How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273518
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:18 pm

Working for a F200 in a corporate development role for the Summer. I have an interest in chasing non-law but I will still be going through OCI. I will be BL competitive if grades hold(T22).

How should I spin this for legal recruiting?

uvheylaw
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:46 pm

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby uvheylaw » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:27 pm

Had a friend who did this and he had a tough time, even at a t14. Problem is doing something like this signals your not committed to law, which clearly by your post you aren't. If you really want to keep the legal door open id try and find something legal, but I get it's probably too late for that at this point.

User avatar
zot1
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby zot1 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:38 pm

I second this ^.

Maybe try to find some small firm work and split the summer?

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby Br3v » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:50 pm

Try splitting. You could still probably very easily land an internship with a judge.

User avatar
rpupkin
Posts: 3864
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 pm

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby rpupkin » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:29 pm

uvheylaw wrote:Had a friend who did this and he had a tough time, even at a t14. Problem is doing something like this signals your not committed to law, which clearly by your post you aren't. If you really want to keep the legal door open id try and find something legal, but I get it's probably too late for that at this point.

It's definitely not too late. I know 1Ls who got their summer jobs in May.

Also, lol@T22

Anonymous User
Posts: 273518
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2015 8:57 am

I thought the 22, would be amusing rather than T25.

But OT, I won't be able to split. I already asked. I might be able to take a 5-10 hour a week side job, but I was told to be prepared for I-banking hours.

Realistically I'm looking for a way to spin what I'm doing in interviews.

User avatar
swampman
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby swampman » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:14 am

It's not that the experience is useless, firms love people with corporate experience (you know what the workplace is like, can relate to clients better, etc). You can "spin" this the same way you would pre-law school work experience.

The problem is that from your post it sounds like you're not very committed in a career in law. The decision to take a non-legal job reflects that, and interviewers will pick up on it. There is no way to "spin" this to make you look interested in legal work. If you're committed to getting a legal job you need to take everyone's advice and get a legal job this summer. Otherwise keep networking hard for the business job you want (and if you're not on a full scholarship, reconsider why you're in law school at all).

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 3921
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:19 am

Talk to a professor about a RA position and try to spin it as "I took the gig to get corporate experience and $, but still developed substantive legal skills"

Anonymous User
Posts: 273518
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:47 am

swampman wrote:It's not that the experience is useless, firms love people with corporate experience (you know what the workplace is like, can relate to clients better, etc). You can "spin" this the same way you would pre-law school work experience.

The problem is that from your post it sounds like you're not very committed in a career in law. The decision to take a non-legal job reflects that, and interviewers will pick up on it. There is no way to "spin" this to make you look interested in legal work. If you're committed to getting a legal job you need to take everyone's advice and get a legal job this summer. Otherwise keep networking hard for the business job you want (and if you're not on a full scholarship, reconsider why you're in law school at all).


I'm not committed to a career in law. I guess that might be because I don't know exactly what lawyers do, but most BL sounds like it isn't great for exit opportunities or for long term job prospects. I might be interested in transactional/corporate for a couple years but realistically I'm going through OCI because a job is better than no job at all.


pancakes3 wrote:Talk to a professor about a RA position and try to spin it as "I took the gig to get corporate experience and $, but still developed substantive legal skills"


Okay thanks. Would I be able to spin the fact that I work in a deal making function help me alot? Like if I tried to do something finance driven like restructuring/M and A/fund formation, the fact that corp dev is deal heavy(and a good chance we'll close 1-3 deals) good experience to talk about? Or would that sound like I really just want to do non-legal finance work?

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 3921
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:13 am

There are more qualified posters on this board that actually took non-legal finance/consulting summer jobs then went through OCI so I won't pretend to speak from a place of authority. However, I can't imagine it helping "a lot". It'll only help as much as you being persuasive about your reasoning allows for. Then again, I don't think it signals that you're a de facto flight risk for finance in the near future - merely a potential flight risk. Short answer, you'll have to interview just slightly better than everyone else but I don't think it's insurmountable.

User avatar
zot1
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:53 am

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby zot1 » Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:55 am

Point taken, OP.

Best way I can think of spinning is to mention that before coming to a law firm for your second summer, you wanted to get a better understanding of corporate clients, to better serve them, and that's why you picked this opportunity. This has been used for students who work in-house first summer. It's not the greatest excuse, but if you believe it enough, interviewers might too.

Good luck!

Anonymous User
Posts: 273518
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:32 pm

Try to get in with the legal department while you're there, see if you can get some assignments with them. I did in house at GE, but also worked in their M&A group and with their VC arm - listed this all on my resume. I had no issue with OCI, even in Big law. Firms knew my background was in M&A and VC/PEG capital raises (3 years at an investment bank) and my background in general points more towards business (started/sold 2 businesses in UG) than to law, but I was never questioned about it beyond "so why did you go to law school" - which was not some: "i want to save the world response"

User avatar
AMilfordMan
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:28 pm

Re: How to spin non-legal summer for 2L?

Postby AMilfordMan » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:20 pm

Could you try to set up an externship for next fall? If you could clerk 10-15 hours a week for a judge/firm/govt. next school year and get credit for it, you could lighten your class load plus go into to OCI showing you already have corporate experience and you will be getting legal experience during the school year.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.