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Author Topic: must make a choice--need advice  (Read 1668 times)

Hurky Jerky Dancer

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must make a choice--need advice
« on: March 28, 2009, 10:04:47 AM »
hello all

i thought i'd consult the wisdom of LSD because i honestly am not sure how to handle this situation.  here goes:

1. i have an offer to do an unpaid internship in a nearby public defender's office (not federal--it's a state/commonwealth office).  nothing glamorous, i know, but there are some pros.  namely, i'd be able to continue living in my dirt cheap apartment, set my own hours, and the work sounds pretty interesting--they have at least one murder going to trial this summer.

2. i've also been talking to a local attorney who is a partner at a bankruptcy boutique.  they aren't into hiring summer associates, but i've told him that i will work for whatever he's willing to pay me.  he's a friend of the law school i go to--he actually teaches a class or two, and is setting up a bankruptcy practicum for next year--and he is going to consult with his partners at their next meeting and let me know afterwards if i can come work for them this summer.

3.  i told the PD office that i'd let them know by tuesday if i was accepting their offer.  they didn't seem to be too concerned about deadlines, but tuesday is the absolute latest i can apply for funding from my school.  the bankruptcy attorney told me that he probably won't be able to tell me anything before thursday, which is when he meets with the other partners.  he did say that he'd call me as soon as he got out of the meeting, however.

so, in true law school fashion, i'm asking you to help me with my "balancing test" that has to consider a number of factors, namely: 1) probability that i don't get an offer from the bankruptcy firm, 2) probability that i lose my offer at the PD's office by putting off my acceptance (probably not high--i got the feeling that i was the first student who had contacted them) 3) waiting for the bankruptcy firm = losing chance at summer funding (which is not, in itself, a sure thing) 4) substantive interests--i am not interested in criminal law as a career, but i think that working for a PD would be really interesting and personally fulfilling, whereas i am very interested in bankruptcy, and i am also interested in litigation in general.  i think that's everything, but if you can think of any other factors i should consider, please feel free to add them.

so. . . what do you all think?  should i wait on the bankruptcy firm?  take the sure thing and try to get funding?  as an ignorant 1L who has never before gone through OCI, i'd especially like to hear what, if any, impact my choice could have during recruiting next fall (i go to a T25, if that helps).

SASS

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Re: must make a choice--need advice
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 11:41:57 AM »
You said you are not interested in criminal law but are you interested in bankruptcy?  That would help to know because it may be worth it to wait out the bankruptcy job, especially if the PD is willing to wait.

But, you are a 1L and jobs are hard to come by. It is very important that you get some experience this summer so you have something to offer at 2L OCI.  My rule of thumb is that you should not let an offer slip by unless you are fairly certain(I mean like more than 75%) you are in the running for another job and you have back up interviewing.  I actually (2L) just took this gamble myself and it paid off but I was almost absolutely certain I was going to get the job. I can tell you it caused me a lot of anxiety!

BikePilot

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Re: must make a choice--need advice
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009, 02:26:49 PM »
1L job doesn't matter that much for the rest of your career or 2L OCI as best I can tell. I'd say do whatever looks the most interesting/fun to you. Just the personality of the people you'd be working with could be a major factor. I worked for a a great judge in a great city really enjoyed it.
HLS 2010

lyre

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Re: must make a choice--need advice
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 12:39:17 AM »
Does applying for the funding lock you into the PD job?  Could you just turn in an application for the funding, then if you find out on Thursday that you are able to work for the bankruptcy firm, just tell them to take you out of consideration for the funding?  Surely they wouldn't have made a decision on the funding that quickly.

Hurky Jerky Dancer

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Re: must make a choice--need advice
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 08:45:16 AM »
Does applying for the funding lock you into the PD job?  Could you just turn in an application for the funding, then if you find out on Thursday that you are able to work for the bankruptcy firm, just tell them to take you out of consideration for the funding?  Surely they wouldn't have made a decision on the funding that quickly.

no, but to apply for funding in the first place, i need to have some written confirmation that i have accepted the PD job.

honestly, i'm leaning towards just taking the sure thing at this point.  another pro of the PD job is that i'd be able to set my own hours for the most part, which would be really convenient when OCI/off campus interviewing programs start later in the summer.   

jacy85

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Re: must make a choice--need advice
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 09:17:56 AM »
If you can set your own hours at the PD job, can you also work at the bankruptcy firm?  Or do you have to be full time at the PD office (especially if you're accepting funding from your school)?

I would see if you could work at the PD's office less than full time and put in some hours at the firm.  Or see if you can split your summer between the 2.  I would call the PD's office and ask and also speak to your contact at the firm to explain your situation so see if he could get the partners to agree to a part time or split summer internship.  But barring that, I think I agree with you on taking the sure thing at this point.  But definitely stay in touch with you contact in the bankruptcy firm.  I know a good number of people who clerked part time during the school year, so perhaps you could suggest that as well.