1L summer, Public Defenders Office v. private firm

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mikec0824
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:48 pm

1L summer, Public Defenders Office v. private firm

Postby mikec0824 » Thu May 05, 2011 9:01 pm

I currently have 3 internships lined up for my 1L summer. I plan on splitting them 6 weeks each throughout the summer. The one internship I will be doing during the second half of the summer is a private firm dealing with personal injury, labor and union rights, and criminal law which, I know I am keeping. The first half of the summer I need to pick between working for the public defenders office or for a private law firm. They are both in the area I want to practice. The private law firm deals with personal injury and labor and employment law. I have an interest in criminal law, as well as in personal injury and employment law. My goal once I graduate is to get a job at a law firm which pays the highest salary, in order to pay back the enormous debt I will be in. Although I am interested in criminal law, I do not want to end up working for the public defenders office or at any level that I will not be making a substantial salary. I have heard that working for a public defender looks good on your resume because you deal with a lot of cases and clients. However, I am worried that if I take that job it may not look as good during OCI next semester as if I would have another private firm on my resume. I attend a school in the 50-60s in rankings. If anyone has any informtion or advice on what internship would be most condusive towards my goals I would appreciate it. Thanksss.

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JamMasterJ
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: 1L summer, Public Defenders Office v. private firm

Postby JamMasterJ » Fri May 06, 2011 2:17 am

I would pick the firm because it is your best way of gaining contacts for a job that pays a bit

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leobowski
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:11 am

Re: 1L summer, Public Defenders Office v. private firm

Postby leobowski » Fri May 06, 2011 3:26 pm

Your decision should really hinge on how much the private firm pays its new associates. If big loans are a concern, a low-paying govt. job+ IBR is much preferable to a firm that doesn't pay too well. Also think about whether you have a shot at a well-paying firm job to start with (at least top 10%+LR from your school).

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mrtoren
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:43 pm

Re: 1L summer, Public Defenders Office v. private firm

Postby mrtoren » Fri May 06, 2011 11:30 pm

Look into IBR and the Public Service Loan Repayment program. Public sector lawyers are not left high and dry when it comes to paying off their debt. In fact, they're in a better position than many private sector lawyers. You make 10 years of payments based on a fixed, manageable percentage of your income; after that, the remaining balance is waived. Public employees are also entitled to exclusive benefits packages and pension plans that add many more thousands of dollars to their base salaries. I would go public defender if you like it, but I'm also bias since I plan on becoming an ASA.

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lottery
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:40 pm

Re: 1L summer, Public Defenders Office v. private firm

Postby lottery » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:52 pm

leobowski wrote:Your decision should really hinge on how much the private firm pays its new associates. If big loans are a concern, a low-paying govt. job+ IBR is much preferable to a firm that doesn't pay too well. Also think about whether you have a shot at a well-paying firm job to start with (at least top 10%+LR from your school).




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