Summer Internship w/ District Judge

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lucretius_
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Summer Internship w/ District Judge

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:28 pm

Hey everyone,

I'll be starting law school next week and wanted to get a little advice. I have a personal connection with a Federal District Judge who has already offered me an internship for my 1L summer. He/she is a prominent alum of the law school. Should I jump all over this or wait for December/January to see if there are other options? Would an internship like this help me if I'm looking for a Federal Clerkship? Obviously, grades are going to play a big factor for a future clerkship, so is it even worth speculating before I get grades?

Any advice would be appreciated.

gregfootball2001
Posts: 369
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:35 am

Re: Summer Internship w/ District Judge

Postby gregfootball2001 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:35 pm

lucretius_ wrote:Hey everyone,

I'll be starting law school next week and wanted to get a little advice. I have a personal connection with a Federal District Judge who has already offered me an internship for my 1L summer. He/she is a prominent alum of the law school. Should I jump all over this or wait for December/January to see if there are other options? Would an internship like this help me if I'm looking for a Federal Clerkship? Obviously, grades are going to play a big factor for a future clerkship, so is it even worth speculating before I get grades?

Any advice would be appreciated.

1L paying jobs (which is what I assume you're considering waiting for) are difficult to get. However, I highly doubt the judge will care if you ask for time to apply to local firms. However, if it comes down to it you can always split the summer with a firm.

Internships certainly don't hurt your chances of getting a clerkship, but they're not much of a bump either. Grades, school, and fit are the most important things. If you're interested in clerking for this judge, be aware that some judges specifically do not hire former interns as clerks. Do some research first.

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grand inquisitor
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Re: Summer Internship w/ District Judge

Postby grand inquisitor » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:39 pm

iirc you are not supposed to be on the summer employment market until november 1 (or so) of your 1L year. but this sounds like a good 1L summer job.

lucretius_
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Re: Summer Internship w/ District Judge

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:53 pm

gregfootball2001 wrote:
lucretius_ wrote:Hey everyone,

I'll be starting law school next week and wanted to get a little advice. I have a personal connection with a Federal District Judge who has already offered me an internship for my 1L summer. He/she is a prominent alum of the law school. Should I jump all over this or wait for December/January to see if there are other options? Would an internship like this help me if I'm looking for a Federal Clerkship? Obviously, grades are going to play a big factor for a future clerkship, so is it even worth speculating before I get grades?

Any advice would be appreciated.

1L paying jobs (which is what I assume you're considering waiting for) are difficult to get. However, I highly doubt the judge will care if you ask for time to apply to local firms. However, if it comes down to it you can always split the summer with a firm.

Internships certainly don't hurt your chances of getting a clerkship, but they're not much of a bump either. Grades, school, and fit are the most important things. If you're interested in clerking for this judge, be aware that some judges specifically do not hire former interns as clerks. Do some research first.


Thanks for the input. I'll probably try for a 1L SA position around here, but, you're right, only a few firms offer them and they will be hard to get. I've heard about some judges not hiring former interns, but I haven't asked the judge specifically about his/her policy.

This may be my best chance to work under a federal judge given my school's low Fed Clerk rate w/ no guarantee that I'll have the grades in the first place. I'll talk more with the judge in the coming weeks/months about trying to apply to some firms and see what sort of response I get.

lucretius_
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Re: Summer Internship w/ District Judge

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:56 pm

grand inquisitor wrote:iirc you are not supposed to be on the summer employment market until november 1 (or so) of your 1L year. but this sounds like a good 1L summer job.


Yeah. This wasn't an official offer. More like a life-long family friend saying, "Hey, come next summer, you should come intern with me!"

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mjb447
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Re: Summer Internship w/ District Judge

Postby mjb447 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:00 pm

I think a chambers internship can help an applicant tell a compelling story about their interest in clerking and differentiate from other people who have less demonstrated interest in chambers work, which some judges care about. That said, the line on your resume is rarely going to help you get a clerkship you wouldn't have otherwise been in the running for - you're there two months as a volunteer, mostly for your own education, and most interns don't end up being a net positive in terms of helping chambers get more work done.

Also +1 to the advice find out as much about this judge as you can. It'd be good to know if interning there will affect your chances of a clerkship there and if s/he's likely to go to bat for interns (although you may be a special case on several counts if the judge already has a personal connection with you).

lucretius_
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:58 pm

Re: Summer Internship w/ District Judge

Postby lucretius_ » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:22 pm

mjb447 wrote:I think a chambers internship can help an applicant tell a compelling story about their interest in clerking and differentiate from other people who have less demonstrated interest in chambers work, which some judges care about. That said, the line on your resume is rarely going to help you get a clerkship you wouldn't have otherwise been in the running for - you're there two months as a volunteer, mostly for your own education, and most interns don't end up being a net positive in terms of helping chambers get more work done.

Also +1 to the advice find out as much about this judge as you can. It'd be good to know if interning there will affect your chances of a clerkship there and if s/he's likely to go to bat for interns (although you may be a special case on several counts if the judge already has a personal connection with you).


I'll make sure to get some more info. Thanks for the advice!




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