Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

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Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:35 am

Anonymous because I'm asking about people I know. Two people I know are in BigGov summer jobs - one guy is working for a state Attorney General, another girl is working for a judge in the state supreme court. Both of them say that it's much harder to get work like this than it is to work as a SA in a Biglaw firm. True or false?

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:38 am

Absolutely false. State government might be tough right now because most states are laying people off due to budget woes, but in general these positions are certainly not as competitive as biglaw. Federal government is different, of course, and is most of the time comparably competitive to biglaw.

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:39 am

Anonymous User wrote:Absolutely false. State government might be tough right now because most states are laying people off due to budget woes, but in general these positions are certainly not as competitive as biglaw. Federal government is different, of course.


I thought so, but I wasn't sure. Working for the state Attorney General especially seemed really impressive.

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:42 am

Yeah, I'm talking about summer employment only. (In response to vanwinkle.)

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby oneforship » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:48 am

I probably wouldn't consider those positions BigGov.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:49 am

Wrote a response, realized I couldn't read, trying again.

For summer jobs, and including top state-level positions, I think it's significantly easier to get a gov job than a BigLaw job. The reason for this is that gov employers can legally have both paid and unpaid interns, and they have lots of work to go around, so they'll often take large numbers of summer interns. There's no harm to them in taking as many summer interns as they have room for, since there's little to no expectation that any of those positions will lead to a job offer, which means they're not increasing their budget by taking more on. Even those gov internships that can lead to a job offer are typically considered discretionary, as in, they have the discretion to do so but have no obligation.

With BigLaw, on the other hand, not only do they generally have to pay you because of labor laws, but there's an expectation of job offers for deserving candidates at the end of the summer. There's a certain obligation here, and especially since the recession turmoil caused bad recruiting press for some firms, a lot of firms are trying to get near-100% offer rates. That means they're constrained in the number of summer positions they can offer, since they don't want to take on a lot more interns than they're planning to hire as associates.

So, no, summer gov positions aren't too competitive overall.

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:58 am

I see, thanks for the replies. One of the reasons I was curious about this is because I am thinking I might want to work in a top state-level or federal-level government job (right now a 0L).

So if you have median grades from a good law school, that's enough to get one of these summer jobs? Well okay maybe it's not enough for federal level, but for top state-level jobs, is it usually enough to have grades at median or top 40% to get this kind of summer job?

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:02 pm

If you are talking about 2L summer, interning for a state supreme court judge is not very desirable at all. While I'm sure the judge will be somewhat selective, it has a 0% chance of turning into full time employment, which is something to avoid at all costs 2L summer. At least the AG office, or a small firm, PI org, etc, has some chance of turning into a job offer if they like you.

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I see, thanks for the replies. One of the reasons I was curious about this is because I am thinking I might want to work in a top state-level or federal-level government job (right now a 0L).

So if you have median grades from a good law school, that's enough to get one of these summer jobs? Well okay maybe it's not enough for federal level, but for top state-level jobs, is it usually enough to have grades at median or top 40% to get this kind of summer job?



Define "good law school".

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I see, thanks for the replies. One of the reasons I was curious about this is because I am thinking I might want to work in a top state-level or federal-level government job (right now a 0L).

So if you have median grades from a good law school, that's enough to get one of these summer jobs? Well okay maybe it's not enough for federal level, but for top state-level jobs, is it usually enough to have grades at median or top 40% to get this kind of summer job?



Define "good law school".


Okay...maybe not good by TLS standards, but I'm talking about a Tier 2 law school that dominates its little market.

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Re: Harder to get a BigGov summer job or a Biglaw summer job?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I see, thanks for the replies. One of the reasons I was curious about this is because I am thinking I might want to work in a top state-level or federal-level government job (right now a 0L).

So if you have median grades from a good law school, that's enough to get one of these summer jobs? Well okay maybe it's not enough for federal level, but for top state-level jobs, is it usually enough to have grades at median or top 40% to get this kind of summer job?



Define "good law school".


Okay...maybe not good by TLS standards, but I'm talking about a Tier 2 law school that dominates its little market.


Median at a T2? Probably not, but maybe if it's the only law school in the state, or the highest-ranked one (like UHawaii or Rutgers). Definitely could get some sort of clerkship with a state judge, but probably not state supreme court. Would go for the local city's law department as more likely than the state AG, depending on the city.

Bear in mind that median at a T2 has zero chance at biglaw, so being "less competitive than biglaw" doesn't say a whole lot about the prospects for state positions.




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