1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

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Anonymous User
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1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:28 pm

Just got an offer from a pretty sizable Asian local law firm doing some kind of transactional work (most clients are US companies, English as primary language, in a field I am really interested in, and ). Paid job in a big city. Also applied to a lot public interest orgs in the US, mostly interested in doing death penalty or other kinds of criminal or immigration law. T20 1L no debt, want to do corporate after graduation but also interested in public interest. Just wondering if I get any public interest gigs which one should I choose? I'm interested in the Asian market, speak the language but have no other knowledge about it...

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ph14
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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:32 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just got an offer from a pretty sizable Asian local law firm doing some kind of transactional work (most clients are US companies, English as primary language, in a field I am really interested in, and ). Paid job in a big city. Also applied to a lot public interest orgs in the US, mostly interested in doing death penalty or other kinds of criminal or immigration law. T20 1L no debt, want to do corporate after graduation but also interested in public interest. Just wondering if I get any public interest gigs which one should I choose? I'm interested in the Asian market, speak the language but have no other knowledge about it...


Firm job. What you do during your 1L summer doesn't matter at all if you want a firm job after, so you might as well get paid. If you want to do PI, it might show some commitment to the cause if you get a PI gig in the area you want. I would probably just take the paid job because it's not going to look bad and it's nice to get some money.

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Dany
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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby Dany » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:34 pm

Firm job because money and it sounds really awesome.

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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:39 pm

OP here: the firm also expressed intent to hire after graduation if I don't screw up... so I'm more leaning towards the firm job, but doing PI makes me feel good... that's it.

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Dany
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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby Dany » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:41 pm

The potential to secure a post-grad offer should make you feel good.

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ph14
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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: the firm also expressed intent to hire after graduation if I don't screw up... so I'm more leaning towards the firm job, but doing PI makes me feel good... that's it.


It's not like you can't work PI now and then aim for a firm job at OCI for your 2L summer. Most people work some sort of PI or government gig their 1L summer.

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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:46 pm

I think the firm job is the pretty obvious choice. It sounds like you're split on whether you want to go a PI or firm route, so testing out one or the other is equally advantageous for you. One pays you to try it out and possibly hooks you up with a permanent job, the other one does neither.

Assuming you have PI experience already on your resume, if you decide after your summer to go the PI route (which is perfectly fine; I encourage you to choose what best reflects your interests and values), it'll be easy to spin the "I decided to try corporate to see what the fuss is about, but hated it.." story. On the other hand, stacking more PI on your resume is known to scare off some firms.

If there's no PI already on your resume, then, again, the choices are pretty equal, so the one that pays you and gives you a known chance of permanent work is the slam dunk.

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ph14
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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby ph14 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:52 pm

MinEMorris wrote:I think the firm job is the pretty obvious choice. It sounds like you're split on whether you want to go a PI or firm route, so testing out one or the other is equally advantageous for you. One pays you to try it out and possibly hooks you up with a permanent job, the other one does neither.

Assuming you have PI experience already on your resume, if you decide after your summer to go the PI route (which is perfectly fine; I encourage you to choose what best reflects your interests and values), it'll be easy to spin the "I decided to try corporate to see what the fuss is about, but hated it.." story. On the other hand, stacking more PI on your resume is known to scare off some firms.

If there's no PI already on your resume, then, again, the choices are pretty equal, so the one that pays you and gives you a known chance of permanent work is the slam dunk.


I doubt this is the case with taking a PI job for one's 1L summer.

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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby aces » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:32 pm

If you truly and honestly are learning towards wanting to do public interest work post-graduation, I would take a public interest position (assuming you can snag a gig at an organization that does work you're interested in). Firms do not care about what you do 1L summer, so working in PI will not close any doors. A lot of 2L SAs take PI positions 1L summer (probably a plurality, if not a majority), and unless your resume screams PI, it won't count against you in OCI if you did PI work 1L summer. Conversely, public interest organizations care far more about "ties" or "interest," and taking a firm job 1L year may close some doors. Yes, you can try and spin a narrative of "I tried working at a firm and didn't like it," but PI employers are wary of the "I struck out at OCI and now am willing to do anything"-type, which are ubiquitous.

However, if you are learning at all towards working at a firm post-graduation, I very much suggest you take the Asia gig. It sounds fairly interesting, presumably pays well, and has a good shot at leading to a permanent offer. You mentioned attending a t20, which usually translates to t15-t20. Those schools generally struggle to place graduates in large firms through OCI-- correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that your odds of landing biglaw are less than 50/50, especially if your grades are median or below. Even if you got great grades fall term, your grades could slip in the spring. If you turn down this job, end up deciding that you want to work at a firm, and strike out at OCI (all fairly possible outcomes), you'll be kicking yourself. Plus, the job sounds like something you want to do post-graduation that might lead to a permanent offer, and you shouldn't turn it down just because you are also interested in PI. You can volunteer for an organization during the year and/or take a clinic, but firm gigs only come around once a year, and you shouldn't pass on the opportunity lightly.

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cinephile
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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby cinephile » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:02 pm

It's a no brainer: take the paid job.
Then do something public-interesty as a clinic or externship during the year.

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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby Blessedassurance » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here: the firm also expressed intent to hire after graduation if I don't screw up... so I'm more leaning towards the firm job, but doing PI makes me feel good... that's it.


personally, i'd take the money all day everyday and twice on sundays. secondly, how confident are you of your chances at oci etc?

something something about a bird in hand...

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Re: 1L summer: firm job in Asia or US public interest?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:04 am

cinephile wrote:It's a no brainer: take the paid job.
Then do something public-interesty as a clinic or externship during the year.


Take that money, bro...Also, your firm will probably do volunteer public interest work. You can do a public interest project for the summer and put that on your resume. Save the low pay shit for the semester where you can get course credit. Only suckers work for free.




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