Law School Discussion

Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!

Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« on: April 20, 2015, 03:16:03 AM »
Hi all,

I have a question and wanted to seek people's opinions. I have been offered multiple summer positions and would like opinion and help on deciding which offer to take.

I am being offered the following positions:
 
~Dept. of Justice, U.S. Office of Trustee Legal Intern (for the summer)
~GAP Legal Intern (for the summer and into the next school year)
~[A tech company but not a huge global one] (for the summer w/possibility to extend to the fall term)

And I have another 5 places I'm waiting on results from.
What do you all think and does the fact that some are paid and some are not, make a difference in your minds in terms of useful experience, resume boost, and other factors that slip my mind at this hour.

Thanks in advance!


Sincerely,
Rising 2L Sharka

loki13

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Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 08:12:17 AM »
Sharka,

First, congratulations! Any summer position that gets you some legal experience your 2L year is a good thing.

However, in order to answer your question, more information is needed. What do you want to do? Do you want to litigate? Public service? BigLaw? Real estate transactions? Any ideas? Are you viewing this as an opportunity to rule in/out certain practice areas, or just gain experience in general, or gain a foot in the door somewhere? Money can also be a factor; sometimes, working and bringing home a lot of money that summer (the BigLaw track) can be really helpful; other times, people just need the experience.

For me, I did a judicial clerkship my first summer (1L) and BigLaw my second summer (2L) and that was wonderful for eventual BigLaw. But everyone is different. That DOJ position, for example, looks interesting, but then again, why are you interested in the tech company? Those are two very disparate opportunities. In short, this is such an individualized assessment that just throwing out a bunch of positions, without more, isn't going to be very helpful. I'm also a little concerned that you're just viewing these as resume boosts; it's important to have something on your resume for your 2L summer, but the main thing is the experience it gives you, the networking opportunities, and the chance to understand what you want to do in practice. Put another way, the DOJ position will be very different than the tech company one.

Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 01:20:43 PM »
Thanks Loki!

I'm leaning towards business/corporate law and transactional work. I'd like to be in BigLaw but not sure if I would get it. I'm seeking in-house position long term. The tech co. and GAP are useful in my eyes for the transactional and in-house experience. And the DOJ is just a great experience it seems on its own.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else would be helpful to disclose without boring you with a life story, but if you think of something let me know! Appreciate the help!

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Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 01:52:46 PM »
Sharka,

Okay, this is helpful. Why? Well, first, there's a big divide between litigation and transaction. So, if you know (or at least have a predilection toward) you want to go into transaction work in BigLaw, that is helpful!

So, the first thing is there are no wrong choices. The ideal position for your path would probably be a BigLaw summer position with the firm you want, but, barring that, none of these are *bad*. Next- everyone kind of says they want "in house" long term. But your summer position isn't going to be the key. You need to consider what these disparate opportunities bring to the table. Unless you want to work in the tech industry (patent work? other in house tech work?) I'm not seeing why the tech company is appealing.

Bankruptcy law is kind of cool, in its own specialized way, and seems right up your alley. The DOJ program sounds like it would be a good fit, would give you a good experience, and would be something to talk about with future BigLaw employers. Also? Knowing the BR Code is a good way to start learning about how a set of laws operates together. Of those three, absent other considerations, and given what you've written... well, that would be the most appealing. But I also don't know how important that "extension into the school year" is to you, or money, or, for that matter, the opportunity to maybe catch on with that tech firm as a permanent position.


Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 06:17:36 PM »
Thanks Loki!

I appreciate the advice breakdown. And the school year extension was like a nice cherry on top of the sundae since its nice to have a little revenue during the school year but it may be tough to work during the school year too. I spoke with some others today too and they had a similar advice as yours so I'm leaning towards the DOJ offer.

I was concerned about whether paid/unpaid would be viewed differently by future employers but it sounds like the emphasis is on interesting work with little concern to paid/unpaid positions which is a huge plus to learn.

Thanks again!
Sharka

Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 12:39:43 PM »
I am being offered the following positions:
 
~Dept. of Justice, U.S. Office of Trustee Legal Intern (for the summer)
~GAP Legal Intern (for the summer and into the next school year)
~[A tech company but not a huge global one] (for the summer w/possibility to extend to the fall term)

These are pretty different positions. I think it has to do with what you hope to accomplish via the internship. If you are simply looking for any legal experience, DOJ would be a good choice.

You mentioned that you might want to work in Biglaw. In that case, a Biglaw internship/summer associate position would be best, as many people actually get hired based on their summer experience.

Out of the options you listed, I'm tempted to say that DOJ offers the best experience, although the Trustee's office is fairly unique. I'm not sure that what you learn there will be viewed as widely applicable to most civil litigation/transactional firms, the way that some other DOJ positions may be. Bankruptcy and receivership (I think they handle receiverships?) are their own animals, with their own courts. Unless you were considering this as a career, I'm not sure that the DOJ imprimatur alone will make much difference.

I would also look at the whether any of these internships hold out the possibility of a job offer after graduation. For the feds that will depend on budgets. For the private firms, you could discretely inquire. 

Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2015, 02:56:26 AM »
Thanks Maintain FL!

So I was also wondering what you all think of working up to 20 hours a week during 2L year?

Also, these internships are for my 1L Summer. Does that change your opinion of things?

With regards to future employment, what is the general opinion of medium-sized law firms and their employment trends? Is it as grade and class ranked focused or do they care more about experience through work and clinics and other things?

Thanks!

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Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2015, 07:21:52 AM »
Does it change my opinion that this is 1L?

Yes. Your 1L summer only matters in terms of the experience for you. If you want BigLaw, then what matters is your 2L summer- build up for OCI (on campus interviews) to get a BigLaw summer association position for your 2L summer.

I clerked with a judge my first summer and it was an amazing experience. It was unpaid, but I loved it. I had a great time, I learned a lot, and I came back to law school so much more comfortable and happy; in addition, I was able to see other practicing attorneys and realize that I could do it. Here's the thing- none of the BigLaw employers cared that much about the exact job, it was just something to talk about briefly during itnerviews (although I did get a killer writing sample from it that I received approval to use).

So, I'd again go with the DOJ position. If this is the end of your first year, and you just have general ideas that you want to practice BigLaw, give the DOJ and a little bankruptcy law a shot. Also- however hard you worked your first year, if you are like me, your second year will be that much harder. My first year was a blur because I was constantly learning. But my second year (with the addition of law review + law review note, added student group responsibilities, more difficult classes, research assistant etc.) I just remember working myself to death.

Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2015, 08:54:45 PM »
Thanks for the feedback! I committed to the DOJ and will notify my other applications that I'm not pursuing them anymore. It seemed like a good fit and the work seems interesting.

Haha oh joy 2L. What do you think of 2L year as far as what I should be involved in? Clinics? Journals? Moot Court? ADR Team? Trial Team? Clubs? What kind of combination would you recommend?

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Re: Picking between Summer Job Offers! Advice appreciated!
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2015, 11:36:02 AM »
sharka,

As always, personal preferences matter. So this is general advice. For signalling purposes (resume, BigLaw) it tends to break down like this:
Law Review > Moot Court ............ > Other Journals > Trial Team. (Some might put trial team ahead of other journals, either way, it's close).

A brief explanation. The main journal (usually referred to as just "Law Review") is the single "best" thing you can do, period. Employers love it, because it both shows you accomplished something early on (either grade on or write on) and that you continue to work your behind off and learn second year. Moot court is 1a; I think that moot court is awesome, it's a wonderful experience, and it will help you, esp. if you do litigation, but remember that it focuses on appellate work- the vast majority of attorneys will not be doing much appellate work. So, again, it's the bluebooking, writing, researching that's important.

If you had to ask me which is the most useful, and you know you're going to be a litigator, I might say trial team. But it's not very prestigious, and unless you're going to a small, litigation-only firm, it's not going to look that good (but better than nothing).

As for the other journals, it is usually the opinion of people that many of these journals have "lax" standards. It's much better than nothing, especially if you can tie it into an interest or publish something, but it's not Law Review.

Everything else is "niche"- intl' moot court, ADR, whatever. Clubs too. Sure, they can look good, give you some networking, maybe some wider exposure (FedSoc, ACS). But none of them are a substitute for LR/Moot Court/Journals/Trial Team (The Big 2/4).

Clinics and externships are great.