I Need a Post-1L Summer Plan


QWhat should I do during the summer after my first year? I tried to get a summer associate job, but I didn’t even get an interview. I want to do something reasonably fun, but I don’t want to jeopardize my prospects for finding a second-year summer associate job. Any thoughts?

AYes. Do what I did. Go to summer school in England. Cambridge and Oxford have great programs. It’s fun—and easy. Definitely more boozing and sightseeing than studying, but you actually learn a little too. The best part: It actually sounds legit. If you can afford it, do it. Otherwise, try to find a paid or unpaid internship somewhere interesting—or at least a place that sounds interesting. DA’s office, Legal Aid, nonprofit group, Bitter Lawyer, etc.

Ex-Bitter is a former big firm lawyer who now doles out advice to anyone who asks. Got a question? Email it to advice@bitterlawyer.com. Or read more Advice from an Ex-Bitter.

9 Comments

  1. Been there

    November 7, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Look, they really mean it when they say “you can do anything you like your 1L summer as long as it’s legally related.” Firms are not going to ding you just because you decided to work at a tiny legal non-profit in a tiny town.  Just make the most of any legal work you get, and be able to talk intelligently and interestingly about those projects during 2L interviews. 
    In short, as long as it’s legally related and sharpens your thinking, writing, and research skills in some way, nothing will “jeopardize your prospects” for a 2L job.

  2. JBond

    November 7, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Party hard throughout the summer.  No one cares what you do your 1L summer.  It doesn’t even have to be legal related.  My advice would include taking classes which can raise your GPA or a travel type program.  I landed a sweet (paying) job working for the Government, but if I could do it all over again would have done a program abroad.

  3. . . .

    November 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Aren’t you a little early to conclude that you have no shot at landing a Summer Associate job as a 1L?  Most firms would like to see your grades from the first semester.  Hiring in some markets doesn’t even start until Jan. 1.  I would hang in there…and the other advice given makes complete sense if you don’t find that lucrative summer job.

  4. Been There

    November 8, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    By the way, there are many 1Ls who do not find a summer job until late in the spring semester (I go to a top 10 school and it was the same 2 years ago).  So don’t get freaked out—even if it’s April or May, and even if many of your friends have found jobs already.  Just keep plugging away and applying to different things until you get good news.

  5. Anonymous

    November 10, 2008 at 4:44 am

    I didn’t get a law job after my first year.  I took a job as a government accountant in DC.  It sounded pretty good enough to get a NON-paid legal internship job after my second year.  Before you shit a brick, those 2 jobs were enough to get a federal judicial clerkship after my 3rd year, and I’ve never looked back.  So don’t sweat it now.  Now’s the time to sow your seeds for the future, and that includes banging as many babes as you can.

  6. Anonymous

    November 11, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Research assistant for a Professor.  Get to work at home for crappy pay and it sounds great in 2L summer interviews.

  7. Linda Bee

    November 13, 2008 at 5:22 am

    don’t worry.  There’s plenty of time to become a lawyer. For now, just have fun.

  8. Legally Blonde

    November 29, 2008 at 6:48 am

    It’s way too early to freak out. Check with your law school- most have programs that let you earn credits while volunteering for the government or whatever.
    Here’s what I did: I found a judge I wanted to work with and went to a CLE where she was presenting. I handed her my resume after the CLE, introduced myself, and told her I wanted to work for her during the summer.  I got the job!

  9. Anonymous

    December 5, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    If you’re still looking for ideas, Temple University has an amazingly fabulous summer program in Rome. I did it after 1L and had a great time. It was also the easiest 4 credits I’ve taken in my life,so it was a great GPA boost if you’re looking for that. Once I and my friends got home from the program during the 1st week of July, most of us found some sort of legal jobs to keep busy. Its an experience that you can’t top and if you put it on the resume, and you really enjoyed yourself, an easy things to talk about when interviewing for jobs. People from other schools went on the program too, so look into it.

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