1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

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Anonymous User
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1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:49 am

I'm going for biglaw but for 1L summer, I'm looking for a PI job.

I'm unsure how to approach the interview. I have no PI background. Do employers know that you're only there for the summer and going to leave after using them for experience? Is it okay to acknowledge that? What exactly do they look for in answers?

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banjo
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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby banjo » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:14 am

For PI interviews, I just said I wanted to explore a career in X and do lots of legal research and writing. They know that it's just a summer job, and are happy to have the free labor.

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transferror
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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby transferror » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm going for biglaw but for 1L summer, I'm looking for a PI job.


This statement doesn't make much sense. Biglaw doesn't want PI experience. Not that your 1L job matters much, but I'd be careful about throwing too much PI on a resume before waltzing into OCI looking to be at a firm. Go work for a judge and sharpen your writing skills.

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BVest
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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby BVest » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:39 am

PI is fine in 1L summer, but you do have to be selective about the politics of it. Go for a PI that everyone supports, like one that provides legal advice to crime/abuse victims or the like. Alternately, go in-house at a large non-profit like American Heart Association, UNICEF, Make-a-Wish or the like, which would get you do-gooder cred with corp in-house experience (you'll be doing some donation stuff, but more employment issues an the like). Avoid the PI that goes after the actions of large corporations or has a clear political bent one way or another or will turn off people with such a bent (e.g. Planned Parenthood).

As for what OP's getting at, I'm just guessing, but OP may be at a school with a pro bono requirement or even optional but highly encouraged program for which a 1L summer position will cover all the required hours.

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:54 am

BVest wrote:PI is fine in 1L summer, but you do have to be selective about the politics of it. Go for a PI that everyone supports, like one that provides legal advice to crime/abuse victims or the like. Alternately, go in-house at a large non-profit like American Heart Association, UNICEF, Make-a-Wish or the like, which would get you do-gooder cred with corp in-house experience (you'll be doing some donation stuff, but more employment issues an the like). Avoid the PI that goes after the actions of large corporations or has a clear political bent one way or another or will turn off people with such a bent (e.g. Planned Parenthood).

As for what OP's getting at, I'm just guessing, but OP may be at a school with a pro bono requirement or even optional but highly encouraged program for which a 1L summer position will cover all the required hours.


Do you think that something like the ACLU would be too politically charged for a 1L summer job if you want big law in the future?

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby BVest » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:00 am

BigZuck wrote:Do you think that something like the ACLU would be too politically charged for a 1L summer job if you want big law in the future?


For biglaw it may or may not, depending on who's screening. If you have any plans to clerk, though, it may prevent you from getting an interview in a number of chambers, especially in a more conservative state.

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:32 am

OP here
I thought the general consensus was that any legal job is okay for 1L summer.

Yea my school supports PI and funds it. I figure it's be easier to just find a non-paying job and let my school pay me. Would it be worth the extra effort to try finding a job somewhere else or clerk (which I think is too late anyway)?

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby bearsfan23 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:49 am

BVest wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Do you think that something like the ACLU would be too politically charged for a 1L summer job if you want big law in the future?


For biglaw it may or may not, depending on who's screening. If you have any plans to clerk, though, it may prevent you from getting an interview in a number of chambers, especially in a more conservative state.


I highly doubt anyone interested in working for the ACLU would also be interested in clerking for a Conservative judge. That would be a first

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:I'm going for biglaw but for 1L summer, I'm looking for a PI job.

I'm unsure how to approach the interview. I have no PI background. Do employers know that you're only there for the summer and going to leave after using them for experience? Is it okay to acknowledge that? What exactly do they look for in answers?


I would tread lightly on any future plans. You want to talk about why you want to work there for the summer. Connect with the mission of the organization. Play up the 1L so I don't really know what I want to do long term angle, but here's why I want to work for you this summer.

("Free labor" is often not valued the way some people here think. Interns are very often more of a resource drain than actual help. Don't go in with an attitude that you are doing the organization a favor.)

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BVest
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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby BVest » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:09 am

bearsfan23 wrote:
BVest wrote:
BigZuck wrote:Do you think that something like the ACLU would be too politically charged for a 1L summer job if you want big law in the future?


For biglaw it may or may not, depending on who's screening. If you have any plans to clerk, though, it may prevent you from getting an interview in a number of chambers, especially in a more conservative state.


I highly doubt anyone interested in working for the ACLU would also be interested in clerking for a Conservative judge. That would be a first


Not a first at all. I can think of at least one very large, very populous state where if you want to clerk in a state court, especially a court of last resort, you don't have a choice.

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:17 pm

BVest wrote:
bearsfan23 wrote:I highly doubt anyone interested in working for the ACLU would also be interested in clerking for a Conservative judge. That would be a first


Not a first at all. I can think of at least one very large, very populous state where if you want to clerk in a state court, especially a court of last resort, you don't have a choice.

And most of the time, a judge's politics don't really enter into the analysis. I mean, if a judge is virulently opposed to everything you believe and you couldn't spend any time in a room with him/her, that's one thing. But the vast majority of work you do is governed entirely by established law whether your judge is liberal, conservative, or believes that little green men from Mars run the world. So I don't think limiting your clerkship options by politics is wise or necessary.

(Which I guess is a different issue from whether your politics will make you less attractive the judges... I kinda think clerk hiring is so idiosyncratic that it's not worth worrying about, but that's also easy for me to say.)

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:36 pm

OP here again.

I'm having trouble with public interest interviews.

When asked why I want to work for the organization, I say that I want to help people, contribute to the community, etc.
However, this seems a little disingenuous since I have no PI work in my background.

I've been asked in almost all my interviews what my ultimate goal is, which I say "work in practice area X; however, I would like to take this summer to hone my legal writing skills, gain some experience, etc. etc. etc." is this the appropriate answer?

Any more tips on how to convince them that I want to work pro bono and "help people" despite my non-PI background?

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:12 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here again.

I'm having trouble with public interest interviews.

When asked why I want to work for the organization, I say that I want to help people, contribute to the community, etc.
However, this seems a little disingenuous since I have no PI work in my background.

I've been asked in almost all my interviews what my ultimate goal is, which I say "work in practice area X; however, I would like to take this summer to hone my legal writing skills, gain some experience, etc. etc. etc." is this the appropriate answer?

Any more tips on how to convince them that I want to work pro bono and "help people" despite my non-PI background?


It's good if you can tie it your past experience or your future interest. For a crim PI job, I just talked about how much I liked my Crim Law class and how I was interested in white-collar crime. For an agency job, I talked about how I just to work in an industry regulated by the agency and I was really interested in seeing the other side of it. You can probably find a connection to every PI org you applied to if you think enough.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1L Summer job question- what to say in interviews

Postby Big Dog » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:27 pm

When asked why I want to work for the organization, I say that I want to help people,


Almost always a bad answer. (Why not go to nursing school? Nurses help people.)

A better answer is that you have a passion for whatever it is that they do, i.e., education, health care, immigration reform, etc.




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