What kind of job responsibility did you have? Did you have to work long hours as a summer associate?
are you asking about my firm or legal aid experience? they were quite different.
Wow, well I'd really like to hear about both, though I think I personally would be more likely to go into a firm job.
legal aid gave me a surprising amount of responsibility, given my status as a relatively unsavvy 1L. i was responsible for the complete case management of about 6-10 cases over the course of the summer. this means that i basically did all the client contact, all the legal research, was responsible for all the filings, memos, briefs, etc. my biggest project was writing appellate brief in support of an asylum application, but i also filed petitions under the violence against women act, attended court, collected evidence, conducted intake interviews and attended immigration interviews. the hours expected were 9-5, 5 days a week, but i often stayed late, not because i felt obligated but because i got attached to my clients and wanted to spend more time beefing up their cases.
the firm gig was pretty different.
firm 1: i did about 6 memos there. mostly boring stuff, tons of legal research. one 10 state survey on whether the sale of securities in an entity whose sole asset is real estate constitutes the sale of real estate and requires a real estate broker's license. there were social events every day after work. happy hours, dinners, outings, etc. you basically had to attend to get to know the lawyers in the groups you liked to that they would "pull" for you. this got daunting sometimes. generally, if you did your work and didn't blow off deadlines, you were fine.
firm 2: got to do some slighly more interesting work there. well, at least not just memos. i got to do survey review, write client letters, review leases, stuff like that. also got a couple of pro bono immigration cases, which were lots of fun. less social stuff there, because the firm was less wealthy, but i kinda liked that because i could actually have time to myself and my friends in the afternoons.
firm hours were generally 9-5, but there was much more face time than at legal aid. and, of course, i expected that i would be working much more once i started there, which was not true of legal aid, where everyone left at 5 on the dot.
Wow, thanks for the info.