human rights resume - help!

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azgirl514
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:39 am

human rights resume - help!

Postby azgirl514 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:35 am

Hi guys,

I need advice badly. I'm a 0L planning to head to Boalt in the fall. I had a ton of international human rights related work on my resume as an undergraduate -- I was convinced that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Anyway, I've lately come to the realization that I may not want to go in that direction. There are corporate areas of law that interest me, and I would like the opportunity to take advantage of OCI and eventually explore a job at firm (midsize or small firms... I'm not interested in going the NYC Big Law route). Ideally I'd want a job at the DoJ, but they're cutting those by the minute.

The problem is that my resume is totally stacked with fairly high level human rights work that I completed as an undergrad: an internship at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a few internships in well-known NGOs in New York City, researching with a law professor on war crimes abuses, etc. Those opportunities came along to me as an undergrad and provided me with great thesis material, which is why I took advantage of them. But will putting these things on a resume screw me over with firms?

Basically, how much would it hurt to give them the honest answer: that I was interested in int'l human rights law as an undergrad, but my experiences made me reconsider, and I realized upon graduation that I no longer wanted to head in that direction? I don't want them to think that I want a job for the $$$ and then plan to leave once I get a job in The Hague. I'm honestly not interested in that anymore, and I don't want to limit myself to PI work simply because of my undergrad career.

Don't get me wrong, I may turn out to hate corporate law and end up being a public defender or something, but I just want to be able to explore different options. I have no clue what area of law I'm interested in, but its certainly not international human rights anymore.

That being said, eliminating my past experiences from my resume (as some current 1Ls suggested to me in person) strikes me as kind of deceptive. I'm pretty sure my experiences were the main reason I got into half the schools I did. Advice pleaseeee.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: human rights resume - help!

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:36 am

What experiences made you reconsider.

azgirl514
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:39 am

Re: human rights resume - help!

Postby azgirl514 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:11 am

rad lulz wrote:What experiences made you reconsider.


Well, for a start l I realized that international law (and a lot of human rights work at that level) is kind of toothless and has limited impact. I'd heard that countless times before, but I had to actually see it to believe it. I also discovered that I am a pretty results-oriented person and I prefer to move in a faster-paced environment and actually see concrete results. I also saw a lot of disillusion and burnout - not to be too cynical, but this kind of work seems to be filled with great, inspiring people trying to do the right thing and not succeeding very well... mainly because the system is stacked against them in the first place. So, in short, I am interested in exploring something a bit different.

rad lulz
Posts: 9844
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: human rights resume - help!

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:29 am

azgirl514 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:What experiences made you reconsider.


Well, for a start l I realized that international law (and a lot of human rights work at that level) is kind of toothless and has limited impact. I'd heard that countless times before, but I had to actually see it to believe it. I also discovered that I am a pretty results-oriented person and I prefer to move in a faster-paced environment and actually see concrete results. I also saw a lot of disillusion and burnout - not to be too cynical, but this kind of work seems to be filled with great, inspiring people trying to do the right thing and not succeeding very well... mainly because the system is stacked against them in the first place. So, in short, I am interested in exploring something a bit different.

Yeah that makes sense, but why corporate law per se? Not being accusatory, and these are the exact questions people are gonna be asking you.




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