Offer from government internship

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Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:28 pm

Just finishing up my 1L summer at an unpaid government internship and was asked to come back next summer with a promise of a job offer upon graduation. The pay is on par with that of mid-size firms (from what I was told anyway). I don't have any debt, but working another summer for free may wipe out the rest of my savings.

I'm above median (3.5) at UT/Vandy/UCLA, so OCI is gonna be hit or miss for me. This is pretty tempting. FWIW, I like the people I work with, the job is 40hrs/wk, and the work seems interesting and not overly difficult.

If I strike out at OCI, would I be stupid to just tell them yes and go all in on this?

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pterodactyls

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby pterodactyls » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:30 pm

How long do you have to accept the gov't offer? Seems like best answer is to go through OCI, see if you get any offers there, and then re-evaluate.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:34 pm

pterodactyls wrote:How long do you have to accept the gov't offer? Seems like best answer is to go through OCI, see if you get any offers there, and then re-evaluate.


I'll have to find out for sure on the time frame to accept. I doubt that they would need to know before callbacks though. I had planned to wait until after OCI. Just from the response I've gotten from mailings so far, I'm not going to be in much demand.

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pterodactyls

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby pterodactyls » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
pterodactyls wrote:How long do you have to accept the gov't offer? Seems like best answer is to go through OCI, see if you get any offers there, and then re-evaluate.


I'll have to find out for sure on the time frame to accept. I doubt that they would need to know before callbacks though. I had planned to wait until after OCI. Just from the response I've gotten from mailings so far, I'm not going to be in much demand.


Eh you never know. Mailings can be hit or miss, firms get swamped with hundreds of applications. If a firm is coming to your school's OCI, they want to hire from your school.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:41 pm

40hr/week for midsize firm pay if true seems fucking amazing and I'd take that over biglaw any day (although I guess it does depend what they mean by the pay being on par with midsized firms. Only thing i'd worry about is exit options.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:57 pm

Is this federal government? I think there are only a handful of federal agencies that make offers directly to 2L interns, and I've never heard of one making an offer for a 1L. I'd be very concerned with changes to the agency's budget affecting your potential to get a full time position down the road, even if they've been able to do it historically. If it's state government though, this might not be as much of a concern and it sounds like an outstanding option.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby foregetaboutdre » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:59 pm

Is this a fed agency. I really don't know of any other govt employers who could match a midlaw salary. I think an entry state AG makes like 50-55k?

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:03 pm

foregetaboutdre wrote:Is this a fed agency. I really don't know of any other govt employers who could match a midlaw salary. I think an entry state AG makes like 50-55k?


California State Gov attorney positions are generally on par with mid-level firms. Many Northern California cities and counties pay at that rate too. Obviously, cost of living is high but that's true for the mid-level associates as well.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby foregetaboutdre » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
foregetaboutdre wrote:Is this a fed agency. I really don't know of any other govt employers who could match a midlaw salary. I think an entry state AG makes like 50-55k?


California State Gov attorney positions are generally on par with mid-level firms. Many Northern California cities and counties pay at that rate too. Obviously, cost of living is high but that's true for the mid-level associates as well.


i forgot about CA. even like city managers/municipal officials in CA make fucking bank. I wonder how well their pensions are funded, but they seem like great gigs.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:23 pm

lolwat wrote:40hr/week for midsize firm pay if true seems fucking amazing and I'd take that over biglaw any day (although I guess it does depend what they mean by the pay being on par with midsized firms. Only thing i'd worry about is exit options.



Op here. That's definitely something I need to research.

The more I think about it, the better it sounds. I wouldn't have the ability to get rich, but zero stress sounds really good. After checking around, It looks like what they told me is true. (Med sized city in mid South). I was pretty bummed that I didn't get a paid internship this summer, but maybe it's gonna work out after all.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:29 pm

foregetaboutdre wrote:Is this a fed agency. I really don't know of any other govt employers who could match a midlaw salary. I think an entry state AG makes like 50-55k?



Yes, it is. I was told 70K. I know they've done this with at least one other 1L in the past (employed for two summers then hired). I was under the impression that fed gov didn't hire entry level attorneys, unless they completed the DoJ Honors Program, but I was told that wasn't true. Maybe I should be more skeptical?

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:32 pm

OP, I had an offer with a similar government position and chose biglaw. Regret it heavily and am actively trying to get a gov job after one year in biglaw. If you're thinking the work life balance and pay would be a better trade off, then take it and don't look back.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
foregetaboutdre wrote:Is this a fed agency. I really don't know of any other govt employers who could match a midlaw salary. I think an entry state AG makes like 50-55k?



Yes, it is. I was told 70K. I know they've done this with at least one other 1L in the past (employed for two summers then hired). I was under the impression that fed gov didn't hire entry level attorneys, unless they completed the DoJ Honors Program, but I was told that wasn't true. Maybe I should be more skeptical?


A lot of agencies other than DOJ have honors programs as well, DOJ's is just much bigger. Some agencies that don't have a formal honors program hire attorneys as well. If it's a solid job offer for a federal job, I would definitely take that over big law unless you're not interested in the area of the law the agency covers.

BUT, I work at a federal agency, and the budget situation right now is insane. No one knows whether we'll be able to hire anyone next year, let alone two years from now. I assume this is the case at most or all non-defense agencies. I'd ask a lot of questions about the budget before making a commitment.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:25 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
foregetaboutdre wrote:Is this a fed agency. I really don't know of any other govt employers who could match a midlaw salary. I think an entry state AG makes like 50-55k?



Yes, it is. I was told 70K. I know they've done this with at least one other 1L in the past (employed for two summers then hired). I was under the impression that fed gov didn't hire entry level attorneys, unless they completed the DoJ Honors Program, but I was told that wasn't true. Maybe I should be more skeptical?


A lot of agencies other than DOJ have honors programs as well, DOJ's is just much bigger. Some agencies that don't have a formal honors program hire attorneys as well. If it's a solid job offer for a federal job, I would definitely take that over big law unless you're not interested in the area of the law the agency covers.

BUT, I work at a federal agency, and the budget situation right now is insane. No one knows whether we'll be able to hire anyone next year, let alone two years from now. I assume this is the case at most or all non-defense agencies. I'd ask a lot of questions about the budget before making a commitment.


Yeah, that's my biggest concern. I won't have to give a solid answer for awhile, so that's something I'm going to need more assurance about.

I honestly didn't think I would like working here. I got a couple of other offers a few days after accepting this one and immediately regretted saying yes, but I've been pleasantly surprised. I actually do enjoy the work and like my coworkers. (the city is even much better than I feared lol)

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby lolwat » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:37 am

Definitely figure out the answers to those concerns. But it sounds like you might have stumbled upon something great. Most people dont get rich from biglaw; they do it for a few years to pay their loans off and get some modest savings and try to jump to the kind of job you might have here.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:33 pm

OP again.

I spoke with my supervisor again yesterday. He says they definitely want me back next summer and will hire me "if they are able." (which is not exactly what I was hearing before - maybe my fault). I would love to work there, but (as has been pointed out) there's no way to know what their situation will be by then. He said that regardless of whether or not I come back, he will provide a glowing recommendation. I've heard that working for a firm will hurt your chances of getting government work, and that they specifically look for resumes that show dedication to gov/PI. Right now, I have Legal Aid & this government internship on my resume, so if I take a firm job next summer, will I really be viewed negatively when applying for gov work?

I'm going to apply for SLIP, but that's a longshot. What's the bigger risk? Working there again next summer (unpaid) and crossing my fingers that they'll have the ability to make a solid offer, or taking a Biglaw offer (considering, of course, that I don't strike out at OCI) that may be a negative on my resume?

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:53 pm

Re: firm experience - I think it's going to depend a lot on the agency and your other experience. I did firm work 2L summer and know others who did too, and no one ever brought it up, but it may be that my offices just don't care and the ones that didn't hire me did (also I did a lot of other gov-type internships throughout the rest of law school). I think the closer your agency's work is to other public interest work the more they'll worry about biglaw; other agencies have more overlap with the skills/experience of big law.

If you strike out at OCI I think this is a GREAT backup to have (leaving aside whether you should even try for big law). Also, can you arrange to split? That used to be fairly common at least for SLIP people, though it may not be so much anymore and would make for a long summer.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby gaddockteeg » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:34 pm

foregetaboutdre wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
foregetaboutdre wrote:Is this a fed agency. I really don't know of any other govt employers who could match a midlaw salary. I think an entry state AG makes like 50-55k?


California State Gov attorney positions are generally on par with mid-level firms. Many Northern California cities and counties pay at that rate too. Obviously, cost of living is high but that's true for the mid-level associates as well.


i forgot about CA. even like city managers/municipal officials in CA make fucking bank. I wonder how well their pensions are funded, but they seem like great gigs.


yeah, 1st year ADAs in santa clara county make 100k. I also think 1st year PDs in santa clara county make 100k but I can't remmeber if that source was credible.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:49 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Re: firm experience - I think it's going to depend a lot on the agency and your other experience. I did firm work 2L summer and know others who did too, and no one ever brought it up, but it may be that my offices just don't care and the ones that didn't hire me did (also I did a lot of other gov-type internships throughout the rest of law school). I think the closer your agency's work is to other public interest work the more they'll worry about biglaw; other agencies have more overlap with the skills/experience of big law.

If you strike out at OCI I think this is a GREAT backup to have (leaving aside whether you should even try for big law). Also, can you arrange to split? That used to be fairly common at least for SLIP people, though it may not be so much anymore and would make for a long summer.


I may be able to. The agency where I worked required 10 weeks and said they did not split, but allowed me to work 8 weeks because of a prior commitment (not job-related), so I might be able to work that out. That would probably be the best outcome. Thanks! I hadn't considered that.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:28 am

What you heard isn't accurate at all, at least when it comes to my agency (and other federal agencies I'm familiar with). Virtually everyone we hire as a lateral has worked at a firm. Commitment to public service is essential, but you can show that through past experience, law school internships, clinics, and having an understanding of the agency's mission and how you fit into it. Granted, someone who interned at a federal agency might have a leg up depending on what they worked on there, but summering or working for a few years at a firm isn't in any way disqualifying.

Anonymous User wrote:OP again.

I spoke with my supervisor again yesterday. He says they definitely want me back next summer and will hire me "if they are able." (which is not exactly what I was hearing before - maybe my fault). I would love to work there, but (as has been pointed out) there's no way to know what their situation will be by then. He said that regardless of whether or not I come back, he will provide a glowing recommendation. I've heard that working for a firm will hurt your chances of getting government work, and that they specifically look for resumes that show dedication to gov/PI. Right now, I have Legal Aid & this government internship on my resume, so if I take a firm job next summer, will I really be viewed negatively when applying for gov work?

I'm going to apply for SLIP, but that's a longshot. What's the bigger risk? Working there again next summer (unpaid) and crossing my fingers that they'll have the ability to make a solid offer, or taking a Biglaw offer (considering, of course, that I don't strike out at OCI) that may be a negative on my resume?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just finishing up my 1L summer at an unpaid government internship and was asked to come back next summer with a promise of a job offer upon graduation. The pay is on par with that of mid-size firms (from what I was told anyway). I don't have any debt, but working another summer for free may wipe out the rest of my savings.

I'm above median (3.5) at UT/Vandy/UCLA, so OCI is gonna be hit or miss for me. This is pretty tempting. FWIW, I like the people I work with, the job is 40hrs/wk, and the work seems interesting and not overly difficult.

If I strike out at OCI, would I be stupid to just tell them yes and go all in on this?


OP - I was in a similar situation 1L summer and ended up going biglaw, completely regret it. I was at a Treasury agency in DC. The pay for entry level attorneys was something like 80-90k. If you had massive debt my advice would be to take this and never look back (PSLF). You don't and I would still take this unless you had your heart set on working in-house for a company one day (don't know if you're interested in litigation or corporate).

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just finishing up my 1L summer at an unpaid government internship and was asked to come back next summer with a promise of a job offer upon graduation. The pay is on par with that of mid-size firms (from what I was told anyway). I don't have any debt, but working another summer for free may wipe out the rest of my savings.

I'm above median (3.5) at UT/Vandy/UCLA, so OCI is gonna be hit or miss for me. This is pretty tempting. FWIW, I like the people I work with, the job is 40hrs/wk, and the work seems interesting and not overly difficult.

If I strike out at OCI, would I be stupid to just tell them yes and go all in on this?


OP - I was in a similar situation 1L summer and ended up going biglaw, completely regret it. I was at a Treasury agency in DC. The pay for entry level attorneys was something like 80-90k. If you had massive debt my advice would be to take this and never look back (PSLF). You don't and I would still take this unless you had your heart set on working in-house for a company one day (don't know if you're interested in litigation or corporate).


Since they've made it clear that they can't actually guarantee anything, I'm pretty torn about what to do. They want me back. I want to go back, but "We will hire you if we are able to when the time comes" doesn't give me a lot of confidence. For now, I'm going to try to work out a split summer between this agency and a firm (OCI is next week, so we will see how it goes). Was the offer you got a sure thing that you just decided to turn down, or was it closer to my situation?

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Just finishing up my 1L summer at an unpaid government internship and was asked to come back next summer with a promise of a job offer upon graduation. The pay is on par with that of mid-size firms (from what I was told anyway). I don't have any debt, but working another summer for free may wipe out the rest of my savings.

I'm above median (3.5) at UT/Vandy/UCLA, so OCI is gonna be hit or miss for me. This is pretty tempting. FWIW, I like the people I work with, the job is 40hrs/wk, and the work seems interesting and not overly difficult.

If I strike out at OCI, would I be stupid to just tell them yes and go all in on this?


OP - I was in a similar situation 1L summer and ended up going biglaw, completely regret it. I was at a Treasury agency in DC. The pay for entry level attorneys was something like 80-90k. If you had massive debt my advice would be to take this and never look back (PSLF). You don't and I would still take this unless you had your heart set on working in-house for a company one day (don't know if you're interested in litigation or corporate).


Since they've made it clear that they can't actually guarantee anything, I'm pretty torn about what to do. They want me back. I want to go back, but "We will hire you if we are able to when the time comes" doesn't give me a lot of confidence. For now, I'm going to try to work out a split summer between this agency and a firm (OCI is next week, so we will see how it goes). Was the offer you got a sure thing that you just decided to turn down, or was it closer to my situation?


Closer to your situation. It was more "I would hire you directly if I could, so put in an application 3L for a permanent job and I will do everything I can to make sure they hire you" from my supervisor. Mind you this was during the Obama administration so financial regulatory agencies had no real budget concerns.

That said, I think trying to do a split summer is a smart move. I would think regardless of how your supervisor feels about you you have to go through the formal application process at any govt agency, so nothing will be definite until the end of 3L. Would be great to have a law firm offer in your back pocket.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby globetrotter659 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:24 pm

Did you work at the regional office of the agency or its DC HQ? While straight from law school hiring at federal agencies is not unheard of, most hires are through the Honors Programs. Some agencies' regional offices have no say in who gets selected for AHPs.

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Re: Offer from government internship

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:14 am

globetrotter659 wrote:Did you work at the regional office of the agency or its DC HQ? While straight from law school hiring at federal agencies is not unheard of, most hires are through the Honors Programs. Some agencies' regional offices have no say in who gets selected for AHPs.


Regional office. My supervisor strongly suggested I apply for Honors, but I know the office has made direct hires in the past. One of the attorneys here is a recent hire who worked here two summers.

I'm applying for SLIP right now (everything done except essays), but being non t14, I probably would need a much better GPA than what I have to be considered.



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