What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

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Anonymous User
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What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:49 pm

Assuming I want to get some legitimate experience and begin building my legal resume, what option is best for me:

1) Intern for a solo lawyer

2) Intern at small firm

3) Intern at mid size firm

4) Intern at biglaw

5) Public interest/government internship

What are the advantages and disadvantages of all of these? I want to go solo a few years after graduating...

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vanwinkle
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:59 pm

This year, the correct answer is "The one that you actually get."

Iyemon
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby Iyemon » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:02 pm

vanwinkle wrote:This year, the correct answer is "The one that you actually get."


Correct, but I said assuming I can get any of the above, which one will be more conducive to actual learning of the profession?

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TTT-LS
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:04 pm

The original post did not need to be anonymous.

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steve_nash
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby steve_nash » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:55 pm

.
Last edited by steve_nash on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nealric
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby nealric » Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:07 am

4) Intern at biglaw


This is always TCR if you can get it. It's the only one option that can actually result in a full-time offer. Being a summer associate is a great experience- not to mention the pay isn't half bad. Even if you want to go solo, it's still a good experience. You can also often split with something else to keep you on the solo track.

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worldtraveler
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby worldtraveler » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:53 pm

nealric wrote:
4) Intern at biglaw


This is always TCR if you can get it. It's the only one option that can actually result in a full-time offer. Being a summer associate is a great experience- not to mention the pay isn't half bad. Even if you want to go solo, it's still a good experience. You can also often split with something else to keep you on the solo track.


You're assuming everyone wants big law in the long run. For people who don't want that, this option makes little sense.

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nealric
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby nealric » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:10 pm

You're assuming everyone wants big law in the long run. For people who don't want that, this option makes little sense.


Actually, I'm not. It's a great experience no matter what you want to do.

If you want to do public interest, it gives you quite a bit of pro-bono experience (almost 1/2 my hours last summer was pro-bono). It also helps pay down debt or save up some seed money, which would no doubt be beneficial to someone contemplating a public interest career. Again, you can always split with a public interest organization to make connections. In fact, some firms have fellowships that pay full summer associate salaries for people that do this.

If you want to do government, you can always split with an agency to make connections there.

There really are no downsides for 1Ls.

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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:03 pm

IMO any of the above is preferable to RAing unless you happen to be working with a captivating rockstar professor. I RA'd for a very well known professor and know a lot of other people who did the same in hopes of securing a recommendation for their clerkship apps. I think we all found it to be a pretty ho hum experience. While friends were off writing memos at the DOJ or providing direct services, we were sitting at home/in the library doing weaksauce academic research, lots of which was completely unproductive.

I'd rank 1L summers as follows: big firm > gov't > small firm / judge > public interest > RA.

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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:29 pm

it all depends.

if you know you want biglaw, then you want biglaw for 1L. easy. now just get it.

if you want government, then biglaw will probably still help too, but i'm sure if you wanted to work for the manhattan DA, the best thing you could do is work for the manhattan DA. USAO is a bit trickier since they don't hire out of their summer programs. the best things for that are "feeder firms" (think: firms with lots of former USAO's...which tend to be some of the most selective firms) or to work for a well regarded DA office (i.e. manhattan DA. maybe not podunk DA...). the best way to get offers at those places is to work for them in the summer.

if you want academia/clerk, then RA for a highly regarded prof is probably the best. i wouldn't write it off for other careers either. my prof was great to work with and she's someone i can ask for career advice and someone who will be willing to go to bat for me in the future. i'm guessing that doesn't come very often out of the other jobs. it's really the best, i would think, for developing one strong connection/recommendation (and is more valuable than a rec from a solo practitioner). if you intern for a judge, aren't you mostly working for his clerks?

it's a cliche, but i really think it's what you make of it. and it's hard to ignore that biglaw, if you can get it, gives you a good shot of a permanent job after graduation (depending on the firm, of course, but all these jobs depend on the firm/prof/judge/etc) that makes good money and has good exit options. not to mention you might be able to stuff your pockets for two summers too. so yeah

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chadwick218
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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby chadwick218 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:31 pm

I am hoping for a judicial externship that will allow for the possibility of taking a 4-hour practicum and possibly another 3-hour uncurved course to pad the ol GPA.

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Re: What type of a summer internship is best for a 1L?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:37 pm

Some of these positions are essentially impossible to put a "label" on, regarding the kind of experience that you're going to get.

Some small firms will give 1L summers a really fantastic experience with a huge amount of substantive work--a friend of mine who interned in a small firms was doing several motions/memos/briefs a week--while some small firms essentially treat their 1Ls like paralegals/secretaries. The same can be said for "non-elite" public interest positions, and some government positions that have leess fully developed programs.

A biglaw summer is a biglaw summer. Obviously, it is hard to pass up the money. If you ultimately want biglaw, you probably want to take the 1L biglaw summer gig. Be aware that getting no-offered on your 1L gig (i.e. they don't invite you back for the following summer) will look *really, really* bad at OCI, though. (Note: Unless you have really good personal connections, or you can participate in some of the diversity clerkship programs that firms specifically hold 1L SA gigs open for, you're absolutely not going to get a 1L Biglaw gig this summer. In fact, I would venture that it is incredibly unlikely that firms will go back to taking any noticeable number of 1Ls for quite a long time.)

Working for a judge can be a really fantastic experience, but again, what you do in a 1L summer for a judge is going to vary a *ton* by the judge. Also, take note of whether the court you're interning for is in session during the summer--many state supreme courts aren't, and that really diminishes the experience (from personal experience; we simply ran out of work to do.) Also, this is very important: try to find out the confidentiality policy of the judge you're thinking of working for. It is a *real* bummer to intern for a judge, and find out at the beginning of the summer that not only can you not use anything you do as a writing sample, but you cannot discuss any of the issues you worked on in any way. It makes OCI kind of awkward (Q: "So, what did you work on with X?" A: "I did bench memos, [etc...]" Q: "Any particular issues you found to be interesting?" A: "Er, I'm not allowed to tell you." *crickets*). I was told that my judge's confidentiality policy was abnormally draconian. I had an amazing, fulfilling experience, and I would recommend interning with my judge to anyone, but I wish I had known some of the caveats ahead of time.

I heard universally good things from people who worked at unpaid federal gigs, as well as well-developed state-level programs (such as the state DoJ and so on.)

I would absolutely put RAing at the bottom of the list. It doesn't give you any real experience. It is going to bore everyone at OCI to death, unless you happened to RA for someone famous outside of academia (i.e. RAing for Posner or Easterbrook at UChicago is probably going to look pretty good, RAing for Nussbaum... might be a great experience, but I doubt it would mean as much from a practitioners point of view,) or you get lucky and RAed for the interviewer's favorite prof (though that won't help you at callbacks.) More importantly, though, it isn't going to hone your applied legal writing skills at all, which is the most important thing to get out of 1L summer, in my opinion. In this market, firms care about your awareness of the fact that law school doesn't do a good job of developing practical skills--you have to do that part largely on your own, and you need to demonstrate that you understand that. I think that RAing for the summer screams "I want to be a law professor." That said, it's obviously better than doing nothing legal-related.




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