BansheeScream wrote:I don't really think it makes sense to consider what summer internships are the most competitive when determining what to do with your 1L summer. The most important thing is using the internship to position yourself for whatever you want to do in the future. Some 1L positions may objectively be more selective (like civil appellate at DOJ or a being a judicial intern for a well known circuit judge) but your 1L summer is about positioning yourself for your future career and as long as you do something legal related you should be fine.
A couple of examples: If you want to work in big law your 2L summer or post grad, your best bet would obviously be a big law firm (pretty competitive 1L). If you want to be a public defender in Minnesota, you should apply to PD offices in Minnesota. If you want to do international focused work, apply for something abroad or at the United Nations. Definitely interested in clerking? Maybe try out a judicial internship. If you want to be a transactional attorney it would obviously make more sense to work at the SEC over the USAO.
I would say geographic location could be a consideration. If you want to go to a certain market (especially if you don't have ties) you may consider working there 1L year.
With all this said, if you have you sights set on a firm, firms really don't care what 1Ls do. If you have your sights set on something else, you should try to work in that field your 1L summer.
Thanks so much for responding; I think I should probably clarify why I'm asking. I have a limited amount of time, and it doesn't make sense to me to focus all my energy on super competitive options within the areas I'm interested in (what makes more sense to me is to choose what I'm interested in and from there, amongst all my other considerations, pick some more competitive options, some medium competitive options, and some options that are less competitive). That being said, all you said makes sense, and I appreciate it!!
You're overthinking about this. Just apply to every job you're like, remotely interested in. The "competitive" jobs ask for the exact same stuff as the "non-competitive" ones: A resume, a cover letter, a transcript (you probably won't have grades when you apply, so note in the cover letter that you're gonna update), and a writing sample.
The only thing that changes from application to application is the cover letter, and you're tweaking like, at most 3 sentences. There's nothing to "focus your energy" on. People don't get 1L SAs at BigLaw firms because they spent 20 hours reviewing the website and tailoring every resume bullet/cover letter sentence to precisely match say, Cravath's "About Us" page. They get them because (1) URM, (2) prestige of law school, (3) grades, (4) prior work experience.
And honestly, you should not even be thinking about his until you've finished finals.