Firm Jobs for a Summer Associate vs. Public Sector

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Connor Benz
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:49 pm

Firm Jobs for a Summer Associate vs. Public Sector

Postby Connor Benz » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:33 pm

Since summer is rolling up and people are doing the job search, I was wondering if anybody who worked in firms for their summer and those who worked in the public sector can share their experiences. I heard that working at firm as a summer associate is nothing but research and writing all day. You are not taking depositions, preparing witness questions, or interrogatories. I heard that they let you sit in on meetings and thats about it. I was told this is because clients are paying money and they want a partner or a more experienced attorney to do the work so therefore all summer associates are good for is for writing and doing research all day for 40+ hours a week.

Comparatively, if you work in the government realm, you are doing more substantive legal work like actually taking depositions, preparing witness questions, attending trial and things alike.

I wanted to know if any of this has some truth to it. Because I am torn between firms and public sector.

target
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:40 pm

Re: Firm Jobs for a Summer Associate vs. Public Sector

Postby target » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:44 pm

If you are a 2L, take whatever summer position that will lead to a post-grad job.

If you are a 1L, take whatever summer position that will lead to a 2L job, which may subsequently lead to a post-grad job.

You can do whatever "substantive" work in clinic or at an internship.

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cinephile
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Re: Firm Jobs for a Summer Associate vs. Public Sector

Postby cinephile » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:45 pm

Trust me, you can do nothing but write memos all day in the public sector too.

aggregate
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Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:12 pm

Re: Firm Jobs for a Summer Associate vs. Public Sector

Postby aggregate » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:47 pm

depends on the specific public sector job. I worked at the DA's office during my 2L summer and was in court every day and even tried a case

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Firm Jobs for a Summer Associate vs. Public Sector

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:51 pm

You might want to be more specific about what you mean by "public sector." I interned for a judge and did nothing but research and write (which was what I wanted, because they're important skills for a lot of lawyers). In a PD/DA office you probably get to observe a lot of stuff in court, and maybe play a more active role depending on where you are and who you work for, but it's not likely to be incredibly substantive depending on what you mean by that. But then there's legal aid, local/municipal governments, state/federal agencies, high profile non-profits like the ACLU, lower-profile ones like [insert local non-profit here], all of which might have different expectations for a 1L summer. (If you're talking about 1L. 2L at, say, DA/PD will be much more active.)

bdubs
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Re: Firm Jobs for a Summer Associate vs. Public Sector

Postby bdubs » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:09 pm

You're not likely to take a deposition anywhere since you're not actually an attorney. In some states you're allowed to do limited representation under the supervision of licensed attorney if you do it for a PI or govt. organization. But, if the task is actually consequential and final (like a depo where a redo is usually not allowed), then any reputable place is not likely to let a student intern handle it.




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