Rejecting 1l judicial internships + late acceptance dates

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Rejecting 1l judicial internships + late acceptance dates

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:43 am

Will try to keep this as brief as possible. 1L, career goal is 100% JAG, preferably with USMC but applying to all branches.

1L summer options:
Best: Apply to Marine JAG program for next selection board in April, hear back first week of May. If accepted, go to to Marine Officer Candidate School (OCS) in the summer (10 weeks). If I pass OCS, get commissioned as officer, guaranteed job on graduation, likely paid 2L summer gig, pop bottles, etc.
Second best: Apply to Navy JAG internship on Feb 1, hear back first week of March. No commitment after this, but looks very favorable for subsequent JAG apps.
Fallback: Applied to a lot of judicial internships on Dec 1. Rolling. Already starting to hear back from judges. Looks good to subsequent JAG apps, but probably won't help much one way or another.

The dilemma is that I won't hear back from my best options until May/March, but I am already hearing back from judges. I've talked to my CDO and they haven't been particularly helpful and I never know if I can trust them. Here's my options:

1) Interview with judges, tell them that I am holding out for JAG stuff because that's my true career path, say that I may have to drop if I get one of those programs. Unclear how much this will affect my chances, particularly if I tell them I may drop as late as May. I'm guessing a federal court won't bother to keep me around, but a less competitive gig at a state court might be more willing to hold onto me. Perhaps that's being too optimistic, though. This is the path my CDO recommended.

2) Interview with judges, try to push back offers as long as possible, accept when I can't push back any more, don't mention JAG. Drop judicial internship if I get either of the JAG opportunities (and I guess drop Navy JAG internship if I get the Marine one..? Ugh). Fears here are getting blacklisted in the state. Counterpoint to that is that I won't be practicing in this state if I get JAG for at least 4 years, probably longer. Other downside is that dropping will prob hurt my school's rep. That's not cool.

I can't really quantify my chances at either of my best choices. USMC puts a huge emphasis on fitness (numero uno priority), and my fitness scores will be top notch. Second most important thing is grades, and I don't have those yet. Otherwise, they are "whole person," but they actually mean it. I think I have a pretty good chance, but it's impossible to know. One thing that sucks about USMC is that OCS is a 10 week selection process, and about 1/3 of all that go to OCS fail. That means I can get accepted by the selection board, go to OCS, fail, get my job offer revoked and have done nothing legal my 1L summer.

The last Navy JAG I spoke to put the acceptance rate for the Navy JAG summer internship at ~15%. This will be much more grade-specific (no interview or anything). Again, don't have grades yet, so hard to put a number on this one either, but it is probably less likely than USMC.

Thoughts? I pretty much have to do option 1, don't I?

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California Babe

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Re: Rejecting 1l judicial internships + late acceptance dates

Postby California Babe » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:40 am

The general rule of etiquette for a judicial internship is you accept as soon as you get an offer from a judge. A judge won't hire you if they think you might drop out late. By not telling the judge and dropping out after you accepted, you're potentially hurting your reputation in ways you aren't yet considering—and more importantly, might be hurting future students at your school who are harmed by the bad reputation you've given your school.

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Re: Rejecting 1l judicial internships + late acceptance dates

Postby wiseowl » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:03 pm

'Tis the dilemma of 1L summer. Judges are a great job, but they act so early. I was in a similar boat 1L year, I expected to end up with a judge, but I wanted to try all the options. Never really got the chance. One judge called me on the phone and offered me right there. No interview, no pretense. Didn't have much choice at that point, and after a lot of stress, accepted. Turned out to be a fantastic summer.

You could try to just play hard to get with the judges and hope that you can hold them at bay until March, but that's unlikely. Judges don't have time to juggle a recruiting department. It's unfortunate that A)JAG corps waits so long, B)your CSO didn't give you a bit more of a straight answer about all of this.

You probably don't want to hear this, but I think realistically by Feb. 1-15 or so, if not earlier, you're going to have to put all your eggs in one basket and either go all-in with judges or withdraw from all judges and take your chances with JAG. Trying to do both has an excellent chance of getting neither and also getting you in trouble.

There is a subset of this board that encourages accepting with a judge and then reneging if something better comes along. I continue to believe that that course of action is a bad one.

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Re: Rejecting 1l judicial internships + late acceptance dates

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Dec 03, 2011 2:18 pm

Thanks for the replies.

So no hope in trying to be open and honest with them? I mailed to hundreds of judges, a lot of which are state trial courts. I'm sure I'll get auto-dinged at a lot of them, but I'm guessing a fair number may show some interest.

Let's say I get 25 that show interest and/or let me interview. If I am straight with them about the possibility of leaving for JAG, do yo think they'll all reject me?

I'm almost willing to throw all my eggs in JAG. I guess if I told all of the judges and they all rejected me, I wouldn't be in a worse place than if I never applied and just went for JAG anyway. On the plus side, if one does accept me with knowledge that I may have to back out, I'll have a backup plan too. From that perspective, there's no real downside, other than the time spend doing interviews/corresponding with all the judges. Unless telling a judge that would be so off the wall/offensive that it would somehow hurt my rep or my school's rep.


Sidenote: maybe this will mean the Marine JAG app won't be as competitive in April. I'm guessing if people are having to forgo summer opportunities, there may be less applicants.

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Re: Rejecting 1l judicial internships + late acceptance dates

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:02 pm

Any other thoughts?

I think I want to go for JAG full steam ahead. But I have already applied to hundreds of judicial internships. Because JAG is selective, a judicial internship would be a nice backup plan to not totally screw myself. I think I'll tell the judges that I may drop if I get accepted to one of the JAG programs. I'm assuming the vast majority of judges will reject me outright, but a few may accept me with the knowledge that I may drop out to do JAG. If none accept me, then I'm no worse off if I just went for JAG 100% without anything else. On the flip side, if one accepts me, then I have a backup plan and can still go for JAG 100%.

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