One L(ove)

November 6, 2008

Summer Jobs

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 3:14 pm
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From yesterday, finals are exactly a month away. Besides having this sense of an immediate assault of essay questions about to take place, 1Ls (first-year law students) are pressured to find a summer job related to the law. For most of us, this will be the start of our legal careers. While majority of big law firms do not usually hire first-year students as summer associates, there are other options available for us. Internships with public interest groups, smaller law firms, judges, and obtaining a research position with law professors are usually the traditional route for 1Ls. While working in the first summer in some place won’t determine your post-graduate career (this usually happens in the second summer), it would be wise to explore an area that practices a type of law you’re interested in. The second summer is going to be more intense because I’ve heard that law firms are cutting the number of summer associates they hire because of the economy’s state. But that would be the subject matter for a blog entry next year.

For this summer, I don’t know what to do. The Office of Career Services (OCS) at Hofstra strongly advised that 1Ls gain legal experience during this summer. I should make an appointment with my OCS counselor, update my resume, and start searching (hunting!) by the end of this month. I think it’ll be great to work for a professor and even a judge (imagine the depth of conversations!) but I really want to be in an environment this summer that is dedicated to one of my interests so I can figure out if it’s right for me. What are my interests? Labor & employment law, environmental law, international law, and, more recently, law & economics (uh-oh!). Although I already work at a law firm (as a file clerk though) in Mineola, I think I might leave it this summer if they are not willing to hire a first-year law student as a law clerk. Therefore, there are several options I’m considering:

1. Summer abroad program. I’m leaning towards doing a summer abroad program. It’ll be amazing going overseas (preferably somewhere in Europe), picking up a new language, eating different food, listening to different music, go sightseeing, and meeting different people–all while gaining legal experience, regardless if it’s in the corporate field or public.

2. Unemployment Action Center. I’ve joined Hofstra’s chapter of Unemployment Action Center. It’s a really cool organization run by students of seven law schools in the NYC area. What we basically do is represent real clients and argue that they should receive unemployment benefits from the New York State Department of Labor. Workers cannot receive unemployment benefits if they quit or they were fired. We basically have to argue in front of a judge that our client should receive the benefits because either that person was fired not for a good reason or that person quit because he or she couldn’t stand the work environment (for example, the worker might have been sexually harassed). I think it would be a fulfilling experience to work for the Center during the summer. However, I’m definitely going to be working on it this winter break and next semester.

3. Environmental organization. It’ll be nice to work for Earthjustice. I found out about it after doing a little research on one of my favorite persons ever: John Muir. He was the one who founded the Sierra Club. Earthjustice was known as the “Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund” when it was founded by a couple of volunteer lawyers in 1971. Recently (actually today!), I found out about the existence of Riverkeeper. It is dedicated to protecting the Hudson River, or as I like to call it “The American Ganges.” It’d be amazing to work for a legal team dedicated to protecting this sacred river. I wanted to go backpacking this summer but it doesn’t look like it since I have to dedicate that whole time to gaining legal experience. However, working for an environmental organization this summer would be ideal for that reason.

While I’m eyeing at the summer abroad program, the other options seem equally enticing. I’ll blog more about it after I’ve actually started the process of searching and decide where to work. If there are any advices and suggestions or great opportunities you know of, please be sure to let me know!

Currently listening to: The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Electric Ladyland

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