BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

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slsplease
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:03 pm

BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby slsplease » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:43 pm

I'm extremely well connected and could plausibly get a summer internship with a BigLaw firm in a major market. On the other hand, I also have the opportunity to intern with a member of Congress or possibly even a committee (which is more prestigious).

I understand that work as a 0L will not have much weight during BigLaw hiring, but I'm curious as to which of these options is a better use of my summer. I'm set on BigLaw, but also have interest in policy. That said, I have lots of political experience and have already worked at a law firm for a year in the accounting department. So at this point I'd just be rounding out my resume one way or the other.

Any opinions?

charliep
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:36 pm

Re: BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby charliep » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:59 pm

slsplease wrote:I'm extremely well connected and could plausibly get a summer internship with a BigLaw firm in a major market. On the other hand, I also have the opportunity to intern with a member of Congress or possibly even a committee (which is more prestigious).

I understand that work as a 0L will not have much weight during BigLaw hiring, but I'm curious as to which of these options is a better use of my summer. I'm set on BigLaw, but also have interest in policy. That said, I have lots of political experience and have already worked at a law firm for a year in the accounting department. So at this point I'd just be rounding out my resume one way or the other.

Any opinions?


i dont know anything about prestige, but, personally, i wouldnt pass up the opportunity to work for a committee (depending on the committee)

johndhi
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:25 am

Re: BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby johndhi » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:06 pm

From your post, it sounds like working on the Hill would put you in a better position to decide working toward an eventual government job or an eventual biglaw job. You said you're already set on biglaw, though. As far as helping you get an actual job, for biglaw it will probably only help if you intern in the same market in which you're going to do OCI, so you can chat with the interviewers about what working at that firm was like (as they'll know of the firm). For the gov, building a record of working for the gov is good/important, but you can also do that 1L summer or with externships during law school.

I'd say you should decide based on which job sounds most interesting and personally enriching. What will the congressman let you do? My friends at law school who work for H and S committees seem to get to do a lot, so maybe that is a good route.

I'd also suggest you don't say "I'm extremely well connected" or mention prestige in real-life job interviews, or ever talking with someone in real life.

PMan99
Posts: 300
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Re: BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby PMan99 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:15 pm

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Last edited by PMan99 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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IAFG
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Re: BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby IAFG » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:17 pm

Would the biglaw internship be in your target market? Could you get exposure to more than one practice area?

Edit: work as a 0L can carry a TON of weight in biglaw hiring, though a mere summer internship may not get you very far. However, if it can help you speak intelligently to your preferences and interests, it could be pretty useful to you at OCI.

azntwice
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Re: BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby azntwice » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:32 pm

I worked in a firm as a 0L and it was a huge boost for 1L hiring and for 2L hiring, especially if you do substantive work. If you are set on biglaw forever and ever, do the firm. If you want to eventually transition into gov't or public interest work, I would be more split on that, although there's usually time to do gov't/PI work your 1L summer (and I assume your connections would get you a position then as well).

slsplease
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Re: BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby slsplease » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:15 pm

The BigLaw firm, whichever it is, would be in DC. I'm looking to get into regulatory policy and energy law (which is admittedly a broad term). Policy/Hill experience seems beneficial in that I would be building my understanding of the specific issue that I'm interested in. On the other hand, I see a lot of value in building my legal network in the city where I intend to work before and after law school at a law firm. I'm planning on working for a year or more before I apply, so this summer will be the last chance I have to develop my network and further hone my resume before I look into finding a full time job.

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IAFG
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Re: BigLaw internship as undergrad vs. BigGov/Congress

Postby IAFG » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:27 pm

I'd take the committee gig. You have your whole career to meet lawyers. I don't think that's the best way to expand your network based on what you've said.




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