No paid 1L summer gig

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non sequitur
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:46 am

No paid 1L summer gig

Postby non sequitur » Thu May 19, 2011 4:27 pm

School has been dismissed, the summer months draw ever closer, and paid 1L gigs are all but dried up. Yet I am without such a position. I am now looking to find a place at which I can volunteer time to gain some legal experience. I did put in applications throughout the Spring for unpaid positions in governmental offices (mainly "prestigious" ones), but those failed. Now it is down to cold calling.

My question is, how detrimental is it not to have an official legal position during 1L summer? If I do find a location that will allow me to spend X number of hours per week volunteering, about how much time should I put in? The reason I ask is because I am going to have to supplement the potential unpaid position with a paid non-legal position.

Are there any TLS users who were once in similar circumstances and rose above it? Or am I at the /self stage? Anecdotally, I know a gentlemen who chose not to have a summer legal gig and did nothing during his 1L summer and now works in a midsize firm, but he graduated number 1 from a T1. However, I am stuck at a TTT, top 5-10% of the class. I must suck at interviewing.

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glitter178
Posts: 771
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:21 pm

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby glitter178 » Thu May 19, 2011 4:29 pm

there are people at much, much, higher ranked schools with similar class rank and no paid 1L summer gig. it's probably less your interviewing and more a combination of your school rank + ITE

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu May 19, 2011 4:40 pm

You don't suck at interviewing; you just had a terrible strategy. You didn't apply to anything beyond the most competitive, nearly impossible to get positions for a 1L, and you didn't have any fallback plans in place for when those didn't pan out.

Nonprofit and public interest positions generally are competitive and fill up long before now, but if you look around hard enough you may find some organization around you that still has an empty desk or two. Put your legal research skills to use and track down every nonprofit or government legal services agency in your area, get the names of their hiring people, and hit them all up with a resume or application. Get this done yesterday, if not sooner.

As a fallback, check out the clinics at your law school; they usually need people to keep cases moving during the summer, when classes are out. They're probably full up already, but they might have room for you, especially if you know any professors that teach them. You can also check your school law library and any other professors you know, and see if they have any research assistant slots available.

At this point you need to take anything you can get that's even remotely legal in nature, and forget about getting paid for it. Anything will do, as long as it's something. Nothing at all looks very bad.

Total Litigator
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Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Total Litigator » Thu May 19, 2011 4:56 pm

That sucks... I would recommend walking into the legal aid office in your city and offering your services? I would think that your class rank will make you appealing, even at this late date.

non sequitur
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:46 am

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby non sequitur » Thu May 19, 2011 4:59 pm

I hope I can chalk it up to a terrible strategy. I think that could be more readily corrected than lousy interviewing skills.

Total Litigator wrote:That sucks... I would recommend walking into the legal aid office in your city and offering your services? I would think that your class rank will make you appealing, even at this late date.


How much time would you recommend putting in per week?

Anonymous User
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Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 19, 2011 5:00 pm

Total Litigator wrote:That sucks... I would recommend walking into the legal aid office in your city and offering your services? I would think that your class rank will make you appealing, even at this late date.

but even legal aid is competitive, and at least in NYC the applications were due months ago

maybe it would be a better idea to call up some shitlaw firms and offer up your free services as a summer law clerk intern? i'm sure they could use the extra office help.

Anonymous User
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Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 19, 2011 5:01 pm

non sequitur wrote:I hope I can chalk it up to a terrible strategy. I think that could be more readily corrected than lousy interviewing skills.

Total Litigator wrote:That sucks... I would recommend walking into the legal aid office in your city and offering your services? I would think that your class rank will make you appealing, even at this late date.


How much time would you recommend putting in per week?


good question... i'm not sure how many hours you would need to put in to a particular position in order to legitimately be able to claim on your resume that you worked with X legal job for Summer 2011

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu May 19, 2011 5:07 pm

non sequitur wrote:How much time would you recommend putting in per week?

All of it; and why are you asking this? Do you have something better to do?

Total Litigator
Posts: 695
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Total Litigator » Thu May 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Wait is OP at a T3 in New York?!? May God help him.

Just kidding... but only because you are top 15%. I was hoping the T3 might be in a secondary or even tertiary market where just walking into the legal aid office might be doable...

Well that's rough. I guess my only reasonable advice is that sending out applications won't work at this stage. You need to pinpoint an organization/business(es) that takes interns (not necessarily legal at this point, but obviously preferably legal), walk in and offer your services in person.

non sequitur
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:46 am

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby non sequitur » Thu May 19, 2011 5:09 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
non sequitur wrote:How much time would you recommend putting in per week?

All of it; and why are you asking this? Do you have something better to do?


Not necessarily something better. But I need to have a paid position, even if that is non-legal. So I have to find a nice balance between the two.

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu May 19, 2011 5:10 pm

Total Litigator wrote:Well that's rough. I guess my only reasonable advice is that sending out applications won't work at this stage. You need to pinpoint an organization/business(es) that takes interns (not necessarily legal at this point, but obviously preferably legal), walk in and offer your services in person.

I concur. Just walk in, sit down at a desk, and start doing stuff. Refuse to leave. Ever.

non sequitur
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:46 am

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby non sequitur » Thu May 19, 2011 5:12 pm

Total Litigator wrote:Wait is OP at a T3 in New York?!? May God help him.

Just kidding... but only because you are top 15%. I was hoping the T3 might be in a secondary or even tertiary market where just walking into the legal aid office might be doable....


My TTT is actually in a secondary market. Possibly even smaller than secondary.

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Thu May 19, 2011 5:12 pm

non sequitur wrote:Not necessarily something better. But I need to have a paid position, even if that is non-legal. So I have to find a nice balance between the two.

If you mean you have no way to pay the rent, then wait tables at night and on the weekends. Plan on spending your 9-5 doing anything you can that involves something you can sell as legal experience.

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reasonable_man
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Re: No paid 1L summer gig

Postby reasonable_man » Thu May 19, 2011 5:14 pm

At a TTT, your practical hands on experieince weighs higher than anything else when a prospective post LS employer looks at your resume. TTT life means you should be busting your ass to get as much hands on work experieince as you possibly can to make up for your lack of academic prestttige. That said, not having a job this summer (paid or unpaid), will be a huge problem for you going forward and I would do everything in your power to avoid not having some type of experience to put on your resume this summer.




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