How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

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encore1101
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby encore1101 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:49 pm

whitespider wrote:Hey everyone, quick question...

I'm interested in prosecution work after graduation. I know that 1L summer work generally doesn't matter, but would it raise red flags if I accepted a legal internship at a large regional ACLU office for the summer?

It seems like interesting work and a good opportunity, but I don't want to potentially alienate any future interviewers.

Thanks for any advice!



My office (Queens), and I suspect the others, won't care. I know several ADAs, Senior ADAs (including bureau chiefs), that worked for legal aid before joining DA's office. Most of the people I know are "normal" people, not really interested in trammeling people's civil rights.

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FlanAl
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby FlanAl » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:22 pm

Apparently today is the first ever national public defender day. some good stuff under #PublicDefenderDay.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:27 pm

I just want to share a bit of encouraging news...

As a 3L, when I was convinced I was going to graduate jobless and unemployed and screwed until I took the bar exam, I mass mailed offices in my secondary preferred market. One bit, asked me to come interview, and a week after the interview I was offered a post-grad position. Never worked with the office before, no ties to that community, although great ties to the state.

So don't give up everyone!

andythefir
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby andythefir » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I just want to share a bit of encouraging news...

As a 3L, when I was convinced I was going to graduate jobless and unemployed and screwed until I took the bar exam, I mass mailed offices in my secondary preferred market. One bit, asked me to come interview, and a week after the interview I was offered a post-grad position. Never worked with the office before, no ties to that community, although great ties to the state.

So don't give up everyone!


This was my experience, as well. I recommend blind mailing every single DA's office in your state, no matter if they say they're hiring or not. If that doesn't work, apply rural mountain west. There are lots of jobs that go unfilled because no one applies.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:50 pm

So one of the big NYC offices put me in Appeals this summer. Any tips? Wasn't particularly "gunning" for the appeals bureau, unsure what to expect. I had other internships with criminal judges (one an appeals judge), which makes me think that's how I got placed.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:15 pm

PD 1L Gunner here, deadline tomorrow morning, hoping to hear from PDs or law students:

Deciding between externing at a solid PD office or doing a pretty cool clinic regarding prisons: "Students visit clients in state and federal prisons, where they interview, counsel, and develop strategies. In collaboration with nonprofit organizations and small civil rights law firms and subject to the law student intern rules, clinic students litigate issues identified by the clients."

Wish I could do both (and maybe in the future I will), but a little hesitant about turning down externship and burning a bridge. I want to end up at a PD office, so should I just do the externship? I've been told that it's good to have some varied experiences, and think the Clinic might shade my perspective/give me a different background. Would it look better to have nothing but PD offices on my resume, or will the Clinic set me apart from other applicants?

Again, I want to do both, but I can't so I'm curious to know what's going to be the best for me long term.

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CaptainLeela
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby CaptainLeela » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:PD 1L Gunner here, deadline tomorrow morning, hoping to hear from PDs or law students:

Deciding between externing at a solid PD office or doing a pretty cool clinic regarding prisons: "Students visit clients in state and federal prisons, where they interview, counsel, and develop strategies. In collaboration with nonprofit organizations and small civil rights law firms and subject to the law student intern rules, clinic students litigate issues identified by the clients."

Wish I could do both (and maybe in the future I will), but a little hesitant about turning down externship and burning a bridge. I want to end up at a PD office, so should I just do the externship? I've been told that it's good to have some varied experiences, and think the Clinic might shade my perspective/give me a different background. Would it look better to have nothing but PD offices on my resume, or will the Clinic set me apart from other applicants?

Again, I want to do both, but I can't so I'm curious to know what's going to be the best for me long term.

Can you work at this clinic during the school year or this a summer-only opportunity?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:19 pm

CaptainLeela wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:PD 1L Gunner here, deadline tomorrow morning, hoping to hear from PDs or law students:

Deciding between externing at a solid PD office or doing a pretty cool clinic regarding prisons: "Students visit clients in state and federal prisons, where they interview, counsel, and develop strategies. In collaboration with nonprofit organizations and small civil rights law firms and subject to the law student intern rules, clinic students litigate issues identified by the clients."

Wish I could do both (and maybe in the future I will), but a little hesitant about turning down externship and burning a bridge. I want to end up at a PD office, so should I just do the externship? I've been told that it's good to have some varied experiences, and think the Clinic might shade my perspective/give me a different background. Would it look better to have nothing but PD offices on my resume, or will the Clinic set me apart from other applicants?

Again, I want to do both, but I can't so I'm curious to know what's going to be the best for me long term.

Can you work at this clinic during the school year or this a summer-only opportunity?


Sorry, should have been clearer. This is all for fall. I'm going to a PD office for the summer (albeit a different one)

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CaptainLeela
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby CaptainLeela » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
CaptainLeela wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:PD 1L Gunner here, deadline tomorrow morning, hoping to hear from PDs or law students:

Deciding between externing at a solid PD office or doing a pretty cool clinic regarding prisons: "Students visit clients in state and federal prisons, where they interview, counsel, and develop strategies. In collaboration with nonprofit organizations and small civil rights law firms and subject to the law student intern rules, clinic students litigate issues identified by the clients."

Wish I could do both (and maybe in the future I will), but a little hesitant about turning down externship and burning a bridge. I want to end up at a PD office, so should I just do the externship? I've been told that it's good to have some varied experiences, and think the Clinic might shade my perspective/give me a different background. Would it look better to have nothing but PD offices on my resume, or will the Clinic set me apart from other applicants?

Again, I want to do both, but I can't so I'm curious to know what's going to be the best for me long term.

Can you work at this clinic during the school year or this a summer-only opportunity?


Sorry, should have been clearer. This is all for fall. I'm going to a PD office for the summer (albeit a different one)

Gotcha. Honestly, it sounds like you're on the right path and can't make a bad decision. Client counseling/management is a huge part of the job and what you will be asked about in 3L interviews. If you have an interest in working at the specific office in question, that should tip in their favor, obviously. I had a couple of non-traditional, but still incredibly relevant, experiences that were never a detriment. They all dealt with direct services to indigent/detained populations and gave me another set of skills & experiences to discuss. That being said, I had plenty of friends with straight PD resumes and we all ended up with similar interviews/offers. If it's possible for you to do one or the other of these experiences your spring term, I would strongly encourage that; the more practical experience you have, the more you will stand out.

Aside from that, I really don't think turning the PD office down is "burning a bridge," as long as you are professional, etc. (unless there is some other factor in play). Places I turned down as a 2L for summer positions seemed happy to interview/make offers as a 3L (same deals for friends).
Last edited by CaptainLeela on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:28 pm

Would turning down a 1l internship at the local DA's office basically eliminate any chance I have of working there after graduation. I'm not 100% what I want to do, either DA's office or a small/mid sized firm. I've got an offer at a firm that does the other field I'm interested in. I'd rather make connections there since it might lead to employment one day. But I also don't want to burn any bridges. I also feel like a job at the DA's office would be hard to get even if I spend both summer there. In the past they've just done a 10 week internship but this year they're splitting. I'm assuming this means a bunch of people applied. I don't really want to intern it it doesn't end up leading to employment.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:36 pm

CaptainLeela wrote:Gotcha. Honestly, it sounds like you're on the right path and can't make a bad decision. Client counseling/management is a huge part of the job and what you will be asked about in 3L interviews. If you have an interest in working at the specific office in question, that should tip in their favor, obviously. I had a couple of non-traditional, but still incredibly relevant, experiences that were never a detriment. They all dealt with direct services to indigent/detained populations and gave me another set of skills & experiences to discuss. That being said, I had plenty of friends with straight PD resumes and we all ended up with similar interviews/offers. If it's possible for you to do one or the other of these experiences your spring term, I would strongly encourage that; the more practical experience you have, the more you will stand out.

Aside from that, I really don't think turning the PD office down is "burning a bridge," as long as you are professional, etc. (unless there is some other factor in play). Places I turned down as a 2L for summer positions seemed happy to interview/make offers as a 3L (same deals for friends).


Thanks! This is super helpful. I don't have a special interest, but it's a competitive office. I can re-apply to extern there in the Spring, so I'm leaning towards doing the Clinic and then praying they take me again. If it's really a wash in terms of long-term prospects between going Clinic and going externship, then I'd rather do Clinic just to get a different skill set. Just wanted to pick the brains around here to see if anyone thought externship was 100% the way to go

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CaptainLeela
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby CaptainLeela » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:38 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
CaptainLeela wrote:Gotcha. Honestly, it sounds like you're on the right path and can't make a bad decision. Client counseling/management is a huge part of the job and what you will be asked about in 3L interviews. If you have an interest in working at the specific office in question, that should tip in their favor, obviously. I had a couple of non-traditional, but still incredibly relevant, experiences that were never a detriment. They all dealt with direct services to indigent/detained populations and gave me another set of skills & experiences to discuss. That being said, I had plenty of friends with straight PD resumes and we all ended up with similar interviews/offers. If it's possible for you to do one or the other of these experiences your spring term, I would strongly encourage that; the more practical experience you have, the more you will stand out.

Aside from that, I really don't think turning the PD office down is "burning a bridge," as long as you are professional, etc. (unless there is some other factor in play). Places I turned down as a 2L for summer positions seemed happy to interview/make offers as a 3L (same deals for friends).


Thanks! This is super helpful. I don't have a special interest, but it's a competitive office. I can re-apply to extern there in the Spring, so I'm leaning towards doing the Clinic and then praying they take me again. If it's really a wash in terms of long-term prospects between going Clinic and going externship, then I'd rather do Clinic just to get a different skill set. Just wanted to pick the brains around here to see if anyone thought externship was 100% the way to go

Definitely. And others may have a different opinion, don't take what I said as gospel, but I don't think one is a particularly fantastic or terrible choice in any obvious way. Good luck!

ymmv88
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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby ymmv88 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
CaptainLeela wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:PD 1L Gunner here, deadline tomorrow morning, hoping to hear from PDs or law students:

Deciding between externing at a solid PD office or doing a pretty cool clinic regarding prisons: "Students visit clients in state and federal prisons, where they interview, counsel, and develop strategies. In collaboration with nonprofit organizations and small civil rights law firms and subject to the law student intern rules, clinic students litigate issues identified by the clients."

Wish I could do both (and maybe in the future I will), but a little hesitant about turning down externship and burning a bridge. I want to end up at a PD office, so should I just do the externship? I've been told that it's good to have some varied experiences, and think the Clinic might shade my perspective/give me a different background. Would it look better to have nothing but PD offices on my resume, or will the Clinic set me apart from other applicants?

Again, I want to do both, but I can't so I'm curious to know what's going to be the best for me long term.

Can you work at this clinic during the school year or this a summer-only opportunity?


Sorry, should have been clearer. This is all for fall. I'm going to a PD office for the summer (albeit a different one)


PD here. I personally chose the clinics route and don't regret it for a second.Clinics like that are great and I did 2 in school but I don't think I would ever do one at the expense of PD office work at least as far as coming out of school as a better PD is concerned.

That said, there are like 0 PD offices in America that will look at your resume and say "Oh wow he did a summer at a PD office and prison oriented clinic" vs "Oh wow he did a summer at PD office and also externed at a PD office" for any meaningful difference. The point being just pick whichever sounds more interesting to you.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby fauxpsych » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:Would turning down a 1l internship at the local DA's office basically eliminate any chance I have of working there after graduation. I'm not 100% what I want to do, either DA's office or a small/mid sized firm. I've got an offer at a firm that does the other field I'm interested in. I'd rather make connections there since it might lead to employment one day. But I also don't want to burn any bridges. I also feel like a job at the DA's office would be hard to get even if I spend both summer there. In the past they've just done a 10 week internship but this year they're splitting. I'm assuming this means a bunch of people applied. I don't really want to intern it it doesn't end up leading to employment.


Not sure about your office particularly but as someone who just went through the NYC DA Office hiring here's my advice.

For 1L? Not burning any bridges at all. I couldn't even get a summer internship at one of those offices.

For 2L? You kinda will be. Nearly every DA candidate spends some part of their 2L year (summer or school year) at an office (once again, couldn't get a summer, but I interned during the school year). Grades do not matter remotely as much as a candidate's manifested desire to work as a prosecutor.

To answer your questions, try the other gig, see how you like it. I don't think I was certain I wanted to be a prosecutor until some time in my 2L year, and worked hard to spin a story to sell myself once the hiring process began.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:43 am

Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jul 17, 2016 12:46 pm

MyNameIsntJames wrote:Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).

0Ls aren't allowed to post questions in the legal employment forum. Feel free to re-ask in the Ask a Law Student/Grad forum.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:15 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
MyNameIsntJames wrote:Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).

0Ls aren't allowed to post questions in the legal employment forum. Feel free to re-ask in the Ask a Law Student/Grad forum.



Sorry about that man. Could you please delete my posts?

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Borhas » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:19 pm

MyNameIsntJames wrote:Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).


send me a pm I'll respond when I get a chance

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:52 am

MyNameIsntJames wrote:Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).


As a rising 2L going to GULC I would be interested in hearing responses to this as well. From what I have gathered and from my brief experience getting interviews the answer is yes: by attending a school with some national recognition you will have opportunities across the country as long as you are an appealing candidate (work experience, interest in prosecution, grades, good school, etc).

Edit to add: Obviously I am not getting interviews for post grad jobs, but I have gotten multiple interviews for summer internships in states I have never even visited that have discussed potential employment opportunities with me for post graduation. And when the question of "why this county" came up my simple answer was that my goal has always been to find the ideal job, regardless of the city. And this was 100% true. Whether I work in NYC or a small county in Denver has never been a thought for me. All I care about is landing my dream job. This didn't seem to be a problematic answer for them considering my school has national recognition and I had good grades and a proven interest in prosecution.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby andythefir » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:10 pm

MyNameIsntJames wrote:Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).


I am a rural DA in my 2nd very rural district. I'd imagine there's a sliding scale. Notre Dame, USC, Vanderbilt, and the like will get a bump compared to other applications from bad schools. Yale or Harvard would be viewed with suspicion-"what kind of flameout weirdo wants to be a DA coming out of those schools?" That said, middle of the class from USC v middle of the class from the local state law school where person has been an intern and knows the law a little bit and won't have the opportunity to jump to the USAO is a trickier proposition.

Another dynamic is jealousy/resentment among judges, defense attorneys, and even your own office. You're from rural state, went to rural state U for undergrad then to rural state U law, worked for 20 years to become chief deputy, and now this fancypants kid wants you to cut them a break? Flip side to that is with good credentials it's much easier to transition to the USAO/good firm.

Long story short: going to a good out of state law school is higher risk, higher reward.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
MyNameIsntJames wrote:Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).


As a rising 2L going to GULC I would be interested in hearing responses to this as well. From what I have gathered and from my brief experience getting interviews the answer is yes: by attending a school with some national recognition you will have opportunities across the country as long as you are an appealing candidate (work experience, interest in prosecution, grades, good school, etc).

Edit to add: Obviously I am not getting interviews for post grad jobs, but I have gotten multiple interviews for summer internships in states I have never even visited that have discussed potential employment opportunities with me for post graduation. And when the question of "why this county" came up my simple answer was that my goal has always been to find the ideal job, regardless of the city. And this was 100% true. Whether I work in NYC or a small county in Denver has never been a thought for me. All I care about is landing my dream job. This didn't seem to be a problematic answer for them considering my school has national recognition and I had good grades and a proven interest in prosecution.


I'm a PD in a large CA city. We have PD's who attended law schools all over the country, but the vast majority of those attended schools in the T1. More importantly, at least for our office, is that there is some connection to the office. Most of those who attended law school OOS did at least one summer internship with us. Very few attorneys were both OOS AND had no connections to the office.

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Re: How to be a Prosecution/PD Gunner?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
MyNameIsntJames wrote:Been studying a lot about becoming a PD & lurking these forums + looking at websites etc.,

I'm a 0L and one thing I've heard consistently is "go to school in the market you want to work", however, it seems like people are applying for PD/DA positions nationwide. Am I really restricted to these areas by school or can I attend GULC & have a legit shot @ Calif. PD jobs? (In theory assuming I'm a preferred candidate).


As a rising 2L going to GULC I would be interested in hearing responses to this as well. From what I have gathered and from my brief experience getting interviews the answer is yes: by attending a school with some national recognition you will have opportunities across the country as long as you are an appealing candidate (work experience, interest in prosecution, grades, good school, etc).

Edit to add: Obviously I am not getting interviews for post grad jobs, but I have gotten multiple interviews for summer internships in states I have never even visited that have discussed potential employment opportunities with me for post graduation. And when the question of "why this county" came up my simple answer was that my goal has always been to find the ideal job, regardless of the city. And this was 100% true. Whether I work in NYC or a small county in Denver has never been a thought for me. All I care about is landing my dream job. This didn't seem to be a problematic answer for them considering my school has national recognition and I had good grades and a proven interest in prosecution.


I'm a PD in a large CA city. We have PD's who attended law schools all over the country, but the vast majority of those attended schools in the T1. More importantly, at least for our office, is that there is some connection to the office. Most of those who attended law school OOS did at least one summer internship with us. Very few attorneys were both OOS AND had no connections to the office.


I mean this genuinely and don't mean to come off as snobby if that's how it does: Aren't you agreeing with me then? My point was that if you attend a T14 you still have a good shot at getting an internship in places that you have no connection to, and then from that connection you will have a shot at getting a job with that office. Thats why I emphasized that I am only a 2L so can only speak in terms of getting summer internships out of state, not applying cold post grad to states that I have no connection with and with offices I have never interned with.

I would never be foolish enough to think someone has a great shot of getting a job OOS and with no previous work connection there. Its definitely possible, as it has happened, but not great odds. That just seems like a natural consequence. People will always want at least some familiarity or connection to you when they hire you. But my point was simply that attending a T14, from my experience so far, gives you opportunities to interview and possibly intern with offices all over the country, thus providing a legitimate post graduate job opportunity. I don't think someone who went to a lower T1 or T2 would have much luck applying for a summer internship to a state they have no history or connection with. You just won't be competitive enough. At least that is my view.




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