State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

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kaytraco1
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Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:21 pm

State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby kaytraco1 » Mon May 04, 2015 7:53 pm

About Me: 1L at Vanderbilt. K-JD. Above median first semester. Hope to land a biglaw job, currently interested in pursuing litigation.

I have a couple options for what to do this summer. Both positions are in the city I will be bidding for OCI. My options are (1) externing with a state, trial-level criminal court or (2) working in-house with the contracts manager of a fairly major company. I say "fairly major" because the company itself is not a household name, but it's a major player in its industry. Deals with transactions in the hundreds of millions range. The in-house position will be paid, and although the pay will be nice, it's not a major priority. Although I'm currently leaning towards litigation, I wouldn't mind getting some hands-on experience in transactional work. The commitment for the judicial externship can be as little as 20 hours/week, whereas the in-house position will require 40-hour weeks.

So, is one position better suited for biglaw employment? Will employers find it strange if I'm interested in litigation but did transactional work during my 1L summer? Does 1L employment really not matter, so long as I have a story to tell about the work I did and make it sound somewhat profound? Any questions I'm missing?

Any and all advice will be sincerely appreciated. I'm happy to provide more info if necessary.

CanadianWolf
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Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 04, 2015 8:01 pm

A lot of corporate litigation work arises out of contract (transactional) matters, so it would make sense to get some transactional experience with a major corporation. (Same reason JDs with MBAs get signing bonuses at many law firms = easier & better communications with clients.)

Criminal law litigation is quite a bit different than civil litigation. Criminal law trial work is primarily about getting a juror on your side whereas civil litigation is often won or lost during discovery and involves less in court experience due to high costs of litigation & concern for the uncertainty that comes with juries.

In common, both involve appearing in court before a judge & jury and going through the jury selection process.

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon May 04, 2015 8:07 pm

To answer your question, the paid, 40 hour a week, in-house corporate position is the better option. State trial court clerkships usually are not hard to obtain & 20 hours a week suggests that you won't be exposed to much trial "action".

kaytraco1
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:21 pm

Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby kaytraco1 » Tue May 05, 2015 1:41 pm

thank you, CanadianWolf.

Any other insights? Do people mainly agree with this?

pickle013
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:59 pm

Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby pickle013 » Tue May 05, 2015 6:32 pm

I'm sure summer in-house positions vary widely, so take this anonymous anecdote with a grain of salt, but my 1L summer was awesome.

I worked in the small (less than 10 person) legal department of a medium-sized company and got lucky in that there was a whole bunch of interesting stuff going on there at the time. I did "real" work ranging from legal research on niche topics to lots of contract work to playing a small part in a big SEC filing. The variety was valuable because I actually came in intending to pursue litigation, but my interest switched to transactional over the course of the summer.

The biggest benefit was that I got to work pretty closely with two partners (from different firms) who wound up being interviewers at my OCI, and my bosses provided recommendations on my behalf to folks they knew at other firms in the area. (It never hurts to come recommended by a client of the firm.)

My personal take is that a paid in-house gig in the area you want to work is the best thing going for a 1L summer. I'd take the experience I had over even a biglaw SA.

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Ohiobumpkin
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Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby Ohiobumpkin » Fri May 08, 2015 6:51 pm

Save judicial externships for semesters. Make money over the summer at the company! Honestly, unless we're talking fed district or circuit court, or maybe state supreme court, I would pick the in-house position. It won't matter too much at OCI.

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acrossthelake
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Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby acrossthelake » Fri May 08, 2015 7:20 pm

In-house. Esp. if you have biglaw ambitions. You can do the externship during the semester.

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Yukos
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Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby Yukos » Mon May 11, 2015 1:51 am

Working more will give you more stuff to talk about OCI. And you can easily spin your choice even if you go all-in for lit (as other posters have shown). I would definitely take in-house.

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ggocat
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Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby ggocat » Mon May 11, 2015 9:38 am

#2

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Ruxin1
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Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Post removed.

Postby Ruxin1 » Mon May 11, 2015 5:44 pm

Post removed.
Last edited by Ruxin1 on Tue May 12, 2015 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

togoornottogo
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:23 pm

Re: State Court Judicial Externship v. In House for 1L Summer

Postby togoornottogo » Mon May 11, 2015 5:56 pm

"Pick number three my lord" (holds up #2)




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