Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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polareagle
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby polareagle » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:53 pm

flyingboy wrote:Is there any difference between a clerkship and a summer judicial internship? I'm a 1L applying to the latter and trying to see if I could get SPIF funding.


SPIF doesn't cover judicial internships (at least, it never has before). It's like the one public sector thing it doesn't cover.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Sat Feb 07, 2015 5:08 pm

polareagle wrote:
flyingboy wrote:Is there any difference between a clerkship and a summer judicial internship? I'm a 1L applying to the latter and trying to see if I could get SPIF funding.

SPIF doesn't cover judicial internships (at least, it never has before). It's like the one public sector thing it doesn't cover.

They know that every gunnery 1L would do it in the hopes of increasing their clerkship chances instead of actually getting any legal experience during the 1L summer.

fred013
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby fred013 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:21 pm

is it possible to get appellate below median?

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HorseThief » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:36 pm

fred013 wrote:is it possible to get appellate below median?


https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/ocs/jd/secure/career-exploration/judicial-clerkships/choosing-judges/factors-to-consider.html

Scroll down to the grades section.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nonconsecutive » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:59 pm

HorseThief wrote:
fred013 wrote:is it possible to get appellate below median?


https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/ocs/jd/secure/career-exploration/judicial-clerkships/choosing-judges/factors-to-consider.html

Scroll down to the grades section.


Thanks for sharing, I had not navigated the HLS web labyrinth to that page before. I still know pretty much jack crap about clerkships.

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lawschool22
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawschool22 » Sat Feb 07, 2015 9:52 pm

Nonconsecutive wrote:
HorseThief wrote:
fred013 wrote:is it possible to get appellate below median?


https://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/ocs/jd/secure/career-exploration/judicial-clerkships/choosing-judges/factors-to-consider.html

Scroll down to the grades section.


Thanks for sharing, I had not navigated the HLS web labyrinth to that page before. I still know pretty much jack crap about clerkships.


I am always surprised at how much information is on their website. Finding it, that's another matter.
Last edited by lawschool22 on Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:20 am

lawschool22 wrote:I am always surprised at how much information on their website. Finding it, that's another matter.

This. So this.

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CicerBRo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby CicerBRo » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:46 pm

When does HLS housing sign up begin? Not for a while or nah?

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malleus discentium
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby malleus discentium » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:59 pm

CicerBRo wrote:When does HLS housing sign up begin? Not for a while or nah?

April 1 for incoming JDs.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:48 pm

We're working on a redux of the course catalog for HLS Dope. If you didn't see the one last spring for Fall 2014 courses, it contained all the info from the course catalog + the exam mode, exam date, the professor rating (from student evals), and a link to find the syllabus.

This year we've been tracking every waitlist to provide better estimates of how to preference courses in HELIOS and how much waitlists move. (Spoiler alert: there's only about 25 courses you actually need to preference in order to get.) So that should be part of it.

In addition, we're working on providing the option to answer a survey about past courses in lieu of uploading an old outline for continued access to the outline bank. The questions I have so far are:
  • What is the class format? (Pure lecture, cold call, soft cold calls, panels, or volunteers)
  • How heavy is the reading? (Excessive, a little on the high side, about average, less than average, barely any)
  • How tough is the exam? (Extremely frustrating, difficult, about average, easier than normal, simple)
  • Quality of the outlines and previous exams available? (Great, meh, non-existent)
  • Grading? (Easy H, Normal H/P distribution, Prof. sticks with the hard LP curve, Don't know)

Anything I'm missing?
(Yes, I know that these should be part of the course evals collected at the end of class. Those aren't being used very well, so we're supplementing them.)

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:25 pm

TripTrip wrote:We're working on a redux of the course catalog for HLS Dope. If you didn't see the one last spring for Fall 2014 courses, it contained all the info from the course catalog + the exam mode, exam date, the professor rating (from student evals), and a link to find the syllabus.

This year we've been tracking every waitlist to provide better estimates of how to preference courses in HELIOS and how much waitlists move. (Spoiler alert: there's only about 25 courses you actually need to preference in order to get.) So that should be part of it.

In addition, we're working on providing the option to answer a survey about past courses in lieu of uploading an old outline for continued access to the outline bank. The questions I have so far are:
  • What is the class format? (Pure lecture, cold call, soft cold calls, panels, or volunteers)
  • How heavy is the reading? (Excessive, a little on the high side, about average, less than average, barely any)
  • How tough is the exam? (Extremely frustrating, difficult, about average, easier than normal, simple)
  • Quality of the outlines and previous exams available? (Great, meh, non-existent)
  • Grading? (Easy H, Normal H/P distribution, Prof. sticks with the hard LP curve, Don't know)

Anything I'm missing?
(Yes, I know that these should be part of the course evals collected at the end of class. Those aren't being used very well, so we're supplementing them.)


Maybe something about attendance, like whether the teacher is flexible or super-strict, or doesn't care at all.

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lashley
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lashley » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:39 pm

I keep reading that Harvard is a good idea (compared to maybe lower T14s) if you are interested in federal government work. Could someone weigh in on how much this is true? I'm trying to decide if the extra debt is worth increased opportunities

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:44 pm

lashley wrote:I keep reading that Harvard is a good idea (compared to maybe lower T14s) if you are interested in federal government work. Could someone weigh in on how much this is true? I'm trying to decide if the extra debt is worth increased opportunities

At the USAO I interned at over the summer, they brought in every HLS 1L who applied but took almost exclusively 2Ls from the top half of the class from lower T14s.

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HorseThief » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:02 pm

TripTrip wrote:
lashley wrote:I keep reading that Harvard is a good idea (compared to maybe lower T14s) if you are interested in federal government work. Could someone weigh in on how much this is true? I'm trying to decide if the extra debt is worth increased opportunities

At the USAO I interned at over the summer, they brought in every HLS 1L who applied but took almost exclusively 2Ls from the top half of the class from lower T14s.


+1. All of my friends who wanted a USAO gig this summer have gotten one. My impression is that we do very well in DC as well, but someone else can probably elaborate more effectively than I.

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lashley
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lashley » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:07 pm

HorseThief wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
lashley wrote:I keep reading that Harvard is a good idea (compared to maybe lower T14s) if you are interested in federal government work. Could someone weigh in on how much this is true? I'm trying to decide if the extra debt is worth increased opportunities

At the USAO I interned at over the summer, they brought in every HLS 1L who applied but took almost exclusively 2Ls from the top half of the class from lower T14s.


+1. All of my friends who wanted a USAO gig this summer have gotten one. My impression is that we do very well in DC as well, but someone else can probably elaborate more effectively than I.


Great, thank you both. If anyone else wants to weigh in, please do!

Con Consigliere
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Con Consigliere » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:04 pm

Hi, new admit last week, finally made it through the whole thread! Thanks to everyone who has answered questions, it's been really helpful. Couple quick clarifications: so it seems like everyone agrees that Wachtell/ W&C/S&C/WilmerHale etc. and some other NYC elite/D.C. firms are really grade intensive, but is it a straight drop from there to "if you have decent resume/have ties/are a good interviewer, then median grades will give you a shot" or is there an intermediate level of firms who are grade-sensitive but not as much as the ones above? For example, do you think median URM students have a shot at Debevoise or Akin Gump (NY or DC)? For that matter, how does URM status (specifically AA male) impact EIC?
Would someone please write a bit about the experience of doing USAO 1L summer- worth it? what skills do you learn? what is the work environment like for a summer?
Do people (generally) go HLS->clerk-> USAO/ADA-> biglaw white collar crim defense or straight to a firm from HLS/Clerk (corollary: are there risks/advantages to doing one or the other?)
Hope that isn't too much and thanks again to everyone, can't wait to meet many of you!

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lawschool22
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawschool22 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:12 pm

Con Consigliere wrote:Do people (generally) go HLS->clerk-> USAO/ADA-> biglaw white collar crim defense or straight to a firm from HLS/Clerk (corollary: are there risks/advantages to doing one or the other?)


Can't speak to the rest, but my impression from the AUSAs I've spoken to is that some firm experience, in addition to clerking, is the most common route. Many do at least a federal district clerkship (some also do an appellate), and then 1-2 years at a firm, at a minimum. This obviously varies by office, and typically depends on the size of the office. In general, the smaller the office, the fewer openings there are, and thus the more experience is required.. For instance an Boston AUSA mentioned that they are much more experience focused than say EDNY. Of course this also varies by geography, as well as "prestige" associated with, and demand for, the given office. Some non-coastal offices are going to be slightly less selective based on the demand for positions (but they typically also have fewer positions, so there's that).

At the end of the day, while it certainly varies by office, I think the bottom-line, most common route to becoming a competitive applicant is clerkship (1-2 years) + 1-2 years at a firm. AUSAs tend to have at least 3 years of experience after law school before applying.

Anyone with more experience and/or information, please correct me if I said anything misleading.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby UnicornHunter » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:18 pm

lawschool22 wrote:
Con Consigliere wrote:Do people (generally) go HLS->clerk-> USAO/ADA-> biglaw white collar crim defense or straight to a firm from HLS/Clerk (corollary: are there risks/advantages to doing one or the other?)


Can't speak to the rest, but my impression from the AUSAs I've spoken to is that some firm experience, in addition to clerking, is the most common route. Many do at least a federal district clerkship (some also do an appellate), and then 1-2 years at a firm, at a minimum. This obviously varies by office, and typically depends on the size of the office. In general, the smaller the office, the fewer openings there are, and thus the more experience is required.. For instance an Boston AUSA mentioned that they are much more experience focused than say EDNY. Of course this also varies by geography, as well as "prestige" associated with, and demand for, the given office. Some non-coastal offices are going to be slightly less selective based on the demand for positions (but they typically also have fewer positions, so there's that).

At the end of the day, while it certainly varies by office, I think the bottom-line, most common route to becoming a competitive applicant is clerkship (1-2 years) + 1-2 years at a firm. AUSAs tend to have at least 3 years of experience after law school before applying.

Anyone with more experience and/or information, please correct me if I said anything misleading.


http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/care ... -final.pdf

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:27 pm

TripTrip wrote:We're working on a redux of the course catalog for HLS Dope. If you didn't see the one last spring for Fall 2014 courses, it contained all the info from the course catalog + the exam mode, exam date, the professor rating (from student evals), and a link to find the syllabus.

This year we've been tracking every waitlist to provide better estimates of how to preference courses in HELIOS and how much waitlists move. (Spoiler alert: there's only about 25 courses you actually need to preference in order to get.) So that should be part of it.

In addition, we're working on providing the option to answer a survey about past courses in lieu of uploading an old outline for continued access to the outline bank. The questions I have so far are:
  • What is the class format? (Pure lecture, cold call, soft cold calls, panels, or volunteers)
  • How heavy is the reading? (Excessive, a little on the high side, about average, less than average, barely any)
  • How tough is the exam? (Extremely frustrating, difficult, about average, easier than normal, simple)
  • Quality of the outlines and previous exams available? (Great, meh, non-existent)
  • Grading? (Easy H, Normal H/P distribution, Prof. sticks with the hard LP curve, Don't know)

Anything I'm missing?
(Yes, I know that these should be part of the course evals collected at the end of class. Those aren't being used very well, so we're supplementing them.)


What is the exam format, both in terms of substance (single long essay, short answer, multi-choice, combinations etc) and length? What is the attendance policy in practice?

W/r/t reading, I do not think the shades-of-average scale is particularly useful because I have no idea what average is. Although I recognize it varies by student, I am more interested in whether reading typically takes 1 hr, 2 hrs, 3 hrs, etc. daily. Typical number of pages assigned might be a less subjective proxy that gets at the same thing.

I am also interested in what professors emphasize (policy, BLL, historical evolution of doctrine, combinations thereof, etc). I suspect most profs will fall somewhere in between, but it would be nice to identify the outliers who emphasize a particular area.

Keep up the good work.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:03 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
TripTrip wrote:We're working on a redux of the course catalog for HLS Dope. If you didn't see the one last spring for Fall 2014 courses, it contained all the info from the course catalog + the exam mode, exam date, the professor rating (from student evals), and a link to find the syllabus.

This year we've been tracking every waitlist to provide better estimates of how to preference courses in HELIOS and how much waitlists move. (Spoiler alert: there's only about 25 courses you actually need to preference in order to get.) So that should be part of it.

In addition, we're working on providing the option to answer a survey about past courses in lieu of uploading an old outline for continued access to the outline bank. The questions I have so far are:
  • What is the class format? (Pure lecture, cold call, soft cold calls, panels, or volunteers)
  • How heavy is the reading? (Excessive, a little on the high side, about average, less than average, barely any)
  • How tough is the exam? (Extremely frustrating, difficult, about average, easier than normal, simple)
  • Quality of the outlines and previous exams available? (Great, meh, non-existent)
  • Grading? (Easy H, Normal H/P distribution, Prof. sticks with the hard LP curve, Don't know)

Anything I'm missing?
(Yes, I know that these should be part of the course evals collected at the end of class. Those aren't being used very well, so we're supplementing them.)


What is the exam format, both in terms of substance (single long essay, short answer, multi-choice, combinations etc) and length? What is the attendance policy in practice?

W/r/t reading, I do not think the shades-of-average scale is particularly useful because I have no idea what average is. Although I recognize it varies by student, I am more interested in whether reading typically takes 1 hr, 2 hrs, 3 hrs, etc. daily. Typical number of pages assigned might be a less subjective proxy that gets at the same thing.

I am also interested in what professors emphasize (policy, BLL, historical evolution of doctrine, combinations thereof, etc). I suspect most profs will fall somewhere in between, but it would be nice to identify the outliers who emphasize a particular area.

Keep up the good work.

Ooo exam substance and length I like.

You're right about the reading. If you would have asked me last year I would have had a hard time distinguishing. But take a class with Cohen or Stephenson then compare that to Nesson and suddenly there is an obvious world of a difference. Maybe you're right though, there's gotta be a way to objectively approach that question.

For the other, I could see a question, "This professor tends to emphasize:" (Policy, Black Letter Law, History/Evolution of the Law, Cases, Legislative Framework) as checkboxes. I don't know what the best list would be, though.

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codyoneill
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby codyoneill » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:01 am

TripTrip wrote:
MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
TripTrip wrote:We're working on a redux of the course catalog for HLS Dope. If you didn't see the one last spring for Fall 2014 courses, it contained all the info from the course catalog + the exam mode, exam date, the professor rating (from student evals), and a link to find the syllabus.

This year we've been tracking every waitlist to provide better estimates of how to preference courses in HELIOS and how much waitlists move. (Spoiler alert: there's only about 25 courses you actually need to preference in order to get.) So that should be part of it.

In addition, we're working on providing the option to answer a survey about past courses in lieu of uploading an old outline for continued access to the outline bank. The questions I have so far are:
  • What is the class format? (Pure lecture, cold call, soft cold calls, panels, or volunteers)
  • How heavy is the reading? (Excessive, a little on the high side, about average, less than average, barely any)
  • How tough is the exam? (Extremely frustrating, difficult, about average, easier than normal, simple)
  • Quality of the outlines and previous exams available? (Great, meh, non-existent)
  • Grading? (Easy H, Normal H/P distribution, Prof. sticks with the hard LP curve, Don't know)

Anything I'm missing?
(Yes, I know that these should be part of the course evals collected at the end of class. Those aren't being used very well, so we're supplementing them.)


What is the exam format, both in terms of substance (single long essay, short answer, multi-choice, combinations etc) and length? What is the attendance policy in practice?

W/r/t reading, I do not think the shades-of-average scale is particularly useful because I have no idea what average is. Although I recognize it varies by student, I am more interested in whether reading typically takes 1 hr, 2 hrs, 3 hrs, etc. daily. Typical number of pages assigned might be a less subjective proxy that gets at the same thing.

I am also interested in what professors emphasize (policy, BLL, historical evolution of doctrine, combinations thereof, etc). I suspect most profs will fall somewhere in between, but it would be nice to identify the outliers who emphasize a particular area.

Keep up the good work.

Ooo exam substance and length I like.

You're right about the reading. If you would have asked me last year I would have had a hard time distinguishing. But take a class with Cohen or Stephenson then compare that to Nesson and suddenly there is an obvious world of a difference. Maybe you're right though, there's gotta be a way to objectively approach that question.

For the other, I could see a question, "This professor tends to emphasize:" (Policy, Black Letter Law, History/Evolution of the Law, Cases, Legislative Framework) as checkboxes. I don't know what the best list would be, though.


This may be silly, but could there be a "fun" rating?

I was trying to think about what I'd be interested in with my (first, real) course selection and that's definitely a factor.

I know it is wholly subjective, but certain classes are just more fun environments than others, and fun is a criteria unrelated to the others listed. A fun rating may be imprecise but I think it would be better than nothing.

And as a 1L, I really have no idea what professors/classes are fun besides the professors/classes I've taken.

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flyingboy
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby flyingboy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:58 pm

Any advice/opinion about 1L summer internship at the state supreme court level (one of the New England states)?

wwwcol
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wwwcol » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:17 pm

flyingboy wrote:Any advice/opinion about 1L summer internship at the state supreme court level (one of the New England states)?


what kind of advice are you looking for?

At least for Biglaw purposes, you can't really go wrong with any 1L summer job as long as it's law-related. interning for a judge has the added bonus of giving you a connection if you want to clerk there after graduation. if you want specifics about the type of work you would be doing and the atmosphere in chambers, you should check out the Symplicity database that lists everbody's summer jobs and reach out to anyone who interned there in the past.

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flyingboy
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby flyingboy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:08 pm

wwwcol wrote:
flyingboy wrote:Any advice/opinion about 1L summer internship at the state supreme court level (one of the New England states)?


what kind of advice are you looking for?

At least for Biglaw purposes, you can't really go wrong with any 1L summer job as long as it's law-related. interning for a judge has the added bonus of giving you a connection if you want to clerk there after graduation. if you want specifics about the type of work you would be doing and the atmosphere in chambers, you should check out the Symplicity database that lists everbody's summer jobs and reach out to anyone who interned there in the past.


Just trying to decide if I want to take an internship at a state supreme court. It sounds like the interns would actually get to do substantive work, but I need to make a decision soon and there are other interviews coming up that I'm really interested in as well.

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codyoneill
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby codyoneill » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:23 pm

flyingboy wrote:
wwwcol wrote:
flyingboy wrote:Any advice/opinion about 1L summer internship at the state supreme court level (one of the New England states)?


what kind of advice are you looking for?

At least for Biglaw purposes, you can't really go wrong with any 1L summer job as long as it's law-related. interning for a judge has the added bonus of giving you a connection if you want to clerk there after graduation. if you want specifics about the type of work you would be doing and the atmosphere in chambers, you should check out the Symplicity database that lists everbody's summer jobs and reach out to anyone who interned there in the past.


Just trying to decide if I want to take an internship at a state supreme court. It sounds like the interns would actually get to do substantive work, but I need to make a decision soon and there are other interviews coming up that I'm really interested in as well.


FWIW Spif funding won't cover a judicial summer internship, but I imagine you know that already.




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