SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

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International SA or Public Defending

SA
25
63%
Public Defending
15
38%
 
Total votes: 40

Anonymous User
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SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 03, 2011 7:03 pm

I've been given an offer to work for the China's number-one law firm this summer (Wachtell's sister firm). I will be the first American intern to work for them ever. It would be pretty awesome to be on the other side of Chinese international work, network with Chinese business leaders, and be one of the only white guys who get to even see the inside of Chinese-domestic legal work. I also am fluent in Chinese so this makes sense.

This was all great until my wife and I discovered our young child was having some serious neurological/developmental problems. Therefore, my family will not be able to come with me to China and I will miss them incredibly.

I just hustled a possible opportunity to work for a public defender's office in Texas. I think doing public interest work would be awesome, meaningful, and allow me to build up my legal research and writing skills. Plus I get to hang out with my family.

More info:

I am a CCN student, have some good previous work experience internationally, really really want to work in Texas after graduation (probably big law), and currently have no Texas ties. Money isn't an issue this summer either way.

Which should I choose?

jkay
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby jkay » Tue May 03, 2011 7:15 pm

Stay close to your family. It sounds like they need you.

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 03, 2011 11:18 pm

Sounds like a no-brainer to me: it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it's going to be for the summer only. You have the rest of eternity to spend with your family.

I myself don't have the credentials for that type of international opportunity, but I would go for the SA thing in China in a heartbeat if circumstances afforded me an opportunity like this.

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 03, 2011 11:27 pm

Do a decision tree based on whether the development issue turns out to be serious or not. IMO, it comes out with you going to China (but admittedly assumes that work in China can lead to Texas Big Law).

I hope it works out well for you.

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Veyron
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Veyron » Tue May 03, 2011 11:27 pm

How are you going to convince Texas firms that you want to be there if you have no ties and haven't even SUMMERED in Texas?

UCLAtransfer
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Wed May 04, 2011 11:58 am

Veyron wrote:How are you going to convince Texas firms that you want to be there if you have no ties and haven't even SUMMERED in Texas?


+1

If this was some other market it might not be as big of a deal, but with absolutely no ties I think you might have trouble landing a SA in TX. Obviously the China job is huge, but you gotta weigh how much you actually want to end up in TX. If you are pretty set on TX long term, you gotta give yourself the best shot of getting there, despite the awesome short-term opportunity in China.

random5483
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby random5483 » Wed May 04, 2011 12:03 pm

UCLAtransfer wrote:
Veyron wrote:How are you going to convince Texas firms that you want to be there if you have no ties and haven't even SUMMERED in Texas?


+1

If this was some other market it might not be as big of a deal, but with absolutely no ties I think you might have trouble landing a SA in TX. Obviously the China job is huge, but you gotta weigh how much you actually want to end up in TX. If you are pretty set on TX long term, you gotta give yourself the best shot of getting there, despite the awesome short-term opportunity in China.



The ties question is definitely important, but I would still lean towards the China position since it is an awesome opportunity. However, family is more important and given your son's condition, it might be preferrable if you stay close. Not really sure how to weigh this since I don't know your familiy situation.

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McBean
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby McBean » Wed May 04, 2011 1:20 pm

I don't understand. These two opportunities could not be more different in terms of substantive work. What would you rather do, work in a large corporate office, or work in a public defender's office? That should be your starting point.

If somehow you don't have a preference, then start considering other aspects. But unless there is something special about TX, no connections won't kill you since you go to school there. I go to school in Boston, have a biglaw SA in Boston, and I have absolutely no connections in Boston.

It would be different if you were doing an SA at home, where ever that is, and then decided to start interviewing in TX. They might doubt your commitment to TX. But you're going to China for Christ sakes. You speak fluent Chinese. They will forget all about TX when you start telling them about your China experience and what you could bring to the firm because of it.

And what will you say if they found out that you turned down the China equivalent of Wachtell to work in a PD's office? That you're more interested in PD work, but need money?

Look dude, if you want to do bigfirm, go to China. If you want to do public defense, do that. Yes, if you go to China, your family will miss you. But what happens if you miss out on BigLaw. Are you going to wonder all the time about that China opportunity you turned down? I'm sure your family would rather have you gone for a month, and then happy in your career, then keep you here for the summer, only to be unhappy for the remainder of your career.

Also, money may not be an issue now, but it will be.

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 2:55 pm

Thanks for the input guys.

To make it clear, I go to school at Columbia or Chicago and have no Texas ties AT ALL. My wife and I think that Texas would be a great place to raise a family with 5+ kids in a socially stable environment, be able to afford a big house, live nearer to my wife's family.

I think it would be pretty rude to basically abandon my wife for the summer when our son will need my help currently.

Something else that throws a wrench into it is I have corresponded with 100 or so Biglaw partners in Texas hoping to get to know more about their firms and split this summer. This didn't work out because 1L splits do not exist, but most seem to love the experience with the Chinese firm and are really interested in me now. I think now that my situation has changed, it might be more awkward to say "remember that experience that made me so interesting... well I didn't end up doing it."

I wonder if splitting 4 weeks/ 5 weeks between the two might be the best. This might make each experience less meaningful, but will give me a bite of both apples while allowing me to stay with my family for all but 5 weeks this summer.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed May 04, 2011 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lakerfanimal
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby lakerfanimal » Wed May 04, 2011 3:00 pm

I might be in the minority here, but I think you should stay with your kid. If you were able to land an opportunity like the one you landed, I'm guessing you have incredibly high grades and have the personality to match. If you go live in Texas this summer, and parlay that into, "My family and I really want to live in texas and took the time to live there for a summer to see how it fits us and we love it" that could help you going into OCI in the fall. Good luck either way, and I hope things turn out better for your kid.

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Veyron
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Veyron » Wed May 04, 2011 3:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the input guys.

To make it clear, I go to school at Columbia or Chicago and have no Texas ties AT ALL. My wife and I think that Texas would be a great place to raise a family with 5+ kids in a socially stable environment, be able to afford a big house, live nearer to my wife's family.

I think it would be pretty rude to basically abandon my wife for the summer when our son will need my help currently.

Something else that throws a wrench into it is I have corresponded with 100 or so Biglaw partners in Texas hoping to get to know more about their firms and split this summer. This didn't work out because 1L splits do not exist, but most seem to love the experience with the Chinese firm and are really interested in me now. I think now that my situation has changed, it might be more awkward to say "remember that experience that made me so interesting... well I didn't end up doing it."

I wonder if splitting 4 weeks/ 5 weeks between the two might be the best. This might make each experience less meaningful, but will give me a bite of both apples while allowing me to stay with my family for all but 5 weeks this summer.


Ummmmm, Texas has tons of 1L SA splits. All of my sectionmates that I know of who are 1L SAing in Texas are splitting.'

EDIT: I don't know why people are assuming that firms will care that OP will be doing PI. PI in Texas >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Firm in China as far as firms in Texas are concerned.
Last edited by Veyron on Wed May 04, 2011 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rose711
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby rose711 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:45 pm

I don't think turning down China when you have a seriously ill child at home is going to ruin your career. I think that you should see what your wife supports. If she is willing to do without you while you are in China, then go for it; if she is going to need you here, you should stay.

I think you might be able to find something besides the PD offer that is more in line with the type of work you would be doing in China. If you were good enough to get that job, maybe there is a firm who can squeeze one more person into the class?

These jobs are so different that it is difficult to know what sort of future you are looking for, but as the PD job is your fall-back choice, if you stay here, you should try to find something more like the job in China.

Sup Kid
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Sup Kid » Wed May 04, 2011 5:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I wonder if splitting 4 weeks/ 5 weeks between the two might be the best. This might make each experience less meaningful, but will give me a bite of both apples while allowing me to stay with my family for all but 5 weeks this summer.

Definitely split if you can. Gives you experience in China, a tie to Texas, and more time with your family. Best of everything.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Wed May 04, 2011 5:15 pm

UCLAtransfer wrote:
Veyron wrote:How are you going to convince Texas firms that you want to be there if you have no ties and haven't even SUMMERED in Texas?


+1

If this was some other market it might not be as big of a deal, but with absolutely no ties I think you might have trouble landing a SA in TX. Obviously the China job is huge, but you gotta weigh how much you actually want to end up in TX. If you are pretty set on TX long term, you gotta give yourself the best shot of getting there, despite the awesome short-term opportunity in China.

Ties to TX are overrated. Just be sincere when you are interviewing and if you are the caliber of student/person they want, you'll get an offer. The interviewers are great at sensing BS, so if you truly want TX, you can get it if you have the credentials.


OP, no one can really answer this but you. It sounds like China would be an awesome experience, but your family is more important, IMO. Do what you think is right for your family in the long run.

timbs4339
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby timbs4339 » Wed May 04, 2011 6:10 pm

I think you should spend a summer in Texas. While the China job sounds exciting and more relevant to what you'd be doing as a biglaw SA than PD work, it sounds like this is a pivotal time in your child's development.

If you go to CCN, and have great grades and work experience, and have worked in Texas for 1L summer, I don't see the fact that you turned down this opportunity hurting you in next year's OCI. It actually speaks to your character and maturity and I think a lot of biglaw partners would be impressed, if they even cared at all.

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Stringer Bell
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Stringer Bell » Wed May 04, 2011 6:59 pm

McBean wrote:And what will you say if they found out that you turned down the China equivalent of Wachtell to work in a PD's office? That you're more interested in PD work, but need money?



Why would they find out about that?

BeenDidThat
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed May 04, 2011 7:06 pm

If you can move your family to Texas from Chicago or NYC, why can't you move them to China with you?

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 7:12 pm

is this 君合 or 大成? if so, it's not that big of a deal and calling it the "sister of wachtell" is extremely misleading, even moreso if you're not being paid at NY market rate. Sorry to hear about your child. That sounds like a horrible thing for a parent to endure.

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 7:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:is this 君合 or 大成? if so, it's not that big of a deal and calling it the "sister of wachtell" is extremely misleading, even moreso if you're not being paid at NY market rate. Sorry to hear about your child. That sounds like a horrible thing for a parent to endure.


金杜。你觉得呢?

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 7:50 pm

BeenDidThat wrote:If you can move your family to Texas from Chicago or NYC, why can't you move them to China with you?


Well, my wife would not want to step outside the apartment because she doesn't speak Chinese, and I wont be able to take my son to a therapist.

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 7:52 pm

.

Anonymous User
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 04, 2011 8:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:do you want to have this conversation publicly? You will be stuck reviewing outgoing emails for grammar mistakes.


Is that just some type of kind observation?? If not, email me at my email or at 7.4.1776a@gmail.com

BeenDidThat
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Re: SA with top international firm or Public defender 1L Summer?

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed May 04, 2011 9:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:If you can move your family to Texas from Chicago or NYC, why can't you move them to China with you?


Well, my wife would not want to step outside the apartment because she doesn't speak Chinese, and I wont be able to take my son to a therapist.


The reason I bring this up is, depending on where you are in China, you may be able to get top of the line help for your son. Especially with firm $. And while it would probably still be a hardship for your wife, is that hardship worth turning down the opportunity?

It'd be good to be in Texas this summer if you want to be there long-term, but I would look beyond the immediate $ with the firm job for the doors it might open for you down the road. China is big business and if you show a real reason to want Texas in the future, I would imagine some Chinese connections would be welcome in firms in Texas.

I fully understand, and commend, you for wanting to look out for your family, but raking in the money could help your whole family down the road and the firm job may give you a better shot at big money than would public service type work.




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