Big Law 0L/1L Internships

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mcds
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Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby mcds » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:08 am

I have a friend who just wrapped up an internship at Wachtell this summer after her 1L. She is a URM from UChicago. Is this an exception, or do some firms offer these? I know Davis Polk has internships for Juniors and Seniors at my school, but I don't know if thats common either.

Giddy-Up
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby Giddy-Up » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:30 am

In general, it is difficult to get an internship as a 1L. The reasoning is that they typically pay 1Ls the same as 2Ls for the summer (anywhere from $2k - $3k) a week. Essentially this is all lost money, you are providing services that are nowhere near that value. So let's say that you then accept a summer associate position your next year with a different firm, and ultimately an offer with that firm. The firm that you interned with the 1st year has lost a lot of money. Even if you came back to the same firm your second year, they have still lost more money than they would have had they only hired you the second year.
However, yes you can get a paid gig your first year, many posters on here have done it. Being a URM helps, being at a top school helps, having a degree in hard science or accounting helps. The difference is that even at a T14 a paid summer associate position your first year is the exception not the norm. At a T14 those who wanted a summer associate position and did not get it their 2nd year will definitely be the exception.

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Katkins
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby Katkins » Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:38 pm

Being a URM helps, being at a top school helps, having a degree in hard science or accounting helps.


Aiming at a non-T14 market helps (not NY, DC, Chi, LA).

mgrogan
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby mgrogan » Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:51 pm

are internships nearly impossible to get after 1L if you're not in the T14?

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underdawg
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby underdawg » Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:06 pm

if you mean a summer associate position at a law firm, they are difficult to get once you get out of the T14 (they're not even very easy for CCN 1L's, i dunno about HYS), but at least two posters here have gotten SA positions as 1L's

if you mean "internship" as in "some kind of legal job, even non-paying", i believe almost anyone can get one of those...

AVSexton
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby AVSexton » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:51 pm

Anyone can get a non-paying 1L summer gig. I know Wisconsin will give pretty much anyone who does a non-paying gig a grant pulled out of their Federal Work Study award, up to the full amount for the year ($2,400 will get you through a summer in Wisconsin, though I guess it wouldn't in other places) If you aren't eligible for work study, they still try to get you something.

I would assume many other schools have similiar programs. Even if they don't, you're going to be able to find a legal job during your 1L summer. The only issue at question is whether you have to supplement that with a private loan/waiting tables to pay your rent while the Student Loans are dry;)

For actual Summer Associate positions, though... let's just say, you shouldn't plan your finnances around it. I know a guy at Yale that started getting job offers cold on December 1st for his 1L summer, but that is Yale. As previous people said, even CCN can't count on getting a high-paying 1L summer gig.

Edit: If push comes to shove, most schools offer some kind of clinical during the summer that would serve to give you the summer experience you need to talk about during OCI. Taking classes over the summer is feasible, but one of them really should be a clinical of some kind where you get some actual hands-on work. This is where a lot of part-timers are at a real disadvantage for OCI, as they don't have that opportunity.

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bocifious
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby bocifious » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:06 am

I know a few people that got 1L gigs at big firms in our local market (Minneapolis). Most of them had connections, some I don't know what their method was. I also know 8-10 people who got biglaw summer gigs after 1L year because they had impressive technical backgrounds and went to IP firms.

awesomepossum
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby awesomepossum » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:10 am

since I'm an engineer, I'm going to shoot for an IP internship for my 1L which I heard is relatively easier to get as compared to other 'market' 1L internships.

It'll also help me decide if I actually want to do IP before that crucial 2L internship.

LonghornDub
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby LonghornDub » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:53 am

I had 2 BigLaw SA jobs this summer (1L) paying $3k/week, non-IP, and I don't go to a T14.

Really, the trick to getting a 1L SA gig that pays top dollar is no secret -- 98% of the time, you will need incredibly good grades. Even that isn't a a guarantee though, as you still need to really impress them with your personality at your interview. The spots are so few that firms can pick and choose between the people with fantastic grades. Put another way, great grades are a requisite, but the firms can't accommodate everyone with great grades.

Also, in almost every case, you'll need a connection to the city. Because 1L's are so far removed time-wise from receiving a permanent offer, firms are very careful to hire only 1L's that can convey a concrete interest in working in that city. Most 1L's would love to get a $3k/wk job anywhere in the country simply so they can make great money for one summer, but firms know this. They will not hire you if they think you're just in it to milk them for 18 grand for one summer. Obviously, firms have no interest in paying someone for their 1L summer only to have them turn down a return offer and go somewhere else for 2L/full-time.

However, there are a few exceptions I've noted to all this. First, as one would expect, the rules are slightly different if you are a HYSer. You'll have a lot more slack, both in your grades (for Harvard and Stanford previously, now just Harvard) and for your interview persona (for all three). This slack doesn't much extend beyond HYS though -- unlike 2L jobs, simply being at CCN is not a free pass to a 1L SA gig. Second, if you have some sort of connection at the firm, that obviously changes the game. Third, people in hard IP (patents) with some sort of impressive technical background will have a bit more slack. If you've got an M.S. or a PhD in Biochem/Chem/ME/EE/whatever, or a really stellar undergraduate and/or WE background in one of those fields, a patent section at a BigLaw firm may hire you with a 3.6 law school GPA, instead of a 3.9.
Last edited by LonghornDub on Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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underdawg
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby underdawg » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:24 pm

does "connection" mean actually knowing someone or just being able to show a tie to that region (i.e. your home state or whatever)? both help, right (assuming you weren't born in NYC or something)?

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yalie10
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby yalie10 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:51 pm

The only people I know that got summer associate positions their 1L summer at GMU were in IP and in the top 5-10% of their class.

LonghornDub
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby LonghornDub » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:53 pm

underdawg wrote:does "connection" mean actually knowing someone or just being able to show a tie to that region (i.e. your home state or whatever)? both help, right (assuming you weren't born in NYC or something)?


The first time I mentioned it in the post, it meant simply showing a tie to the region. For example, if you go to Michigan for law school but went to undergrad at the University of Washington and want to work in Seattle, you could mention in your cover letter to Seattle firms, "I did my undergraduate work at U of W and wish to return to Seattle to establish my legal career." It doesn't always have to be a strong tie -- sometimes simply having family or friends in a city may be sufficient. But you definitely need to have SOMETHING concrete. For 1L summer, firms are generally not going to buy "Oh I really want to work here" when nothing on your record shows that you'd have any reason to actually feel that way.

The second time I mentioned "Connection" in my last paragraph, I was referring to knowing a person at a particular firm (i.e. having an "in").

mcds
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby mcds » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:20 pm

wow, interesting. I'll have to ask her how she landed it - because her grades really weren't that outstanding, and she got the internship before her 1L grades had even come out if I remember right.

Anyway, what about UG internships at firms like Davis & Polk...can they help you get a SA later on? I know those internships are a little over 1K a week.

LonghornDub
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby LonghornDub » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:27 pm

mcds wrote:wow, interesting. I'll have to ask her how she landed it - because her grades really weren't that outstanding, and she got the internship before her 1L grades had even come out if I remember right.

Anyway, what about UG internships at firms like Davis & Polk...can they help you get a SA later on? I know those internships are a little over 1K a week.


Every now and then, it happens. It's really hard to explain, and there doesn't seem to be much logic to it in most cases. Your friend's URM status probably explains it all, though. Many firms are very, very actively (perhaps even desperately) seeking diversity.

As for UG internships, it couldn't hurt you. I have a friend who interned at a V50 firm his junior year of undergrad. After going to Harvard law, he summered there both summers. Of course, he did go to Harvard, so the fact that he interned there was dwarfed by that anyway.

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EmmyD
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby EmmyD » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:31 pm

Every now and then, it happens. It's really hard to explain, and there doesn't seem to be much logic to it in most cases. Your friend's URM status probably explains it all, though. Many firms are very, very actively (perhaps even desperately) seeking diversity.


So like... how do you make your "diversity status" known in a cover letter? Do you say, "hey im black!" or "hey im gay!". I mean... I'm GLBTQ and I want to incorporate this aspect into my cover letter without sounding like some opportunistic douche.

LonghornDub
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby LonghornDub » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:38 pm

EmmyD wrote:
Every now and then, it happens. It's really hard to explain, and there doesn't seem to be much logic to it in most cases. Your friend's URM status probably explains it all, though. Many firms are very, very actively (perhaps even desperately) seeking diversity.


So like... how do you make your "diversity status" known in a cover letter? Do you say, "hey im black!" or "hey im gay!". I mean... I'm GLBTQ and I want to incorporate this aspect into my cover letter without sounding like some opportunistic douche.


Does Mich have a GLBTQ organization for law students? Best thing to do is join that and put "Member, Such and Such GLBTQ Organization" on your resume at the top with your law school information. Or, you can mention it in your cover letter. I wouldn't put it in both places, and I'd probably recommend just putting it on the resume rather than the letter.

And, if there isn't one for law students, join one of the groups for the university at large.
Last edited by LonghornDub on Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EmmyD
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby EmmyD » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:39 pm

Ahhhhhhhh


Ahhhhhh

suave.

Danke.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby TatteredDignity » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:58 pm

A little off topic, but do OCI employers look at your undergraduate work, or merely where you did it?

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bwv812
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby bwv812 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:14 pm

LonghornDub wrote:Does Mich have a GLBTQ organization for law students? Best thing to do is join that and put "Member, Such and Such GLBTQ Organization" on your resume at the top with your law school information. Or, you can mention it in your cover letter. I wouldn't put it in both places, and I'd probably recommend just putting it on the resume rather than the letter.

And, if there isn't one for law students, join one of the groups for the university at large.


Shhh..... now everyone's going to join (or at least mcds).

But along those lines, what are your opinions about someone who doesn't identify as a member of a community joining a group for that community? For example, I'm not black, but I thought it might be interesting to try and join the BSA at my school (there was really no black presence in the community where I grew up, and I like to try and diversify my own perspectives when I can). Is this a hugely inappropriate or unwelcome idea?

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EmmyD
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby EmmyD » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:16 pm

Is this a hugely inappropriate or unwelcome idea?


That;s really awesome tha tyou're planning to do that. I don't think it's at all disingenuous... I mean... firms will find out you're not black when the interview comes around.

LonghornDub
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby LonghornDub » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:21 pm

There's nothing wrong with joining the organization. You won't be deceiving employers or anything, because, as Emmy noted, firms are going to find out before they offer you whether or not you are black.

You'll just want to make sure that you'll be welcomed by the other members. Obviously, they can't keep you out, but it could potentially be very uncomfortable if they aren't warm to the idea. I'd imagine most black students associations wouldn't mind at all, though.

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bwv812
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby bwv812 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:25 pm

EmmyD wrote:
Is this a hugely inappropriate or unwelcome idea?


That;s really awesome tha tyou're planning to do that. I don't think it's at all disingenuous... I mean... firms will find out you're not black when the interview comes around.


They'll probably have a good idea, anyway, as I have a Japanese surname (though I suppose that really doesn't/shouldn't preclude the possibility). From a career perspective, I was more worried about firms being annoyed at the thought I might be trying to game them (if the only reason they interviewed me was for diversity purposes), but I was really worried about how the other members of BSA would react.

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bwv812
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Re: Big Law 0L/1L Internships

Postby bwv812 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:26 pm

Speaking of gaming...
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