Impact of no summer employment

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Qwerty12345
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Impact of no summer employment

Postby Qwerty12345 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:18 pm

Hello,

If a T5 students decides not to apply for law-related jobs and just pursue other interests, travel, spend time with family during 1L and 2L summers, would this very significantly impact their shot at finding employment post 3L since they would not have any experience to show? Or would a firm be willing to take them anyway, potentially with a lesser pay, given their lack of experience?

Would the answer be the same if the student works part-time at a firm during the year (maybe like 10h per week), is an assistant to a law professor, or offers volunteer legal services through a respected non-profit (VLA for e.g.)?

Thanks

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stillwater
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby stillwater » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:22 pm

This is a terrible idea...if you want to be a lawyer.

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kalvano
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby kalvano » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:52 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:Hello,

If a T5 students decides not to apply for law-related jobs and just pursue other interests, travel, spend time with family during 1L and 2L summers, would this very significantly impact their shot at finding employment post 3L since they would not have any experience to show? Or would a firm be willing to take them anyway, potentially with a lesser pay, given their lack of experience?

Would the answer be the same if the student works part-time at a firm during the year (maybe like 10h per week), is an assistant to a law professor, or offers volunteer legal services through a respected non-profit (VLA for e.g.)?

Thanks



If by "significantly impact" you mean "completely torpedo almost any chance," then yes, it would.

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DCDuck
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby DCDuck » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:07 am

Sounds fun! I wouldn't do it. You'll still get a few weeks off in the summer if you work.

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JCFindley
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby JCFindley » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:09 am

kalvano wrote:

If by "significantly impact" you mean "completely torpedo almost any chance," then yes, it would.

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Sheffield
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Sheffield » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:53 am

Qwerty12345 wrote:Hello,

If a T5 students decides not to apply . . .

Being somewhat new to TLS I am not familiar with all the jargon. Exactly what is a T5 student?

Qwerty12345
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Qwerty12345 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:01 am

Thanks for your answers. Which weeks of the summer do you usually get off? Is this usually negotiable? Could you agree to work 8 weeks as a SA for a firm, but decide which those 8 weeks are, and whether or not they are continuous? Or could you agree to work a continuous 6 weeks only?

T5 student is my own way of referring to a student who attends a law school ranked anywhere from 1st to 5th (namely Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago).

CanadianWolf
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:33 am

If you seeking time-off & vacations, you're pursuing the wrong profession. In the legal profession, the reward for doing a lot of work & doing it well is more work.

maximator
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby maximator » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:36 am

You will usually have some time off right after finals but before school starts again (this will may depend on the timing of your school's OCI).

It's not uncommon for people to work more than one job over the summer, for example maybe at a non-profit for six weeks and a judge for six weeks. So you could probably find a gig like that and just do one instead of both. Your 1L summer doesn't really matter as long as you do something. If you are interested in finding full-time work, you should not try this kind of thing during 2L summer.

I've never heard of anyone not working continuously. If you work for a nonprofit there will be more flexibility so this kind of thing may be possible. It would probably be a lot more difficult (impossible?) to set up that sort of thing with a firm though.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:59 am

Qwerty12345 wrote:Thanks for your answers. Which weeks of the summer do you usually get off?
Either first half or all of May or second half or all of August.
Qwerty12345 wrote:Is this usually negotiable?
No! You MAY be able to pick from two or three start dates, but there is no negotiating about it.
Qwerty12345 wrote:Could you agree to work 8 weeks as a SA for a firm, but decide which those 8 weeks are, and whether or not they are continuous?
No!!
Qwerty12345 wrote:Or could you agree to work a continuous 6 weeks only?
No....
ETA: you're obviously a 0L from a fairly privileged background. You'll do fine in life from any of those schools, but there's something you're not grasping about what you're getting into here and what your status/position is going to be.
Last edited by BaiAilian2013 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

luthersloan
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby luthersloan » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:06 am

I think you should just ask these questions in an interview. I am sure the firm would not be put off by your asking to work only a eight weeks, maybe a week at a time followed by a week of vacation, for the whole summer.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:28 am

Sheffield wrote:
Qwerty12345 wrote:Hello,

If a T5 students decides not to apply . . .

Being somewhat new to TLS I am not familiar with all the jargon. Exactly what is a T5 student?


It's a student who goes to Chicago or Columbia, but probably Chicago, and wants you to pretend they might go to Harvard, Yale, or Stanford.

LawlStoodent
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby LawlStoodent » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:33 am

Question -- is taking summer classes a better alternative? And just taking a class or two?

Qwerty12345
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Qwerty12345 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:38 am

Thanks for your answers. I have other professional interests besides law and would like to incorporate both a regular SA position in a firm, and employment or further study related to these professional interests into my summers as a law student. In fact, I would be interested in hearing how joint degree students who do not spend summers on campus, and for whom there is no apparent employment opportunities that would provide them with work experience related to both their degrees at once usually plan their summers.

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby WhiteyCakes » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:41 am

Qwerty12345 wrote:Thanks for your answers. I have other professional interests besides law and would like to incorporate both a regular SA position in a firm, and employment or further study related to these professional interests into my summers as a law student. In fact, I would be interested in hearing how joint degree students who do not spend summers on campus, and for whom there is no apparent employment opportunities that would provide them with work experience related to both their degrees at once usually plan their summers.


Sounds like you dropped the "travel and spend time with family" line pretty quickly once TLS turned against you

Qwerty12345
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Qwerty12345 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:51 am

That too, given that I am international. Anyway, whatever I wish to do during that time is not the object of the post. Rather, I am wondering what short-term summer opportunities (app 6 weeks) could constitute sufficient work-experience when applying to firms post 3L. Could a short-term contract at a prestigious firm or a very competitive month-long internship somewhere potentially carry the same (or a better) effect than 8-weeks spent at an average firm? Have you found yourself discussing your past employment much at your firm interviews post 3L? Do they even ask for the exact dates between which you worked as a SA (could appear on the resume as "summer 20xx")? How exactly does lack of work experience affect you as a 3L? Would they discard your resume, or interview you still?

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WhiteyCakes
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby WhiteyCakes » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:56 am

Qwerty12345 wrote:That too, given that I am international. Anyway, whatever I wish to do during that time is not the object of the post. Rather, I am wondering what short-term summer opportunities (app 6 weeks) could constitute sufficient work-experience when applying to firms post 3L. Could a short-term contract at a prestigious firm or a very competitive month-long internship somewhere potentially carry the same (or a better) effect than 8-weeks spent at an average firm? Have you found yourself discussing your past employment much at your firm interviews post 3L? Do they even ask for the exact dates between which you worked as a SA (could appear on the resume as "summer 20xx")? How exactly does lack of work experience affect you as a 3L? Would they discard your resume, or interview you still?


I'm not sure if you are intending to sound like this, but here is how you sound:

"I want to do as little work as possible over the summer but still be able to get a job after I graduate"

Gorki
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Gorki » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:08 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:That too, given that I am international. Anyway, whatever I wish to do during that time is not the object of the post. Rather, I am wondering what short-term summer opportunities (app 6 weeks) could constitute sufficient work-experience when applying to firms post 3L. Could a short-term contract at a prestigious firm or a very competitive month-long internship somewhere potentially carry the same (or a better) effect than 8-weeks spent at an average firm? Have you found yourself discussing your past employment much at your firm interviews post 3L? Do they even ask for the exact dates between which you worked as a SA (could appear on the resume as "summer 20xx")? How exactly does lack of work experience affect you as a 3L? Would they discard your resume, or interview you still?


I am just a 2L but I have held some type of legal "job" since January. My summer job was weak because of competition with hordes of other 1Ls, and I essentially created my own work (small nonprofit that was understaffed). This did not impress most employers... Essentially they want a firm's name on your resume, or that you did substantive work with a judge or attorney's office. I have since found another job working as a law clerk for a company, but it was after OCI strikeout, 35 mass mailers in my area, and a bunch of symplicity postings.

There is no contract work at prestigious firms for law students, you either get a coveted SA and work the entire time, or you strike-out. I would suggest working for a non-profit if you do not want to spend all summer working. I did all of my work remotely, and was able to just use my laptop wherever. Getting a "very competitive" month long internship? To start I assume you mean government agencies, which CAN be harder than a biglaw SA to get into. Furthermore, a single month of work is not much to judge yourself on. Employers want to be able to hear about how you used the most of the time afforded you in the summer to gain experience (so you will actually be useful) and establish a good reputation with your employer... Every employer I have had could never give a meaningful LoR or reference based upon a single month of work.

It is a buyer's market. The ideal candidate for ANY legal job will have top 25% grades, substantive work experience under their belt, and involved in some type of journal/moot court.

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Ludo!
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Ludo! » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:12 pm

LawlStoodent wrote:Question -- is taking summer classes a better alternative? And just taking a class or two?


Better than nothing but only barely

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:21 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:That too, given that I am international. Anyway, whatever I wish to do during that time is not the object of the post. Rather, I am wondering what short-term summer opportunities (app 6 weeks) could constitute sufficient work-experience when applying to firms post 3L. Could a short-term contract at a prestigious firm or a very competitive month-long internship somewhere potentially carry the same (or a better) effect than 8-weeks spent at an average firm? Have you found yourself discussing your past employment much at your firm interviews post 3L? Do they even ask for the exact dates between which you worked as a SA (could appear on the resume as "summer 20xx")? How exactly does lack of work experience affect you as a 3L? Would they discard your resume, or interview you still?
These questions make more sense given that you are international. Here's the thing: the problem is not so much how a shorter work experience would look to future employers as whether those jobs are even out there. Even the most prestigious firms have summer dates similar to "average" firms. It's a very rigid system. There's probably something, somewhere out there that would fit your needs, but I wouldn't plan on it. If there's a field of law that relates to your other profession, that's going to be a more feasible way to pursue both, as you could seek a summer job at a firm, company, or government agency that involves that area.

It kind of depends what you want to do after graduation, too. If you don't want to work at a firm, maybe you don't need the same resume line as everyone else. But if you do, your options for flexibility are limited, and you should evaluate how the other interest is going to fit into your long-term career. Lawyers at big firms here aren't running around dabbling in other professions.

People who are doing a dual degree program and doing it right usually have a pretty specific career goal at the end of it. If you are like them and have a specific job you want, that should give you guidance as to what kind of experience you actually need over the summer. But if you don't, pursuing two interests at the same time would be very, very unusual.

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dood
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby dood » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:30 pm

hahahahaha elaborate flame. good one.

Qwerty12345
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Qwerty12345 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:47 pm

Thanks. Yes, I do would like to do something else than to work in a firm, but I would like to keep the option open if possible. In this perspective, I suppose you could say that "I want to do as little work [in a firm] as possible over the summer but still be able to get a job [in a firm] after I graduate". Not sure why some people view this as wrong. Yes, law is a competitive field for hard working people, but being hard working and competitive does not entail doing things you do not wish to be doing for extended periods of time in order to reach your goals while your goals could be reached doing those things for a shorter period of time. Anyway, it seems that my question has been answered so thanks.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:28 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:Thanks. Yes, I do would like to do something else than to work in a firm, but I would like to keep the option open if possible. In this perspective, I suppose you could say that "I want to do as little work [in a firm] as possible over the summer but still be able to get a job [in a firm] after I graduate". Not sure why some people view this as wrong. Yes, law is a competitive field for hard working people, but being hard working and competitive does not entail doing things you do not wish to be doing for extended periods of time in order to reach your goals while your goals could be reached doing those things for a shorter period of time. Anyway, it seems that my question has been answered so thanks.


So, it sounds like you still do not get it, so I'm going to go ahead and bold the incorrect part.

A job in biglaw invariably involves doing some things that you do not wish to be doing for extended periods of time. I don't know how far along you are, but since it sounds like you don't understand, I'll try to help you out. Basically ALL of "Discovery" is something that you do not want to do, and yet will take an extended period of time. No one wants to sort through thousands of pages of documents in order to avoid accidentally waiving privilege, but in many jurisdictions, you still have to do it. This is also just one example of the problem.

As a result, you are claiming that you shouldn't need a primary biglaw skill in order to work in biglaw, and that is why the TLS posters are having a hard time with your responses.

Qwerty12345
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby Qwerty12345 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:08 pm

Except what I am saying is not that I do not wish to do those things, simply that if it is possible to avoid doing them and still get the same results (possibility of getting full-time employment in a decent firm), I would like to know about it. This is why the second part of my sentence reads: "while your goals could be reached doing those things for a shorter period of time". Yes, I am still in college. The reason why I felt my question is valid is that, unlike many students, I am not looking at a V10 firm only, or at a particular market. My criterion is merely "decent firm". Obviously for the aforementioned conditions, I realize that one would need a high-quality employment experience to present.

de5igual
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Re: Impact of no summer employment

Postby de5igual » Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:19 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:Except what I am saying is not that I do not wish to do those things, simply that if it is possible to avoid doing them and still get the same results (possibility of getting full-time employment in a decent firm), I would like to know about it. This is why the second part of my sentence reads: "while your goals could be reached doing those things for a shorter period of time". Yes, I am still in college. The reason why I felt my question is valid is that, unlike many students, I am not looking at a V10 firm only, or at a particular market. My criterion is merely "decent firm". Obviously for the aforementioned conditions, I realize that one would need a high-quality employment experience to present.


short answer: no. if you ever want to work at a law firm (or have that option opened), you almost always have to follow the traditional pathways.




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