Does ACLU internship affect chances of getting big law offer?

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Does ACLU internship affect chances of getting big law offer?

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:55 am

Does ACLU internship affect chances of getting a big law offer? Positively or negatively? Neutral?

I'm really excited about the opportunity, but also worried that big law firms tend to think candidates like that are more interested in public interest/pro bono work. My long-term goal is to practice in the private sector.

Many thanks!

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cavalier1138

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Re: Does ACLU internship affect chances of getting big law offer?

Post by cavalier1138 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:07 am

Is this a 1L summer thing (seems kinda late...)?

In general, a single internship isn't a problem, but if your entire resume screams PI, then yes, you may have trouble convincing large firms that you actually want to work for them after graduating.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Does ACLU internship affect chances of getting big law offer?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:31 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:07 am
In general, a single internship isn't a problem, but if your entire resume screams PI, then yes, you may have trouble convincing large firms that you actually want to work for them after graduating.
This. Big firms don't care if you're ride-or-die biglaw - their model depends on most associates leaving around year 3 - but they don't want to spend like $50k on a 2L summer associate who isn't going to take an offer either.

If you spend your 1L summer doing PI stuff and that's what you did before law school and you're in a public-defense clinic and you spend the OCI screener asking if it's possible to spend the whole summer doing pro-bono stuff then you'll scare some firms away. Any one of those things isn't a big deal and can even be a plus if your interviewer is sympathetic to it.

soft blue

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Re: Does ACLU internship affect chances of getting big law offer?

Post by soft blue » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:11 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:31 pm
cavalier1138 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:07 am
In general, a single internship isn't a problem, but if your entire resume screams PI, then yes, you may have trouble convincing large firms that you actually want to work for them after graduating.
This. Big firms don't care if you're ride-or-die biglaw - their model depends on most associates leaving around year 3 - but they don't want to spend like $50k on a 2L summer associate who isn't going to take an offer either.

If you spend your 1L summer doing PI stuff and that's what you did before law school and you're in a public-defense clinic and you spend the OCI screener asking if it's possible to spend the whole summer doing pro-bono stuff then you'll scare some firms away. Any one of those things isn't a big deal and can even be a plus if your interviewer is sympathetic to it.
This is correct. At my CCN, we had a top 5% / LR person have a lot of trouble because their whole resume was about a particular cause, and it was clear that they were going to bolt from the firm ASAP for that. (Even though they were a great interview and never would've said as much.)

The issue is not the politics of the thing or having interests outside of BigLaw. It's clearly demonstrating that you're going to jump elsewhere at the first opportunity / a real flight risk (i.e. won't come back after the summer). Nobody cares otherwise.

If you care, it should be easy to spin as "oh, ACLU gave me great litigation experience" or whatever.

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