Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

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effervescence18

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Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby effervescence18 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:36 pm

Hi all,

I'm an undergrad who will be interning at Firm X this summer. My exact hours won't be confirmed for awhile, but the internship will likely be around 20 hours a week.

I'd like to intern at a second law firm this summer too, and have an upcoming interview with Firm Y. Not a split summer but something like interning at Firm X for 20 hours a week and Firm Y for 20 hours a week, for approximately four months. I think that would be a fun experience.

My question is whether interning at two law firms at the same time would be a problem? I didn't think there would be an issue but I recently came across some posts (not on TLS and some referred to other situations such as interning for two investment banks at the same time) saying there might be a "conflict of interest" or it might be "unethical." Thoughts please?

cavalier1138

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:39 pm

Ask the firms if there would be a conflict.

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UVA2B

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:40 pm

If you're talking about unpaid internships, no there is nothing "wrong" with it. You'll need to make sure the schedules at the two firms don't conflict, but that's the only major issue. As an UG unpaid intern, you likely won't be involved in anything that would get even close to being conflicted out of the work. And that's not really for you to worry about right now.

Before you accept another position with the new firm, just speak to your contact at Firm X and make sure they are comfortable with you interning at another firm during the summer. If they say no for whatever reason, then you'll have to decide from there. But I can't imagine it'll be a huge issue unless they're opposing counsel in a matter, in which case you can't be exposed to either side's work product.

effervescence18

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby effervescence18 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:52 pm

UVA2B wrote:If you're talking about unpaid internships, no there is nothing "wrong" with it. You'll need to make sure the schedules at the two firms don't conflict, but that's the only major issue. As an UG unpaid intern, you likely won't be involved in anything that would get even close to being conflicted out of the work.


The internship I've already accepted will be paid. Don't know yet about the one I'll be interviewing with. Does that change anything? Or does it still hold that because I'm a lowly undergrad (hehe), it won't really matter?

I'm worrying too much. Thanks for your input.
Last edited by effervescence18 on Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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UVA2B

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:56 pm

It doesn't really change anything that it's paid. It's more the position you'll hold within the firm while you work there.

Simply put, just communicate with your accepted position firm and the new firm on your proposed situation, and respond to what they say. If there is no impact (there likely won't be), enjoy your two internships. If there is a problem or they worry about conflicts between their firm and the other firm, respectfully offer to only take one firm. But your communication here is what will make it possible.

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emkay625

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby emkay625 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:59 pm

This certainly could create conflict issues. You need to speak to both firms about it, and they will need to carefully screen matters as they come in the door. Depending on the state, this may not be permissible.

For those posting above who seem to be confused: conflicts rules apply to all staff - from secretaries, to managing partners, to yes, even unpaid interns.

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pancakes3

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby pancakes3 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:04 pm

what'll you be doing as an undergrad?

i don't think there'll be anything fun about this at all. you're better off asking firm Y if you can go full time and reneging on firm X. i really don't see the benefit of splitting your time between two firms.

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UVA2B

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:07 pm

emkay625 wrote:This certainly could create conflict issues. You need to speak to both firms about it, and they will need to carefully screen matters as they come in the door. Depending on the state, this may not be permissible.

For those posting above who seem to be confused: conflicts rules apply to all staff - from secretaries, to managing partners, to yes, even unpaid interns.


You're right, I shouldn't have been quite so cavalier in suggesting there wouldn't be conflict issues. I more meant that the conflict issues shouldn't be their concern, and they'll be entirely based on what type of role the OP has at the firms. So I suggested they communicate their intentions, and let the firms decide if this will be an issue.

Thanks for clarifying this though. I wasn't nearly clear enough and it comes off very wrong the way I approached it initially.

effervescence18

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby effervescence18 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:18 pm

pancakes3 wrote:what'll you be doing as an undergrad?

i don't think there'll be anything fun about this at all. you're better off asking firm Y if you can go full time and reneging on firm X. i really don't see the benefit of splitting your time between two firms.


I'm currently interning at a different law firm (my first legal internship) where my responsibilities include drafting memos and motions, trial prep, communicating with clients, etc. Based on what I've seen on the LinkedIn profiles of Firm X and Y's previous interns, it looks like I'll be doing those same tasks, along with some new ones, but in different contexts.

I really like Firm X so I won't be reneging on the offer, but my hours there will mostly likely be around 20 hours a week. I want to experience different practice areas/law office environments during undergrad, plus I wouldn't mind filling up more of my time on weekdays during the summer.

XXX

Thanks for the advice in the new comments above. Communication is key -- got it. :)

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pancakes3

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:49 pm

effervescence18 wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:what'll you be doing as an undergrad?

i don't think there'll be anything fun about this at all. you're better off asking firm Y if you can go full time and reneging on firm X. i really don't see the benefit of splitting your time between two firms.


I'm currently interning at a different law firm (my first legal internship) where my responsibilities include drafting memos and motions, trial prep, communicating with clients, etc. Based on what I've seen on the LinkedIn profiles of Firm X and Y's previous interns, it looks like I'll be doing those same tasks, along with some new ones, but in different contexts.

I really like Firm X so I won't be reneging on the offer, but my hours there will mostly likely be around 20 hours a week. I want to experience different practice areas/law office environments during undergrad, plus I wouldn't mind filling up more of my time on weekdays during the summer.

XXX

Thanks for the advice in the new comments above. Communication is key -- got it. :)


drafting memos? are you doing legal research? trial prep?

can you elaborate? those are some hefty responsibilities for a college sophomore. and you've got 3 firms bidding for your services? but can't get any of them to employ you full time for the summer?

effervescence18

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby effervescence18 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:28 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
effervescence18 wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:what'll you be doing as an undergrad?

i don't think there'll be anything fun about this at all. you're better off asking firm Y if you can go full time and reneging on firm X. i really don't see the benefit of splitting your time between two firms.


I'm currently interning at a different law firm (my first legal internship) where my responsibilities include drafting memos and motions, trial prep, communicating with clients, etc. Based on what I've seen on the LinkedIn profiles of Firm X and Y's previous interns, it looks like I'll be doing those same tasks, along with some new ones, but in different contexts.

I really like Firm X so I won't be reneging on the offer, but my hours there will mostly likely be around 20 hours a week. I want to experience different practice areas/law office environments during undergrad, plus I wouldn't mind filling up more of my time on weekdays during the summer.

XXX

Thanks for the advice in the new comments above. Communication is key -- got it. :)


drafting memos? are you doing legal research? trial prep?

can you elaborate? those are some hefty responsibilities for a college sophomore. and you've got 3 firms bidding for your services? but can't get any of them to employ you full time for the summer?


Yeah, legal research is part of my current internship. And yeah, these are significant responsibilities, but it's a small firm so it's easy for me to ask questions, get advice, have my drafts looked over, etc.

While this internship has been a really rewarding experience, I'm ready to move on to something new. And I would prefer interning at two firms part-time this summer rather than full-time at one. I'd get exposure to more practices areas, get to network with more people, etc.

effervescence18

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Re: Any issues with interning at two law firms at the same time?

Postby effervescence18 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:41 am

Update: Things worked out. What matters is that my schedules at the firms don't conflict. No issues other than that!



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