Big law China or small firm internship

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Big law China or small firm internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:05 pm

Hi all,

I'm hoping to get a few opinions on this situation. I'm a rising 2L at a t20 who just wrapped up a six week internship. I'm splitting my summer between two jobs, and I now have about two weeks to decide what I'm doing for the remainder of the summer. I received an offer to work for a small, local firm (with pay) in an area of law that interests me and guarantees I'll develop ties for permanent work options in 2017. However, through a connection, I have an opportunity to work six weeks at a big firm in China (400+ attorneys). According to the contact over there, I would acquire experience in "international arbitration, immigration law, and cross-border M&A and securities law with U.S. companies." All of the attorneys are bilingual English/Mandarin (I am not), and most have both American and Chinese law degrees. It sounds great on paper, but the internship is unpaid and I will have to pay $1800+ in airfare in addition to rental apartment fees in the PRC. Moreover, it could not directly lead to employment (no Mandarin skills/Chinese law degree). Given the downsides, I'm wondering if it's worth taking the internship for whatever value it would bring to the 2L summer job hunt or beyond.

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KMart
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby KMart » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:06 pm


Anonymous User
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:09 pm

Get paid

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KMart
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby KMart » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Get paid

Sometimes the use of anonymous user surprises me.

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Calbears123
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby Calbears123 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:11 pm

I'd take the paying one

Anonymous User
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:13 pm

No, not OP in that thread

so ambivalent
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby so ambivalent » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:31 pm

I think the China one might be bullshit, unless it is a US Big Law's China office. If it's US Big Law, why can't they pay you? It seems absurd to expect you to work Big Law in a foreign country and not get paid, which makes me think this is just some shady shit. Like how much do you know about this place besides your contact? Does your school or any alums have any experience there? Those are questions I would really wanna be asking and have hard answers to before I even considered that China gig, let alone take it over a paying gig with a known entity in your own country.

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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:58 pm

This is China Big Law w/ offices in Beijing and Shanghai-- no U.S. offices, but I would work on U.S. related issues. Apparently they cant legally pay me because I would be there on a tourist VISA if I decide to go. Besides my contact, the school has had international LLM students with prior experience at that firm. Ultimately, I would be walking into this kind of blind and a lot lighter in the wallet, which is why I am hesitant to take the offer unless it stands to really help me 2L/graduation.

TheoO
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby TheoO » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:49 pm

My friend is interning now at a Chinese/Aussie biglaw office in Shanghai and the whole lack of pay thing is real. He is getting some money for the trip, but it's nowhere near biglaw summer money. In fact it barely covers the expenses in the city. These firms don't have the kind of tradition of paying summers the obscene amounts that US firms have gotten used to paying.

Anyway, get paid.

Apparently they cant legally pay me because I would be there on a tourist VISA if I decide to go


This sounds like an excuse for them not to pay you. They can easily draft a letter for you for a business visa, and it's only a bit more difficult to get than a tourist visa.

so ambivalent
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby so ambivalent » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:31 pm

This is China Big Law w/ offices in Beijing and Shanghai-- no U.S. offices, but I would work on U.S. related issues. Apparently they cant legally pay me because I would be there on a tourist VISA if I decide to go. Besides my contact, the school has had international LLM students with prior experience at that firm. Ultimately, I would be walking into this kind of blind and a lot lighter in the wallet, which is why I am hesitant to take the offer unless it stands to really help me 2L/graduation.

Oh yea this is major sketch. Fuck it; take the US gig, hands down. And I don't see how it will help you at all for anything other than maybe China-specific job, which seems like it unlikely you would get anyway, given that you do not speak Mandarain.

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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:23 pm

You definitely need to do more due diligence into the so-called big law china firm. As a Chinese, I would be skeptical of the firm. Technically, foreign law firms are not allowed to practice Chinese law in China, but U.S. and British biglaw did find their way around this restriction. So the real Chinese biglaw firms are typically (1) Chinese firms, and (2) big U.S. and British law firms' offices in China.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Big law China or small firm internship

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:28 pm

The Chinese option might be a better opportunity for an undergraduate legal studies/English/Mandarin/foreign services type of major, than for a graduate law student in need of sound employment opportunities.




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