1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

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Anonymous User
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1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:54 am

To get this out of the way, I apologize for what some may consider a stupid/naïve question. I only ask because there seems to be so much established thought on TLS, and I struggle at times to find the rationale behind what many posters seem to indicate is an obvious way of thinking. Feel free to flame me if you like, though. I'm honestly here because I could use the guidance.

Things to know about me:
--I have never worked in a legal setting.
--I have no clue what area of law I ultimately want to practice in (though I know I do NOT want to work in criminal law or personal injury).
--I am attending a school ranked in the 30s-40s.
--I chose said school because I want to work in the region the school is located in (I'm not originally from here but I do have some minor ties/reasons for wanting to be here long-term).
--I got a 4.0 GPA during the first semester and am ranked in the top five of my 1L class.
--I'm married, and my wife has a decent job she won't want to quit any time in the near future.
--I'm attending law school on a significant scholarship and won't be saddled by much debt when I graduate. My parents are reasonably wealthy and fronted me the money the scholarship didn't cover, so I can repay them as I'm able and at essentially zero interest.
--As a result of the two previous points, my ultimate employment goals aren't chiefly about how much I can earn.
--I'm terrified by the tales of biglaw associates burning out horribly and working 80+ hour weeks regularly. I want to be able to be a husband and (when the time comes) a father.
--Work/life balance (if such a thing exists) is my chief motivating factor in finding employment, followed by the chance to do work which is (at least on some level) "interesting" or "mentally stimulating" -- yes, I'm using vague terms and clichés.

Considering all those things, am I wasting my time even applying/looking at larger firms for 1L summer associate positions? I obviously would like to spend the summer in a setting (or settings) where I can be exposed to many different areas of practice to learn what I'm truly interested in.

Should I just be blanketing firms of all sizes with my résumé/cover letter? Should I be looking at judicial internships? Any specific things I should avoid?

Thanks for any/all advice. If I deserve to be flamed for some reason I've failed to discover, feel free to do so.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

colonelnerd
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Re: 1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

Postby colonelnerd » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:24 pm

I am in a very similar situation, so I'd be interested to hear people's advice as well.

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:18 pm

Bumping this. Surprised I got no real responses.

As of now, my plan is to try to split the summer between a judicial internship and a SA position at a large firm. Any pros/cons to this approach?

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:13 pm

In my opinion it goes like this:

Firms/In-house jobs that pay & consistently turn into jobs on graduation > Firms/In-house jobs that pay > Judicial Externships > Everything else (RA's, other internships, etc.) > Non-legal jobs (waiting tables, etc.)

Also, it sounds like you should be gunning like hell for one of the rare in-house positions that turn into full time employment. You probably have the grades for it. A little less pay but a way better lifestyle. Otherwise, go with a big firm SA if you can get it. You can always do something else later on, but you'll have gotten great experience and a nice chunk of change from the summer.

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rpupkin
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Re: 1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

Postby rpupkin » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:28 pm

OP:

Given your strong desire for a work/life balance and given your impressive class standing, you should be gunning hard for government jobs. I suggest working at a federal government agency this summer in the city your law school is located in. I'd also start thinking about landing a federal clerkship, which you'll have a great shot at if you keep up your grades. (A clerkship would give you more options in the world of post-grad government employment.)

Normally, I would suggest trying to land a big firm SA gig for this summer. But considering that (1) you don't want to work at a firm with long hours and (2) money is not a concern for you, I don't see a reason to do this.

You're in a great spot. Good luck!

Anonymous User
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Re: 1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:02 pm

Anonymous User wrote:In my opinion it goes like this:

Firms/In-house jobs that pay & consistently turn into jobs on graduation > Firms/In-house jobs that pay > Judicial Externships > Everything else (RA's, other internships, etc.) > Non-legal jobs (waiting tables, etc.)

Also, it sounds like you should be gunning like hell for one of the rare in-house positions that turn into full time employment. You probably have the grades for it. A little less pay but a way better lifestyle. Otherwise, go with a big firm SA if you can get it. You can always do something else later on, but you'll have gotten great experience and a nice chunk of change from the summer.


I apologize for my ignorance (and asking for my hand to be held), but I didn't know there even were summer in-house positions that turn into full-time employment. Are there any examples/ways I might find such jobs?

fish52
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Re: 1L Summer: What jobs should I be pursuing?

Postby fish52 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:05 pm

I am assuming you aren't a URM (because you didn't mention it), and given that you go to a school ranked in the 30s-40s, it is highly unlikely that you could find a 1L BigLaw SA, 4.0 or not. Given your emphasis on work-life balance, this isn't a good idea for what you want to do long-term anyway.

I have several friends who did 1L in-house summer jobs, and they almost never turn into full-time jobs after graduation.

I would suggest trying to get a 1L SA gig with a local midlaw firm. That would allow you to stay local and work reasonable hours for reasonable pay. (Note: Many midlaw firms have hours just as bad as BigLaw firms, so you will want to make sure that is not the case.) Additionally, doing a midlaw SA might allow you to work for them during the school year as a law clerk and increase your chances of being hired after graduation.




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