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Author Topic: Summer abroad during 1L summer?  (Read 6489 times)

kennedyposter

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Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« on: December 18, 2008, 10:43:52 AM »
One of the law schools I'm looking at has a good study abroad program in Cambridge the summer after 1L. It takes up a good portion of the summer-I think June 26 until the start of 2L. I think it sounds cool but would it be a bad idea to do something like this if it means not clerking or doing an internship during that first summer? Or would it look good on a resume for the summer after 2L, particularly if I have good grades?

kennedyposter

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 11:43:34 PM »
i think it would give you some interesting experiences to talk about during your interviews. ideally, you could even relate the experience with your career goals. Is the study abroad program law related?

Yes, I've been thinking I want to do international law and it's at the Law School at Cambridge U.K. International law, human rights classes

Holden Caulfield

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 11:34:11 AM »
If you want to be a firm lawyer, it would be better to have a firm job your 1L summer (and you'd wind up with an extra $30k+).  But most of the time the study abroad sign-up date is after most employers hire, so you could look at it as a back-up option.

I agree: use it as a back up. We have a summer program abroad, but a couple of my profs told me that it pretty much looks like you took a vacation instead of working your 1L summer. I'm sure some employers will see value in it though; especially given your interest in international law.

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 12:41:18 PM »
You should definitely try to get work experience along with studying abroad if you end up deciding to go this route. Given that the spring semester of law school often ends at the very beginning of May, you can conceivably get 6 weeks of work in before you left for the UK at the end of June. This kind of split is probably not an option if you wanted to (try to) work at a firm your 1L summer because summer associate programs have pretty specific dates. But I think you could probably put in a 6 week time commitment at a non-profit or extern with a judge for that amount of time. It would be idea if you could find something connected to what you'd study in the UK. But you definitely want some kind of legal job that gives you experience during your 1L summer.

vap

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2008, 04:20:30 PM »
I think working looks better than studying abroad, especially if you have little to no legal work experience.

Also, as far as I know, you don't need to choose your law school based on its summer abroad programs.  You can get into another school's summer abroad program and usually transfer the credits to your law school (even if it's not one of the regular/advertised summer abroad programs).

MidWesternPleb

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2009, 12:17:58 PM »
Echo.  A partner from a biglaw spoke at our orientation and cautioned against summers abroad unless you are specifically interested in international law.  He stated that he generally will discount resumes (absent EXTREMELY impressive academic credentials) without significant 1L summer legal experience. 

I'm not sure how it would be perceived though if you had a wealth of legal experience prior to entering law school.  Wish I would have presented that question to him.


If you want to be a firm lawyer, it would be better to have a firm job your 1L summer (and you'd wind up with an extra $30k+).  But most of the time the study abroad sign-up date is after most employers hire, so you could look at it as a back-up option.

I agree: use it as a back up. We have a summer program abroad, but a couple of my profs told me that it pretty much looks like you took a vacation instead of working your 1L summer. I'm sure some employers will see value in it though; especially given your interest in international law.

hs1046

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 08:29:33 AM »
I talked with career services at my school.  My counselor told me that it doesn't look bad, and that she would have studied abroad 1L summer if she could do it over again.  She said that it gives you something interesting to talk about during future interviews, something that may make you memorable.  I'm going to study abroad. 

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2009, 09:11:42 AM »
Um, unless you would like to be a career counselor at your law school, then don't follow the advice of what "she would have done." (Plus, that's a sure sign that she's a bad counselor. She should not be inserting "what I would have done if I had it all to do over again! Live, boy, live!" If you want to be a public defender, she should be giving you advice on how to do that TODAY; if you want to maximize your salary, she should be giving you advice on how to do that TODAY. Not what she would have done back in the times of plenty before bailing on a law career, if she ever had one.) 

She told you it doesn't look bad because she has no jobs to hook you up with. She's right, in this market, you probably won't find a job and so study abroad may not be *that bad*. But you should damn sure try. If you want to study abroad and your program doesn't offer summer JOBS abroad, you should have 1) done it in undergrad, 2) do it during the school year, or 3) go hang out in a foreign country after the bar before work starts and not have to pay tuition or go to class.



nealric

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2009, 11:06:20 AM »
I went to the U.K. my 1L summer, but I also worked (on a project for the law journal) via telecommute while I was there.

Good times + a nice way to boost your GPA before OCI. I'm sure nobody was impressed with it, but it give me a class to talk about besides torts, civpro, ks, etc. However, I did work at a firm during my 1L year, so I had some legal experience to talk about.
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one4theteam

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Re: Summer abroad during 1L summer?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2009, 10:36:26 PM »
The consensus, and of course there will always be exceptions to this, is that SUMMER ABROAD = PARTYTIME.  Mind you, there is nothing wrong with that. But, there is a time and place for everything.  If you are even remotely concerned about the implications of how you spend your 1L summer, then do your travelling abroad after the bar.

The only students who stand to benefit from summer abroad are the ones who have interest in international law.  And these are people who have honed in on a focused, targeted areas of law within the niche.  Not: "I'd like to work in law in XXX country one day, so I thought this would be a great way for me to pursue a career there" or "Country XXX is the place to be in the 21st century, so I thought I'd get a leg up in how things work there." 

The reality is that employers look at study abroad as lack of motivation and commitment.  Plenty of 1Ls go out there and put in the time and effort to work a summer job, which is not easy ever but especially less so in this market.  For every desk your resume lands on, there will be at least three others on that same desk that will have summer 1L work experience on them.  Those students will get the interviews.  However impressive taking "Modern European Union Trade Laws and Society" (aka "Fluff" law) sounds, it will be part of a story you will not be able to tell a prospective employer at an interview because those slots will go to the students who demonstrated they were willing to play the game that they are expected to as law students. 

Bottom line, "summer vacation" = high school & undergrad.