To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

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Rhiannon17

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To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:38 pm

I am a rising 3L at a law school in Georgia. I intend to practice in Tennessee, where I have some family members and friends who are judges and attorneys, all of whom have told me they will aid in my landing a job after graduation in May 2017.

1L year, I finished at the bottom 20% of my class. I went to several OCI interviews and landed nothing, and ended up getting a job with the National Criminal Defense College (a CLE Program) 1L Summer. Although I did not think I was interested in criminal defense, I took the job because I had no other law-related job prospects at the time and it was a great networking opportunity to meet defense attorneys.

Out of working with NCDC, I met an assistant chief Public Defender who really liked me as a person and was offered an internship with the PD Office. I was ecstatic because I had heard so many fellow law students want to land a DA or PD internship so that they could gain trial experience. So for the entirety of 2L year, I interned with the PD office. When I was offered the internship with the PD Office, no definite end date was ever discussed. The "acceptance email" I got just welcomed me for Fall 2016 and did not say "ends in the fall" or "until graduation." I never agreed to any explicit terms of stay.

While at the PD Office, I have sworn in under Georgia's Student Practice Rule, gotten to argue bond, violation of probation probation hearings, helped with trials, and spent a good amount of time in jail visiting with clients.

This experience with the PD has shown me that I really have absolutely 0 interest in being a defense attorney, much less a PD. Spring Semester 2L year, I expressed this to my family law professor, as well as my intention to leave the PD office. My family law professor recommended me for an internship with a Family Law Judge. I met with the judge and was "hired" on the spot for a part-time internship for this summer. I intended to tell the PD Office I would not be returning for the summer, but the same day the judge hired me, I received an email from the intern organizer at the PD Office telling me my summer start date there. I thought "oh crap, how do I get out of this one?" but nevertheless, I did not want to let the PD Office down, so I just went along with it.

As it currently stands, I am doing a part-time internship with the PD Office and part-time with the family law judge for the summer. I have only been with the family law judge for 3 weeks and already love it more than the PD office. I typically work 5 days a week and split my days in half... mornings with family law judge and afternoons with the PD Office. I am excited in the mornings to go to work with the family law judge but get extremely depressed when I have to leave and go to the PD Office.

As of this week, the family law judge's staff attorney has expressed that they would like me to stay throughout Fall 3L Semester if possible. I have not given them an answer yet because this week, one of the PDs made a remark about all of us interns doing some things Fall semester.

Here is what I want to do: I want to tell the PD Office I will finish out the summer but will not return for 3L year. And I want to tell the family law judge that I will continue on with them throughout next semester.

The problem: The PD office is ASSUMING I am just staying, and I really do not want to disappoint them by saying I want to leave. The other problem is that they have had a hard time recruiting interns, and our office is 2 interns short already of what it typically has been during the summer and school year. Also, what scares me is our Careers Services counselors at our law school have beat it into us since day 1 that you never leave an internship under any circumstance pretty much.

Reasons why I want to leave the PD Office:
-I literally get depressed before going
-Going into the jail bothers me so bad that I have nightmares and a racing heart
-I am female and am constantly sexually harassed by clients, although my bosses have tried to handle it
-I hate the substance of what I do
-I do not want to work in criminal defense at all
-It is hard for me to focus on work at the PD Office with 8 attorneys popping their head into my room demanding me to shift my attention every few minutes

I am thinking of just telling the PD in charge of us interns that I do not wish to continue past this summer. I have a friend who is dying to get experience in a PD clinic who is well-ranked in the class and who I have seen do great in trial practice that I can recommend to them.

I guess my question is... should I tell the PD I'm gone after this summer, and if so, how should I go about it? OR should I suck it up and do something I hate for another year?

Bluem_11

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Bluem_11 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:42 pm

Rip off the band-aid, be honest and straight-forward, you've been dancing around the damn problem. They will quickly get over it.

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zot1

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby zot1 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:45 pm

Leave and never look back.

Rhiannon17

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:46 pm

Bluem_11 wrote:Rip off the band-aid, be honest and straight-forward, you've been dancing around the damn problem. They will quickly get over it.
I'm definitely overthinking it. I just didn't want to "stain" my future job prospects.

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zot1

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby zot1 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:09 pm

If you never want to be a PD, you won't.

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zot1

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby zot1 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:17 pm

I once got an internship offer, turned it down, then called again to ask to be reoffered, was reoffered, then turned it down again. Hasn't come up in four years. Will likely never come up again.

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Redfactor » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:18 pm

Rhiannon17 wrote:
Bluem_11 wrote:Rip off the band-aid, be honest and straight-forward, you've been dancing around the damn problem. They will quickly get over it.
I'm definitely overthinking it. I just didn't want to "stain" my future job prospects.


It's not a stain at all. You've transitioned into something else seamlessly. You did PD work, discovered it wasn't for you, and took up family law, which you enjoy.

Besides, it's family law. Actually enjoy the practice is worth a lot -- many don't.

I wouldn't worry about your career services. They're likely just scared about jobs reporting, something totally independent of your best interests.

Also, I wouldn't name drop your friend unless you have a strong relationship with your supervisor. I would just let your friend know when you are planning to tell the office so they can have their application materials ready to be sent in. Maybe let your friend know about the work that you did, so they can craft a solid cover letter / tailor their resume as required.


Don't feel bad about walking away from something you hate, even if others would love to be in your shoes. Congrats on your new internship offer!

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Redfactor » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:19 pm

zot1 wrote:I once got an internship offer, turned it down, then called again to ask to be reoffered, was reoffered, then turned it down again. Hasn't come up in four years. Will likely never come up again.



Yeah... don't do this. Mistreating agencies is different than leaving one.

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zot1

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby zot1 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:25 pm

Redfactor wrote:
zot1 wrote:I once got an internship offer, turned it down, then called again to ask to be reoffered, was reoffered, then turned it down again. Hasn't come up in four years. Will likely never come up again.



Yeah... don't do this. Mistreating agencies is different than leaving one.


I didn't mistreat it and there's obviously more to the story than that. My point, I guess not well-made, is that places don't necessarily care. More just pull another resume from the 10k they have. I get really fed up with CSOs and others scaring students from pursuing opportunities they want more to "not burn bridges."

Rhiannon17

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:32 pm

zot1 wrote:
Redfactor wrote:
zot1 wrote:I once got an internship offer, turned it down, then called again to ask to be reoffered, was reoffered, then turned it down again. Hasn't come up in four years. Will likely never come up again.



Yeah... don't do this. Mistreating agencies is different than leaving one.


I didn't mistreat it and there's obviously more to the story than that. My point, I guess not well-made, is that places don't necessarily care. More just pull another resume from the 10k they have. I get really fed up with CSOs and others scaring students from pursuing opportunities they want more to "not burn bridges."


I already had one go-around with my CSO 1L year. Declined an interview for a very far-away small law firm (I would've had to moved for the summer if I was offered and accepted the job) when I accepted the NCDC job. Apparently the interviewer overlooked my interview decline and came to the law school to meet with myself and 3-4 other applicants. CSO flipped sh*t on me and wanted me to write a letter of apology to them as well as the interviewer and wanted to suspend my Symplicity privileges. I told them to F off. Literally went into the office after receiving their angry email and told them I would never use them in the future so I did not care what "privileges" were suspended. Their tune changed really quickly and the interviewer did not give one care that I was not there to be interviewed.

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:35 pm

The PD in charge of us interns and I had a discussion about how I did not do very well going to the jail to interview people, especially almost every day of the week. I was met with a blank stare and a question of, "Why?" I said, "It just bothers me to be in a place of confinement and seeing people confined," and I was met with another blank stare.

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zot1

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby zot1 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:37 pm

Yeah, that was really my point. If you don't want to be a PD you are wasting your time and the office's time because they could be grooming a future PD.

Meet with your supervisor, explain that you've loved the opportunity, realized it's not for you, want to give someone else the chance, and move on. They will not care.

Rhiannon17

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:38 pm

Redfactor wrote:
Also, I wouldn't name drop your friend unless you have a strong relationship with your supervisor. I would just let your friend know when you are planning to tell the office so they can have their application materials ready to be sent in. Maybe let your friend know about the work that you did, so they can craft a solid cover letter / tailor their resume as required.


The PD office has had an extreme drop in the number of applications coming in as of this summer and have had none for the fall. I was guessing that since no one is applying, maybe recommending someone with an interest and passing along their resume would help.

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Avian

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Avian » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:48 pm

Rhiannon17 wrote:
Redfactor wrote:
Also, I wouldn't name drop your friend unless you have a strong relationship with your supervisor. I would just let your friend know when you are planning to tell the office so they can have their application materials ready to be sent in. Maybe let your friend know about the work that you did, so they can craft a solid cover letter / tailor their resume as required.


The PD office has had an extreme drop in the number of applications coming in as of this summer and have had none for the fall. I was guessing that since no one is applying, maybe recommending someone with an interest and passing along their resume would help.

I really don't see what the problem is. You never made any commitment to work there next school year. When they ask if you want to stay on for the school year, say no, you appreciate the opportunity but don't think being a PD is for you and that's that. If they don't bring it up, you should tell them towards the end of the summer that you will not be returning. I think PD's are usually very cognizant that being a PD is not for everyone.

You have no responsibility to recommend someone to replace you. If you think you know someone who might be interested, fine, but that is entirely separate from deciding to stop interning there.

Rhiannon17

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:58 pm

Avian wrote:
Rhiannon17 wrote:
Redfactor wrote:
Also, I wouldn't name drop your friend unless you have a strong relationship with your supervisor. I would just let your friend know when you are planning to tell the office so they can have their application materials ready to be sent in. Maybe let your friend know about the work that you did, so they can craft a solid cover letter / tailor their resume as required.


The PD office has had an extreme drop in the number of applications coming in as of this summer and have had none for the fall. I was guessing that since no one is applying, maybe recommending someone with an interest and passing along their resume would help.

I really don't see what the problem is. You never made any commitment to work there next school year. When they ask if you want to stay on for the school year, say no, you appreciate the opportunity but don't think being a PD is for you and that's that. If they don't bring it up, you should tell them towards the end of the summer that you will not be returning. I think PD's are usually very cognizant that being a PD is not for everyone.

You have no responsibility to recommend someone to replace you. If you think you know someone who might be interested, fine, but that is entirely separate from deciding to stop interning there.
Perhaps I was letting the other intern guilt trip me a little bit. He is extremely scared that by me leaving in the school year, it will put more work on him and the other 2 interns. But you're right. Not my problem. I just didn't know if bringing up something now, in mid-June, was too early.

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby kaysta » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:42 am

Rhiannon17 wrote:Reasons why I want to leave the PD Office:

-Going into the jail bothers me so bad that I have nightmares and a racing heart
-I am female and am constantly sexually harassed by clients, although my bosses have tried to handle it
-I hate the substance of what I do
?

jesus, this is totally unacceptable. keep your chin up girl there are better jobs out there. you will get one of them. It sounds like you know what you should do, so I wont offer any advice. Your judgment seems completely sound to me.

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby lolwat » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:37 pm

Why havent you quit yet :3

Just do it professionally and gracefully and no one will think anything negative of you.

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Auxilio » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:48 pm

Rhiannon17 wrote: The other problem is that they have had a hard time recruiting interns, and our office is 2 interns short already of what it typically has been during the summer and school year.


Everyone else has covered this, but I wanted to throw out that I think as an intern (PD I'm assuming unpaid) you should never feel this type of guilt (and they probably shouldn't rely on a steady stream of interns to do work).

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:37 pm

I appreciate everyone's input. I'm going to finish out another month then peace out.

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:40 pm

Well... I quit. It was super intense. I told the PD in charge of the interns I would not be back after the summer. He proceeded to go on a rant about how I wasn't hired in a formal manner anyway and told me I could consider it my 2 weeks' notice since he didn't want any interns working for him who weren't fully passionate about criminal law. Then tried to scare me saying he probably would not be able to give me a good recommendation for future jobs. I'm not intimidated, though. I think a family court JUDGE's recommendation will go further for someone who wants to be a family law attorney than some assistant public defender's rec.

Glad it's over with. Although it did not go too smoothly.

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Auxilio

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Auxilio » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:21 pm

Rhiannon17 wrote:Well... I quit. It was super intense. I told the PD in charge of the interns I would not be back after the summer. He proceeded to go on a rant about how I wasn't hired in a formal manner anyway and told me I could consider it my 2 weeks' notice since he didn't want any interns working for him who weren't fully passionate about criminal law. Then tried to scare me saying he probably would not be able to give me a good recommendation for future jobs. I'm not intimidated, though. I think a family court JUDGE's recommendation will go further for someone who wants to be a family law attorney than some assistant public defender's rec.

Glad it's over with. Although it did not go too smoothly.


To me this just guarantees that you made the right choice. Good job actually taking a step to move towards want you want to do.

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:25 pm

Rhiannon17 wrote:Well... I quit. It was super intense. I told the PD in charge of the interns I would not be back after the summer. He proceeded to go on a rant about how I wasn't hired in a formal manner anyway and told me I could consider it my 2 weeks' notice since he didn't want any interns working for him who weren't fully passionate about criminal law. Then tried to scare me saying he probably would not be able to give me a good recommendation for future jobs. I'm not intimidated, though. I think a family court JUDGE's recommendation will go further for someone who wants to be a family law attorney than some assistant public defender's rec.

Glad it's over with. Although it did not go too smoothly.

Wow, this sounds incredibly unprofessional. Glad you're out of there.

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zot1

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby zot1 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:40 pm

That's not a good environment. Glad you're done with that.

Rhiannon17

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Rhiannon17 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:30 pm

Apparently after I resigned, dude went and told the other intern who in the office today that this summer, the intern can ask questions but once the semester starts, whatever cases they give him are all his own and it's sink or swim. Grateful to be out of that environment... the remaining few days I have there, I'm just going to pray they pass at lightning speed.

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Auxilio

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Re: To Quit or Not To Quit Internship?

Postby Auxilio » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:41 pm

I would honestly tell someone in your career services about how they treat their interns. They probably have some sort of database this type of feedback is good for.

Especially since they apparently are so desperate for interns to help their workload they have to be better than this. Internships (I think by law right?) are about educating the student not working them hard and "sink or swim." Maybe I have too idealistic an image of internships, but legal internships (and for a government body!) I expect a lot better.



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