US Attorney's Office Externship in local district

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Anonymous User
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US Attorney's Office Externship in local district

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:02 pm

I received an offer to extern in the US Attorney's Office in the federal district where I am located. The offer is for Spring of 2014. I am wondering from those who have done one of these externships if it is worth the experience. Also concerned with making a commitment this far in advance. For that matter, how do the opportunities rank during the school year? Such as this opportunity vs. externship for a large law firm, a federal magistrate judge, or a state district court judge?

By the way, I am a 1L here, so this would be the Spring semester of my 2L year.

Thanks

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Skye
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Re: US Attorney's Office Externship in local district

Postby Skye » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I received an offer to extern in the US Attorney's Office in the federal district where I am located. The offer is for Spring of 2014. I am wondering from those who have done one of these externships if it is worth the experience. Also concerned with making a commitment this far in advance. For that matter, how do the opportunities rank during the school year? Such as this opportunity vs. externship for a large law firm, a federal magistrate judge, or a state district court judge?

By the way, I am a 1L here, so this would be the Spring semester of my 2L year.

Thanks

Exactly where is here?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: US Attorney's Office Externship in local district

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:05 pm

It's nothing special. Then again, neither is interning with a judge or any other agency during the school year. None of them are going to lead to full time employment. I also don't know of a single large law firm that takes school term interns. If you could work at a law firm during school you might as well do that instead since it at least marginally (if not greatly) has a chance of ending up as a full time job and you are getting paid even if you don't get a full time job.

If you're interested in seeing what life is like a prosecutor's office or want to stack a bunch of prosecutor experience on your resume then go ahead and do it. Though I would say the DA's office is better if you actually want to be a prosecutor since local DA's offices actually hire recent grads whereas the USAO does not.

Anonymous User
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Re: US Attorney's Office Externship in local district

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:It's nothing special. Then again, neither is interning with a judge or any other agency during the school year. None of them are going to lead to full time employment. I also don't know of a single large law firm that takes school term interns. If you could work at a law firm during school you might as well do that instead since it at least marginally (if not greatly) has a chance of ending up as a full time job and you are getting paid even if you don't get a full time job.

If you're interested in seeing what life is like a prosecutor's office or want to stack a bunch of prosecutor experience on your resume then go ahead and do it. Though I would say the DA's office is better if you actually want to be a prosecutor since local DA's offices actually hire recent grads whereas the USAO does not.


OP here.

Thank you sir for the info. Actually, I am not looking for either a prosecutor's office or an internship with a judge to lead to full-time employment. I had a career before law school that should open up plenty of opportunities, and actually has this summer already. Really just looking for the internship to further my education and look good on my resume as legal experience.

r6_philly
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Re: US Attorney's Office Externship in local district

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:19 pm

I think working for a judge who let you work on a lot of different kind of cases would be the better experience because of the broad exposure you get. But that isn't guaranteed with just any judge. Working at USAO depends on the division you are in. I think the best part of working in the court house is that you can check out any proceeding that's going on and have access (if given) to read materials before going to the proceeding. And if you are lucky, you can even participate/observe discussions in chambers after proceedings and find out why decisions are made the way they do. You may discover some areas of the law are more interesting than you thought before.

anon168
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Re: US Attorney's Office Externship in local district

Postby anon168 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:It's nothing special. Then again, neither is interning with a judge or any other agency during the school year. None of them are going to lead to full time employment. I also don't know of a single large law firm that takes school term interns. If you could work at a law firm during school you might as well do that instead since it at least marginally (if not greatly) has a chance of ending up as a full time job and you are getting paid even if you don't get a full time job.

If you're interested in seeing what life is like a prosecutor's office or want to stack a bunch of prosecutor experience on your resume then go ahead and do it. Though I would say the DA's office is better if you actually want to be a prosecutor since local DA's offices actually hire recent grads whereas the USAO does not.


OP here.

Thank you sir for the info. Actually, I am not looking for either a prosecutor's office or an internship with a judge to lead to full-time employment. I had a career before law school that should open up plenty of opportunities, and actually has this summer already. Really just looking for the internship to further my education and look good on my resume as legal experience.


If that's the case, then I think either experience would be equally fine for purposes of resume sparkle and career advancement.

For someone like you, it just comes down to what you prefer between (1) seeing a case progress through the eyes of a litigant, or prosecutor (USAO); or (2) seeing a case being decided through the perspective of, for lack of a better word, a baseball umpire.

Both have their benefits and downsides -- neither of which necessarily outweigh the other. It just comes down to what you want out of the experience. One thing to keep in mind. Externing for a judge can often mean very little (or no?) contact with the actual judge. You'll be spending most of your time interacting and taking direction with the law clerks. At the USAO, meanwhile, you'll be working directly with different AUSAs and, hopefully, helping them either investigate or litigate their cases. Just something to keep in mind.

Good luck either way.




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