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Don’t Make Your Externship a Sexternship

Judy Zimet

After receiving a B.S. in Education and practicing brain-based, diagnostic, and rehabilitative techniques for over 15 years, Judy attended law school and passed the Arizona Bar exam with the goal of cracking the law school code – not only to make it easier to obtain the golden ticket (the J.D.) to sit for the bar exam, but also to develop strategies to help students reach their fullest potential.

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Jonathan left the city for the summer so he could be invisible. He moved to a small town where celery grew in fields on the perimeter. His plan was to get legal experience at the prosecutor’s office every day and party every night. He worked so hard his first year at law school that he felt he really needed some time to go wild, to rejuvenate, to gear up for life as a 2L.

Jonathan was a newly single law student. Like many who start law school in a relationship, his girlfriend left him mid-year. By the end of the school year, he was ready to relive his undergrad days. So, Jonathan had sex with eight women during his six weeks working for the prosecutor’s office:  the woman who provided him with a place to live, her cousin, two fellow externs, and two girls he met at bars.

Jonathan developed a passion for prosecutorial work and hoped it would lead to a job offer. His bosses respected his work and enjoyed him as a person, but when they had drinks together after work and Jonathan showed his wild side, his bosses labeled Jonathan as a kid who still needed to grow up. Back at school, Jonathan’s summer of love followed him. One student who worked with Jonathan did not share his appreciation for free love and was offended by Jonathan’s antics. He was branded as the guy who used his externship to have sex with strangers.

Image Copyright Adam Arthur (Flickr), 2012

Think of your summer legal job as a 24-hour job interview. The people you work for, and with, are learning about the whole you: how you work, what you know, with whom and where you hang out, and in what manner you present yourself to the world.

This summer, build a great resume and a stellar reputation. No matter how you feel about free summer love and your need for time off, keep that life far, far away from your externship. Decisions about your future will be based on your summer legal job.


Judy Zimet founded Law Student Ally, a law student coaching service. Learn more about Law Student Ally at or by following on Twitter at @Lawstudentally.



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