Is small-town firm a good option for 1L summer?

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singingintherain
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:10 pm

Is small-town firm a good option for 1L summer?

Postby singingintherain » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:35 pm

In my midsized market, most firms do not hire 1Ls in the summer. I'd be willing to move for the summer to an area that does, but I don't have ties in any of those markets nor any interest in staying permanently in those cities.

I do have a connection in a small town just outside my market that could potentially lead to a 1L summer position. This job would pay - but not much. It isn't a location that I would want to pursue for the long term. It focuses on small-town litigation, while I think (before starting law school, admittedly) that I'm more interested in transactional work.

This firm tries to line up its summer interns early, so if I wanted to take advantage of my connection, I would probably have to make a commitment before first-semester grades were in, before any spring OCI activity, and before I would know whether I might have had a chance at other opportunities, paid or unpaid.

My biggest concern is whether working this type of job for 1L summer could hurt me in any way when I apply for work as a 2L or later. Would it be frowned upon that I had spent 1L summer at this type of firm?

My next biggest concern is that if I forgo this opportunity, hoping for a stronger one, I might end up with nothing. My 1L year has not yet begun; I have no idea what my grades or class rank will be.

What would you do?

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Bronx Bum
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Re: Is small-town firm a good option for 1L summer?

Postby Bronx Bum » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:40 pm

How much $$?

de5igual
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Re: Is small-town firm a good option for 1L summer?

Postby de5igual » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:41 pm

What you do 1L year doesn't really matter, so long as it's legal work. I'd snatch this opportunity up before it goes. The odds are stacked against you getting any paying 1L gig, regardless of school (unless you're at YHS)

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singingintherain
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Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:10 pm

Re: Is small-town firm a good option for 1L summer?

Postby singingintherain » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:39 pm

Bronx Bum wrote:How much $$?


More than minimum wage, but probably not much more. Likely $500 a week or less, although I wouldn't have to pay living expenses out of this since it's in the town where my family lives.

The vanishingly small number of firms in my market that do consider hiring 1Ls have listed salaries on the NALP directory that are triple this amount. However, most don't hire 1Ls at all.

I think a lot of people in this market look for unpaid government/public interest positions for 1L summer. I don't know how easy these are to find. I could aim for that, if that type of experience would be significantly more valuable to my future. All other things being equal, obviously I'd rather have a paid position, though. And I can't think of any particular connections I have that would help me get a good unpaid position.

Essentially I want to make sure that I won't be "pigeonholed" by my 1L summer work in such a way that might limit my opportunities for 2L and beyond.

elmagic
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:49 pm

Re: Is small-town firm a good option for 1L summer?

Postby elmagic » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:45 pm

singingintherain wrote:In my midsized market, most firms do not hire 1Ls in the summer. I'd be willing to move for the summer to an area that does, but I don't have ties in any of those markets nor any interest in staying permanently in those cities.

I do have a connection in a small town just outside my market that could potentially lead to a 1L summer position. This job would pay - but not much. It isn't a location that I would want to pursue for the long term. It focuses on small-town litigation, while I think (before starting law school, admittedly) that I'm more interested in transactional work.

This firm tries to line up its summer interns early, so if I wanted to take advantage of my connection, I would probably have to make a commitment before first-semester grades were in, before any spring OCI activity, and before I would know whether I might have had a chance at other opportunities, paid or unpaid.

My biggest concern is whether working this type of job for 1L summer could hurt me in any way when I apply for work as a 2L or later. Would it be frowned upon that I had spent 1L summer at this type of firm?

My next biggest concern is that if I forgo this opportunity, hoping for a stronger one, I might end up with nothing. My 1L year has not yet begun; I have no idea what my grades or class rank will be.

What would you do?


My honest opinion? I'd worry about that come November. In the meantime I'd focus on enjoying your summer, and then doing really well in law school. The best advice I received the summer before law school was to worry about law school and law school related things when you are in law school. It's good putting things in perspective, because I know I was anxious and excited to start law school, but you have to realize once you start, you are likely to spend the next 30+ years worrying about the law.





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