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1L summer job dilemma - help

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What would be more beneficial taking into account future articling prospects. A summer job doing research with an appeal court (a job for just one summer) or a 1L summer job at a mid-sized firm with opportunity to work at that firm in 2L and articles? I know that I should not be worrying about articling in my first year but I have a hard time not worrying about the future.

Edited by catgirl

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6 minutes ago, catgirl said:

What would be more beneficial taking into account future articling prospects. A summer job doing research with an appeal court (a job for just one summer) or a 1L summer job at a mid-sized firm with opportunity to work at that firm in 2L and articles? I know that I should not be worrying about articling in my first year but I have a hard time not worrying about the future.

Only one of those things leads directly to an articling position, no?

Therefore, if you're after job security, you'd pick that one. 

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16 minutes ago, catgirl said:

What would be more beneficial taking into account future articling prospects. A summer job doing research with an appeal court (a job for just one summer) or a 1L summer job at a mid-sized firm with opportunity to work at that firm in 2L and articles? I know that I should not be worrying about articling in my first year but I have a hard time not worrying about the future.

Depends where you think you want to article and practice. If you want to clerk and are considering academia, or certain government or non-profit or public interest work, then the research job would be better. If you want to work in a law firm, then the firm job would be better. If you want to go into an area of law likely to be self-starting and involving work in a smaller firm or as a sole, such as criminal, family or immigration law, then pick whichever one appeals to you more, or decline both to work in a clinic if you can. 

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11 hours ago, catgirl said:

What would be more beneficial taking into account future articling prospects. A summer job doing research with an appeal court (a job for just one summer) or a 1L summer job at a mid-sized firm with opportunity to work at that firm in 2L and articles? I know that I should not be worrying about articling in my first year but I have a hard time not worrying about the future.

I would do the research position. Research skills are very important no matter what area of law you go into, and many (perhaps most?) 1Ls dont have a summer job working in a law firm so you won't necessarily be at a disadvantage.

Does this firm even do work you like? Do you even know what areas of law you're interested in? Or would you be accepting the firm position just to have a job and articles lined up? I'm not minimizing the importance of having articles locked-up early, but I worry that by taking this job, you're limiting yourself to practices areas that you might not even be interested in - you're then going to summer twice and article in this area. It's going to be harder for you to branch into a different area of law if you hate the areas that this mid-sized firm practices. 

It's early days, allow yourself to explore your interests a little more before essentially signing up for articles in your second semester of law school.  [Caveat: If this is a mid-sized firm that will give you exposure to a bunch of different areas then it might be a good option, but don't limit yourself early]

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14 hours ago, catgirl said:

What would be more beneficial taking into account future articling prospects. A summer job doing research with an appeal court (a job for just one summer) or a 1L summer job at a mid-sized firm with opportunity to work at that firm in 2L and articles? I know that I should not be worrying about articling in my first year but I have a hard time not worrying about the future.

I'd do the appeal court work. My view is that the experience working for a court (and for judges or crown counsel, I presume?) will lead to more interesting job options. You'll have lots of opportunities to get experience with firms, and if you were in 2L, I might have different advice. But the research job seems like a particularly unique and a rare opportunity for a 1L. 

I never summered or articled at a firm and mostly took on interesting research positions, internships, and clerkships throughout law school and articling. Now I litigate. I didn't find it too hard to sell my unique experience to law firms of varying types. I also haven't closed the door to other interesting roles. Had I instead simply done 1L through articling at the same firm, that probably would have narrowed my options somewhat. If you know exactly what you want to do, however, as @providence advised above, then you should just get on whatever track gets you there more directly.

Edited by FineCanadianFXs
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12 minutes ago, FineCanadianFXs said:

I'd do the appeal court work. My view is that the experience working for a court (and for judges or crown counsel, I presume?) will lead to more interesting job options. You'll have lots of opportunities to get experience with firms, and if you were in 2L, I might have different advice. But the research job seems like a particularly unique and a rare opportunity for a 1L. 

I never summered or articled at a firm and mostly took on interesting research positions, internships, and clerkships throughout law school and articling. Now I litigate. I didn't find it too hard to sell my unique experience to law firms of varying types. I also haven't closed the door to other interesting roles. Had I instead simply done 1L through articling at the same firm, that probably would have narrowed my options somewhat. If you know exactly what you want to do, however, as @providence advised above, then you should just get on whatever track gets you there more directly.

I am probably earlier in my career than FineCanadianFX but I am also in a typical litigation practice after completing several unusual summer positions, and I would agree with what is said above. I would take the unique job that you likely won't have the opportunity to experience again. Maybe it would be a tougher choice if your options were between summering for a firm and going into the bayou to hunt alligators, but nobody is going to be critical of a summer research position for a court.

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This is a simple choice. Do you want to do litigation or solicitor work? If you want to litigate, take the job at the appeal court. If you want to do solicitor work, take the job at the firm.

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