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This summer

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:27 am
by Rowinguy2009
All right so I need a little bit of feedback from you guys. I'm going to be starting law school in 2010. For this summer I found a great program that I really want to do. It's called SOAR, and it basically involves being a counselor at an outdoor adventure camp for kids with ADD/ADHD. Long story short it's something that I would love to do, and it seems to me like it would be a great "adventure" before law school starts. The program would place me in either Cali, Wyoming, or the Fla Keys, so regardless I would probably be in an awesome place.

The issue is that my step-dad was recently talking to a friend, who is our county prosecutor, and that friend offered me a job over the summer. He promised that the job would have substance (no getting coffee, so he claims) and directly said it would be a great experience for me going into law school.

So, what should I do? While I would normally take the job prosecutors job without question, I feel like this is my last chance to have an experience like what the camp would offer. While I love the law, I'm probably going to be working in law offices for the rest of my life.

I guess my question is, would I be stupid to turn down the experience that working with the prosecutor's office would grant me? My parents seems to think so, and given the economy having this guy as a connection would be a great help when I'm trying to plan future summer internships. I'm sure it's possible that the offer would still be on the table next summer, but there's no guarantee. I would prefer to do the camp, but don't want to pass up on a great opportunity that could give me a leg up later on.

Re: This summer

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:40 am
by tengorazon
Previously, my advice would have been to relax, have fun, and do the camp. But ITE, I can't recommend passing on some substantive work experience that might give you a leg up next year in the job search process.

Re: This summer

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:26 pm
by biggamejames
The work at the prosecutor's office can't be all that substantive in terms of what it would offer you as a future legal practitioner. Presumably you will not be writing memos or briefs, repping clients or negotiating with opposing counsel. The only really useful thing you're likely to get from it is contacts (as you noted), and I don't think one contact at the county attorney's office is worth forgoing something you'd love. Go to camp.

Re: This summer

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:09 pm
by Oban
OL summer is your last free summer for life. Have fun with it.

Re: This summer

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:37 am
by Unadilla Kayaker
Go to the camp. It'll be fun and worthwhile.

Ask the DA if will give you a job next summer. Tell him that you want to work at the camp and you think you'll be more useful as a legal intern next summer.

Re: This summer

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:21 am
by AtticusFinch
Unadilla Kayaker wrote:Go to the camp. It'll be fun and worthwhile.

Ask the DA if will give you a job next summer. Tell him that you want to work at the camp and you think you'll be more useful as a legal intern next summer.


+1

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:05 am
by Vincent Vega
I voted for prosecutor.

That being said, I worked at a camp last year, and it was an amazing experience that I would not have given up for a summer law-related job, in retrospect. Go with whatever you feel like. Realize, though, that this economy will not last forever - it is anyone's guess what it will be like in four years, or whenever you will be entering the job market.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:07 am
by Vincent Vega
biggamejames wrote:The work at the prosecutor's office can't be all that substantive in terms of what it would offer you as a future legal practitioner.


Take this into consideration, too. You won't be trying rapists or anything - at most you'll be shadowing someone.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:28 am
by Rowinguy2009
Unadilla Kayaker wrote:Go to the camp. It'll be fun and worthwhile.

Ask the DA if will give you a job next summer. Tell him that you want to work at the camp and you think you'll be more useful as a legal intern next summer.


Thanks for the advice everyone...I see BOTH SIDES but think that I'm gonna go with the camp. It's maybe not the most career conscious choice, but you only live once.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:37 am
by pany1985
I think that's a good choice. You'll have to make a lot of career-conscious choices once you're in law school. Just have a good time this summer.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:39 am
by James Bond
Sweet Internship > Extra Annoying Kids

But then again I don't have a heart...so...

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:49 am
by legends159
0L summer, enjoy it. Do whatever you want, as long as it's legal no one will care.

1L summer do legal stuff.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:38 pm
by Grad_Student
Skip the DA work for this summer. We had a few undergrad/graduates-going-to-law school where I worked over the summer. They ended up just being the law clerks' interns. Plus, it kind of sucked having them around because they couldn't do anything; they didn't know how to research, they couldn't help at docket. They ended up getting pawned off to the law clerks and they made phone calls for us.

I say go do the camp.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:27 pm
by Georgiana
biv0ns wrote:Sweet Internship > Extra Annoying Kids

But then again I don't have a heart...so...

+1!

Though I'm not sure I'd call it a "sweet" internship. Neither option appeals to me lol

Re: This summer

Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:08 pm
by ToTransferOrNot
Go with the camp.

I know people who were paralegals for years before coming to law school. The extent to which the paralegal experience gave them any leg-up on 1L jobs was minimal, and it certainly didn't help (and often hurt, because of overconfidence) class performance.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:30 pm
by lawuser521
Before I started school, I would have definitely done the Pro. work over the summer. My parents always just kept pushing me towards never "wasting" time. Look, a few years into school, you begin to realize that there never was any rush. If you are worried about falling behind, even ever so slightly with regards to your peers, then take my advice, and just don't view things that way. There is no race to the top, and spending three months of your life in the hopes that you might get some sort of leg up is just not worth it.

Quite honestly, assuming all else equal, I am going to hire the guy who had the guts to spend a summer doing something incredibly worthwhile. The real leg up is going to go to the person that shows that he is different, and if you legitimately want to spend a summer at a camp helping kids who really need the help, then please do it. Everyone can get some volunteer legal job, and they are all a dime a dozen, even ITE -- not everyone is going to have what you have. You will almost certainly regret not taking the chance to the camp this summer, and I can tell you that there is zero chance that it will hurt you compared to working for a county Pro., and in my mind, is going to help.

Re: This summer

Posted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:16 pm
by Vincent Vega
I've changed my mind, and would like to change my vote to "camp."