0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

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panharmonix
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0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby panharmonix » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:38 pm

Hiya,

I just heard back from an unpaid summer internship at a Legal Aid in my area and wanted advice on whether in the long run it would be worth it to take it over a non-legal paid job?
Some potentially relevant details: I am seriously interested in PI but don't have any explicitly legal experience on my resume. I'll be taking out a significant amount of loans for law school, and the paid job would help me save up for living expenses.

Thanks in advance.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:41 pm

everything I've ever heard is that doing a non-legal job 1L summer is a death sentence at OCI

illiniguy1551
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby illiniguy1551 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:49 pm

Beer / Xbox / Vacation

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scrowell
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby scrowell » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:56 pm

Deets on the paid job?

Generally I'm 100% against an unpaid job. Sets a dangerous precedent that you're willing to work for free and that your work is worth $0.

That being said, I realize that if you're hell bent on public interest you might have to take an unpaid job
Last edited by scrowell on Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:58 pm

Work done by 1Ls is worthless though.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:05 pm

scrowell wrote:Deets on the paid job?

Generally I'm 100% against an unpaid job. Sets a dangerous precedent that you're willing to work for free and that your work is worth $0.

That being said, I realize that if you're he'll bent on public interest you might have to take an unpaid job

This is utter silliness. Most 1L jobs are unpaid (at T14, funded by the school). Take the legal job if you want to be a lawyer. If you don't want to be a lawyer drop out.

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scrowell
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby scrowell » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:26 pm

I got a paid job between 1L and 2L, as did several of my friends.

Also, disagree about 1L work being useless. Aren't you guys 1Ls? I did a crap ton of legal research to create compliance guides for other departments and had to put together a presentation on my company's max liability based on our sales contracts. Not worthless IMO.

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Meow Meowsworth
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Meow Meowsworth » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:30 pm

I think everyone may have misread the OP's post. The topic title says "0L Summer," and the post implies that it is a job for the summer before law school begins.

With that being said, I think we would need more details. Is the area you are living in now where you hope to find a job after law school? Is legal aid the type of PI work you want to do? In the sense that it might make you reconsider going to law school to pursue PI work, then it might be a good idea to take the unpaid job. In most cases, however, you aren't going to get a significant leg up by doing PI work before law school. It might help to show a dedication to PI work, but that can be shown through significant community service/volunteer involvement too. Basically, it could help, but in most cases, taking a paying job to help offset the cost of law school is TCR. All of that being said, I am only a PI-focused 2L at a T14, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

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Elston Gunn
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:06 pm

scrowell wrote:I got a paid job between 1L and 2L, as did several of my friends.

Also, disagree about 1L work being useless. Aren't you guys 1Ls? I did a crap ton of legal research to create compliance guides for other departments and had to put together a presentation on my company's max liability based on our sales contracts. Not worthless IMO.

It's definitely possible to get a paying 1L job, and I never said otherwise. However, the large majority of students at the best law schools do unpaid work and then roll into $160k jobs despite setting "a dangerous precedent that you're willing to work for free and that your work is worth $0." Talking about this "precedent" stuff is asinine. Working for free in a legal job >>>>> paid non-legal work 1L summer.

BUT I now realize Meow is correct. In that case, I still say the Legal Aid job if PI is a real thing for you and not just a "oh it sounds kind of nice to do PI," and the money isn't that huge in the scheme of things, but either choice would make sense.

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scrowell
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby scrowell » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:13 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:
scrowell wrote:I got a paid job between 1L and 2L, as did several of my friends.

Also, disagree about 1L work being useless. Aren't you guys 1Ls? I did a crap ton of legal research to create compliance guides for other departments and had to put together a presentation on my company's max liability based on our sales contracts. Not worthless IMO.

It's definitely possible to get a paying 1L job, and I never said otherwise. However, the large majority of students at the best law schools do unpaid work and then roll into $160k jobs despite setting "a dangerous precedent that you're willing to work for free and that your work is worth $0." Talking about this "precedent" stuff is asinine. Working for free in a legal job >>>>> paid non-legal work 1L summer.

BUT I now realize Meow is correct. In that case, I still say the Legal Aid job if PI is a real thing for you and not just a "oh it sounds kind of nice to do PI," and the money isn't that huge in the scheme of things, but either choice would make sense.


That may be true at the best law schools, but 90% of students dont go to the best law schools. I am advising the masses here!

panharmonix
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby panharmonix » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:18 pm

Thanks to everyone for replying and especially to Meow Meowsworth for clarifying in my stead.
Yes, this is a job for my 0L summer.
In the paid job, I would be working as a news contributor and translator.
So the general consensus seems to be that if I'm not hell bent on PI, the paid job is a fine option?
Like is it really true that BigLaw firms will hire K-JD grads with no legal experience as long as they have good grades?

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scrowell
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby scrowell » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:22 pm

panharmonix wrote:Like is it really true that BigLaw firms will hire K-JD grads with no legal experience as long as they have good grades?


Yes.

SFSpartan
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby SFSpartan » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:57 pm

panharmonix wrote:Like is it really true that BigLaw firms will hire K-JD grads with no legal experience as long as they have good grades?


Unless you have some amazing experience (tech exec. that wants to do startup/IP work, former MBB and want to do finance work, etc.), biglaw doesn't give a fuck about your experience. By and large, biglaw firms hire exclusively off grades and fit.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:36 pm

Let's add a caveat to that: legal work 1L summer is basically a necessary condition to get a 2L summer associateship, and a 2L summer associateship with an accompanying offer to return is basically a necessary condition to get a biglaw offer from another firm, pre-graduation. In essence you're typically going to need a biglaw offer in order to get a biglaw offer.

Let's add a second caveat to that: for those who are not HYS cookie-cutter applicants, to a large extent, the more legitimate non-LS work experience you get before law school, the better.

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scrowell
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby scrowell » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:46 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:
Let's add a second caveat to that: for those who are not HYS cookie-cutter applicants, to a large extent, the more legitimate non-LS work experience you get before law school, the better.



Maybe we can be friends after all, Ronnie boy!

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transferror
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby transferror » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:04 pm

This might be a relevant discussion if it was for more than just the summer (like a few years), but 3 months working anywhere isn't going to chance anything for OCI or law school in general. Take the $$ and keep those loans down.

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Robb
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Robb » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:33 pm

yea do whatever you want I gave kayak tours in the florida keys the summer before law school and am so happy I did, made a shit ton in tips and had a blast, it's really not going to matter

hokuspokus
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby hokuspokus » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:50 am

What you do for your 0L summer does not matter. Pick whichever you think will be most helpful for you. If you want to experience working in legal aid, go for it (maybe you'll realize you either it love it or hate it). If you want to earn some rent/grocery money, that's not a bad idea either.
For 0L summer I went on a backpacking trip. Did not affect my employment prospects one bit.

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Attax
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Re: 0L Summer: unpaid PI legal internship or paid non-legal job?

Postby Attax » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:57 am

0L summer? Get paid and get laid.




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