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« on: January 14, 2007, 02:40:47 PM »
OK, so splitting is out. But let's say you have a choice between a law firm and a DA's office. In that case, there are arguments either way. If you think you'd like to do criminal law or government work sometime in the future, then the DA's office is a good chance to check it out and get it on your resume for a time when you'd want to do it later. Firms hiring 2L summer associates aren't going to think less of you just because you chose that instead of a big law firm. Going with a firm can be good, though. I know three people who benefited from having a 1L summer at a firm. The first really enjoyed her 1L summer and hated her 2L summer, so she accepted a permanent offer from her 1L employer. The second got pregnant during her 2L year and went back to her 1L firm for the 2L summer, so it was good to go back to a place where she already knew the ropes and had already done some good work. The third person got no offers for a 2L summer associateship, so she spent her 2L summer back at her 1L firm. Going to a firm during the 1L summer isn't necessary, but it can be beneficial.
« on: January 12, 2007, 10:41:05 PM »
If you graduate from law school at age 29, no employer of any type will bat an eyelash at your age. It's completely normal. If you graduate at 45, then yes, you will be different from the typical new grad, and then employment depends on all sorts of factors, including the type of work you want to do and the type of experience you've had.
« on: January 12, 2007, 10:28:26 PM »
Read the nutrition label.
« on: January 12, 2007, 10:25:56 PM »
The answer to this question depends highly on how law review members are selected at your school: grades only (what percentile is the cutoff?), writing only, or a weighted combination of the two?
« on: January 12, 2007, 07:41:27 PM »
Our Crim Law prof. swears we don't need any other materials but the Kadish casebook. He is so emphatic about it I tend to believe him and don't want to use a commercial outline.
My Con Law prof was emphatic about not needing commercial outlines either. But half my class read a popular hornbook, and I really wish that I had read it too. I didn't do that well in Con Law.
« on: January 02, 2007, 07:58:57 PM »
There are a lot of statistics about large private firms available at http://www.nalpdirectory.com/
, including compensation and number of 1L summer associates.
« on: January 02, 2007, 02:44:39 AM »
a. Have you found it rewarding or is it something you wouldn't do again?
It's great to get law-related experience in any form you can get it. And you may get a good reference out of it. And, you become more informed about the issues, even if you don't develop a deep knowledge. I would volunteer again.
b. What were the biggest challenges you experienced?
The biggest challenge for me was getting assignments that weren't essentially clerical work. Legal aid and public interest firms don't have the money to hire the support staff they need, and it's easier to assign mindless work than to train and supervise inexperienced people who won't be around full time. By talking with my supervisors, I got research and writing and client interviewing tasks that were more interesting.
The projects where I had these problems involved litigation. Working at the brief advice clinic may be a lot better because you could get some great client interviewing experience and perhaps also some client counseling experience. Depending on your background, it may increase your understanding of the legal needs of the poor. I doubt you'd learn a lot of substantive law, but that's what law school classes are for.
c. Have you found it helped or hurt you in your job search? As in, do you avoid talking about it with firms or do they generally value the experience?
It's on my resume, but the firms don't seem to care much about it in OCI. My experience, however, did contribute to my performance as a summer associate, and I expect that it will help me as I seek out pro bono opportunities once I start work.
« on: January 02, 2007, 01:57:29 AM »
It depends how well your law school is ranked, what you mean by "screwed," and what the curve looks like. And, what else you have going for you that is independent of your GPA.
« on: January 02, 2007, 01:31:35 AM »
The 6-week delay is meaningless. Decision-making goes at all different speeds in law firms.
« on: January 02, 2007, 01:24:56 AM »
It sounds like the people who took you to lunch had no clue about how to recruit people. It doesn't sound like you did anything wrong. They were just being clueless or jerky. They may have intended to focus on you more but have gotten distracted by each other's jokes. Or, they may have made up their mind one way or the other before the lunch started. Or, they may have taken you out just to make sure you wouldn't do something really bizarre. Or, they may have taken you out to give you a look at their social interactions with each other and make sure you didn't run away screaming. It's impossible to know.
I would not recommend volunteering any opinion about this experience to the people at the firm, regardless of whether you get an offer. If the firm hires you and then asks you for recruiting feedback, I recommend speaking only in general terms about what a good interview lunch should look like, rather than about your specific experience.
Interview meals are awkward. All you can do is be as polite as possible and demonstrate interest the best you can.