1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

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1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:52 pm

I have interviews set up with BIG LAW firms and judges, including a Federal Circuit Court judge. Is there protocol for what to do in the lucky event I receive offers with both the BIG LAW firms (would pay well and I would like to work in BIG LAW when I graduate) and with the Circuit Court Judge (Judge could be appointed to SCOTUS in the future, would be a great learning experience - not sure if it pays?)? Should I disclose to the Judge that I have the law firm interviews?

I'm not saying I'm going to get any of these - but in the event I do, I'm not sure how to handle it? Is it offensive to a Circuit Court Judge not to take an internship if offered? That's the last thing I'd want to do.

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Re: 1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

Postby 2014 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Money has to be a factor, some people can't afford to turn down the money from BIG LAW, and at least my school doesn't give a stipend for judges so I couldn't afford rent.

You should check with your CSO about judges though. Ours said if you apply and are offered a job with one that you are expected to accept. It can happen on the spot and that's too bad if it wasn't your first option, possibly burning bridges with judges is not ok. Your office might have a different idea though.

I personally would do the BIG LAW interviews first and give them a week or two before doing the COA one.


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Re: 1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

Postby bdubs » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:26 pm

Big law is a much better option. Jobs working in judge's chambers are a dime a dozen during 1L summer. Most positions are usually the intern for the judge's clerks and not working directly for the judge (particularly for federal district and COA). Big law internships will give you good experience, a healthier bank balance, and many times a return offer for the following summer. In most cases 1Ls are treated just like 2Ls for big law summers which is a nice plus.


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Re: 1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

Postby bk1 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:31 pm

Take the biglaw SA, no questions.

1. It pays. The externship won't.
2. It can lead to full time employment after graduation. The externship won't.

There's been a lot of debate as to whether the "you don't turn down a judge" logic applies to externship (it clearly applies to clerkships). My belief is that it does not but others disagree. Search through this forum for people's thoughts on turning down a judicial externship.

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Re: 1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:51 pm

Bk is right on all counts. Big law by a lot. Or BIGLAW as some call it.

Eta: The notion that you can't turn down some shitboomer judge's offer to let you do his shitwork for free is one or the most obnoxious schticks perpetuated by CSOs. If the judge has his finger anywhere near the pulse of the legal market and has half a heart, he will understand why you'd take a paid gig at a great firm with potential long term prospects. Don't let this be a factor. If you really want to work for this judge, explain that you got a paid offer at a firm where you want to work long term, and ask if they'll let you work there during the school year. 90% of the time they'll happily allow that.

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Re: 1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

Postby squ1rtle » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:40 am

Just do a split summer.

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Re: 1L - Federal Circuit court or BIG LAW internship?

Postby ggocat » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:05 am

Agree it's fine to turn down a judicial internship, though it's not fine to accept and then renege when something better comes along.

If you can't schedule your interviews to try to get biglaw lined up before the judicial interview, then be upfront with the clerks/judge about your plans.

If your 1L biglaw SA is 6 or 8 weeks, you should be fine splitting (even if it's just 4 weeks with the judge -- many judges will accommodate your biglaw gig).

Good luck.

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