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Author Topic: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?  (Read 2813 times)

attilathescott

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Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« on: March 12, 2007, 05:45:13 PM »
Hey Guys/Gals,

My name is Josh.  I have just come back from a 6mth - 1yr stead in Thailand, and have to start worrying about law school as my education abroad will wrap up shortly at the beginning of 2007.  My question, is how do I get a job with a law firm as a 0L law student?  I have 1.5 yrs until; I start Law school and have plenty of options everywhere else as far as norma;l jobs go, but I would rather take a pay cut and go ahead and work for a law firm in some semi-menial job.  Any advice?  Keep in mind this is all assuming that I will make it into Law school as well.


Josh

Jumboshrimps

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 06:47:41 PM »
You can seek work as a paralegal, but you will not be a very attractice candidate because of your plan to go to law school (I know this from experience). Check with small firms, maybe. If you want to volunteer, give your local legal aid or public defender office a call. Some of them even pay.

Also, there seem to be a lot of law students who think pre-law school legal experience is worthless. I'm not sure where that attitude comes from, but it is dead wrong. The practice of law is a business with employees, routines, and a particularized way of doing things. The sooner you get some law office experience, the further ahead of your classmates you will be in what matters most, which is the practice of law.

Good luck.

brewha

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 09:08:42 PM »
You can seek work as a paralegal, but you will not be a very attractice candidate because of your plan to go to law school (I know this from experience). Check with small firms, maybe. If you want to volunteer, give your local legal aid or public defender office a call. Some of them even pay.

Also, there seem to be a lot of law students who think pre-law school legal experience is worthless. I'm not sure where that attitude comes from, but it is dead wrong. The practice of law is a business with employees, routines, and a particularized way of doing things. The sooner you get some law office experience, the further ahead of your classmates you will be in what matters most, which is the practice of law.

Good luck.

you are dead wrong.  emptying trash cans isn't "experiencing the law" and will give you 0 advantage over those classmates who did anything else as an undergrad.  if you want to get further ahead of your classmates, all you need to do is do well in your first year of law school.  an employer will take a student with good grades in law school over one who "worked in a law firm" since he was able to walk. 

and like i had said in another post, a 0L is about as useful as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest.  the only "jobs" they are competent to perform could also be performed by a well-trained monkey. 
pudding is delightful

riddle1010

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 10:07:35 PM »
I worked at a law firm for 2 years prior to coming to law school. I will tell you that working in the legal field is a huge advantage coming in as a 1L. I pretty much knew the basics of civil procedure which put me way ahead of the rest of my class who had never even heard of a Motion for Summary Judgment. Also, having prior work experience looks good for OCI. Even if you are #1 in the class, if you don't have work experience, you may still find it difficult to find a job. I suggest trying to find a job at a firm and learn as much as possible. There is no reason you have to tell them that you are considering law school.

oscarsonthepond

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 02:56:24 AM »
I know of two people who've done such a thing.  The first worked as a paralegal-type in-house at a large on-line retailer.  He did it for a year inbetween his bachelor's and law school.  The other worked for a small patent law firm writing patents before starting law school.  If you have a technical undergrad degree, then you can likely find a small patent firm that might be looking to pay you on a per-patent basis.  Otherwise, you can likely find a job in-house at a corporation or perhaps at a law firm if you approach it as a "paralegal" rather than as a "0L clerk"

Also, as far as how much it will help you, my guess is that it could help you some to get a job your 1L summer if you're lower down in your class.  However, by far by far by far the most important factor in getting a job is your 1L grades.  Personally, if you want to do it because it sounds fun then I'd say go for it.  If there is another job that sounds more fun/pays more/etc. then go for that, because it really won't help you that much.  As far as helping you in school, I'm sorry but I can not imagine it helping you at all.  Perhaps for the other person who commented it was useful, but in reality the experience you will have will not make that much of an impact.  It takes two seconds to look up what a motion for summary judgment is, and I can't imagine a civ pro test that actually asks you that.  Civ Pro is about Erie Problems, jurisdictional issues, res judicata, etc. - all things that you would have absolutely no exposure to working at a law firm as a 0L.  Perhaps it would help you with some of the basic vocabulary, but once everybody else learns that after the first week then you'd be on the same playing field as them.

amoebalaw

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 11:10:53 AM »
Wow -- a Civ Pro class that doesn't cover motions for Summary Judgment? That's nuts.

Anyway, on to the OP's question: "how do I get a job with a law firm as a 0L law student."

As always, the answer is: NETWORK. You must know somebody who is a lawyer or works with lawyers. If your goal is to just see what law is like and get familiar with that world, then talk to everyone you know and let them know you'll do whatever it takes to get your foot in the door.

I'm on the "legal experience before law school is good" side of the fence. I worked in the legal field for a couple of years, and being familiar with the inside of a courtroom, seeing how ridiculously fickle judges can be, connecting with clients and understanding their needs -- very useful for putting law school in perspective.

jacy85

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 11:54:15 AM »
You must know somebody who is a lawyer or works with lawyers.

This isn't true.  Yes, networking makes your job search easier in any walk of life, and you're probably likely to find *better* jobs.  But to say you MUST know someone is a bit of an exaggeration.  I worked for 2 years in a large firm before school.  I'm glad I did, both for the time off of school and for the work experience.  I knew no one when I applied.  I sent my resume out to a ton of law firms, big and small alike, and received a few interviews, and accepted a position I was offered.  I met some great people and got some great experience.

So bottom line, knowing people is a huge advantage, but it's not a necessity.

T. Durden

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 04:04:44 PM »
one of my fellow 2L SAs for this upcoming summer had a SA as a 0L.

obviously this is extremely abnormal, but her resume is amazing.

at harvard as an UG she was a national mock trial champion. after that? she went to medical school. so yeah, she has a MD. now she's at a t14 law school - the summer before LS she got a 0L SA .. but yeah, pretty goddamn atypical.

amoebalaw

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2007, 12:38:09 PM »
Jacy, I'm sorry, I didn't write that very clearly.

When I said "you *must* know somebody who is a lawyer" I didn't mean it as a requirement. I meant that everyone knows somebody who is a lawyer or works in the legal field. Therefore, networking is just a matter of taking advantage of that.

So this is why my legal writing grades suck...

GA-fan

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Re: Is there such thing as 0L summer jobs?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2007, 09:44:58 AM »
Under no circumstances is it difficult to get a SA position if you're #1 in your class. Even if you are a social retard and have no experience, and your parents are gorillas. Legal experience may help you later if you're borderline (or might help you go back to the same firm as a 1L that you worked for as a paralegal previously), but the top 10% of any law school class has no real difficulty finding "A" job. Maybe not at Cravath, but something reasonably good.