SEC

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SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:42 pm

Do interns in the Summer Honors Program have an edge over interns in the Observer Program for jobs?

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:01 pm

Just finished an internship in the Summer Honors Program. I think the answer is that is entirely a moot point. The SEC isn't hiring any new attorneys right now. None. Their hiring goes in spurts and right now their budget is frozen. During the internship many higher ups told us that they wouldn't be hiring.

In the past they typically have had an Advanced Commit Program where they hire people out of law school (very few), otherwise most of their hiring is from people with 3-8 years of firm experience. Most attorneys I talked to said that that is a better route to go since the SEC doesn't have any training and its hard to just start out practicing there without litigation experience. All of the attorneys in my division (except for one) had private firm experience before coming to the SEC.

I do think the internships there can[i][/i] be very valuable in terms of increasing your chances of getting hired at the SEC if you are serious about making connections with people and networking. When you apply down the road, you have a lot of connections who can help you get through the process. If they know/have experience with you, you are definitely at an advantage. In this regard, I don't think there would be a big difference between the summer program and the observer program. Most students in the summer program didn't really seem that interested/dedicated to doing this, but for those who do, I think it can set up great future career opportunities.

But don't do the internship expecting a job out of law school. Because it just isn't going to happen--for anyone.

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:54 pm

thanks...but when they do start hiring, do you think doing the observer program looks not as good as summer honors? i did not get into the summer honors program but will be interning in the fall through the observer program and was wondering if that was not looked at as highly.

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vanwinkle
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Re: SEC

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:59 pm

What you said:
Anonymous User wrote:thanks...but when they do start hiring, do you think doing the observer program looks not as good as summer honors? i did not get into the summer honors program but will be interning in the fall through the observer program and was wondering if that was not looked at as highly.


What I read:
Anonymous User wrote:I get that there's no space program right now. But when NASA does start launching people into space again, do you think joining the Coast Guard looks not as good as joining the Navy? The Navy already rejected me but I still have a chance of becoming a Coast Guard pilot, and I wonder if the Coast Guard isn't as good for becoming an astronaut.

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Re: SEC

Postby Army2Law » Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:12 pm

vanwinkle wrote:What you said:
Anonymous User wrote:thanks...but when they do start hiring, do you think doing the observer program looks not as good as summer honors? i did not get into the summer honors program but will be interning in the fall through the observer program and was wondering if that was not looked at as highly.


What I read:
Anonymous User wrote:I get that there's no space program right now. But when NASA does start launching people into space again, do you think joining the Coast Guard looks not as good as joining the Navy? The Navy already rejected me but I still have a chance of becoming a Coast Guard pilot, and I wonder if the Coast Guard isn't as good for becoming an astronaut.


Haha, awesome.

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:27 pm

vanwinkle wrote:What you said:
Anonymous User wrote:thanks...but when they do start hiring, do you think doing the observer program looks not as good as summer honors? i did not get into the summer honors program but will be interning in the fall through the observer program and was wondering if that was not looked at as highly.


What I read:
Anonymous User wrote:I get that there's no space program right now. But when NASA does start launching people into space again, do you think joining the Coast Guard looks not as good as joining the Navy? The Navy already rejected me but I still have a chance of becoming a Coast Guard pilot, and I wonder if the Coast Guard isn't as good for becoming an astronaut.


mwahahah so evil, yet so amazing.

I got into the law student observer program with one of the SEC's offices. I've talked to some people, and feel now that it has no bearing on anything i wanna do. Biglaw dont curr. The SEC, DOJ, and most anyone else in the federal government just isn't hiring right now either. Sooo.... I don't know what I'll be building career-wise by actually accepting the position. Thus, I'm not gonna.

We can discuss this if you want. I'm actually interested what your reasons for doing the program are, and am amenable to being convinced that I'm wrong in deciding to go to normal school rather than being an observer.

to avoid confusion, I'm signing this anon poster #2.

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:18 pm

I got into the law student observer program with one of the SEC's offices. I've talked to some people, and feel now that it has no bearing on anything i wanna do. Biglaw dont curr. The SEC, DOJ, and most anyone else in the federal government just isn't hiring right now either. Sooo.... I don't know what I'll be building career-wise by actually accepting the position. Thus, I'm not gonna.


I don't share your perspective on careers. Agreed that big law doesn't care and that SEC, DOJ, etc. aren't hiring. In a narrow sense of getting a position after law school, I agree--it probably won't lead to a position. But in terms of not knowing "what [you'll] be building career-wise"--that is always the case when you are going to be making career decisions. You can't plan out your career step by step. If you go there you have a chance to a) get good practical experience on interesting work and b) make connections with attorneys who might be able to help you down the road (etc.). Frankly I think law school is pretty useless so spending time interning at the SEC would be a lot better in my view than taking more law classes. The more ambitious SEC interns that I knew there had a great experience and got to do some awesome stuff.

To answer your earlier question, from what I saw, I don't think the SEC attorneys really differentiated much between summer interns and academic year interns.

- Summer Law Honors Intern

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:53 pm

thanks for actually giving me a helpful response. that's surprising there is no differentiation given how hard the honors program is to get into but i guess good for me.

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just finished an internship in the Summer Honors Program. I think the answer is that is entirely a moot point. The SEC isn't hiring any new attorneys right now. None. Their hiring goes in spurts and right now their budget is frozen. During the internship many higher ups told us that they wouldn't be hiring.

In the past they typically have had an Advanced Commit Program where they hire people out of law school (very few), otherwise most of their hiring is from people with 3-8 years of firm experience. Most attorneys I talked to said that that is a better route to go since the SEC doesn't have any training and its hard to just start out practicing there without litigation experience. All of the attorneys in my division (except for one) had private firm experience before coming to the SEC.

I do think the internships there can[i][/i] be very valuable in terms of increasing your chances of getting hired at the SEC if you are serious about making connections with people and networking. When you apply down the road, you have a lot of connections who can help you get through the process. If they know/have experience with you, you are definitely at an advantage. In this regard, I don't think there would be a big difference between the summer program and the observer program. Most students in the summer program didn't really seem that interested/dedicated to doing this, but for those who do, I think it can set up great future career opportunities.

But don't do the internship expecting a job out of law school. Because it just isn't going to happen--for anyone.


I was there this summer too and agree, this response is credited. But yes, they're not hiring now. However, if you're a 3L, you're not going to know if you pass the bar until Thanksgiving (?) of next year. I have no optimism left in me, but a lot can change in 16 months. I'd honestly just be glad we didn't just graduate now.

Second, why would big law necessarily not care? Obviously, nothing is going to fall into your lap, but I wouldn't rule everything out.

I could be completely wrong on all of this. Just my thoughts.

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Re: SEC

Postby pebbledpath » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:26 pm

Hey

I just read all your comments, pretty useful!

I was wondering, how the observer program actually is? Was it interesting work? Did you think u gained something after? And is there a possibility of extending it after the 10 week period? Also, what abt the interview stage? Is it just a formality or was it a tough qualifying round?

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:22 pm

pebbledpath wrote:Hey

I just read all your comments, pretty useful!

I was wondering, how the observer program actually is? Was it interesting work? Did you think u gained something after? And is there a possibility of extending it after the 10 week period? Also, what abt the interview stage? Is it just a formality or was it a tough qualifying round?


Different OP:

Experience depends on which unit you get assigned to. Some are really good, other ones are bad. I have a friend who is in the program and all he does is citation checks. While others are helping out with depos and writing briefs.

Yes, you can extend it after 10 weeks. The SEC just recently expanded the program to 100 students. They said that last year they used to have 50-60 students. With a budget freeze at the SEC, I think the free labour is hard for the SEC to turn down.
I think most people who wanted the position got it. I have a friend who didn't get it but he was in the bottom 25% of his class at a T50.

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Re: SEC

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pebbledpath wrote:Yes, you can extend it after 10 weeks. The SEC just recently expanded the program to 100 students. They said that last year they used to have 50-60 students. With a budget freeze at the SEC, I think the free labour is hard for the SEC to turn down.
I think most people who wanted the position got it. I have a friend who didn't get it but he was in the bottom 25% of his class at a T50.


This is what, the fourth or fifth SEC-themed thread this year? Are law students completely incapable of pattern recognition outside of a casebook? In the past, before Cox was chairman, say around 2001, the SEC was a great place to spend a summer or intern. Interns got paid sometimes, there was the promise of hiring into the advance commitment program (AC), and the agency was funded well-enough that it could devote resources to making sure interns had a good summer. Also, even if you didn't want to do AC, 3L OCI still existed and there was always work as an i-banker in NY. Then the SEC cut funding, for the summer program, AC, and in general. Also, i-banking disappeared. Oh and without a funded summer program, firms figured out that the ONLY reason a 2L would work at the SEC was because they somehow failed to get a firm, so even if 3L OCI still existed (which is doesn't), the indicia of quality is gone. Plus, the SEC figured out that with a general funding cut, it could gorge itself on free interns, both in the summer honors program and law observer program, and have them do the sort of grunt work the commission could no longer afford to do. So, now, there is a massive pool of people with "SEC Intern" on their resume who firms can spot a mile away as having some trait that precluded them from getting a firm job in the past. Plus, if a firm will actually interview you, the odds are against you having done whatever the firm does during your internship (IM/TM are tiny, yet they correspond with the massive mutual fund/broke-dealer firm practices).

For some reason people ignore the other federal financial agencies because they don't seem as relevant to "Wall Street law." If there was one thread on the FDIC/CFPB this year, I would be shocked. I don't think there were any threads on the OCC, Treasury, FINRA/NFA, FinCen, or the Federal Reserve (let alone the Fed Regions or something really exotic like the Farm Credit System Insurance Corp, the Farm Credit Administration or the Office of Finance of the FHLBs). OCC, FDIC, Fed, and I believe FINRA all pay. Treasury and CFPB don't pay and I don't believe FinCen pays. OCC, FDIC, CFPB and the Fed all hire 3Ls and while they are ultra-competitive, interning there is a big boost. Oh, and firms know that the FDIC hires 3-6/500 people for its paid summer program, so they can ascribe some indicia of quality to an FDIC intern.

The CFTC is as screwed SEC as far as interns go and I understand the FHFA is in a similar boat, but I can't figure out why people are pounding down the door at the SEC to be part of a huge, undifferentiated pool that includes people in the bottom quarter of a T50, when they can sometimes score paid or unpaid work at these other agencies that carry better street cred. Are law students completely incapable of recognizing that hiring patterns have changed and that 2012 is not 2002? For a 1L the SEC is probably fine because it's legal and no one cares what you do. And if you go to a DC-area law school or are near a regional office and can't find any other internships during the semester, it might also be ok. By why someone would pick the SEC as their focal point for a 2L summer position or a "Study in DC Semester" program with the goal of polishing their resume or trying to help them get into a firm is completely beyond me. Besides myself, no one I know who has interned at the SEC or CFTC (about 20 people) has leveraged it into a big firm or gov't financial job. Meanwhile, nearly everyone I know who has done an FDIC or Treasury internship is in good shape.

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:33 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
pebbledpath wrote:Yes, you can extend it after 10 weeks. The SEC just recently expanded the program to 100 students. They said that last year they used to have 50-60 students. With a budget freeze at the SEC, I think the free labour is hard for the SEC to turn down.
I think most people who wanted the position got it. I have a friend who didn't get it but he was in the bottom 25% of his class at a T50.


This is what, the fourth or fifth SEC-themed thread this year? Are law students completely incapable of pattern recognition outside of a casebook? In the past, before Cox was chairman, say around 2001, the SEC was a great place to spend a summer or intern. Interns got paid sometimes, there was the promise of hiring into the advance commitment program (AC), and the agency was funded well-enough that it could devote resources to making sure interns had a good summer. Also, even if you didn't want to do AC, 3L OCI still existed and there was always work as an i-banker in NY. Then the SEC cut funding, for the summer program, AC, and in general. Also, i-banking disappeared. Oh and without a funded summer program, firms figured out that the ONLY reason a 2L would work at the SEC was because they somehow failed to get a firm, so even if 3L OCI still existed (which is doesn't), the indicia of quality is gone. Plus, the SEC figured out that with a general funding cut, it could gorge itself on free interns, both in the summer honors program and law observer program, and have them do the sort of grunt work the commission could no longer afford to do. So, now, there is a massive pool of people with "SEC Intern" on their resume who firms can spot a mile away as having some trait that precluded them from getting a firm job in the past. Plus, if a firm will actually interview you, the odds are against you having done whatever the firm does during your internship (IM/TM are tiny, yet they correspond with the massive mutual fund/broke-dealer firm practices).

For some reason people ignore the other federal financial agencies because they don't seem as relevant to "Wall Street law." If there was one thread on the FDIC/CFPB this year, I would be shocked. I don't think there were any threads on the OCC, Treasury, FINRA/NFA, FinCen, or the Federal Reserve (let alone the Fed Regions or something really exotic like the Farm Credit System Insurance Corp, the Farm Credit Administration or the Office of Finance of the FHLBs). OCC, FDIC, Fed, and I believe FINRA all pay. Treasury and CFPB don't pay and I don't believe FinCen pays. OCC, FDIC, CFPB and the Fed all hire 3Ls and while they are ultra-competitive, interning there is a big boost. Oh, and firms know that the FDIC hires 3-6/500 people for its paid summer program, so they can ascribe some indicia of quality to an FDIC intern.

The CFTC is as screwed SEC as far as interns go and I understand the FHFA is in a similar boat, but I can't figure out why people are pounding down the door at the SEC to be part of a huge, undifferentiated pool that includes people in the bottom quarter of a T50, when they can sometimes score paid or unpaid work at these other agencies that carry better street cred. Are law students completely incapable of recognizing that hiring patterns have changed and that 2012 is not 2002? For a 1L the SEC is probably fine because it's legal and no one cares what you do. And if you go to a DC-area law school or are near a regional office and can't find any other internships during the semester, it might also be ok. By why someone would pick the SEC as their focal point for a 2L summer position or a "Study in DC Semester" program with the goal of polishing their resume or trying to help them get into a firm is completely beyond me. Besides myself, no one I know who has interned at the SEC or CFTC (about 20 people) has leveraged it into a big firm or gov't financial job. Meanwhile, nearly everyone I know who has done an FDIC or Treasury internship is in good shape.[/quote]

I am currently externing at the SEC and I can tell you that in the past couple years only like 2-3 people got into the SEC program outside of the advance commitment program. I am currently working with several lawyers who got into the SEC via the "backdoor" method (aka semester or summer non paid interns) in the early to mid 2000s.

There are basically no GULC JD students in the program. Most of the kids in the program are from GULC LLM, American, GW, Catholic and George Mason.

I think the FDIC and Treasury internship is harder to get into?

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Re: SEC

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I am currently externing at the SEC and I can tell you that in the past couple years only like 2-3 people got into the SEC program outside of the advance commitment program. I am currently working with several lawyers who got into the SEC via the "backdoor" method (aka semester or summer non paid interns) in the early to mid 2000s.

There are basically no GULC JD students in the program. Most of the kids in the program are from GULC LLM, American, GW, Catholic and George Mason.

I think the FDIC and Treasury internship is harder to get into?


Yes, those internships are harder to get, but for some reason, people focus on getting the easy ones at the SEC that won't help them over reaching out to the harder ones or ones not listed in the Arizona Guide. I have a poor GPA and had several paid federal employers mention in the course of the interview that I was the first person from my T14/only person that year to apply to them. One said the reason they paid so well was because that was the only way they could find people. One I turned down called me in May asking if I knew five fellow 2Ls looking for paid work because they hadn't had anyone apply besides me. It's staggering the effect the Arizona Guide has on generating tons of SEC apps for unpaid positions when there are internships in financial and consumer protection agencies going unfilled because no one can crack open the federal directory and cold call random HR people.

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Re: SEC

Postby Whatisthis » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:31 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently externing at the SEC and I can tell you that in the past couple years only like 2-3 people got into the SEC program outside of the advance commitment program. I am currently working with several lawyers who got into the SEC via the "backdoor" method (aka semester or summer non paid interns) in the early to mid 2000s.

There are basically no GULC JD students in the program. Most of the kids in the program are from GULC LLM, American, GW, Catholic and George Mason.

I think the FDIC and Treasury internship is harder to get into?


Yes, those internships are harder to get, but for some reason, people focus on getting the easy ones at the SEC that won't help them over reaching out to the harder ones or ones not listed in the Arizona Guide. I have a poor GPA and had several paid federal employers mention in the course of the interview that I was the first person from my T14/only person that year to apply to them. One said the reason they paid so well was because that was the only way they could find people. One I turned down called me in May asking if I knew five fellow 2Ls looking for paid work because they hadn't had anyone apply besides me. It's staggering the effect the Arizona Guide has on generating tons of SEC apps for unpaid positions when there are internships in financial and consumer protection agencies going unfilled because no one can crack open the federal directory and cold call random HR people.



Wait, so these "harder to get" paying internships have trouble filling their internship class while the SEC turns down folks for unpaid work? That seems odd. Also, if the SEC doesn't hire folks and it apparently doesn't help with one's resume, then what are the 2Ls in the summer program doing? Just curious as I am thinking about making a go at fed gov work after graduation. Thanks!

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Re: SEC

Postby LawIdiot86 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:41 pm

Whatisthis wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I am currently externing at the SEC and I can tell you that in the past couple years only like 2-3 people got into the SEC program outside of the advance commitment program. I am currently working with several lawyers who got into the SEC via the "backdoor" method (aka semester or summer non paid interns) in the early to mid 2000s.

There are basically no GULC JD students in the program. Most of the kids in the program are from GULC LLM, American, GW, Catholic and George Mason.

I think the FDIC and Treasury internship is harder to get into?


Yes, those internships are harder to get, but for some reason, people focus on getting the easy ones at the SEC that won't help them over reaching out to the harder ones or ones not listed in the Arizona Guide. I have a poor GPA and had several paid federal employers mention in the course of the interview that I was the first person from my T14/only person that year to apply to them. One said the reason they paid so well was because that was the only way they could find people. One I turned down called me in May asking if I knew five fellow 2Ls looking for paid work because they hadn't had anyone apply besides me. It's staggering the effect the Arizona Guide has on generating tons of SEC apps for unpaid positions when there are internships in financial and consumer protection agencies going unfilled because no one can crack open the federal directory and cold call random HR people.



Wait, so these "harder to get" paying internships have trouble filling their internship class while the SEC turns down folks for unpaid work? That seems odd. Also, if the SEC doesn't hire folks and it apparently doesn't help with one's resume, then what are the 2Ls in the summer program doing? Just curious as I am thinking about making a go at fed gov work after graduation. Thanks!


Eh, I wasn't clear. The fed jobs in Arizona (FDIC, CFPB, FedGov, Treas/OCC) can be harder and better than the SEC, but there are other HR units of those agencies that hire and don't list in Arizona (FDIC-PLU, Treasury-FMS/PD/OIG/Mint/OFAC, Fed-Richmond/New York/Cleveland, CPSB) that pay and can't find people to work at them. And all of these places have far fewer people applying then the SEC because they don't have the same popular name recognition that the SEC has. I have no idea what the 2Ls are doing in the SEC summer program. Maybe they applied to all of the other places and didn't get it. Maybe they didn't bother finding non-Arizona places. Maybe their OCS hasn't caught on the SEC is a dead end. But then again, we are a group of the population who entered 40K/yr law school, in a recession, knowing our odds of employment were laughable.

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Re: SEC

Postby Whatisthis » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:56 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:Eh, I wasn't clear. The fed jobs in Arizona (FDIC, CFPB, FedGov, Treas/OCC) can be harder, but there are other HR units of those agencies that hire and don't list in Arizona (FDIC-PLU, Treasury-FMS/PD/OIG/Mint/OFAC, Fed-Richmond/New York/Cleveland, CPSB) and pay and can't find people to work at them. And all of these places have far fewer people applying then the SEC because they don't have the same popular name recognition that the SEC has. I have no idea what the 2Ls are doing in the SEC summer program. Maybe they applied to all of the other places and didn't get it. Maybe they didn't bother finding non-Arizona places. Maybe their OCS hasn't caught on the SEC is a dead end. But then again, we are a group of the population who entered 40K/yr law school, in a recession, knowing our odds of employment were laughable.


Thanks.
Last edited by Whatisthis on Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
pebbledpath wrote:Yes, you can extend it after 10 weeks. The SEC just recently expanded the program to 100 students. They said that last year they used to have 50-60 students. With a budget freeze at the SEC, I think the free labour is hard for the SEC to turn down.
I think most people who wanted the position got it. I have a friend who didn't get it but he was in the bottom 25% of his class at a T50.


This is what, the fourth or fifth SEC-themed thread this year? Are law students completely incapable of pattern recognition outside of a casebook? In the past, before Cox was chairman, say around 2001, the SEC was a great place to spend a summer or intern. Interns got paid sometimes, there was the promise of hiring into the advance commitment program (AC), and the agency was funded well-enough that it could devote resources to making sure interns had a good summer. Also, even if you didn't want to do AC, 3L OCI still existed and there was always work as an i-banker in NY. Then the SEC cut funding, for the summer program, AC, and in general. Also, i-banking disappeared. Oh and without a funded summer program, firms figured out that the ONLY reason a 2L would work at the SEC was because they somehow failed to get a firm, so even if 3L OCI still existed (which is doesn't), the indicia of quality is gone. Plus, the SEC figured out that with a general funding cut, it could gorge itself on free interns, both in the summer honors program and law observer program, and have them do the sort of grunt work the commission could no longer afford to do. So, now, there is a massive pool of people with "SEC Intern" on their resume who firms can spot a mile away as having some trait that precluded them from getting a firm job in the past. Plus, if a firm will actually interview you, the odds are against you having done whatever the firm does during your internship (IM/TM are tiny, yet they correspond with the massive mutual fund/broke-dealer firm practices).

For some reason people ignore the other federal financial agencies because they don't seem as relevant to "Wall Street law." If there was one thread on the FDIC/CFPB this year, I would be shocked. I don't think there were any threads on the OCC, Treasury, FINRA/NFA, FinCen, or the Federal Reserve (let alone the Fed Regions or something really exotic like the Farm Credit System Insurance Corp, the Farm Credit Administration or the Office of Finance of the FHLBs). OCC, FDIC, Fed, and I believe FINRA all pay. Treasury and CFPB don't pay and I don't believe FinCen pays. OCC, FDIC, CFPB and the Fed all hire 3Ls and while they are ultra-competitive, interning there is a big boost. Oh, and firms know that the FDIC hires 3-6/500 people for its paid summer program, so they can ascribe some indicia of quality to an FDIC intern.

The CFTC is as screwed SEC as far as interns go and I understand the FHFA is in a similar boat, but I can't figure out why people are pounding down the door at the SEC to be part of a huge, undifferentiated pool that includes people in the bottom quarter of a T50, when they can sometimes score paid or unpaid work at these other agencies that carry better street cred. Are law students completely incapable of recognizing that hiring patterns have changed and that 2012 is not 2002? For a 1L the SEC is probably fine because it's legal and no one cares what you do. And if you go to a DC-area law school or are near a regional office and can't find any other internships during the semester, it might also be ok. By why someone would pick the SEC as their focal point for a 2L summer position or a "Study in DC Semester" program with the goal of polishing their resume or trying to help them get into a firm is completely beyond me. Besides myself, no one I know who has interned at the SEC or CFTC (about 20 people) has leveraged it into a big firm or gov't financial job. Meanwhile, nearly everyone I know who has done an FDIC or Treasury internship is in good shape.



I am a 1L with tip-top grades at a very good school who applied to nearly all of these agencies and could only secure an offer at the SEC. Some of them, like the OCC and the Treasury OGC, made their decisions well before our grades came out, so I don't know what they were looking for. Others, like the FDIC, take so long to get through background checks before inviting students to come interview, that someone interested in this field might have already taken a job with an agency that moves faster (like the SEC). And, LOL, good luck with the Fed.

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Re: SEC

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:01 am

Whatisthis wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:Eh, I wasn't clear. The fed jobs in Arizona (FDIC, CFPB, FedGov, Treas/OCC) can be harder, but there are other HR units of those agencies that hire and don't list in Arizona (FDIC-PLU, Treasury-FMS/PD/OIG/Mint/OFAC, Fed-Richmond/New York/Cleveland, CPSB) and pay and can't find people to work at them. And all of these places have far fewer people applying then the SEC because they don't have the same popular name recognition that the SEC has. I have no idea what the 2Ls are doing in the SEC summer program. Maybe they applied to all of the other places and didn't get it. Maybe they didn't bother finding non-Arizona places. Maybe their OCS hasn't caught on the SEC is a dead end. But then again, we are a group of the population who entered 40K/yr law school, in a recession, knowing our odds of employment were laughable.


Thanks. I should have specified in my earlier message that I am one those (unfortunate?) 2Ls planning to intern with the SEC. I'll be honest in that I didn't really give it much thought aside from the fact that it looked like a good backup after striking out at OCI. I am very interested in securities regulation and I hope to get a fed job after graduation, so it seems like a good fit. However, after reading both your post and the Anonymous poster, I am worried I made a mistake. Any suggestions on how to make the best of the situation? Is it really that bad? BTW I'm median at CCN.


Well, you've taken it so your options are limited. For the summer you're in DC, network your ass off. Pick securities partners at big firms who are alums of your school and email them asking them out for coffee after work. Email lots of them. Also, join the ABA Business Law section and go to the fall annual meeting. If you're in Chicago, have you tried getting a semester internship at the CBOE/CMX, Chicago Fed, Chicago FHLB, NFA, Chicago FDIC or CFTC (last choice)? If you're in NY, I know the NY Fed does internships, and there is FINRA, NASDAQ/NYSE, NY FDIC, NY FHLB, DirectEdge in NJ, and NY SEC (last choice). Also, when you say you want securities regulation, what do you mean? Do you want to review filings in corp fin? Do you want to write regulation in TM? Do you want to register IA/ICs in IM? Do you want to register broker/dealers in TM? Do you want to do analytics in risk fin? Regardless of where you work in the SEC for the summer, you will need to have good stories of why you want to do each kind of securities regulation.

LawIdiot86
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Re: SEC

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
This is what, the fourth or fifth SEC-themed thread this year? Are law students completely incapable of pattern recognition outside of a casebook? In the past, before Cox was chairman, say around 2001, the SEC was a great place to spend a summer or intern. Interns got paid sometimes, there was the promise of hiring into the advance commitment program (AC), and the agency was funded well-enough that it could devote resources to making sure interns had a good summer. Also, even if you didn't want to do AC, 3L OCI still existed and there was always work as an i-banker in NY. Then the SEC cut funding, for the summer program, AC, and in general. Also, i-banking disappeared. Oh and without a funded summer program, firms figured out that the ONLY reason a 2L would work at the SEC was because they somehow failed to get a firm, so even if 3L OCI still existed (which is doesn't), the indicia of quality is gone. Plus, the SEC figured out that with a general funding cut, it could gorge itself on free interns, both in the summer honors program and law observer program, and have them do the sort of grunt work the commission could no longer afford to do. So, now, there is a massive pool of people with "SEC Intern" on their resume who firms can spot a mile away as having some trait that precluded them from getting a firm job in the past. Plus, if a firm will actually interview you, the odds are against you having done whatever the firm does during your internship (IM/TM are tiny, yet they correspond with the massive mutual fund/broke-dealer firm practices).

For some reason people ignore the other federal financial agencies because they don't seem as relevant to "Wall Street law." If there was one thread on the FDIC/CFPB this year, I would be shocked. I don't think there were any threads on the OCC, Treasury, FINRA/NFA, FinCen, or the Federal Reserve (let alone the Fed Regions or something really exotic like the Farm Credit System Insurance Corp, the Farm Credit Administration or the Office of Finance of the FHLBs). OCC, FDIC, Fed, and I believe FINRA all pay. Treasury and CFPB don't pay and I don't believe FinCen pays. OCC, FDIC, CFPB and the Fed all hire 3Ls and while they are ultra-competitive, interning there is a big boost. Oh, and firms know that the FDIC hires 3-6/500 people for its paid summer program, so they can ascribe some indicia of quality to an FDIC intern.

The CFTC is as screwed SEC as far as interns go and I understand the FHFA is in a similar boat, but I can't figure out why people are pounding down the door at the SEC to be part of a huge, undifferentiated pool that includes people in the bottom quarter of a T50, when they can sometimes score paid or unpaid work at these other agencies that carry better street cred. Are law students completely incapable of recognizing that hiring patterns have changed and that 2012 is not 2002? For a 1L the SEC is probably fine because it's legal and no one cares what you do. And if you go to a DC-area law school or are near a regional office and can't find any other internships during the semester, it might also be ok. By why someone would pick the SEC as their focal point for a 2L summer position or a "Study in DC Semester" program with the goal of polishing their resume or trying to help them get into a firm is completely beyond me. Besides myself, no one I know who has interned at the SEC or CFTC (about 20 people) has leveraged it into a big firm or gov't financial job. Meanwhile, nearly everyone I know who has done an FDIC or Treasury internship is in good shape.



I am a 1L with tip-top grades at a very good school who applied to nearly all of these agencies and could only secure an offer at the SEC. Some of them, like the OCC and the Treasury OGC, made their decisions well before our grades came out, so I don't know what they were looking for. Others, like the FDIC, take so long to get through background checks before inviting students to come interview, that someone interested in this field might have already taken a job with an agency that moves faster (like the SEC). And, LOL, good luck with the Fed.


I was bottom half at a T14 and got a callback to the NY Fed and an offer from the Richmond Fed. The Fed Board in DC wouldn't even look at a resume below 3.40, but the regional offices will. And yes, I had to apply and accept 9 months in advance to the FDIC and they were still late with the background check. You really applied to the Richmond Fed? And the Farm Credit Administration? And the FMS in Treasury? With tip-top grades?

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Re: SEC

Postby Danteshek » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:26 am

This is so depressing. How the hell are we supposed to maintain a positive attitude interning at the SEC, knowing that we are just being used? Maybe we should just all decline their offers en masse?

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:43 am

Seriously you guys? Everyone I know who interned for the SEC last summer really enjoyed it. Tone down the negativity. The experience will be what you make of it.

LawIdiot86
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Re: SEC

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:05 am

Anonymous User wrote:Seriously you guys? Everyone I know who interned for the SEC last summer really enjoyed it. Tone down the negativity. The experience will be what you make of it.


I loved it there, as did most of the other interns. It was fun and the people I worked with were fun and knowledgeable. I don't think I've said anything that it was better or worse than a firm or other agency as far as the experience. It just has really poor exit opportunities for 2Ls ITE and the foreseeable future. The experience is what you make of it and, for the vast majority of us, it's too late to go back and do our law school career differently.

This focus on enjoying the experience that I see on TLS and when kids who tour my law school, stop me to ask questions feels bizarre given the employment prospects and way almost all entry-level jobs operate. Law school is a three year battle to the death to get the best job you can because the legal profession is bizarrely structured and your position on graduation disproportionately influences your career. I made a similar mistake of trying to make it fun and look for meaningful opportunities to learn and I can see the same mistake among certain friends. Pick the highest ranked school you get into, even if it is in a location that sucks; you can physically live anywhere for three years. Pick the classes with the best curves, not the best topics or professors. And pick the internships that look the best for your goal, regardless of what the substantive work will be in them.

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Re: SEC

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:04 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Seriously you guys? Everyone I know who interned for the SEC last summer really enjoyed it. Tone down the negativity. The experience will be what you make of it.


I loved it there, as did most of the other interns. It was fun and the people I worked with were fun and knowledgeable. I don't think I've said anything that it was better or worse than a firm or other agency as far as the experience. It just has really poor exit opportunities for 2Ls ITE and the foreseeable future. The experience is what you make of it and, for the vast majority of us, it's too late to go back and do our law school career differently.

This focus on enjoying the experience that I see on TLS and when kids who tour my law school, stop me to ask questions feels bizarre given the employment prospects and way almost all entry-level jobs operate. Law school is a three year battle to the death to get the best job you can because the legal profession is bizarrely structured and your position on graduation disproportionately influences your career. I made a similar mistake of trying to make it fun and look for meaningful opportunities to learn and I can see the same mistake among certain friends. Pick the highest ranked school you get into, even if it is in a location that sucks; you can physically live anywhere for three years. Pick the classes with the best curves, not the best topics or professors. And pick the internships that look the best for your goal, regardless of what the substantive work will be in them.


I am a current semester extern there. Ive talked to the few attorneys who were hired at the SEC outside the Honors program and they told me that it was pure luck that they were hired. They told me that out of the 100 externs this semester, 1 might be hired by the SEC.

LawIdiot86
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Re: SEC

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:55 pm

Danteshek wrote:This is so depressing. How the hell are we supposed to maintain a positive attitude interning at the SEC, knowing that we are just being used? Maybe we should just all decline their offers en masse?


No...that wouldn't accomplish anything. Many of the ships have sailed (Richmond Fed, OCC, etc.) and there is no guarantee turning down an SEC offer means you'll get a job elsewhere. The key is to apply early and widely enough to other places that you won't have to accept an SEC offer. Also, an en masse declination of offers won't accomplish anything because there are so many thousands of people fighting to get any job. So they have more people from Richmond instead of W&M this year because all the people from W&M declined out of spite? Those kids from Richmond will work just as hard and know they probably couldn't do better than the SEC even if they applied to other places.




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