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post #16 of 52
If you want to do white collar criminal defense you need to realize that most white collar criminal defense lawyers have experience as an Assistant US Attorney with the DOJ.

Try to get an internship with the DOJ, any branch would probably be better than nothing, or any DC internship that can get you some connections inside the DOJ: http://www.justice.gov/06employment/06-3.html
Relatedly, if you are trying to get a foot in the door w/DOJ then look for ways to get you into places that can get you into the DOJ (ie, the Manhattan DA is prob a decent place to start if you don't make it into the DOJ w/the Atty Honors Program right after law school, so try to do things that show an interest in prosecuting crimes or law enforcement, or conversely w/nonprofits that do defense work or stuff along those lines, Innocence Project or whatever)
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joffrey View Post

I'd say take their advice and do a summer volunteering or study abroad. Obviously something you're interested in and take your mind off internships for the 3 months.

This stuff can also give you something interesting to write about in one of your personal statements, especially if your background is otherwise pretty vanilla.

I agree with the posters who suggest that you should first get yourself into the best law school you can (which is mostly a factor of your grades and LSAT) and then, once you get there, getting the best law school grades you can, particularly in your first semester. Personally, I think that this has as much to do with working hard as it does getting to know people who are a year ahead of you that can tell you how to study for each professor's exam and give you their outlines.

I assume you're aware of all the doomsday talk re: the legal profession. If not, though, I would recommend reading the posts on the Inside the Law School Scam blog when you get a chance.
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TauKappaEpsilon View Post My problem is that given my previous work experience, my GPA, my interview skills, etc. I'm still having trouble finding an internship specifically in a white-collar crime law firm. 

 

Again, I'm sorry if I came across as cocky or anything, and I apologize for any typos since I'm running on 3 hours of sleep.

 

The thing about the legal profession (more so now than ever) is that there are far, far, far more aspiring attorneys than there is need for attorneys. Thus, the law firms seeking interns have their pick of students who actually have a little bit of law school under their belts and thus know a little bit about how lawyers work and at least have a handle on lawyers' vernacular. What reason would the firms have to choose an undergrad with no law school experience instead of all those actual law students out there begging for internships? If you're wondering why you are having trouble, I think that should highlight it.

 

Also, the firms are to some degree looking for prospective associates -- you will not be providing that benefit to them, as your advent is too far removed for their processes.

 

Like, CT, I suggest getting an internship doing something else that you can really get behind that will also be good on your resume. But do remember, 95%+ of law school admissions criteria is GPA and LSAT scores. All your other 'softs' only come into the picture if they are deciding between 'maybes,' and maybes are not where the scholarships are.

 

As for typos on 3 hrs of sleep, get used to not making the former on account of the latter. Profs and Law Review members who review student papers can tell if you have improperly italicized a comma.

 

Best,

H

 

 

post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post


The thing about the legal profession (more so now than ever) is that there are far, far, far more aspiring attorneys than there is need for attorneys. Thus, the law firms seeking interns have their pick of students who actually have a little bit of law school under their belts and thus know a little bit about how lawyers work and at least have a handle on lawyers' vernacular. What reason would the firms have to choose an undergrad with no law school experience instead of all those actual law students out there begging for internships? If you're wondering why you are having trouble, I think that should highlight it.

Also, the firms are to some degree looking for prospective associates -- you will not be providing that benefit to them, as your advent is too far removed for their processes.

Like, CT, I suggest getting an internship doing something else that you can really get behind that will also be good on your resume. But do remember, 95%+ of law school admissions criteria is GPA and LSAT scores. All your other 'softs' only come into the picture if they are deciding between 'maybes,' and maybes are not where the scholarships are.

As for typos on 3 hrs of sleep, get used to not making the former on account of the latter. Profs and Law Review members who review student papers can tell if you have improperly italicized a comma.

Best,
H


It is true. After being an editor of law review, i can tell the difference between an italicized and regular typeface period.
post #20 of 52

^ Editors are so cold. <laughs> I really wanted to do law review, but when I found out how much time all the cite-checking takes combined with the penalties for dropping out, I decided I couldn't do it. As a night student with a full time job and a 5-hr commute, there would just be no time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #21 of 52
The answer is focus on an internship that will help you get into a top law school. I'm an attorney in NYC with significant experience in your area of interest. Two things to consider. As another poster pointed out, a great number of white collar practitioners have worked as Assistant United States attorneys. If you have any interest in working as a federal prosecutor, at least in NYC, you better go to a top, top law school. As getting a job in a US Attorneys office straight from law school is virtually impossible, most work for big law firms for a few years and then apply. If you really want to do white collar defense, you'll stay and get real experience for a few years and go back to a white collar firm or join the white collar dept of a large firm. USA's office provides opportunities to get real experience particularly courtroom experience you will never get as an associate at a firm. This leads to the second thing. While most big firms have white collar practices now, it is still relatively, in law firm terms, new. Many of the partners will be former AUSA's and associate positions are limited. However, I would say a majority of the most prominent white collar defense lawyers in NYC have their own firms or a partners at smaller firms specializing in defense. Generally, these firms are also hiring associates with experience and from top law schools. So, get into a top law school. Of course, there are plenty of lawyers with great white collar practices without that background . . . a tremendous number of solo's, people with state court experience who learn federal defense, federal defenders programs, . . .none of which will care about your college internships.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post

^ Editors are so cold. I really wanted to do law review, but when I found out how much time all the cite-checking takes combined with the penalties for dropping out, I decided I couldn't do it. As a night student with a full time job and a 5-hr commute, there would just be no time.









Actually, it has not been that large of a time commitment.
post #23 of 52
I think most of my '10 classmates are gainfully employed, albeit not at their junior year of college hopes as a "white collar defense" attorney.
post #24 of 52
I do a lot of white collar criminal defense work. My path was that I went to a good law school, was on the law review, worked as an associate at a big firm for a while, then left and started my own practice (I have never been, nor would I ever be, a prosecutor of any type). Having said that, I also defend a lot of people charged with street crimes and I really cut my teeth in criminal defense work defending clients accused of street crimes before the white collar work started coming in. The good thing about white collar work is that clients generally have more of an ability to pay. My advice is this: do whatever you are going to do (campaign work, internships in other industries, school work, volunteer work, etc.) in any field, just make sure to do it well.
post #25 of 52

Get an internship and never be ungrateful about it. Take it and do the best job you can, even if the work isn't exciting or it isn't in a field of work you particularly like. Why?

 

Anyone willing to give you an internship almost certainly has a lot of projects to offer you. If you can do excellent work on the boring stuff, you will very likely get a crack at the good stuff and improve your resume. Every internship I've had has always involved crappy work to test me in the beginning. But in hindsight, I got the opportunity to work on significantly better projects than I would've thought possible when I first filled out the applications.

post #26 of 52
^ You'd be surprised the shit internships out there...
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by TauKappaEpsilon View Post

I've worked at the Republican National Committee, etc.

Potentially useful angle if you're wanting to find clients. Nothing like a bushel of politicians to keep defense attorneys employed.
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordia View Post

Potentially useful angle if you're wanting to find clients. Nothing like a bushel of politicians to keep defense attorneys employed.

As somebody working in a highly political environment on the other side of the aisle there are so many cracks I want to make right now...
post #29 of 52
Thread Starter 

I'm starting a summer position at a medium sized firm (50-60 attorneys).  I'm an intern, however, they have highschool, undergraduate, and law school interns, so hopefully I wont be doing the menial work.  If I could ask all of you (preferably attorneys) what are some of the most useful things I could offer a medium sized firm?  I have a car, I am proficient in all the Microsoft office programs, I can do legal research, I can do case briefs, I can write memos, etc.  Anything that can be helpful to a firm I can do, or have one of my barred (but not currently practicing) professors teach me how to do.  

 

This is a great firm and I'd really like to show them that I am a valuable worker and not some useless intern who is only good for copying papers.  I'd really like to excel at my summer position and be offered a spot next summer as well.  Any advice you can give me would be really appreciated.  

post #30 of 52
Bluntly, if you are an undergraduate, you almost certainly cannot perform legal research and writing. It is really a different animal than the type of writing and research you perform during undergrad. My guess is that you likely have no training with Lexisnexis or Westlaw. A firm is not going to pay for your learning curve. I hope you can make a mean pot of coffee. I don't want to burst your bubble, but i really doubt the firm will delegate a case to you and ask you to research an issue and write a memo. Maybe you could write a case summary, but i would not expect much beyond that.
Edited by sns23 - 5/9/12 at 8:39pm
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