Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

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mickhaller_
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Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby mickhaller_ » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:57 pm

Here is my dilemma.

I go to a pretty shitty school TTTT, but I am doing well and I am ranked in the top 15%. I want to practice oil and gas law after I graduate.

I have been offered a job with a federal public defender which will start early June. I accepted the job on the spot in fear that I may not have anything else lined up for the summer. This past weekend, I interviewed for an oil and gas firm that ended up offering me a position as well. They are a small boutique firm with a couple attorneys and a legal assistant.

At any rate here is my dilemma. With the O and G firm, I landed the interview because I reached out to them and at the end of the email I mentioned that I am more interested in gaining practical experience as an oil and gas attorney and will be willing to work without any compensation. As you may have guessed, the fed job is unpaid as well, however, my school gives out a stipend for students with PI jobs for the summer.

The O and G firm is in Houston,TX where I am from and as we all know is the energy capital here in the states. It makes all the sense in the world for me to take that position but I am really hesitant to renege on the federal job especially since they have a set program for their law clerk's and I get to work with other law students from great schools. The federal defenders office is a pretty prestigious one. Having the stipend too does not hurt especially since the job is out of town and I will need to relocate for the summer.

With the O and G firm, I get to gain experience in the field of law that I went into law school thinking I wanted to practice in. However, because they haven't mentioned any compensation I am not so excited about it anymore. Additionally, it seems like they are more interested in me because I took the initiative to reach out to them and they didn't really have plans to work with an intern this summer. I am yet to say yes to their offer for a number of reasons. (1) Will it look bad if I asked them about being compensated even though I reached out to the firm saying that I will be willing to work without compensation? (2) He stated that I could work anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months depending on the fit. Wouldn't it be crazy if I turned down the fed job and then for whatever reason things do not work out with the O and G firm and they let me go after a couple weeks and I am left with nothing to show for the entire summer (3) Is it OK if I ask that I split my summer and work with the O and G firm for the entire month of May.... my last final is on the 6th of May and let them know that I would like to also work the other job which starts in early June.

Any advice here will be helpful on what to do next. Thanks.

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bk1
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:00 pm

1. Ask them about compensation. They cannot legally not pay you.

2. Meh, you could always write your resume such as "Summer 2012 - Firm" if they let you go quickly.

3. I'd try and spend as much time as possible with the firm.

mickhaller_
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby mickhaller_ » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:34 pm

Just accepted the job, hope I made the right decision.

texanwahoo
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby texanwahoo » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:01 am

bk1 wrote:1. Ask them about compensation. They cannot legally not pay you.


Are you f'ing kidding me??? The OP is clearly a 1L, and aside from the *tiny* few that land BigLaw jobs, nearly every 1L I know has accepted unpaid summer internships. At my school at least, we get work-study pay for PI jobs, as well as class credit (and you can additionally get financial aid if you can amass a total of six summer credits). It's not BigLaw $$$ ($15/hour), but it suffices for most.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:05 am

texanwahoo wrote:
bk1 wrote:1. Ask them about compensation. They cannot legally not pay you.


Are you f'ing kidding me??? The OP is clearly a 1L, and aside from the *tiny* few that land BigLaw jobs, nearly every 1L I know has accepted unpaid summer internships. At my school at least, we get work-study pay for PI jobs, as well as class credit (and you can additionally get financial aid if you can amass a total of six summer credits). It's not BigLaw $$$ ($15/hour), but it suffices for most.

Under the FLSA, for-profit employers - i.e. firms - are not allowed to do unpaid internships except under narrowly-defined circumstances. Non-profit employers - PI, judges, DA/PD - are not subject to these rules.

Another
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Postby Another » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:21 am

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Last edited by Another on Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mickhaller_
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby mickhaller_ » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:31 pm

hopkins23 wrote:Are you being compensated?


I reached out to them saying that I am willing to go to work without compensation. During the interview, compensation didn't come up. I feel as though it may be a little weird for me to ask about it now. I asked if they will be willing to allow me to do a split summer where I will work for them before leaving for the job in Alabama in June. They pretty much said NO, if I choose to take the job in Alabama, they will limit my internship during my time with them.

It was a bad email to wake up too. I do not want to burn bridges with these people or come off as dishonest or anything of that nature. I just want to make the right decision. I think that I may regret turning down the fed job and I am just not willing to do that.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:32 pm

For future reference, don't offer to work without pay. Let them bring that up.

mickhaller_
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby mickhaller_ » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:33 pm

They asked me to give them a decision soon. I really just need to get back to preparing for finals and have all of this behind me.

Myself
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Postby Myself » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:34 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:37 pm

texanwahoo wrote:
bk1 wrote:1. Ask them about compensation. They cannot legally not pay you.


Are you f'ing kidding me??? The OP is clearly a 1L, and aside from the *tiny* few that land BigLaw jobs, nearly every 1L I know has accepted unpaid summer internships. At my school at least, we get work-study pay for PI jobs, as well as class credit (and you can additionally get financial aid if you can amass a total of six summer credits). It's not BigLaw $$$ ($15/hour), but it suffices for most.


calm down, you're talking about separate things.

mickhaller_
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby mickhaller_ » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:13 pm

ajax adonis wrote:If you're getting paid for your O and G job in Houston, I would take that one. Would you ever want to work at the Fed PD in that state? If not, I wouldn't worry about burning bridges. It happens. You can try to spin it. If you really need help with that, ask me, and I'll let you know.



I doubt that I am going to get paid for the O and G job. Like I said, I sent out an email stating that I would be willing to go to work without compensation and things went from there. I ended up getting the job. However, during the interview they told me the internship could last anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months depending on the fit. Compensation also never came up.

I hope anyone can see my hesitation to renege on the fed job where there is a set program for interns and I imagine I would be gaining a world of knowledge and experience. Plus I get a stipend to last me throughout the summer. In my mind, even though I do want to practice O and G law eventually, it makes no sense to take a job that is kind of up in the air, no set plan for an intern and on top of that, looks like I will not be getting compensated for it. I want to make a sound decision and right now the O and G job just does not make sense in the grand scheme of things.

Kobe824
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Re: Advise on how to spend my summer. (Private Practise v. Feds)

Postby Kobe824 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:25 pm

Take the O&G job -- even if it is unpaid. It'll set you up nicely for future opportunities in that field. Unless you're interested in doing public defender work, I would just renege on that position. Those offices tend to have a ton of interns and they won't have a problem replacing you.

I had a similar decision for my 1L summer -- and I have always regretted taking a DA offer over the opportunity to work at an oil and gas company.




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