Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
HiiPower2015
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:24 pm

Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby HiiPower2015 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 4:52 pm

I know most people on here are not that interested in Criminal Law, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice for someone trying to find possible firms for criminal law for a 2L summer associate position.

I've used Martindale, but if I put a size limitation on the firm I hardly get any results, but if I don't have any limitation I get hundreds of results. I've already mailed the "larger" firms that do criminal law. I was wondering if anyone has any experience finding a criminal law summer position, and what steps they took. I am also having difficulty not knowing whether to search for the practice area of "criminal", "criminal defense" or "criminal law".

Career services hasn't been much luck and even though we are a TTT, they keep trying to shove large law firms down my throat even though I know I have no interest in that and no chance of getting a summer job because of my school.

Also, if anyone has had any luck, were you able to find a paid 2L associate position at a criminal law firm?
Last edited by HiiPower2015 on Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Scotusnerd
Posts: 813
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:08 pm

That's the wrong way of going about criminal law. First of all, most firms (except for the high powered criminal defense firms) will not have the resources to pay you over the summer. If you want to get paid, I recommend clerking at a DA or an AG office. There might be some criminal defense firms available, but I doubt you'll get them with your current lack of connections.

You need to contact and make connections with the lawyers in the field to get access to those sorts of firms. They just aren't going to be in there doing OCI.

You have a few options.
1. Probably the easiest is to volunteer at a local state office and start using them to make connections. Either prosecutors or PDs will know the criminal defense attorneys you want to deal with.
2. Another option is the State AG and the sort of work they do.
3. Also, appellate defense if you're more interested in that type. It's often overlooked and they could always use the help.
4. You could attend some programs that the law school has on the subject through career services. Introduce yourself to the attorneys, tell them you're interested in criminal law, and would like an opportunity to shadow them or a friend and see what they do all day.
5. As a last resort, you could just try cold calling and asking if you could shadow for a day. Don't bring up a law clerk position yet. You will likely be turned down (if you get a return call at all), but it's worth a shot if you have no other options.
6. Finally, intern in a trial judge's chambers. This will bring you into contact with criminal attorneys, and if you're lucky you'll be given an introduction by the judge.

The long and the short of it is that you need contacts more than grades. You need to get someone who knows you and can tell you who to talk to, otherwise you're going to get stuck with some schmuck who'll fuck over your livelihood for a buck. Hope this helps.

HiiPower2015
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:24 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby HiiPower2015 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:15 pm

That is very helpful thanks. I'm currently externing at the PD office and am trying to introduce myself to as many people as I can. I can definitely try to get more active though within the criminal defense BAR group in my area.

I guess I am just nervous because it seems so much harder to get experience doing this kind of work because of the lack of summer associate programs, so I am unsure how to best prepare myself for that career path.

Thanks again for the insight though, it sounds like it will just take time and connections.

User avatar
deadpanic
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:09 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby deadpanic » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:21 pm

PD or DA is good - preferably an office that lets you get trial experience in. That is crucial to criminal work. You likely won't get paid at either, but it will be good experience & contacts.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby rad lulz » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:23 pm

The best way start a career in crim law (except for white collar) is to start as a DA, PD, or maybe State AG. Full stop.

There you will get trials and training and an established network of people.

If I were you, I'd gear my search for work post-grad to achieving one of these outcomes. DA/PD is most likely.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22822
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:28 pm

I agree with all the above. If your goal is to end up doing private criminal defense, you may need to start as a PD/DA before moving to the private side, since many criminal law firms are quite small and don't have the time/resources to train someone from the ground up. (Keep in mind that I'm pretty sure private criminal firms don't care which side you were on as long as you got significant criminal law experience, but if you intern/work for a DA's office it may be very difficult to get a position as a PD.)

HiiPower2015
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:24 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby HiiPower2015 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:34 pm

Thanks everybody for the advice. Since I am at the PD's office now and will be all year, what should I do this summer?

I definitely want to do the criminal defense side so I would rather not do the DA route, especially since it may hurt my future chances at a PD office.

seatown12
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:16 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby seatown12 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:48 pm

HiiPower2015 wrote:Thanks everybody for the advice. Since I am at the PD's office now and will be all year, what should I do this summer?

I definitely want to do the criminal defense side so I would rather not do the DA route, especially since it may hurt my future chances at a PD office.

stay at the PD's office, try to get a few trials under your belt, make good impressions on every attorney there, and hope to god they are hiring when you graduate

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=171348

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby rad lulz » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:41 pm

seatown12 wrote:
HiiPower2015 wrote:Thanks everybody for the advice. Since I am at the PD's office now and will be all year, what should I do this summer?

I definitely want to do the criminal defense side so I would rather not do the DA route, especially since it may hurt my future chances at a PD office.

stay at the PD's office, try to get a few trials under your belt, make good impressions on every attorney there, and hope to god they are hiring when you graduate

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=171348

This, basically

Though depending on where you are DA is usually better funded/more well-regarded than PD

Gorki
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: Tips for finding Criminal Law 2L Summer Position

Postby Gorki » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:50 pm

HiiPower2015 wrote:I know most people on here are not that interested in Criminal Law, but I was wondering if anyone had any advice for someone trying to find possible firms for criminal law for a 2L summer associate position.

I've used Martindale, but if I put a size limitation on the firm I hardly get any results, but if I don't have any limitation I get hundreds of results. I've already mailed the "larger" firms that do criminal law. I was wondering if anyone has any experience finding a criminal law summer position, and what steps they took. I am also having difficulty not knowing whether to search for the practice area of "criminal", "criminal defense" or "criminal law".

Career services hasn't been much luck and even though we are a TTT, they keep trying to shove large law firms down my throat even though I know I have no interest in that and no chance of getting a summer job because of my school.

Also, if anyone has had any luck, were you able to find a paid 2L associate position at a criminal law firm?


Really you need to keep symplicity on lockdown and keep an eye on any state bar association or networking association newsletters for these positions.

I know your frustration here regarding the smaller firms; obviously there will be no more than a few crim law firms w/more than 4-5 attorneys, but sending e-mail to every solo atty in the state for a summer gig may be an exercise in futility.

If possible start going to any crim related CLEs or networking events in your area... they turned out to be an epic waste of MY time, but on the other hand I know peeps who lucked out going to them.

I know three people who were paid to work in crim firms, part-time, this summer. They did expungements, omnibus hearings for dwi, and basic form work... but that is most of crim practice.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.