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Author Topic: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?  (Read 1559 times)

MiamiLaw

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Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« on: October 21, 2007, 04:44:17 PM »
I've been talking to the owner of a firm in my hometown that deals w/ 75% corporate accounts.  There is a chance that I can get an internship there this summer (Summer of my 1L).  However, I am in Florida and was planning to work in Florida too, and this internship at this firm is in my hometown.    Should I do it regardless, for the networking and experience, and slight chance that if I completely wow them, I might be able to get a 2L paid internship and then get a job from them?  This isn't through my school at all, it's a neighbor that I found out owns a firm and I have just been talking to him. What do you guys think?  Working in Florida would be nice, but I'm more interested in job prospects then location to a reasonable extent. If I could get a better job in another state than Florida, I'd go for it. I'm just not sure if 1L summer internships would lead to anything?

SJ228

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 05:07:05 PM »
Do you have another connections to Florida? A lot of times the secondary markets like to think that you are committed to the area and plan on staying. I would be worried about going back to NJ for the summer might give the impression to 2L firms that you really want to be in NJ.

MiamiLaw

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2007, 05:15:20 PM »
Do you have another connections to Florida? A lot of times the secondary markets like to think that you are committed to the area and plan on staying. I would be worried about going back to NJ for the summer might give the impression to 2L firms that you really want to be in NJ.

Nah I have no connections in Florida, I have absolutely no time to find connections w/ all my 1L work.  :-\  Do 1L internships ever lead to 2L paid summer internships and then a job offer?  I think this place might be a botiwque (spelling?) corporate firm which actually would be amazing if I could someway get involved w/ them. Business law is my interest, but the big corporate firm lifestyle is the major turn off for me. If I could get a job at a smaller place that dealt with corporations as clients, that would be my number 1 choice.   

thorc954

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2007, 09:02:42 PM »
most firms dont offer unpaid internships for the first summer then paid for the second.  At least not the nalp firms and the ones that I have experienced.  Those that offer first year summer jobs offer them as paid and will extend an offer to come back the following summer.  If there is something different at this firm, and you really really like the idea of working there, maybe try to pursue it.  However, I would be concerned with what the poster above said about looking like you really wanna be back in your home state and being concerned about giving that impression off.  If you want to work in FL when you graduate, something like a judicial internship in FL would show more interest in the area.


Also, you are not allowed to be talking to employers really at this point, so i would really watch what information you say to those around you or whatever.  It would suck to get in trouble and to get your neighbor in trouble or whatever...

renegade, esq

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007, 10:27:40 PM »
I second the warning--NALP guidelines say you aren't supposed to talk to employers until after Dec. 1....you've been warned.

CStoJD2010

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2007, 10:56:08 PM »
Employers generally pay you.  Depending on the definition of employer, you could make the argument that anybody you're talking to about an unpaid position isn't an employer at all and therefore fair game.

cesco

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2007, 11:01:04 PM »
Should I do it regardless, for the networking and experience, and slight chance that if I completely wow them, I might be able to get a 2L paid internship and then get a job from them? 

It  sounds like you are focusing on this firm because you are insecure about your career opportunities.  You still have 2 and a half years of law school left - plenty of time to do a lot of networking in Florida and get a job that you really want. I wouldnt take a job in your 2nd choice location unless you have exhausted all of your options in your 1st choice location.

Additionally, most students use 1L summer to do something non-firm related, such as interning for a judge, doing research for a professor while taking some classes, working for the gov't (such as the SEC or the DA/PD office), etc.  At this point in your education you should be keeping an open mind and be looking for a broad range of experiences.
2L

oscarsonthepond

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2007, 11:19:00 PM »
I thought NALP guidelines said not to talk pre-Dec. 1st just for paid stuff, right?  Not for unpaid externships.  My advice would be to hold off for now.  You'll always be able to find someone who will let you work for them for free.  I would wait till my first semester grades come out in Jan or Feb and go from there.  If you didn't do all that well, then I'd find the best unpaid position in FL that you can that does corporate work.  If you did do well, I'd take the best paid position I could (hopefully doing Corporate work) in FL.  If you want to stay in FL, but don't have ties there, I would definitely stay there your 1L summer.  Having said that, though, it's not as bad as I've heard some people make it out to be in interviews....you just say that you love that area and you know that that's where you want to live.  Either way...don't commit to anything now.  It is not hard at all to find people that will let you work for them for free (while they're billing you out at $150/hr), but if you commit to that NJ now you'll be ticked come Jan. if you finish near the top of your class and then have to pass up paid opportunities doing the type of work you want in the location you want.  I witnessed this first-hand with many of my classmates who signed onto unpaid externships early on.

thorc954

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2007, 11:28:14 PM »
ehh.... top of his class at Miami wont really give him a good shot at paid work (or at least not any pay worth taking) for his 1L summer.  My friends and I were all top 15% at a top 25 school and none of us could find anything that paid more then 5 grand for the summer.

I am pretty sure the guidelines apply to unpaid positions as well.  It is still employment whether you are getting paid or not.  Just something to keep in mind. I may be wrong, but I would be very surprised if that were the case seeing as how judges and stuff wont accept applications till dec. 1.

jacy85

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Re: Unpaid 1L summer internship at corporate firm?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2007, 07:00:00 AM »
NALP guidelines only apply to NALP firms.  Smaller firms and other sorts of businesses are NOT part of NALP, and therefore are not subject to NALP rules re: recruiting.