The 1L Summer Job Hunt

Your 1L summer job is important for many reasons--it's your first insight into what the world of lawyering entails and you have the opportunity to jump straight into real work. Interning for a judge this summer has been invaluable to me so far, and it's a great reminder of why I want to be a lawyer (after all, it's not just about reading casebooks). 

It can be tough figuring out where to start with finding your 1L summer job. There's writing samples, resumes, cover letters, transcripts, and letters of recommendation--oh my! Here's some tips that helped me get my internship, as well as some extra tips that may help you out even further. 

Plan Ahead

I figured it was better to get a head start rather than wait until the summer got closer. I routinely checked my law school's job postings beginning in February and would update a spreadsheet I made with new jobs I wanted to apply for. This way, if things just aren't working out with your applications (or, say, a global pandemic hits and suddenly jobs are scrambling to figure out what to do with applicants and new hires) you'll still have time to keep applying and working hard. 

Planning ahead also gives you plenty of time to make sure your application materials are as perfect as can be. After all, those simple pieces of paper are your first impression for many of the jobs you'll be applying to. I spent a lot of time writing new cover letters for each job I applied to in order to make it more personal and professional. Utilize the extra time you have from starting early in whatever way is best for you and your application process! 

Take Advantage of Your Resources

My law school offers plenty of career resources, and I'm sure lots of other law schools do, too. I went to tons of meetings with my career consultant to get her advice on my application materials, to discuss what I was looking for in my summer job, and to run through mock interviews as practice before my actual interviews. These resources are there for a reason, so why not take advantage of them? 

Network, Network, Network

Yes, I know this is cliche, but it's cliche because it's important! More often than not, it's not what you know but who you know that lands you the job. Even if you're like me and get anxious or uncomfortable in networking situations, working on your networking skills is essential, especially in a people-oriented area like law. Take advantage of networking workshops and practice with a friend if you're feeling weird about networking. 

Find Your Fit 

Determining where you want to work for the summer is, of course, an important step in finding that job or internship. If you're someone who works better with lots of hands-on work, find somewhere where you can get that experience. Do you want to litigate? Find a firm where the attorneys litigate often so you can see how the process works. There are so many options out there that you're bound to find a job that works for you. 

Don't Get Discouraged 

As with any application process, there may be some rejections. There were for me! It's easy to get discouraged after getting that email (or not even getting one, which is a HUGE pet peeve of mine), but stay strong! I've found that telling myself that I only have control over myself and how I appear in my application materials and during interviews, but if there's someone who did better than you, you can't really do anything about it. 

Take those rejections as ways to figure out how you can improve--ask what you could have done better or where you could better your application. It'll be helpful in the long run, and it's always good to learn how to deal with rejection. 




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