When to apply for judicial internships?

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HelloMoto27
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When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby HelloMoto27 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:15 am

Yes, I'll admit I'm an 0L and I know I shouldn't be asking these kinds of questions yet.

But I literally have no one in my immediate friends/family circle to ask these type of questions of, so I'm starting to get anxious now that my deposit is in - but when do people usually apply for 1L summer judicial internships (state or federal)? Is it before or after first semester grades come out? And what do the applications usually consist of, resume and transcript? How hard are they to get?

The process seems so informal that I'm having a hard time coming up with a good plan to have for the fall...

Thank you everyone!
(and I desperately don't want to be a gunner next year, I just want to have a plan, shut my mouth and follow through on it. I feel like the worst thing to do going into law school, is not have some plan of what to do)

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cinephile
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby cinephile » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:21 am

I would apply before first semester grades come out. Ours came out so late that if you waited, you'd struggle to find something.

Just apply broadly. Send a writing sample if requested.

And don't worry about this yet.

HelloMoto27
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby HelloMoto27 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:24 am

cinephile wrote:I would apply before first semester grades come out. Ours came out so late that if you waited, you'd struggle to find something.

Just apply broadly. Send a writing sample if requested.

And don't worry about this yet.


I know, I'm a worrier, big surprise right?

And those applications are just my resume + sample? I have to admit that a part of me is very weary because I have no legal experience whatsoever. How is that resume going to be relevant at all? I'd get an internship based on what?!

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ilovesf
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby ilovesf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:25 am

HelloMoto27 wrote:Yes, I'll admit I'm an 0L and I know I shouldn't be asking these kinds of questions yet.

But I literally have no one in my immediate friends/family circle to ask these type of questions of, so I'm starting to get anxious now that my deposit is in - but when do people usually apply for 1L summer judicial internships (state or federal)? Is it before or after first semester grades come out? And what do the applications usually consist of, resume and transcript? How hard are they to get?

The process seems so informal that I'm having a hard time coming up with a good plan to have for the fall...

Thank you everyone!
(and I desperately don't want to be a gunner next year, I just want to have a plan, shut my mouth and follow through on it. I feel like the worst thing to do going into law school, is not have some plan of what to do)

It depends on where you live, some districts have different policies. Usually you send out your applications on December 1st. So that is before your grades come out. In my district (northern of CA), the federal judges only want applications if you go to school in the bay area after you get your grades, but most places do not follow that policy. My application pre grades consisted of my writing sample, resume and list of references. After I got my grades I included my grade sheet. People give out varying advice on what to add to your application. I just went with what my school told me. The difficulty obtaining one varies depending on your school, grades, and the court. Federal court externships are generally more desirable and thus more difficult to get. I recommend updating your resume within the first two weeks of school and writing your cover letter, and then make an appointment with your career office ASAP. You do NOT want to deal with this stuff during finals. It is better to get done before you buckle down to study.

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Detrox
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby Detrox » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:27 am

HelloMoto27 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I would apply before first semester grades come out. Ours came out so late that if you waited, you'd struggle to find something.

Just apply broadly. Send a writing sample if requested.

And don't worry about this yet.


I know, I'm a worrier, big surprise right?

And those applications are just my resume + sample? I have to admit that a part of me is very weary because I have no legal experience whatsoever. How is that resume going to be relevant at all? I'd get an internship based on what?!


No one has legal experience for their 1L summer. That's kind of the point of the 1L summer. Applications are resume, maybe writing sample, grades if you have them. Different judges hire interns at different times and want different things. Kind of curious as to why you're so eager to get a judicial internship as opposed to any paying legal work. But yes, again, 0L is not the time to worry about this stuff.

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cinephile
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby cinephile » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:32 am

HelloMoto27 wrote:
And those applications are just my resume + sample? I have to admit that a part of me is very weary because I have no legal experience whatsoever. How is that resume going to be relevant at all? I'd get an internship based on what?!


Yeah, just resume, cover letter, writing sample, and update them with grades when you get them. Having or not having legal experience really won't matter at all. Once you're in school start looking for judges that are alums of your school or those who had interns from your school in previous years and would be happy to another X Law School intern.

Seriously, I wouldn't worry about it. I know someone who sent out hundreds of letters to judges around the country and get got a federal judicial internship in a totally random location because probably not that many people applied there.

Also, it helps to have your letters sent out on Dec 1st, or whatever the first day you're allowed to do it is, because if you need to go for an interview somewhere other than the city you're studying in, it'd help to travel there over winter break.

HelloMoto27
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby HelloMoto27 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:34 am

Detrox wrote:
HelloMoto27 wrote:
cinephile wrote:I would apply before first semester grades come out. Ours came out so late that if you waited, you'd struggle to find something.

Just apply broadly. Send a writing sample if requested.

And don't worry about this yet.


I know, I'm a worrier, big surprise right?

And those applications are just my resume + sample? I have to admit that a part of me is very weary because I have no legal experience whatsoever. How is that resume going to be relevant at all? I'd get an internship based on what?!


No one has legal experience for their 1L summer. That's kind of the point of the 1L summer. Applications are resume, maybe writing sample, grades if you have them. Different judges hire interns at different times and want different things. Kind of curious as to why you're so eager to get a judicial internship as opposed to any paying legal work. But yes, again, 0L is not the time to worry about this stuff.



An older lawyer I've become recently acquainted with told me that "you won't get paid for your first summer." That that is how it goes and how you secure your 2L SA position. You get a judicial internship and then rake in the big bucks 2L summer. I have no clue if he's right.

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cinephile
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby cinephile » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:38 am

HelloMoto27 wrote:An older lawyer I've become recently acquainted with told me that "you won't get paid for your first summer." That that is how it goes and how you secure your 2L SA position. You get a judicial internship and then rake in the big bucks 2L summer. I have no clue if he's right.


Well, if you need money to live off of, you could be a law clerk for a small firm and get like $10-15/hr. You could do public interest work that is funded by various public interest grants/scholarships (we have one funded by our school, but there are also outside sources). If all else fails, you could be an RA for a professor and get paid. It's not well paid, certainly, but hopefully it covers your summer living expenses.

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Detrox
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby Detrox » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:39 am

He's not. Judicial internships are fine, but they're only one means of 1L legal summer work, and one of the few that doesn't pay anything and is often not covered by schools' funding programs. Summer positions with public interest places, government agencies, and research assistantships all pay something or are traditionally covered by schools' public interest programs. Additionally there are summer associate positions with firms, but those are pretty hard to get as the older lawyer was probably suggesting. Anyway, your 1L summer work just needs to be legal in nature for it to suffice for 2L OCI. Beyond that, find something you want to do and preferably something that pays.

All of the above aside, I have nothing against judicial internships, just found it to be an odd thing to "gun" for as these positions are not notorious for intense competition unlike 1l SAs.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby Bildungsroman » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:39 am

Worry about this in 6 - 8 months.

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ilovesf
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby ilovesf » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:41 am

Detrox wrote:He's not. Judicial internships are fine, but they're only one means of 1L legal summer work, and one of the few that doesn't pay anything and is often not covered by schools' funding programs. Summer positions with public interest places, government agencies, and research assistantships all pay something or are traditionally covered by schools' public interest programs. Additionally there are summer associate positions with firms, but those are pretty hard to get as the older lawyer was probably suggesting. Anyway, your 1L summer work just needs to be legal in nature for it to suffice for 2L OCI. Beyond that, find something you want to do and preferably something that pays.

All of the above aside, I have nothing against judicial internships, just found it to be an odd thing to "gun" for as these positions are not notorious for intense competition unlike 1l SAs.

I think it depends on the school. I don't go to a top school so 1L SAs are pretty rare I think. Most people I know were gunning for federal judicial externships or for popular PI places.

HelloMoto27
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby HelloMoto27 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:45 am

Detrox wrote:He's not. Judicial internships are fine, but they're only one means of 1L legal summer work, and one of the few that doesn't pay anything and is often not covered by schools' funding programs. Summer positions with public interest places, government agencies, and research assistantships all pay something or are traditionally covered by schools' public interest programs. Additionally there are summer associate positions with firms, but those are pretty hard to get as the older lawyer was probably suggesting. Anyway, your 1L summer work just needs to be legal in nature for it to suffice for 2L OCI. Beyond that, find something you want to do and preferably something that pays.

All of the above aside, I have nothing against judicial internships, just found it to be an odd thing to "gun" for as these positions are not notorious for intense competition unlike 1l SAs.


That makes a LOT more sense. It needs to be legal, enjoyable, and do a good job. And if paid, AWESOME. I presume it's the 1L SA spots, people with prior legal experience etc. those are the people gunning for those spots.

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Detrox
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby Detrox » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:51 am

HelloMoto27 wrote:
Detrox wrote:He's not. Judicial internships are fine, but they're only one means of 1L legal summer work, and one of the few that doesn't pay anything and is often not covered by schools' funding programs. Summer positions with public interest places, government agencies, and research assistantships all pay something or are traditionally covered by schools' public interest programs. Additionally there are summer associate positions with firms, but those are pretty hard to get as the older lawyer was probably suggesting. Anyway, your 1L summer work just needs to be legal in nature for it to suffice for 2L OCI. Beyond that, find something you want to do and preferably something that pays.

All of the above aside, I have nothing against judicial internships, just found it to be an odd thing to "gun" for as these positions are not notorious for intense competition unlike 1l SAs.


That makes a LOT more sense. It needs to be legal, enjoyable, and do a good job. And if paid, AWESOME. I presume it's the 1L SA spots, people with prior legal experience etc. those are the people gunning for those spots.


Well "enjoyable" maybe a stretch, but at least something you may find interesting. 1L summer is a good way to find areas of law that you have no experience in but you may want to move into, and start building a resume around that area. Or it may be an experience with an area of law you thought you were interested in, but in trying it find it to be not your style. Either way, the emphasis is on legal work that you can coherently talk about in an interview at OCI.

1L SA spots are often a crapshoot. People who apply widespread, have good school credentials, URM, potentially good grades if they're out, and sometimes interesting pre-law school work experience. Again, don't worry about not having legal experience, you are not expected to. Cliche as it is, law school is about learning to "think like a lawyer" and understand the basics of the system. An ability to write and research effectively in any field will trump a resume with allegedly "legal experience," as it is hard (read impossible) to get substantive legal experience without a JD.

HelloMoto27
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby HelloMoto27 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:52 am

ilovesf wrote:
Detrox wrote:He's not. Judicial internships are fine, but they're only one means of 1L legal summer work, and one of the few that doesn't pay anything and is often not covered by schools' funding programs. Summer positions with public interest places, government agencies, and research assistantships all pay something or are traditionally covered by schools' public interest programs. Additionally there are summer associate positions with firms, but those are pretty hard to get as the older lawyer was probably suggesting. Anyway, your 1L summer work just needs to be legal in nature for it to suffice for 2L OCI. Beyond that, find something you want to do and preferably something that pays.

All of the above aside, I have nothing against judicial internships, just found it to be an odd thing to "gun" for as these positions are not notorious for intense competition unlike 1l SAs.

I think it depends on the school. I don't go to a top school so 1L SAs are pretty rare I think. Most people I know were gunning for federal judicial externships or for popular PI places.


Yeah I won't be going to a top school either (think #50-60 range), so I just don't know what else people would be aiming for.

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JoeFish
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby JoeFish » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:14 am

I started the process around March 1st. Good grades at a T1. Called about 75 judges' chambers in my home state (about 35 federal and 40 state). About 20 didn't take summer interns. Of the 50+ who did, almost 30 of them had already filled their positions. Of the 25 I did end up sending stuff to, I got 4 interviews. Got exactly what I wanted, but was stressing as March dragged on and I had no formal offers yet.

So, here's the takeaway: there'll be stuff out there. But, for waiting until March, my options were diminished by about 60% and I got two months of worrying for no bloody reason. If I could do it again, I'd call people up/send out materials the week I got my grades back.

My take.

traydeuce
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Re: When to apply for judicial internships?

Postby traydeuce » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:49 am

wait till you get your grades back. I waited till long after I got my grades back. Many judges were done hiring, but there were still a lot out there. so long as you have good grades, you'll get an internship if that's what you want.




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