1L Summer - Are some PD jobs better than others?

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POTUS2044
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Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:30 pm

1L Summer - Are some PD jobs better than others?

Postby POTUS2044 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:27 am

1L at an upper T14. I would really like to work for a PD this summer supposing I don't find something that doesn't pay way more than the school's fellowship does (debt sucks.........)

Do any PDs make offers to law student summer employees? Otherwise, how do you find the better PDs to apply to? Or is it literally just pick any random one...?

Does it matter what PDs I look into? Are some better than others? Do any pay, or are they all volunteer?
If they are really all created equally, I imagine I'll just aim at somewhere I can live without picking up a 2nd rent bill for the summer.

Lots of questions I know, appreciate any tips though!

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Tanicius
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Re: 1L Summer - Are some PD jobs better than others/

Postby Tanicius » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:45 am

Basically, there are three routes you can go for PD tracks:

1.) Prestigious offices that may or may not hire you afterwards. Examples: Bronx, Miami, D.C. PDS, New Oreans. Good for the resume and impressing potential employers in the future, and good for convincing employers that you're not tied down to the region where you went to law school. The downside to these offices is that they rarely let you appear in court on matters of any substance.

2.) Small offices that let you get really good experience. For all anyone knows, an office could be in Podunk USA and only has seven attorneys on the staff. They may hire but probably aren't. But hey, they're letting you not just appear on the record, but do an entire fricking trial. (Realistically, never go to an office expecting a full trial, but gun for the opportunities to appear in court nonetheless. Some offices advertise these opportunities more than others.)

3.) A PD office in the area where you want to work. These offices may or may not hire you right after graduation, but they certainly prefer people who have already summered or externed with them. Great for building contacts -- especially if there are two or more county offices in the same area where you go to school, in which case you can just go to different ones each summer and build two or three times the amount of contacts for when you graduate. The downside is that this may limit your national search because it either communicates to employers that you're not very competitive or not very flexible in terms of location.

______________

Most options you look at will involve a mix of those three. It's kind of an imperfect trifecta of options -- you'll probably find offices that have two of those three qualities, but almost never all three.

If you're looking for more details advice, just tell us what school you go to and we can recommend good offices in the area. As far as actually predicting whether you will get hired at a specific office after graduation, however, that prediction is almost always impossible to make.

Also, definitely tag yourself in this thread and read all of it: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423.

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

Re: 1L Summer - Are some PD jobs better than others/

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:55 am

Tanicius wrote:Basically, there are three routes you can go for PD tracks:

1.) Prestigious offices that may or may not hire you afterwards. Examples: Bronx, Miami, D.C. PDS, New Oreans. Good for the resume and impressing potential employers in the future, and good for convincing employers that you're not tied down to the region where you went to law school. The downside to these offices is that they rarely let you appear in court on matters of any substance.

2.) Small offices that let you get really good experience. For all anyone knows, an office could be in Podunk USA and only has seven attorneys on the staff. They may hire but probably aren't. But hey, they're letting you not just appear on the record, but do an entire fricking trial. (Realistically, never go to an office expecting a full trial, but gun for the opportunities to appear in court nonetheless. Some offices advertise these opportunities more than others.)

3.) A PD office in the area where you want to work. These offices may or may not hire you right after graduation, but they certainly prefer people who have already summered or externed with them. Great for building contacts -- especially if there are two or more county offices in the same area where you go to school, in which case you can just go to different ones each summer and build two or three times the amount of contacts for when you graduate. The downside is that this may limit your national search because it either communicates to employers that you're not very competitive or not very flexible in terms of location.

______________

Most options you look at will involve a mix of those three. It's kind of an imperfect trifecta of options -- you'll probably find offices that have two of those three qualities, but almost never all three.

If you're looking for more details advice, just tell us what school you go to and we can recommend good offices in the area. As far as actually predicting whether you will get hired at a specific office after graduation, however, that prediction is almost always impossible to make.

Also, definitely tag yourself in this thread and read all of it: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=155423.


Does good experience comes purely from an office being small? Or would working for a large city's office which is under-staffed also have good experience?

Also, what makes an office prestigious? I guess I don't see why anyone would care you worked for a "prestigious" office if you don't even get good experience there?

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L Summer - Are some PD jobs better than others/

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:Does good experience comes purely from an office being small? Or would working for a large city's office which is under-staffed also have good experience?

Also, what makes an office prestigious? I guess I don't see why anyone would care you worked for a "prestigious" office if you don't even get good experience there?

No, the experience you get could depend on a lot of factors. One big one will be the attorney(s) you work for. Some will give interns lots of responsibility, feedback, and supervision, while others won't. But to increase your chances of getting good experience you should seek out offices that are known for having a good internship program. To figure out which those are, ask career services, or better yet, alumni or current students from your law school who are PDs or did PD internships. Also, ask the offices themselves when you interview with them how their internship program is structured, how interns are assigned to attorneys, what responsibilities interns have, how much feedback will be given on assignments, etc.

Different offices have different reputations. An office might have a good reputation (be "prestigious") because it's known for, e.g., its holistic approach to criminal defense (Bronx Defenders), its client-centered style of representation, its attorneys' trial skills, etc.

The "prestige" factor is important the way it is in all other aspects of life; it's a signal. It tells people that you must be special if this well-regarded office decided to hire you. Also, even if you didn't get great hands-on experience, it's good that you're learning the ropes in an office whose practice is admired by other people in the PD community; presumably you're learning something about how to be a good PD.

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

Re: 1L Summer - Are some PD jobs better than others?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:51 pm

Different Anon than above... anyone know the better PDs to look at in Texas? Preferably Houston but DFW or anywhere else is cool too...

Is there such thing as a paid internship?

Do these apps really need to be sent Dec. 1 or can I wait until after finals?




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