Law School Discussion

How much money can a 1L ,2L, and 3L make in the summer to pay off loans?

Anyone have a reasonable estimate.
I'm going to have to pay off some serious loans.

Depends on the school.

Most won't find anything paying for 1L year. Otherwise, what is it, 20k over a summer?


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I think paid law school gigs generally pay as much the starting salary for attorneys. If you're going T14 that means $3k a week, but if you are not T14 it might be a few hundred or nothing at all.

The pay rates vary as do the amount of weeks a firm will bring you in. The NALP directory breaks down how much firms pay for summer associates as well as their starting salary. Generally, the higher a firm pays to start, the higher they'll pay for a summer. Just to give you an idea, Andrews Kurth in Dallas pays $2700/wk, DLA Piper pays $2600, Greenberg Traurig pays $2403, and Baker & McKenzie pays $3077/wk. In contrast, Gilmore & Bell in Kansas City pays $1600/wk. This is all for 2Ls since few firms bring in any 1Ls. I'm planning on making nothing my 1L year. That may not happen but it's better to plan on zero and get a bunch than the opposite.

I visited Northwestern and both the tour guides were 1L's and were going to small cities making $3,100/week for the summer. They said that it was not hard to get a job paying that much money for 1L summer, atleast from their school.

They're lying.

I just found a long list of OCI employers at this T-25 school that I am considering and they pay between 2-4 k a week.

I don't think it's only limited to T-14 bound students.

OK, but they won't get those jobs 1L summer (most T14 won't either), and 3L summer doesn't exist.

I agree with Lucky. Bottom line is, as a 1L, you contribute even less than you will as a 2L. These firms don't hire 1Ls because of the work they'll produce but because the firm is trying to sell the firm to the student. That student would have to be some kind of legal ninja for a firm to want to waste $20k+ just to convince him/her to take a good look at that firm. By the time you apply for your 1L job, there are very few indicators as to just how ninja you are. No grades have been released, no one's on journal, nada (with maybe 1st semester being the exception, but not much to go on). So it's all your school and your resume. If you are a former biochemist daughter of the ambassador to Thailand who went to Harvard, you may get that 1L job. If you just got out of undergrad and went to WUSTL (for example) then your chances are beyond slim. The obvious exception is the buddy network - if your dad is golfing buddies with an influential partner at a good firm, squeeze that guy for a 1L job. Otherwise, plan on working at a non-profit. The 2L job is "easier" to get. You still contribute nothing but you'd better get that job b/c that's likely who will offer you a permanent job. By then grades will be out and firms will try to attract you to them, assuming you do well.


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Vandy has a 1L OCI (mainly more regional markets that need the extra summer to court you), one of my friends will be working at a Nashville firm. I'm pretty sure he is making decent $$$.