1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

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Anonymous User
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1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:05 pm

Same area (Midwest and therefore oh-so-far from NY; judge/area prestige is irrelevant here). Same distance from home so convenience isn't an issue. No idea what I want to do exactly but I think I want to be a trial lawyer. Civil litigation perhaps - a lot of people from my school end up in big law and I will probably interview with those law firms.

Both experiences seem excellent. I interviewed with the USAO already and they seemed pretty chill and I like the atmosphere. I have yet to do the interview with the judge but I'm asking in case she asks me to accept on the spot; by the conversation with the law clerk on the phone they all seem very nice too.

So with location/quality of experience/kind of work most likely similar, what would be a better experience for the resume?

Thanks in advance!

bdubs
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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby bdubs » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:16 pm

The line on your resume won't matter either way. What do you think will be more interesting?

If you want NY then you're probably OK working someplace that isn't NY as long as you have a decent reason. If you're shooting for another market, you might want to try to work there.

If you think you might want to do white collar defense then USAO might be slightly more valuable from an informed decision making standpoint.

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2014
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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby 2014 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:32 pm

Does your school provide funding for both, one of them, or neither?

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kalvano
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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby kalvano » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:14 pm

I worked at the USAO and it was awesome. I enjoyed it immensely.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:35 pm

Judge was awesome too. Both would be cool, but if I had the chance to choose only one, I'd pick judge. USAO is, at the end of the day, a law firm working for a client - specific viewpoint, specific goals, one sided. You'll get that experience later. What you'll never have the chance for later (probably) is to work behind the bench, see the scales of justice being weighed, and get to objectively see two sides present their argument without having a preconceived bias.

Get the insight into judicial process while you can. You want to litigate? Interacting with court clerks will teach you TONS about the right way to practice law, teach how a court actually makes its decisions (hint: you're writing for the clerk more than the judge), and how different practice styles can truly impact a court's decision. Plus, at least while still in law school, you want to soak up as much objective learning as you can. You'll get a good big picture view working in a judge's chambers.

BUT, it's a close call, and for different people with different goals, one might be better than the other. Go with your gut and you'll be ok. As to resume? I say fed judge - there are fewer, and the job (of judge) is simply harder to get. All things being equal, exclusivity equals prestige. But hey, maybe I'm biased because that's what I did, and people like people like them.
Last edited by NotMyRealName09 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:44 pm

Whichever one you can get funding for.

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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:41 am

OP here.

I'm seeing a more compelling (okay fine, longer) argument for the federal judge job...I do get funding for the USAO (not a lot though, like a grand for the entire summer) and none for the judge. It really doesn't matter because I don't have to worry about housing or anything; I'll be mooching off my loving parents.

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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:10 am

OP again ---

For which job do you get to work with more people? I think there will be an okay number of other interns for the USAO branch, but don't most judges only hire one or two externs? Would I only be working with the clerks?

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Lwoods
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Re: 1L Summer: USAO or Federal Judge?

Postby Lwoods » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP again ---

For which job do you get to work with more people? I think there will be an okay number of other interns for the USAO branch, but don't most judges only hire one or two externs? Would I only be working with the clerks?


It depends on the judge. Mine had three all summer, one once/week all summer, and one who split her summer with a firm and was with the judge the second half.

Another judge in the same court had 6 or 7 summer externs, and the other two in the court had 2 externs each, I think.

It wouldn't hurt to try to gauge what your working experience will be like during your interview with the judge. We had a good number of externs, but any more and the clerks probably would have been struggling to find us work. My fellow externs and I worked in the same room, usually on our own assignments, but there would be the occasional fire drill where we'd all work together (we also consulted each other on our individual projects). The clerks basically acted as our supervisors, would give us assignments, check our work, give us feedback, etc. We each had a bigger assignment that we worked on with the clerks and then presented to the judge. The judge would also ask our opinions on things after we observed a conference or hearing. In short, I feel like I got the perfect mix of working with my fellow externs, the clerk, and the judge. Every chambers is unique, though, so just ask some questions during the interview to see what your experience will be like.

I loved my experience working for a judge, but I think the USAO would also be a great opportunity, too. Best of luck in your search!




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