Are all internships created equally?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Are all internships created equally?

Post by fiatlux10 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:43 pm

Hey everyone--

I've been lurking around this forum for quite a while, and today I have my first question I've been eager to ask.

It's my understanding that top law schools like "save the world" extracurriculars, anything that shows that the applicant is willing to give back to the community. My question is: what if I take an internship with the complete opposite objective--with a private equity firm? I'm tempted to take the internship because I'll receive the best letters of recommendation I could ever ask for.

What do you think? What's been your experience?



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Re: Are all internships created equally?

Post by BigZuck » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:55 pm

Doesn't really matter, the vast majority of the time it's all about LSAT/GPA for admissions purposes. Might be a good internship for something to say when looking for a job. I wouldn't concern yourself with getting letters from it, letters should be from professors unless you have worked full time for a while after graduating, in which case one letter from an employer is ok.

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Re: Are all internships created equally?

Post by Clemenceau » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:58 pm

Certainly not a negative. Probably not a big positive either, but definitely better than nothing.

Internships will not make or break an application. They will, at very most, provide a slight edge at the margins, but only if its something really cool or "save the world" as you say.

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Re: Are all internships created equally?

Post by A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:50 am

I don't think there's any particular bias toward "save the world" internships. It's more important (to the extent anything besides LSAT/GPA are important) that you can present a coherent, cohesive application package that makes clear who you are. For instance, if you know you want to do something involving private equity after law school, then doing extracurriculars that relate to that future goal make much more sense than going off to save the rainforest just for the sake of having a "save the world" internship. Conversely, if you're trying to sell yourself to law schools as an applicant who wants to spend the rest of your life saving the rainforest, an internship at a private equity firm might look a little jarring, unless there's some way to explain how the experience at that internship is actually relevant to saving the rainforest or showed you what you really want to do with your life and so on.

The best softs are usually the kinds of things you do because they're really important to you and relate to your overall experiences/who you are as a person, not things you do to get good LORs (not that I'm knocking that purpose). So really it's unlikely to help a lot, but it won't hurt you.

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