Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: It’s Six O’Clock – Do You Know Where Your Internships Are?
I am writing this on March 4. At present we are two months, or sixty days away from the end of the year. If you are one of those fortunate individuals who knows what they are doing this summer (or, in the case of 3Ls, after this summer), congratulations, you can live with slightly less anxiety than the rest of us. However, I don’t think I’m in the minority of 2Ls when I say I don’t have an internship yet, and I’m getting a bit concerned.
I have a theory: with each year of law school comes diminished opportunities. I believe that it is surprisingly, perhaps remarkably easy for 1Ls to obtain summer internships. You’ve just been burnt out, and now it’s time to see if you can be a good office worker. If you are a 1L and are not sure what you are doing yet, don’t worry.
Last year, I spent most of Spring Break applying to jobs on Symplicity and doing a bit of reading for class. I did not concern myself with outlining (nor do I plan to do so this Spring Break). Last year, I probably sent out about 40 resumes and cover letters. Here, I can check how many….
67. 67 last year. And 34 this year. However, I was surprised to see that many of the places I applied to last year I also applied to this year (which is, in large part, a result of the PILC Fair), and so I probably have many more cover letters that I can easily craft—except I must admit that I now take a very different approach to writing cover letters. At this point I am able to pop one out in 5-10 minutes. I’m not sure how I feel about the “fine paper” distinction for resumes and cover letters – I spent $24 at the Court St. Office Supply store, mailed out 9 applications to judges with fancy envelopes, fancy resume and cover letter paper, transcripts and writing samples, and I heard nothing back.
The point I was trying to make before I got all caught up in numbers is that I did not have an internship at this time last year either. And then, without warning, it hit. After a preliminary interview to be a research assistant that I bombed on March 21 last year, I was contacted by a flurry of organizations (all governmental – none non-profit) around April 4. Four different places called me in two days, and I ended up taking the internship that I interviewed for first at the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA). By April 6, I knew I would be working there.
So 1Ls: Relax. If you don’t know what you’re doing by May, you may still get an unexpected last minute offer from the Kings County DA’s office if you applied for that a couple months back….
2Ls: I don’t know how we’re supposed to feel at this point. I will say I have noticed two trends: (1) Overall, more 2Ls have internships at this time than we had as 1Ls last year; and (2) If we do not have an internship by now, we are freaking out a little bit more than last year. My theory is that, with each year, securing summer employment becomes more difficult—but for those that do secure employment, they secure it earlier each year. Thus, increased anxiety at earlier points is only natural for those of us that don’t.
3Ls: If you don’t know what you’re doing after the summer yet….um……I really don’t think I’m in any place to offer you any advice, except to say (1) I won’t be surprised if I’m in the same position as you this time, next year; and (2) if you’re under 30, don’t worry so much–you’ve got time. Oh, and start planning for bankruptcy, and a killer argument that you suffered an undue hardship and therefore deserve a discharge of your student loans – join that class-action, or start a new proceeding and remember your basics on collateral estoppel from civil procedure.
Christopher J. Knorps is a 2L at Brooklyn Law School. He is Treasurer of the Health Law & Policy Association, and would like to invite you to its Open Mic event on April 5. Please e-mail Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in reading or performing.