or partner who is a "real asshole Ayn Rand free market warrior type". Most people I've spoken with don't give an indication of their political leanings. The way I'm sure most of them see it is they have a client willing to pay them so they'll represent them regardless of their own feelings on the matter.

Example: A partner at a big firm in Pittsburgh who does litigation on behalf of energy companies. They often get sued because of environmental violations, and he's like "How are they getting sued for spilling explosive material when all they did was leak fracking water? Yeah, it's dirty and a violation, and they're gonna have to pay up, but they shouldn't pay for something that didn't happen."

1L should be spent doing something you think you'll enjoy, because if you're working big law, you're going to be working against your ideals because of the clients you represent, not necessarily the partners above you.

ben bernanke
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby ben bernanke » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:19 pm

I doubt that the public interest organizations you plan to work at this summer would piss future employers off. Working for public interest 1L summer is not controversial at all.

HOWEVER, your hit-it-and-quit-it attitude towards a biglaw job will probably shine through in interviews.

As long as you're not disrespectful/annoying you should be fine, but your negative attitude will not help you

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby Rock Chalk » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:31 pm

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Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TigerBeer
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby TigerBeer » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:32 pm

Thanks, guys. Maybe I'm worrying for nothing.

ben bernanke wrote:HOWEVER, your hit-it-and-quit-it attitude towards a biglaw job will probably shine through in interviews.

As long as you're not disrespectful/annoying you should be fine, but your negative attitude will not help you


You're absolutely right, but I'm curious how you got that vibe from my post. I think the only thing I said that indicates that kind of attitude is when I said I wanted "at least two years in big law to pay the bills."

I am genuinely curious because you're basically spot on in reading me yet I didn't think I revealed that much. This summer I was planning to read some McKinsey Quarterly and some of those books that are popular among MBAs to get myself familiar with the lingo and the concepts so I am definitely open to revamping my sales pitch.

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OGR3
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby OGR3 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:37 pm

TigerBeer wrote:Thanks, guys. Maybe I'm worrying for nothing.

ben bernanke wrote:HOWEVER, your hit-it-and-quit-it attitude towards a biglaw job will probably shine through in interviews.

As long as you're not disrespectful/annoying you should be fine, but your negative attitude will not help you


You're absolutely right, but I'm curious how you got that vibe from my post. I think the only thing I said that indicates that kind of attitude is when I said I wanted "at least two years in big law to pay the bills."

I am genuinely curious because you're basically spot on in reading me yet I didn't think I revealed that much. This summer I was planning to read some McKinsey Quarterly and some of those books that are popular among MBAs to get myself familiar with the lingo and the concepts so I am definitely open to revamping my sales pitch.


I doubt you need to go that in depth. Just say you'll do anything for a large paycheck and you'll fit right in.

ben bernanke
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby ben bernanke » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:43 pm

TigerBeer wrote:
I am genuinely curious because you're basically spot on in reading me yet I didn't think I revealed that much. This summer I was planning to read some McKinsey Quarterly and some of those books that are popular among MBAs to get myself familiar with the lingo and the concepts so I am definitely open to revamping my sales pitch.


You just seemed averse to big law, especially compared to your genuine interest in your summer work.

I don't think you need to read McKinsey. My advice would be to just go into it with an open mind, and even better, legitimate enthusiasm. If you see yourself working in big law for a few years, then focus on how much you can learn/develop at a law firm, and other positive aspects.

You can totally keep the option open that you might bolt in 2 years, but you don't need to make that choice until later

timbs4339
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Re: Does it really not matter what you do 1L summer?

Postby timbs4339 » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:13 pm

Most biglawyers aren't free market Ayn Rand types. If you want to stereotype, most of the ones I've met better fit the stereotype of limousine liberals. Firms give generally (both time and money) to public interest organizations and take on many public interest cases.

Really, the only job that will give you any kind of boost 1L summer is firm work. As long is a job is legal work it's adequate. The flip side of that is no job will really give you a boost over any other- you don't get more points for working for a judge vs. public interest or RA unless the person you are interviewing with just happens to have clerked for that judge or does a lot of pro bono in that area.




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