Following a lawyer around

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Qwerty12345
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 4:15 pm

Following a lawyer around

Postby Qwerty12345 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:58 pm

I'm a sophomore at a NYC school who is contemplating law school. For some weird reason, my school schedule my finals in such a way that I've a couple weeks off between my most important finals, and minor finals/assignment deadlines for easy classes. Since I will only have little studying to do at that time, I would like to use most of my time during these 2 weeks to follow around a lawyer or different lawyers, at a firm or in a private practice. I have no legal skills, no clear idea of what being a lawyer entails, but I could not imagine anything more interesting than observing one at work. However, since I've worked as an office assistant and assistant librarian, I'm pretty sure that I could help by doing so minor tasks such as photocopies, typing, etc... How could I go about finding such an internship? What are NYC firms susceptible of accommodating such a request?

Renzo
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Re: Following a lawyer around

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:10 am

First, most of what lawyers do is sit in front of computers any type, so it would be horrendously boring to watch. And, they are dealing with confidential material, so having short term interns can be problematic. However, it would be a good idea to see if you can meet with some lawyers to discuss what they do, and if you can find some that actually have interesting things to do, to see if you can observe them for a few hours or so.

Does your school have a pre-law club? They should be able to put you in touch with someone who would at least meet with you, and might possibly let you shadow them for a while.

If not, I have some other ideas; maybe you could PM me a few details about yourself.

landla
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Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: Following a lawyer around

Postby landla » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:25 am

As Renzo said, try setting up informational interviews with attorneys. However, this won't give you a real feeling of what they do. Perhaps try doing some job (basically anything outside of the mail room, janatorial, or cafeteria) at a firm to get an idea over a summer. I'd suggest trying to find a smaller firm, since you'll have more ability in most small firms to see what really happens than at most large firms, especially as an undergrad.

Feel free to PM me for more.

Edit: Also just go sit in different courts to get an idea of that. Even though it isn't a huge part of many lawyers' jobs, it shows you a few different types of law and one aspect. (It could be a big aspect for you, depending on what route you go.) Go to the criminal, civil, probate, etc. courts - whatever is plausible. Don't feel odd sitting there alone, even with a notepad. Most people in there don't notice or care about the people other than the ones they know. Also, dress nicely, please.
Last edited by landla on Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Following a lawyer around

Postby franklyscarlet » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:33 am

Call in favors with people you know. In undergrad, i did a summer intership with the city prosecutor's office that was basically just filing, stamping subpoenas, etc, but they brought me along to court every once in awhile and let me participate with the actual law students in justice center visits, etc. our neighbor was a prosecutor though, so it's all about using those connections. That being said, this was a small city where the prosecutors were more than happy just to have another set of hands. NYC might be more difficult.

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Psib337
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Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:18 am

Re: Following a lawyer around

Postby Psib337 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:10 am

I agree with what the other two posters said, especially about getting a job in a law firm. I'm working at a small law firm now doing marketing and it's actually been really helpful as far as seeing exactly what lawyers do all day (read, write, and go to meetings). I especially agree with working at a small firm, you'll have more access to lawyers who'll actually take a bit of an interest in you (at a big firm I feel like you'd be just a number). At a small firm you may also be able to work part-time which would be more beneficial to you than being there for two weeks. Also, when it comes around to asking questions it is nice to have people that really know you. I'm sure you'd get great advice just from contacting a lawyer and meeting with them but I feel like it'd be even better to get advice from someone who really knows you and what you're like. It also may be less awkward asking some questions, things like how long it took to pay off their loans or starting/having a family while practicing law.

Qwerty12345
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 4:15 pm

Re: Following a lawyer around

Postby Qwerty12345 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:53 am

Thanks a lot for your answers!

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spleenworship
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Re: Following a lawyer around

Postby spleenworship » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:41 am

I highly recommend getting a job.

But I don't think shadowing is a bad idea if you have someone doing depos or hearings- DA's office, PD's office, a Personal Injury firm... just ask them when a good day might be. Make sure, though, that you have some kind of contact for any kind of private firm. Randomly calling firms is just going to get you a no.

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Gail
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:11 am

Re: Following a lawyer around

Postby Gail » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:24 pm

when i first read this i thought i'd come up with some quick retort about being a stalker. i changed my mind. but i'm getting to 1000 posts, damnit.




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