Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

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buckythebadger
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Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby buckythebadger » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:00 pm

I have to make a decision on a job by Friday. I'm looking to work at any of the major markets in the Midwest and should have a decent shot at bigger firms based on first semester grades. I was offered a job at a small firm in WI that's paid. I also have an offer for a judicial internship with a state SC judge. That of course is not paid. Any insights on the better path to take here?

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TTRansfer
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby TTRansfer » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:10 pm

Does the firm have longterm employment possibilities?

Total Litigator
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby Total Litigator » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:11 pm

Unless we are talking real money (ie enough to put a sizable dent in your student loans, eg biglaw SA money) I think the general rule in law school is go for the the experience not the money.

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buckythebadger
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby buckythebadger » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:12 pm

TTRansfer wrote:Does the firm have longterm employment possibilities?


No. I should also note that I'm a just a 1L.

Green Crayons
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby Green Crayons » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:51 am

Is the SSC in the state where you want to practice? If yes, that should lean in favor of taking the SSC internship.

Do you want to do litigation? If yes, that should lean in favor of taking the SSC internship (experience dealing with a broad spectrum of litigation > possibly small spectrum of litigation at a small firm).

Do you want to clerk after law school? If yes, that should lean in favor of taking the SSC internship as a judge's recommendation will be a nice boost, depending on how it plays out (e.g., whether the judge is simply going say nice things about you, or will make a call or two for you, or might consider you for as his/her own clerk, etc.).

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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:57 am

1L interns at courts often (but not always) end up interns for clerks, have little to no interaction with their judge, and many judges have policies against writing letters of recommendation or hiring their own interns. Completely depends on the judge but the safer route is the firm for a 1L summer, especially because it's paid. Even if you're just a 1L now, if you're still looking as a 3L and you impress the firm, they'll think of you when they have an entry level opening.

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buckythebadger
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby buckythebadger » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:1L interns at courts often (but not always) end up interns for clerks, have little to no interaction with their judge, and many judges have policies against writing letters of recommendation or hiring their own interns. Completely depends on the judge but the safer route is the firm for a 1L summer, especially because it's paid. Even if you're just a 1L now, if you're still looking as a 3L and you impress the firm, they'll think of you when they have an entry level opening.


This is one thing that I am worried about. I don't know how much interaction I will actually get with the judge, so this may just end up on my resume and I won't get a recommendation out of it. With the small firm, I would be getting plenty of interaction with the partner and should be able to snag a LOR out of it for next fall.

On the other hand, the quality of legal work that I would be doing would favor the SC. The internship is with WI SC, and I will definitely be applying for jobs in WI at OCI. But I'm not limiting myself to WI, I'll probably also apply to MLPS and Chicago.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:14 am

the bar for "prestigious" 1L job is higher than either of these positions. Get paid

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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:14 am

buckythebadger wrote:On the other hand, the quality of legal work that I would be doing would favor the SC. The internship is with WI SC, and I will definitely be applying for jobs in WI at OCI. But I'm not limiting myself to WI, I'll probably also apply to MLPS and Chicago.


I wouldn't assume that either. I know of court interns who didn't even get a writing sample out of the internship, and did very little substantive work. It's possible anywhere, of course. But a state supreme court internship isn't going to be a prestigious thing to put on your resume, so only do it if you think you'll get more out of it than a small firm + pay.

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BuckinghamB
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby BuckinghamB » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:10 pm

Is there any way you can split? If you can't, I would definitely take the firm job. Mostly because it's paid and legal, but secondarily because you'll probably only do substantive work for the first part of the summer at WSC (they're not in session for the second half of summer).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:33 am

You do substantive work interning at a supreme court even when they're not in session - interns will likely be reviewing petitions for cert, and there are plenty of those to go around even when the court isn't holding oral arguments. (Admittedly, the justices won't be around as much when court isn't in session, but there's still plenty of work.)

Danteshek
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Re: Small Firm vs State Supreme Court

Postby Danteshek » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:39 am

Take the money. Judicial externship is just another name for law student exploitation.




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