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February 20, 2004

1L Summer Dilemma -- Help?

I expected and feared that the 1L summer job hunt would be long and arduous. Instead, it's looking like it might be short and sticky. Here's the deal:

I've been offered a great summer position w/a nearby public defender's office. This job would give me time watching trials, interviewing clients, collecting evidence, helping to write memos, and even conducting mock trials w/my fellow summer interns. In short, it would give me incredible experience and I'm excited by the opportunity. They've offered me the job and they want to know within a week or so whether I'm going to accept.

However, I was also lucky enough to get an interview with a major labor union offering a summer fellowship through the Peggy Browning Fund. This would also be an incredible, but very different experience. The big trouble is, the interview isn't for 2 more weeks and then I'm sure they won't pick a candidate for at least a few days after that. That means I won't know if my interview could really be a job for possibly three more weeks.

So the question is: What should I do? My options appear to be roughly:

  1. Take the public defender job I know I've got and just plan to say "no" to the union if they offer me a job. (I think I should go to the union interview either way for the experience and the "networking.")
  2. Try to stall the public defender job for 2-3 weeks until I know whether I'll get an offer from the union, then choose.
  3. Say "no" to the public defender job I know I've got in the hope that I'll get an offer from the union.
The pros of the public defender job are that I know I have it and it would give me great experience. If I want to be a public defender, it would seem to be the perfect 1L summer job. (Of course, it would probably be great experience no matter what type of law I end up practicing.) The cons are that I'm not sure I want to be a public defender (it's high on the list of possibilities, but I'm still not completely convinced). Also, the position comes with zero dollars so I'd have to find funding through GW or elsewhere. Another con is that it's too far away to be bikeable and it's not very convenient by public transportation (at least an hour each way). Do I really want to have to drive to and from work every day? (Woman of the Law and Stay of Execution have been having car trouble that makes me glad I don't really have to drive at all in my current situation.)

The pros of the union job are that it would be a big step toward a career as a labor lawyer, which really sounds great to me. While I remain unsure about being a public defender, I'm nearly certain I'd be a great labor lawyer and that I'd love doing that. Another "pro" is that the union job comes with money and whatever "prestige" a Peggy Browning Summer Fellowship would grant. Finally, the union is very nearby; I could bike to work in about 5-10 minutes every day. The big cons of the union job: I don't have it yet. I only have an interview, and that's still a long way from a job offer.

So what should I do? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

Posted 08:19 AM | Comments (12) | law school

Rule of BadLaw

There's a fascinating discussion going on over at Letters of Marque in response to Anthony's complaint: The "pious guardians of the rule of law" (Anthony targets the NY Times as an example) complained about former Judge Roy Moore's fight to keep the Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom; however, those same "pious guardians" are not now complaining as San Francisco Mayor Newsom allows gay couples to marry. (Incidentally, Anthony's complaint seems to be a right wing meme, although it looks like Anthony posted before Rush did.)

My favorite comment thus far (scroll down) comes from the arbitrary aardvark:

As a government official, the mayor took an oath of office to uphold the constitution and laws of california and of the united states. If california, by initiative, passed a (statute - i think that's the term i want) saying blacks could not marry whites, the mayor would be obligated to ignore that and issue marriage licenses to mixed race couples. Such an initiative would not be law, because it conflicts with the equalprotection clauses of the california constitution and is void. Similarly, the South Carolina constitution until recently banned mixed-race marriages, but this clause was void due to the Supremacy Clause and equal protection under the federal constitution. Our obligation, as lawyers, lawyer wannabes, office-holders, some of you may be veterans, anyone who has sworn to uphold the constitution, is to do so. Now, today, not to wait for a court. I'm under the impression the mayor genuinely believes he is following the california constitution. Failure to do so can be malfeasance in office, a federal felony (18 usc 241?), and a breach of ethics. Moore, on the other hand, as far as I know, was deliberately acting in defiance of the constitution. I deal pretty much daily with government lawyers who seek to enforce unconstitutional statutes. I consider this profoundly unethical, as well as illegal. I am aware that my position is a minority one. But I'm right :).


In random "blawg" news, enbanc, a group blog with which I was very very briefly associated, has met a mysterious and unilateral end.

Ripping straight from the headlines at JD2B, don't miss the six kinds of law students (Survivors rule!), a rhymed rendition of Marbury v. Madison (also brilliant!), and appellate blawger extraordinaire Howard Bashman's thoughts on how to become an appellate lawyer. Somehow I fear Survivors do not often become appellate lawyers, you think?

Finally, the National Coalition for Students with Disabilities has a new blog and is looking for submissions. They're also looking for interns and volunteer help, so scoot over there if you've got some time to spare or are looking for a good public interest gig for the summer.

Posted 07:32 AM | law general law school

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