SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

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SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:41 pm

Anyone have experience working in the regional offices as an extern in either the SEC and FTC? Does one offer my substantive experience over the other?

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pancakes3

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:43 pm

FTC would be much more interesting imo, but ymmv. Antitrust > Securities because anticompetitive effects > disclosure rules.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:17 pm

pancakes3 wrote:FTC would be much more interesting imo, but ymmv. Antitrust > Securities because anticompetitive effects > disclosure rules.


What if its an externship with the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection?

I only ask because I've read the SEC externship at their regional offices is mostly grunt work/document review, especially if its in their enforcement division. I've also read that they hire 100 interns for a semester, and the work is pretty mundane. Not sure how true that is.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby zot1 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:20 pm

Although SEC summer might not be great, it's a better place to work with, I think, higher pay. You will have a better chance to get an honors position there with previous experience. Though of course that's not guaranteed and this only matters if you have these aspirations.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:32 pm

zot1 wrote:Although SEC summer might not be great, it's a better place to work with, I think, higher pay. You will have a better chance to get an honors position there with previous experience. Though of course that's not guaranteed and this only matters if you have these aspirations.


This is for a semester externship and not for the summer. Would the same rules apply?

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby zot1 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:36 pm

Which rules? Whether it can help you a tiny little bit in the hiring process? Well, yes because you are more familiar with the agency than other candidates. BIG GIANT caveat though: even if you volunteer your time for three years at the SEC, depending on who's doing the hiring, that won't help you surpass someone with better credentials/interview skills.

Rather, if you and another candidate with equal credentials/similar interview are being considered but only you externed for SEC, that could give you the advantage.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Wild Card » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:00 pm

I had an amazing summer at the SEC. I also externed at the USAO for two semesters, and the experience does not compare, in terms of quality of work/life/mentorship.

But I don't know whether I would have had as great an SEC experience as an extern.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Wild Card » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:FTC would be much more interesting imo, but ymmv. Antitrust > Securities because anticompetitive effects > disclosure rules.


What if its an externship with the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection?

I only ask because I've read the SEC externship at their regional offices is mostly grunt work/document review, especially if its in their enforcement division. I've also read that they hire 100 interns for a semester, and the work is pretty mundane. Not sure how true that is.


The New York regional office of the SEC hires 32 interns every summer, more than half from CLS/NYU; dont know whether that's the case during the academic year.

With respect to grunt work, you'll get it everywhere. It depends on how you spin it, right?

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:38 pm

Not OP. But I am interviewing with the SEC next week for the 2017 Spring Student Honors program. It's during the semester and I believe I'd get credits for it--so wouldn't this be an externship also? In other words, what's the difference between the student honors program and an externship that OP is referring to?

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby zot1 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:59 pm

When I mentioned honors, I was specifically talking about the postgrad honors program.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:07 pm

SEC calls their externship program the honors volunteer program. Same difference.

Also imo Enforcement grunt work > CorpFin gruntwork. When I spent a semester there in CorpFin it was esoteric research memo after research memo and most really had no answer. You've got to really love securities law to do CorpFin. Enforcement gruntwork involves much more applicable (enjoyable?) investigatory/lit work.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:29 pm

OP here.

Thanks for the insightful replies. I am in a position where I have both these opportunities but one will have significantly less interns than the other (4 interns at most) and offer hands-on work experience (separate from research assignments, interns will have the opportunity to take depositions, write motions, help conduct investigations, etc.).

I understand SEC is considered more prestigious than FTC (at least on TLS), but I also want to make sure I'm gaining invaluable experience I can leverage later on. I've also read that the SEC Enforcement Division doesn't actually litigate cases, which may limit the type of work interns can get involved in.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby zot1 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:48 pm

OP, are you a 1L?

Even if FTC litigates, it's not like you'll be first chair. Most interns do the same kind of tasks.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:52 pm

zot1 wrote:OP, are you a 1L?

Even if FTC litigates, it's not like you'll be first chair. Most interns do the same kind of tasks.


Not at 1L, and interested in getting fed government.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thanks for the insightful replies. I am in a position where I have both these opportunities but one will have significantly less interns than the other (4 interns at most) and offer hands-on work experience (separate from research assignments, interns will have the opportunity to take depositions, write motions, help conduct investigations, etc.).

I understand SEC is considered more prestigious than FTC (at least on TLS), but I also want to make sure I'm gaining invaluable experience I can leverage later on. I've also read that the SEC Enforcement Division doesn't actually litigate cases, which may limit the type of work interns can get involved in.



i know a lot of people who are really unhappy with SEC externships because they don't get enough work, most of enforcement at the SEC will definitely be investigations, that being said most of my stuff so far has been case law research / memo but i'm not sure how usual that is and i'm not a full time intern so keeping busy for 10 hours a week isn't hard. i also got to sit in on an administrative proceeding

i'm not sure what FTC consumer protection does (? litigates?) but i was in a consumer protection office of another regulator and it was all policy and it was boring as shit so

also i don't think SEC is any more prestigious than other agencies

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:55 pm

SEC has its own, significantly higher, pay scale, though. (For permanent jobs, that is, sorry I can't comment on the experience at either of these agencies.)

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Thanks for the insightful replies. I am in a position where I have both these opportunities but one will have significantly less interns than the other (4 interns at most) and offer hands-on work experience (separate from research assignments, interns will have the opportunity to take depositions, write motions, help conduct investigations, etc.).

I understand SEC is considered more prestigious than FTC (at least on TLS), but I also want to make sure I'm gaining invaluable experience I can leverage later on. I've also read that the SEC Enforcement Division doesn't actually litigate cases, which may limit the type of work interns can get involved in.


Just to correct this, the SEC Enforcement Division absolutely does litigate cases. It's just that most attorneys in Enforcement do investigations, and a small minority litigate. The attorneys who work on investigation conduct interviews and take testimony (depositions), develop a legal case and decide on charges, and negotiate a preliminary settlement. If a case ends up being litigated, it's given over to trial attorneys who also work in Enforcement, but the investigating attorney might get to second chair. As an intern or extern, you get to work with both the investigating attorneys and the trial attorneys in most offices. However, most of the work at both the SEC and FTC will be on the investigation portion of cases or merger reviews.

Btw, I've had experience at both agencies and would strongly recommend the FTC for the simple reason that they often can hire their interns for permanent positions. The SEC almost never does, at least right out of law school, unless you're already well qualified for the extremely competitive honors program.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby clerk1251 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:35 pm

Your experience will vary depending on office, as well as your own interest. What you put in, will surely translate to what you take out of it.

I can't speak for the FTC, but I summered at the SEC in their San Francisco Regional Office. My experience was incredible and I wouldn't trade it for a second. There were only three summers, and I imagine they don't have many semester interns either. That being said, they are a very busy office with some fascinating work. Each summer had their own staff attorney who was basically responsible for mentoring them and making sure they were getting good work. I was in enforcement, as you will most likely be in a regional office, but I also got to work on some litigation. None of the other summers did any litigation work, but I was able to get some by simply seeking it out. Knock on the doors of the trial attorneys and offer to help, and you will get as much work as you can handle.

Again, it's all about what you are looking for though. I was very interested in securities litigation, and still am. The biglaw firms were very interested in seeing the SEC on my resume. After a stint in biglaw, I'm currently in a fed. clerkship and am hoping to go SEC after, so my path has worked out well thus far and I have no regrets. You can't go wrong either way.

If the OP is considering the SF office in particular, I am happy to speak more about my experience - feel free to PM me.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby RaceJudicata » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:57 pm

Bear in mind that during a semester externship, you'll be working like 10-15...maybe 20 hours per week. You aren't going to have some life altering experience.

I did an externship at sec and one At fed district court. Both were good experiences, but nothing that altered my career trajectory...and they don't pay. Free labor sucks.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:20 am

Not OP but does anyone have experiences with Division of Trading and Markets or Corp. finance? Which is better on the resume? I'm looking to do corporate work, don't know which specific practice area in corporate.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby lapolicia » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP but does anyone have experiences with Division of Trading and Markets or Corp. finance? Which is better on the resume? I'm looking to do corporate work, don't know which specific practice area in corporate.


Trading and Markets regulates broker-dealers and stock exchanges. Corp fin processes and creates regulations for the types of filings that you will be working on as a corporate lawyer, so its clearly the better choice for your goals. However, I doubt the specific division you work in as an intern will have a particularly significant impact on hiring.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:49 pm

I've externed with the SEC and FTC during the semester. Happy to answer any questions you may have OP. In my experience, SEC has been more substantive.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've externed with the SEC and FTC during the semester. Happy to answer any questions you may have OP. In my experience, SEC has been more substantive.


Can you please explain how it was more substantive. Was it a regional office?

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've externed with the SEC and FTC during the semester. Happy to answer any questions you may have OP. In my experience, SEC has been more substantive.


Can you please explain how it was more substantive. Was it a regional office?


Sure thing.

FTC: Lots of doc review, few assignments which required memos (those I did were mainly in re: Evidence/FRCP), wrote one document that went before a court.

SEC: Reviewed tips from self-regulating organizations, built case(s) off those tips, sat in testimonies, administrative hearings, wrote a couple of replies and motions.

Both were at Regional Offices. Take into consideration the number of attorneys in each agency's branch. The larger the attorney to extern ratio is, the more likely you are going get interesting assignments and have a consistent workflow. It's easy to be forgotten when you aren't around every day.

Also, if you're part time, try not to work on fridays - no one works fridays.

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Re: SEC v. FTC Semester Internships

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:22 pm

edit: duplicate post



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