Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

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bobrov

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Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby bobrov » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:52 pm

For example, say you do transactional during a 1L SA at a firm primarily known for transactional practice, etc. — will firms find it strange come OCI that you're applying to do litigation, e.g. at a firm known primarily for its litigation practice? Or is that easy to brush off by saying "tried it out, wasn't for me because XYZ, realized I wanted to do litigation because ABC."

Similarly, what if you do your SA at a very specialized firm (e.g. real estate or IP boutique) but later decide you want to do general corporate/litigation?

Would you get railroaded into a practice area based on your 1L summer experience, or is this a totally misplaced concern?

CanadianWolf

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Re: Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:54 pm

No, in answer to your title question. Qualifier = Other to substantiate your interest or disinterest in a certain practice area.

Yes, it is a misplaced concern.

favabeansoup

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Re: Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby favabeansoup » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:54 pm

You should have a pretty good idea about what you want by the end of your 2L SA. For your 1L SA nothing is set in stone at all and no one will think it's weird that you tried out different things. Most firms will encourage you to try different areas.

merde_happens

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Re: Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby merde_happens » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:24 am

Whether the position is an SA or otherwise, the nature of your 1L summer employment simply doesn't matter that much. If you do a lot of transactional work and want to do lit, then "I did corporate work, wasn't for me, I want to do lit." will suffice. If you do a specialized practice area, so long as you can tie the skills learned into a generic practice area, you're fine, (i.e. "I did real estate work, and while [some unique aspect of RE] wasn't for me, I did enjoy doing [x thing that relates to corporate work generically].")

No employer is going to try to pigeonhole you after one summer. I think most expect that rising 2Ls have very little idea as to what kind of practice they want to do.

ookoshi

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Re: Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby ookoshi » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:12 pm

I would agree with the other posters. It would have to be an extremely niche situation for your 1L summer group to matter. For example, maybe if your undergrad is in Electrical Engineering and you spent your 1L summer in the patent group, yeah, non-IP groups is probably going to assume you're not interested and skip your resume. But short of something super wacky like that, it's not going to matter.
Last edited by ookoshi on Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:38 pm

Does anyone know if this is the case for public interest? Like if that's all that's on your resume?

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KMart

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Re: Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby KMart » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone know if this is the case for public interest? Like if that's all that's on your resume?

Anectodotally, I had friends with this sort of resume who did fine during OCI for big law. You need a reason, but I'm sure you can explain one.

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Re: Does your 1L SA practice area matter?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:08 pm

Bro, I did a mix of workers comp and shitty shitty personal injury (like real low end car crash nonsense) during 1L summer and was a SA for a well regarded lit group. Sell yourself, not your 2ish months of "experience."



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