Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

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Anonymous User
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Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:51 pm

I'm a 1L and I'm wondering how helpful a summer judicial internship with a federal district judge really is if I end up not doing well my 1L year. My goal at the moment is to eventually go into government work for law.

I would love to work for a judge but what good does the internship provide if I don't end up doing well 1L year?

It seems like it would be more helpful to work at a smaller group/government agency/employer who might think about hiring me?? I don't know. I would appreciate any advice on this...

I do not go to a T-20 school.

GOATlawman
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby GOATlawman » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:52 pm

Not very helpful for anything other than a very easy way to spend your summer before biglaw at biglaw feeding schools, at which no one will raise an eyebrow

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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:04 am

OP here--Sad to hear that fed judicial internships don't carry much impact in terms of helping one secure full employment somehow when employers see it on a resume line when hiring time comes in 2L/3L year. Could I split the summer so I could do a fed judicial internship AND another internship (non-judicial)? Or are federal judicial internships full-time and for the whole summer?

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:14 am

My understanding is that most federal judges would not want you to split your summer. It's an all-or-nothing sort of thing, I think.

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BVest
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby BVest » Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:51 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:My understanding is that most federal judges would not want you to split your summer. It's an all-or-nothing sort of thing, I think.

This is not my impression, at least not here in Texas where split summers are common, although I concede this may be a regional difference.

Most federal judges here either allow split summers (e.g. "minimum of six weeks") or structure their internships specifically for splits (e.g. "two available positions for first half and two available positions for second half, each lasting six weeks"). Not allowing splits would take them out of the market for 1Ls (and 2Ls) who have SA positions, which is generally the caliber student they seek.

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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:02 pm

What about for NY fed courts? Anyone have experience with this?

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:11 pm

All my interviewers liked my fed judicial internships (district court and circuit court). I interviewed with most of the large Detroit firms and it was always an excellent talking point, as a lot of my interviewers had practiced with the judge and liked sharing war stories. It was absolutely a plus as I wanted to litigate.

As a 1L it could quite possibly be the best substantive experience one can recieve in litigation, short of a 1L summer associate position (and even then your exposure in fed court will likely be to a far broader range of subject matter). You have to really take advantage of it, tell them your want as much substantive exposure as you can get.

It's the rare 1L job that leads to full time employment. My view is other 1L internships at firms or organisations run the risk of you just being a clerk / office bitch. In a federal court you get to see some real justice happening from a behind the bench perspective. I think fed judicial internships are great for 1Ls and like seeing them on resumes (if the person wants to litigate).


GOATlawman wrote:Not very helpful for anything other than a very easy way to spend your summer before biglaw at biglaw feeding schools, at which no one will raise an eyebrow


I just disagree with this. OP said they were not in a T20 school and made no mention of Biglaw. There is a legal world outside of biglaw. I say they are great.

sflyr2016
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby sflyr2016 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:41 pm

If it will be in the market in which you will practice, then it should help; at least this was the case for me. In fact, my class rank, law review, and past work experience never came up, most of what I was asked about at interviews was about working with my judge. Then again, this could just be my experience...

GOATlawman
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby GOATlawman » Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:40 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
GOATlawman wrote:Not very helpful for anything other than a very easy way to spend your summer before biglaw at biglaw feeding schools, at which no one will raise an eyebrow


I just disagree with this. OP said they were not in a T20 school and made no mention of Biglaw. There is a legal world outside of biglaw. I say they are great.


better to work somewhere, ideally, that could lead to the actual job you want (mostly small firm), or otherwise that demonstrates an interest in what you want to do. E.g., Public defender will be a lot more impressed at interning for a PD than a judge, etc. I'm assuming from a TTT big firms are out of play

jmho

adonai
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby adonai » Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:49 pm

Did a fed district and fed CoA internship with one of the most well known/revered judges in our circuit. Literally, NO one cared. I did "really" "substantive" stuff there, too, and got good writing samples. Not sure if interviewers were secretly jumping for joy with glee like a little school girl on the inside, but it didn't show and I didn't get the jobs I applied for. Those types of internships might get someone to do a double take on you (in terms of pulling your resume out for an interview out of hundreds/thousands of candidates) and get your foot in the door, but it definitely will not serve as something that will be an auto-hire or anywhere near it. YOU as a person have to wow the interviewer.

If anything, I'd recommend doing a fed judicial internship just because of how much it improves your writing. I basically learned legal writing and bluebook citation at my first judicial internship during 1L summer. I had a terrible legal writing professor. I learned about good legal writing from the judicial clerk who was very patient and really critiqued my work.

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:46 pm

BVest wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:My understanding is that most federal judges would not want you to split your summer. It's an all-or-nothing sort of thing, I think.

This is not my impression, at least not here in Texas where split summers are common, although I concede this may be a regional difference.

Most federal judges here either allow split summers (e.g. "minimum of six weeks") or structure their internships specifically for splits (e.g. "two available positions for first half and two available positions for second half, each lasting six weeks"). Not allowing splits would take them out of the market for 1Ls (and 2Ls) who have SA positions, which is generally the caliber student they seek.

Ah okay, yeah it probably varies by judge and jurisdiction then. IIRC, I heard the "no split summers" thing from a 2L or 3L at Columbia who had interned in DC, SDNY, or EDNY (can't remember which), where things might be a bit different. 1L SAs in NY at least are very rare for non-diversity candidates.

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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:05 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:
BVest wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:My understanding is that most federal judges would not want you to split your summer. It's an all-or-nothing sort of thing, I think.

This is not my impression, at least not here in Texas where split summers are common, although I concede this may be a regional difference.

Most federal judges here either allow split summers (e.g. "minimum of six weeks") or structure their internships specifically for splits (e.g. "two available positions for first half and two available positions for second half, each lasting six weeks"). Not allowing splits would take them out of the market for 1Ls (and 2Ls) who have SA positions, which is generally the caliber student they seek.

Ah okay, yeah it probably varies by judge and jurisdiction then. IIRC, I heard the "no split summers" thing from a 2L or 3L at Columbia who had interned in DC, SDNY, or EDNY (can't remember which), where things might be a bit different. 1L SAs in NY at least are very rare for non-diversity candidates.


OP here. Thanks for your help guys. How would I go about asking a judge/his clerk if I could split a summer?

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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:08 pm

Last year, it was getting late in the biglaw hiring cycle and I had one final callback I was waiting to hear back from. I got a federal judicial internship for the spring semester and when I called the firm to update them about it, they offered me the job. I later found out that the internship put me over the top and got me the job.

T14

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:35 pm

A federal judicial internship is helpful in that it's a legal job and gives you something to talk about in interviews. Employers aren't going to say, oh, wow, a judicial internship, we have to hire this person!!, but mostly because judicial internships are pretty common. However it's a perfectly respectable thing to do and, as you can see, anecdotally some people will like to see it.

I don't think it's any better or worse than any other 1L gig. Yes, if you can find a job where they're likely to hire you after graduation, that's always best. Failing that, pay is nice. But those are difficult gigs to get for your 1L summer, and especially outside the T14, most people won't. If you're diehard PD/DA (which it doesn't sound like you are) it's probably important to work for a DA/PD office whenever you can, but few of those can guarantee their interns a post-grad job. Small firms and government agencies aren't going to know now (or for a long time) whether they can/will hire someone after you graduate. So you could luck out and find one that turns into a permanent job, or you could not.

Tl;dr - doing a federal internship probably isn't going to get you a job in itself, but very few 1L jobs are going to do that. That's why the job market is tough.

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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:29 pm

To add an anecdote (anon because there are people who know which fed judges I interviewed with), I interviewed with a fed judge for a clerkship and noticed in my preparation that every single one of his term clerks since his appointment 2 decades ago was a relatively good-looking young woman with the exception of his current clerk. I later learned that this clerk had interned for the judge for first half of 2L summer and, instead of soliciting resumes for the upcoming term clerkship, simply offered the intern the clerkship.

So there's an example of interning paying off (but don't expect it to happen to you, and some judges explicitly state that they will not consider their interns for future clerkship slots).

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minnbills
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Re: Federal Judicial Internship--How helpful is it for jobs???

Postby minnbills » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:38 pm

Judicial internships are great experience. Go for it.

Hardly any 1L jobs that turn into postgrad jobs. Right now it's about building the resume. Interning with a federal judge is an excellent resume line.




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