Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Unraveling of law internships in Israel

I recently wrote about the Unraveling of law firm interviews of 2nd year students in the U.S.  It turns out that something similar is facing Israeli law students.

Assaf Romm, who just moved from Israel to Boston to study for a Ph.D. at Harvard writes:
"The Israeli market for law interns suffers from congestion. Recent ruling (first published today, see below) is that preliminary interviews could only be scheduled on third year of studies. I have many friends who were law students, and most of them signed a contract around their second year, where the interviews are scheduled around first year. Most of the interviews are conducted around the same period, and the firms are invited to the universities on certain date.

"Another interesting feature which isn't mentioned in the article is that there is also a very deep problem with the coordination between the interviews to public sector internships and private sector internships. Some (but only a very small number) of positions in the public sector are much more prestigious than any in the private section (specifically, the supreme court internships and the "Bagaz" department are considered best). Because of that, firms always make exploding offers before the public sector interviews even begin. A future-intern who decides to reject the firms' offers is usually making a high-stakes bet, because even the best cannot be sure they will get the good public internships, and if they don't get it they have to wait another year to start their internship in the private sector."

"The Hebrew article: http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3938299,00.html

"I couldn't find English translation. Here is Google translate (not a very good one, but understandable): http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3938299,00.html&sl=auto&tl=en "

Update: apparently this is an issue of long standing, Itai Ashlagi sends this story from Haaretz in 2008. Law students to apply for internships only from third year :
Israel Bar Association's council approved the rules governing job offers for internships, though they still require the justice minister's approval.

"In recent years, law students have started arranging a place for doing their articles as soon as they start their studies, said attorney Orrin Persky, the head of the Bar Association's committee on internships. He explained that this pressure emanated from both the students and the law firms and has created a market failure for finding such posts.

"In addition, there are a large number of complaints about students canceling their internship positions, which they had agreed to a year or two earlier.

"The new rules would require firms and all other bodies providing internships, such as the State Attorney's Office, to start interviewing no earlier than March 15 of the student's third year for the internship that will start in the following calendar year. "

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