Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

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Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:22 pm

There is your dumb 1L Q of the day.

Do paid 1L SAs help when looking longer term towards jobs or are they simply a way to pay the rent?

Can they lead to a 2L SA with the same firm?

And lastly, would it make a difference if we are talking about a specialized boutique firm where prior WE plays a big role?

Thanks, I will resume my 1L cluelessness now.

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bk1
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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:32 pm

It depends. Firms have varying policies i/r/t their 1L SAs. Some of them offer their 1L SAs a full time offer as a 1st year associate without the need to summer during 2L. Some of them offer their 1L SAs the chance to return as a 2L SA (after which they would presumably get a full time 1st year associate offer assuming they don't fuck up). Some firms have a policy of not letting their 1L SAs come back as 2L SAs. I'm not 100% sure, but I think the most common thing is to invite 1L SAs back as 2L SAs (often times these people will do a reduced split summer with their 1L firm, e.g. 10 weeks at a new firm and 4 weeks at their old firm).

Talking to friends of mine, I'm not entirely sure whether having a 1L SA increases ones odds of getting a 2L SA with a different firm. There's a lot of correlation/causation issues since 1L SAs tend to have good resumes which helped them get the 1L SA (and which will help them get a 2L SA). I don't think, all else equal, a 1L SA is a significant boost to one's 2L job hunt.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:34 pm

Thank you for the input.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:41 pm

I was a 1L SA. My firm invited us back for 2L summer but only made us come back for at least 3 weeks. If they invited you to come back you were pretty much guaranteed an offer. There were some people (not my year) that did not get invited back because of personality issues but like BK said if you get a 1L SA you probably have an awesome resume or so it is not hard to get SA jobs.

The common thing to do is to split the second summer between a new firm and the 1L summer firm.

Basically if you can get a 1L SA you should take it. The only time I would think twice is when you are at a firm that has a policy of no-offering their 1L SAs. Even then the experience and the money are great but it is harder to explain the no-offer during OCI.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:There is your dumb 1L Q of the day.

Do paid 1L SAs help when looking longer term towards jobs or are they simply a way to pay the rent?

Can they lead to a 2L SA with the same firm?

And lastly, would it make a difference if we are talking about a specialized boutique firm where prior WE plays a big role?

Thanks, I will resume my 1L cluelessness now.


No firm pays you a large sum of money to be an intern without any expectation that it may lead to full time employment.

You're much better off working at a specialized/boutique firm during 1L year because it's frequently tough to take that risk for 2L summer.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:50 pm

A friend of mine was offered after her 1L summer. They encouraged her to do another SA after her 2L year to compare.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You're much better off working at a specialized/boutique firm during 1L year because it's frequently tough to take that risk for 2L summer.


I'm not sure I agree with this. I'm of the opinion that summering at a big general practice firm your 1L summer would be a better call since it allows you try out a bunch of different practice areas and make an informed choice your 2L summer. For example, if you spent your 1L summer with a lit boutique and didn't get any corporate experience, it's tougher to know whether you'd prefer corporate or litigation. Without that experience it then becomes a risk to 2L SA at a firm that only does litigation or does minimal corporate work (e.g. Quinn) since you won't be able to make a switch over to corporate if it turns out that you prefer that to litigation.

That being said, most people aren't swimming in 1L SA offers so beggars can't be choosers (and it's probably a moot question for the vast majority of people).

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A friend of mine was offered after her 1L summer. They encouraged her to do another SA after her 2L year to compare.

Mine too, though I don't think they encouraged him to look elsewhere for 2L. They basically told him that he could have a job there anytime he came back. Pretty sweet. Of course, this person isn't lacking in choices.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:05 pm

bk1 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:You're much better off working at a specialized/boutique firm during 1L year because it's frequently tough to take that risk for 2L summer.


I'm not sure I agree with this. I'm of the opinion that summering at a big general practice firm your 1L summer would be a better call since it allows you try out a bunch of different practice areas and make an informed choice your 2L summer. For example, if you spent your 1L summer with a lit boutique and didn't get any corporate experience, it's tougher to know whether you'd prefer corporate or litigation. Without that experience it then becomes a risk to 2L SA at a firm that only does litigation or does minimal corporate work (e.g. Quinn) since you won't be able to make a switch over to corporate if it turns out that you prefer that to litigation.

That being said, most people aren't swimming in 1L SA offers so beggars can't be choosers (and it's probably a moot question for the vast majority of people).


I chose a specialized firm over a GP for 1L summer. Now I am looking to go to a GP firm for 2L summer knowing I don't want to work in the specialized area. If I did the reverse, I would have liked the GP but still would have wanted to try the specialized practice (and perhaps regretting it at the end of my second summer). So at least in my case, specialized 1L summer is the right call. Of course it depends on the practice area and the firm choices. BTW I was pretty sure I would want to practice in the specialized area before this summer.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I chose a specialized firm over a GP for 1L summer. Now I am looking to go to a GP firm for 2L summer knowing I don't want to work in the specialized area. If I did the reverse, I would have liked the GP but still would have wanted to try the specialized practice (and perhaps regretting it at the end of my second summer). So at least in my case, specialized 1L summer is the right call. Of course it depends on the practice area and the firm choices. BTW I was pretty sure I would want to practice in the specialized area before this summer.


OP here. The bold is my thought at the moment of course I am a 1L and have no clue what it is really like, so would kind of like to find out early.

To be honest, I have very little interest in biglaw GP but do have interest in some very specific areas that some boutique firms specialize in. (Some biglaw GP may cover some of the same areas but as I understand it, you go wherever you are assigned in biglaw regardless.) Aside from those particular areas of interest from my previous WE I am far more interested in PI at the moment. But then, I don't know what I don't know and retain the prerogative to change my mind at any given moment.

Oh, and for the sake of argument lets assume my background is sufficient to get my foot in the door in these places.

Thank you all for the input this is all very helpful.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:(Some biglaw GP may cover some of the same areas but as I understand it, you go wherever you are assigned in biglaw regardless.)


This is not necessarily true though it varies from firm to firm. You're also at the mercy of how busy the practice group you want to work in is.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:06 pm

i didn't get an offer from my 1L SA...

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:i didn't get an offer from my 1L SA...


+1. You need to get the offer. I did not get one, but I also did not intend to return to the market after graduation. I have a good amount of callbacks post OCI, but it would be much better if I didn't have to worry about the no offer.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I chose a specialized firm over a GP for 1L summer. Now I am looking to go to a GP firm for 2L summer knowing I don't want to work in the specialized area. If I did the reverse, I would have liked the GP but still would have wanted to try the specialized practice (and perhaps regretting it at the end of my second summer). So at least in my case, specialized 1L summer is the right call. Of course it depends on the practice area and the firm choices. BTW I was pretty sure I would want to practice in the specialized area before this summer.


OP here. The bold is my thought at the moment of course I am a 1L and have no clue what it is really like, so would kind of like to find out early.

To be honest, I have very little interest in biglaw GP but do have interest in some very specific areas that some boutique firms specialize in. (Some biglaw GP may cover some of the same areas but as I understand it, you go wherever you are assigned in biglaw regardless.) Aside from those particular areas of interest from my previous WE I am far more interested in PI at the moment. But then, I don't know what I don't know and retain the prerogative to change my mind at any given moment.

Oh, and for the sake of argument lets assume my background is sufficient to get my foot in the door in these places.

Thank you all for the input this is all very helpful.


Same anon. I had relevant WE in the area, so it was natural for me to go in that direction. Perhaps that's why I landed the 1L SA. However, I didn't have a good understanding of the everyday nature of the specialize practice. I learned by the end of the summer that working in the area will not make me the kind of lawyer that I want to be. So I am actually going through OCI targeting a whole new practice area (something completely different like to go from leveraged finance -> employment lit). I also have WE/BG to do the new practice area, but it isn't as obvious as the specialized practice.

As for your point about work in GP firms. Sometimes you can't choose or be guaranteed your choice. But if you targeted certain firms, they are stronger in certain areas or busier in certain areas because of reputation and client base, so you have some input on your future work. But if you go to a specialized firm for 2L summer, you will have no input/option for your future work other than look for new work as a 3L/grad.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:26 pm

OP again.

Thanks again for the invaluable advice. I suppose if I can get one in my field I will take it.

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Re: Can paid 1L summer SAs lead to employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:59 am

I just completed a 1L SA at a boutique that is well known within its practice area. The firm made it explicit that it hires about 20% of its small SA class when I interviewed, even though almost all 1L SAs are invited back as 2Ls with the option to split. At the end of the summer, the firm told me they'd hire me after graduation as long as the firm remains in good financial health. The firm's growth has been stable and they've never had layoffs, so it has taken a lot of stress out of doing OCIs. Of course, I'm not taking anything for granted.

The WE experience was invaluable in terms of OCI. All the firms I interviewed with knew my firm well so it made the Q&A process less awkward. Since the cases were leanly staffed, I got to work on more substantive projects than most 1Ls. I think boutiques are really the sweet spot in terms of 1L work. I would guess BigLaw takes "I drafted part of a brief" more seriously than say, if you did the same for a solo practitioner.

If you have a comparable 1L offer, take it. The benefits far outweigh the costs. Just apply for a judicial internship for the fall to complete your OCI resume. It's less competitive anyways.




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