NFL internship vs. Biglaw

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NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:49 am

Does anyone know anything about the legal internship programs run by the NFL and NFLPA? Specifically I am wondering what kinds of employment opportunities they open up in the sports world vs. a 2L SA at a big law firm. Assuming my long-term goal is to work in sports, should I target these kinds of positions and shun biglaw? Or is the 2L SA still the golden ticket for all future employment opportunities?

If it makes a difference, assume we're talking about a V20 firm in either NYC or DC as the other option.

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IAFG
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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby IAFG » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:56 am

Can you do a term-time internship instead? Blowing off biglaw could be a big fat regret.

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PDaddy
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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby PDaddy » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know anything about the legal internship programs run by the NFL and NFLPA? Specifically I am wondering what kinds of employment opportunities they open up in the sports world vs. a 2L SA at a big law firm. Assuming my long-term goal is to work in sports, should I target these kinds of positions and shun biglaw? Or is the 2L SA still the golden ticket for all future employment opportunities?

If it makes a difference, assume we're talking about a V20 firm in either NYC or DC as the other option.


I would advise you to consider putting the horse before the cart. The better course of action for a newly minted J.D. is to get firm experience before moving into a specialty. Sports law/business is highly specialized, so the people who get the plumb jobs tend to be more seasoned. If you get an internship, that's great. But I would advise you not to blow off biglaw for what could be a short stay in an NFL office.

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:19 am

Okay, so far this is the advice I was expecting. My school isn't in a major city, so I think a spring/fall internship might be a little tougher, but perhaps it wouldn't be impossible.

I have the impression that the NFL internship program does not tend to lead to a full-time postgraduate job, but I also appreciate the value of networking. Making contacts within the league (or the players' association) seems like something that could pay dividends down the line.

What if I were able to secure a federal clerkship after graduation, such that I'd have another crack at biglaw? Would having the NFL internship on my resume, instead of a 2L SA, significantly reduce my hiring prospects? Or would the clerkship reset things enough such that maybe I could do both (with the point being to combine the "foot in the door" aspect of an NFL internship with the "training and increased marketability" aspect of a few years in biglaw)? Does this make any sense?

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:51 am

Ideally you'd SA at a biglaw firm with a sports law practice. If you're a 1L then try to get a 1L position in the sports law field (with some team probably). If you're a 2L then it's kind of late to be targeting firms with sports law practices.

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:59 am

bk1 wrote:Ideally you'd SA at a biglaw firm with a sports law practice. If you're a 1L then try to get a 1L position in the sports law field (with some team probably). If you're a 2L then it's kind of late to be targeting firms with sports law practices.


This is very much how I bid and I have had some success along these lines. Still waiting to hear back from a couple firms that have the strongest sports-related practices, but I do have an offer from Skadden, which I know is connected to a few pro sports leagues itself. I just wasn't sure if maybe an internship with an actual sports league, combined perhaps with some biglaw experience post-clerkship, might be an overall better path for securing a job with a league later on.

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:This is very much how I bid and I have had some success along these lines. Still waiting to hear back from a couple firms that have the strongest sports-related practices, but I do have an offer from Skadden, which I know is connected to a few pro sports leagues itself. I just wasn't sure if maybe an internship with an actual sports league, combined perhaps with some biglaw experience post-clerkship, might be an overall better path for securing a job with a league later on.


I think the thing to consider is whether you will be able to do any work in the sports practice. If a firm's sports practice is relatively small and doesn't really dole out that kind of work to SAs or junior associates then it isn't all that helpful since you can't utilize the fact that the firm has a sports practice.

I'm not sure whether a sports internship would be better. I don't think it would be, but I don't know for sure. What I do know is that the sports internship represents a far bigger risk. If you get the internship but don't get into sports law you are pretty fucked. If, on the other hand, you get a 2L SA and don't get into sports law well then you're still at a biglaw firm with all the exit options that that entails. I wouldn't take the internship even if it was better because the risk is just too great.

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Postby Myself » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:26 am

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:03 pm

Firm, firm, firm. If you were able to poll the lawyers working at the NFL, I'd guess the vast majority of them started their careers at firms. Keep in mind though that even firms with big sports law practices might not have a ton of work to go around for junior associates in those areas—I think it tends to be a pretty sought-after practice.

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:16 pm

Does anyone have any thoughts on the route I suggested above? That being:

2L year ---> NFL internship ---> 3L year ---> federal clerkship ---> law firm job ---> (hopefully) lateral into a job with a sports league/team

If I am able to secure a clerkship, I should be marketable to firms for a postgraduate job, right? And I'll have not only gained contacts with the most powerful sports league in America, but also earned a much better appreciation for what life is really like working as a lawyer for a pro league. The primary downsides to this plan that I see are if having the NFL internship instead of a 2L SA on my resume

1) significantly reduces my chances of getting a federal clerkship in the first place; OR

2) significantly reduces my chances of getting a firm job after graduation.

Anyone have any idea if this is the case, assuming the rest of my clerkship/firm application would be strong?

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby FlanAl » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:17 pm

This may be idiotic but could you ask to split the summer and explain to your firm with the sports law practice that you want to get some exposure to the sports side as well as firm side of sports law? Also doing a term time internship is what I would guess to be the best idea

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby sundance95 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:18 pm

My best friend interned at NFLPA his 1L summer, and it didn't do shit for him except provide an interesting OCI talking point. Take the SA if you have one.

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:07 pm

FlanAl wrote:This may be idiotic but could you ask to split the summer and explain to your firm with the sports law practice that you want to get some exposure to the sports side as well as firm side of sports law? Also doing a term time internship is what I would guess to be the best idea


The splitting would be feasible, but no firm is going to promise a law student that they'll get any sports work. That kind of work tends to go to people with a strong background in the industry or something unique to offer. Take Skadden, try to get onto the sports work (which shouldn't be as hard to do as it would be at a firm known just for sports work), and if you don't you're still at one of the best firms in the world.

Also, what makes you think that you're going to get this NFL internship? You have Skadden in hand and would actually risk it on the off chance you beat out hundreds of applicants for the NFL position?

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby 09042014 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:38 pm

Any chance at splitting?

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby gyarados » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:41 pm

Skadden will probably let you split. Why are you making this a hard choice? Get the internship, then ask both about splitting. If you can't split, obviously take Skadden. Nothing you do before graduating means fuck all in terms of opening doors.

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Re: NFL internship vs. Biglaw

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:45 pm

I appreciate all the thoughts. For the record, I'm not leaning toward Skadden right now. I have another offer that I prefer, and I am still waiting to hear back from two other viable options. But the general point seems to be the same: take the firm job, maybe consider splitting, but worry about the rest later.

Thanks, everyone.




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