1L Internship Abroad or RA?

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economist123
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1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by economist123 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:02 pm

Have an offer for Hong Kong or Singapore office of a major UK-based international law firm; I am a 1L and hope to get a NYC 2L summer this summer. My alternative is probably try and get a Research position with a prof.

Also how important is pay in either of the two positions in terms of what they ask during interviews and grading your resume?

Would it be devalued since it is not in North America and it makes it look like you want to leave or foreign practice is 'worth less' in terms of their rubric? I do want to work for large US-based firms with foreign offices though

How similar is the stuff I do in say HK/Singapore compared to NYC for major international law firms? They seem to have similar practice areas like M&A, financing, etc

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:25 am

Go to HK or Singapore. Definitely more valued than being an RA for the summer.

1515
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by 1515 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:04 pm

I don't mean to sound like a dick, but I can't believe you're even asking this question LOL. Definitely take the internship abroad, that's awesome, congratulations. It is an experience firms will value more and it overall looks way better.

economist123
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by economist123 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:22 pm

HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:25 am
Go to HK or Singapore. Definitely more valued than being an RA for the summer.
Thanks! How applicable/transferable do you think the skills are in HK or Singapore as opposed to a RA position? The issue I see is that one of them was tdone abroad, albeit in a common law place and within an international office of a major uk law firm

economist123
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by economist123 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:24 pm

1515 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:04 pm
I don't mean to sound like a dick, but I can't believe you're even asking this question LOL. Definitely take the internship abroad, that's awesome, congratulations. It is an experience firms will value more and it overall looks way better.
Thanks!
It's because on TLS someone asked a similar question once and got negative replies to doing it abroad and said the person didn't get any OCIs because it was overseas so I was scared.
Would you say there's anyhting else that may beat this opporutnity (aside from 1L position at a firm that does OCI because I didnt get any out of that)

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Slytherpuff
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by Slytherpuff » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:23 pm

Please take the position abroad! It's a no brainer. The people I know from school who did 1L abroad in the private sector had really good outcomes at OCI, and my firm definitely views it as a bonus in hiring. Generally it would be a huge plus if you want to work at a large US firm with a strong international presence. Even if the type of law you'd be doing is different, I think you'd still get transferable skills since you'd be doing actual legal work. You're really not going to get anything substantive from an RA position (although if you know you want to clerk, maybe having the professor contact would be good?).

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:06 pm

economist123 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:22 pm
HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:25 am
Go to HK or Singapore. Definitely more valued than being an RA for the summer.
Thanks! How applicable/transferable do you think the skills are in HK or Singapore as opposed to a RA position? The issue I see is that one of them was tdone abroad, albeit in a common law place and within an international office of a major uk law firm
You're overthinking it. Your decision is self-evident, unless you actually aren't interested in biglaw at all, in which case why not do it anyway to have an interesting and fun summer. Go to HK/Singapore, have a good time.

I know of one person who did a big fancy firm office overseas for 1L summer and struck out at OCI, and I can assure you it wasn't this person's firm experience that was holding them back.

economist123
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by economist123 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:28 pm

Slytherpuff wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:23 pm
Please take the position abroad! It's a no brainer. The people I know from school who did 1L abroad in the private sector had really good outcomes at OCI, and my firm definitely views it as a bonus in hiring. Generally it would be a huge plus if you want to work at a large US firm with a strong international presence. Even if the type of law you'd be doing is different, I think you'd still get transferable skills since you'd be doing actual legal work. You're really not going to get anything substantive from an RA position (although if you know you want to clerk, maybe having the professor contact would be good?).

Thanks! That's good to know because there was an old TLS forum post where someone said don't go to SOuth East ASia big law offices to intern because the person got no OCIs over it which was I was concerned. My career office thinks its a good idea too aside from the economics of it (the expenses/income balance). By the way do you think USA firms will ask why did you leave that firm you interned in Singapore/HK at or why are you not returning? Would that send a red flag?

economist123
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by economist123 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:29 pm

HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:06 pm
economist123 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:22 pm
HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:25 am
Go to HK or Singapore. Definitely more valued than being an RA for the summer.
Thanks! How applicable/transferable do you think the skills are in HK or Singapore as opposed to a RA position? The issue I see is that one of them was tdone abroad, albeit in a common law place and within an international office of a major uk law firm
You're overthinking it. Your decision is self-evident, unless you actually aren't interested in biglaw at all, in which case why not do it anyway to have an interesting and fun summer. Go to HK/Singapore, have a good time.

I know of one person who did a big fancy firm office overseas for 1L summer and struck out at OCI, and I can assure you it wasn't this person's firm experience that was holding them back.
Thank you! one last question, do you think firms will hold it against you that you are not returning to your 1L summer firm like think you messed up or are the type that wont stay with a firm after summer etc?

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heythatslife
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by heythatslife » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm

I did my 1L summer at a local biglaw-equivalent firm at a non-US location. OCI was totally fine. I think 1 interviewer asked, out of some 50+ that I met for screeners and callbacks, if that meant I wanted to go back to that country in the long term. If anything, it was seen as an asset. And firms know the game - people do whatever they can get for 1L summer because 2L SA is what really matters. Also your experience at a firm abroad will be waaaay more applicable to actual firm practice than anything you do as an RA. If someone has a problem getting bites at OCI, it's not because they did their 1L summer abroad as Dog pointed out.

economist123
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by economist123 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:20 pm

heythatslife wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I did my 1L summer at a local biglaw-equivalent firm at a non-US location. OCI was totally fine. I think 1 interviewer asked, out of some 50+ that I met for screeners and callbacks, if that meant I wanted to go back to that country in the long term. If anything, it was seen as an asset. And firms know the game - people do whatever they can get for 1L summer because 2L SA is what really matters. Also your experience at a firm abroad will be waaaay more applicable to actual firm practice than anything you do as an RA. If someone has a problem getting bites at OCI, it's not because they did their 1L summer abroad as Dog pointed out.
heythatslife wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I did my 1L summer at a local biglaw-equivalent firm at a non-US location. OCI was totally fine. I think 1 interviewer asked, out of some 50+ that I met for screeners and callbacks, if that meant I wanted to go back to that country in the long term. If anything, it was seen as an asset. And firms know the game - people do whatever they can get for 1L summer because 2L SA is what really matters. Also your experience at a firm abroad will be waaaay more applicable to actual firm practice than anything you do as an RA. If someone has a problem getting bites at OCI, it's not because they did their 1L summer abroad as Dog pointed out.
Thanks! Sorry, just to clarify when you said just 1 person asked about overseas internship you meant as in just 1 person asked "Does that mean you want to go back in the long term" and not that only 1 person asked about the internship in general -- as in other people did ask about the internship abroad but not in the context of would you go back. That's good to know it would be an asset and they do are about transferable skills because someone yeterday told me that big law firms dont care about your skills and it wouldn't be an advantage if you had law firm skills.

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heythatslife
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Re: 1L Internship Abroad or RA?

Post by heythatslife » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:38 pm

economist123 wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:20 pm
heythatslife wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I did my 1L summer at a local biglaw-equivalent firm at a non-US location. OCI was totally fine. I think 1 interviewer asked, out of some 50+ that I met for screeners and callbacks, if that meant I wanted to go back to that country in the long term. If anything, it was seen as an asset. And firms know the game - people do whatever they can get for 1L summer because 2L SA is what really matters. Also your experience at a firm abroad will be waaaay more applicable to actual firm practice than anything you do as an RA. If someone has a problem getting bites at OCI, it's not because they did their 1L summer abroad as Dog pointed out.
heythatslife wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:34 pm
I did my 1L summer at a local biglaw-equivalent firm at a non-US location. OCI was totally fine. I think 1 interviewer asked, out of some 50+ that I met for screeners and callbacks, if that meant I wanted to go back to that country in the long term. If anything, it was seen as an asset. And firms know the game - people do whatever they can get for 1L summer because 2L SA is what really matters. Also your experience at a firm abroad will be waaaay more applicable to actual firm practice than anything you do as an RA. If someone has a problem getting bites at OCI, it's not because they did their 1L summer abroad as Dog pointed out.
Thanks! Sorry, just to clarify when you said just 1 person asked about overseas internship you meant as in just 1 person asked "Does that mean you want to go back in the long term" and not that only 1 person asked about the internship in general -- as in other people did ask about the internship abroad but not in the context of would you go back. That's good to know it would be an asset and they do are about transferable skills because someone yeterday told me that big law firms dont care about your skills and it wouldn't be an advantage if you had law firm skills.
Most interviewers asked me about my 1L summer in some way. It's kind of hard not to, when it'll likely be the most recent item on your resumé. I meant that only one interviewer brought it up in a way that suggested to me that they suspected I was a flight risk for having significant ties outside of the country and the 1L summer abroad heightened that suspicion.

Re: transferability of skill set, think it's more helpful for not feeling completely clueless as a 2L SA, but still it's probably positive in some way if you could talk about tasks and experience that you did as a 1L summer that's more likely to relate to the daily practice of the associates interviewing you than cite-checking law review articles for a professor.

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