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Author Topic: Summer abroad or work/externship?  (Read 2718 times)

happycamper

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Summer abroad or work/externship?
« on: June 17, 2009, 12:03:46 PM »
If my goal is BigLaw and/or a judicial clerkship, is it a bad idea to do a summer abroad program as opposed to pursuing an externship or a work opportunity? I do plan on working during my 2L summer, but I'd really like to spend my 1L summer abroad for an academic program. I know summers are really important for work experience, so would I be screwing myself over? I've been getting mixed responses about this... what do you guys think?

lyre

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Re: Summer abroad or work/externship?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2009, 12:24:24 AM »
At my school, study abroad was often for the people who couldn't get any other kind of summer employment.  However, some people do work 1/2 of the summer and then study abroad the other half.  If you really want to go abroad, I'd suggest doing that.  Most of the study abroad programs are only about 6 weeks anyway.

happycamper

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Re: Summer abroad or work/externship?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2009, 12:30:40 AM »
Thanks for the input!

My other concern is not being able to obtain a work/externship opportunity that starts so late. Seems like regular 1L job prospects are hard enough as it is... any thoughts?

RobWreck

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Re: Summer abroad or work/externship?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2009, 05:34:44 PM »
Ask yourself this simple question... when going for that interview against many other similarly situated candidates, what's going to make you more interesting to the interviewer... that you actually attained some practial experience doing legal work or that you took a few classes while enjoying a european vacation?
While that sounds a little harsh, just remember how rough the job market is right now. Any plus you can get over other candidates is something that will make you more interesting to the firm, so what gives you that plus? I'd say it's the 'real legal experience' as opposed to the 'academic opportunity'.
Of course, in theory the reason people go to school is to obtain an education, so if your first focus is on being a well-developed student, then go with the study abroad.
Good luck,
Rob
St. John's University School of Law '11
Part-time PM Division
Admitted in NY

happycamper

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Re: Summer abroad or work/externship?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 02:45:45 PM »
Ask yourself this simple question... when going for that interview against many other similarly situated candidates, what's going to make you more interesting to the interviewer... that you actually attained some practial experience doing legal work or that you took a few classes while enjoying a european vacation?
While that sounds a little harsh, just remember how rough the job market is right now. Any plus you can get over other candidates is something that will make you more interesting to the firm, so what gives you that plus? I'd say it's the 'real legal experience' as opposed to the 'academic opportunity'.
Of course, in theory the reason people go to school is to obtain an education, so if your first focus is on being a well-developed student, then go with the study abroad.
Good luck,
Rob

Thanks for the very helpful insight. The program abroad is actually far from a European vacation (third world Southeast Asian countries), but I see your point nonetheless. Thanks for the perspective!