Pausanias wrote:I have some questions regarding 1L summers. First, how has it been finding Big Law summer employment ITE for the current students? Second, what are the most prestigious ways of spending the 1L summer?
I can't give a wholly credible answer to this since I'm not a 1L and I think things have changed a bit (for good or bad) since hiring for last summer took place. That said, I think it's generally been the case that relatively few (maybe 20%) 1Ls work in private firms (mostly biglaw), and most of those are working in geographic areas (Texas, etc.) that traditionally hire 1Ls, special minority/diversity at law firm programs, or geographic areas where they have a strong personal connection. That is to say, it's relatively hard for 1Ls to get biglaw summer jobs, even at Yale. "It's the economy, stupid."
It's also true that most 1Ls don't want to work in private firms, or at least, want to spend their 1L summer doing something else. It's really common to work in USAO offices, at the DOJ, or in other government jobs. It's also popular to work overseas or for domestic nonprofits. A number of people also work in the law school's clinics or serve as research assistants for professors.
I would *strongly* caution against trying to rank 1L summer jobs as having different levels of prestige. Different people have different interests and choose to spend their summers in a variety of ways. Nobody I know has been hampered because of their choice of 1L job, so long as it was meaningful work (and, preferably, provides you with good references and a writing sample).