"International" Law Internship - thoughts?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273230
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

"International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:26 am

I know that international law isn't really a thing, and I'm not planning on pursuing it.

But I have twist to the question: I'm lined up to do a 1L summer internship with one of these: judge/gov't agency/prosecutor in Europe this summer. (I've been advised that confidentiality is highly necessary in this post, so I'm not taking any chances. That's why I'm anon and being vague in the job title/expectations/location) I figured the placement would be a good chance to get legal experience and to experience living abroad for a bit.

Now, I get the sense that common wisdom suggests not to work abroad. Am I screwed, or will I be able to leverage the experience I'll get into "American" terms for work here. FWIW, my grades put my in the top quarter at a mid-T1, and I'm (currently) interested in transactional work (with an end goal of in-house work) or prosecution.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273230
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: "International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:33 am

Anonymous User wrote:I know that international law isn't really a thing, and I'm not planning on pursuing it.

But I have twist to the question: I'm lined up to do a 1L summer internship with one of these: judge/gov't agency/prosecutor in Europe this summer. (I've been advised that confidentiality is highly necessary in this post, so I'm not taking any chances. That's why I'm anon and being vague in the job title/expectations/location) I figured the placement would be a good chance to get legal experience and to experience living abroad for a bit.

Now, I get the sense that common wisdom suggests not to work abroad. Am I screwed, or will I be able to leverage the experience I'll get into "American" terms for work here. FWIW, my grades put my in the top quarter at a mid-T1, and I'm (currently) interested in transactional work (with an end goal of in-house work) or prosecution.


OP here: One little bump, just for fun. Then I'll quit.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: "International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby rad lulz » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:38 am

.
Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: "International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:58 am

You're semi-screwed because with your grades and school, you probably could have gotten a federal district or state appellate judge (or AUSA/PD), but instead went international. While you can explain domestic litigation translating to transactional as "there aren't any 1L transactional summer programs and I wanted to learn what happens when a transaction goes bad," now you also have to explain "I really want transactional, I'm not looking to leverage this into an overseas gig/love slacking off while via travel." It's legal, so it's not too bizarre and I do realize you actually want transactional, but it's just one more red flag and, from your description, you are probably right on the margin of people who make biglaw at your school. Maybe toss in an absentee RA spot with a prof who specializes in some kind of domestic law (ideally transactional), so you can beef up that part at OCI.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273230
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: "International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:42 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:You're semi-screwed because with your grades and school, you probably could have gotten a federal district or state appellate judge (or AUSA/PD), but instead went international. While you can explain domestic litigation translating to transactional as "there aren't any 1L transactional summer programs and I wanted to learn what happens when a transaction goes bad," now you also have to explain "I really want transactional, I'm not looking to leverage this into an overseas gig/love slacking off while via travel." It's legal, so it's not too bizarre and I do realize you actually want transactional, but it's just one more red flag and, from your description, you are probably right on the margin of people who make biglaw at your school. Maybe toss in an absentee RA spot with a prof who specializes in some kind of domestic law (ideally transactional), so you can beef up that part at OCI.


OP here: thanks for the feedback. I'll keep this in mind and look for ways to beef up my resume and show that I'm actually dedicated to a career here. (I am.) As I understand it from my summer supervisor, I'll be getting pretty good experience on legal research and writing and maybe even in other aspects of trial. Although the laws are different, that experience will still hopefully be helpful. I hope they're right ...

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: "International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:You're semi-screwed because with your grades and school, you probably could have gotten a federal district or state appellate judge (or AUSA/PD), but instead went international. While you can explain domestic litigation translating to transactional as "there aren't any 1L transactional summer programs and I wanted to learn what happens when a transaction goes bad," now you also have to explain "I really want transactional, I'm not looking to leverage this into an overseas gig/love slacking off while via travel." It's legal, so it's not too bizarre and I do realize you actually want transactional, but it's just one more red flag and, from your description, you are probably right on the margin of people who make biglaw at your school. Maybe toss in an absentee RA spot with a prof who specializes in some kind of domestic law (ideally transactional), so you can beef up that part at OCI.


OP here: thanks for the feedback. I'll keep this in mind and look for ways to beef up my resume and show that I'm actually dedicated to a career here. (I am.) As I understand it from my summer supervisor, I'll be getting pretty good experience on legal research and writing and maybe even in other aspects of trial. Although the laws are different, that experience will still hopefully be helpful. I hope they're right ...


I can't speak from experience, but in your actual OCI interviews, I would try to stress how similar the legal research and writing were in your international experience were and how many US-related matters you ended up working on, even though it was abroad. Having an American-centric view going into OCI for domestic transactional seems like a good idea.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273230
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: "International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:00 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:You're semi-screwed because with your grades and school, you probably could have gotten a federal district or state appellate judge (or AUSA/PD), but instead went international. While you can explain domestic litigation translating to transactional as "there aren't any 1L transactional summer programs and I wanted to learn what happens when a transaction goes bad," now you also have to explain "I really want transactional, I'm not looking to leverage this into an overseas gig/love slacking off while via travel." It's legal, so it's not too bizarre and I do realize you actually want transactional, but it's just one more red flag and, from your description, you are probably right on the margin of people who make biglaw at your school. Maybe toss in an absentee RA spot with a prof who specializes in some kind of domestic law (ideally transactional), so you can beef up that part at OCI.


OP here: thanks for the feedback. I'll keep this in mind and look for ways to beef up my resume and show that I'm actually dedicated to a career here. (I am.) As I understand it from my summer supervisor, I'll be getting pretty good experience on legal research and writing and maybe even in other aspects of trial. Although the laws are different, that experience will still hopefully be helpful. I hope they're right ...


I can't speak from experience, but in your actual OCI interviews, I would try to stress how similar the legal research and writing were in your international experience were and how many US-related matters you ended up working on, even though it was abroad. Having an American-centric view going into OCI for domestic transactional seems like a good idea.


I somewhat disagree with what has been said and the common belief that you shouldn't work abroad your 1L summer, but I agree that biglaw is going to be really tough. However, that's more of a function of you being top 25% at a mid-T1 than working abroad.

It is also true that it all comes down to how you spin it (as with most interview topics). I worked abroad for a small firm in China after my 1L year and it definitely didn't hurt me during OCI season when I was interviewing for transactional groups. If anything, it gave me and the interviewer something to talk about, because my background is otherwise pretty boring. What was key was that I tied it to American law (even though I was working abroad, American law mattered) and the challenges of working in a different country where I didn't speak the language. If you are going into transactional, working as an RA or for a state judge won't teach you much relevant law anyway and transactional people know that 1L opportunities for transactional work are extremely rare. Just make sure you can articulate good reasons for why you want to do that kind of work.

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7665
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: "International" Law Internship - thoughts?

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:53 pm

What do you want to do, ultimately?

I also find it hard to give any advice when you really can't tell us anything about the job.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.