Summer Associates are Made in the Winter - Part I

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The preparations that you undertake during the winter months set the foundation for an amazing summer as a law student.

Step 1: Research-Spend some time researching different types of opportunities available for law students over the summer. There are a variety of types of companies that hire law students - various sized corporations, various sized law firms, non-profit organizations, schools. Within those opportunities is a world full of any kind of law you could imagine; and even some you did not know existed. There are a lot of summer jobs for law students that are pretty obvious, but many surprise and inspire you. Give yourself the benefit of knowledge and take a look.

Step 2: Visit career services-After you have some idea of what is available, visit with career services. Researching potential opportunities before you visit with career services will help you make the most of your time with career services because you are starting from a position of some knowledge going into your meeting. Career services may be able to point you in the direction of someone who works in the area of law that you are interested in. They can also provide feedback on your résumé and cover letter and application packages.

Step 3: Prepare your cover letter and résumé-We do not recommend a standard cover letter for every resume, getting the letter ready for personalization will not take long. When you find a job to apply for, utilize the cover letter and set yourself apart by editing the cover letter to reflect you specific interest in their posting, exhibit that you have taken time to read the posting and research your potential employer, and demonstrate that you are a high quality candidate that they would be lucky to hire. While your cover letter cannot yet be finalized, your résumé absolutely should be ready to go. Use action words to describe your prior work. Utilize facts and figures to demonstrate your experience and skills. Most importantly, assume that your résumé is the most polished version of you and ensure there are no typos. Career services is critical here as well. They are a valuable resource provided by your law school to help you succeed. Make sure you are taking full advantage of their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Step 4: Prepare your writing sample-Some employers will ask for a writing sample and some will not. As you are applying for summer positions, you want to make sure you have a polished writing sample ready to go. This is another place where career services will absolutely be able to help you. If you are reading this and the thought of a writing sample strikes panic with you then get yourself to career services and ask for help. They know what classes you have taken and they know the types of writing that their students have had success with. Career services can provide you with guidance in the context of your law school that is invaluable. As you go through this process, keep in mind that you have made it this far and you have the skills and talent to keep going. Give yourself an edge with preparation and quality application submissions that will allow your hard work to show.
Start the year off right with the ebook that is changing the game for law students - “The Law Student’s Guide to Networking.” Click here to purchase today!
Nothing contained within this podcast is intended or should be construed to be legal advice and does not create any attorney client relationship. Please keep in mind that your jurisdiction will have rules of professional conduct that you must follow. This discussion does not focus on the any such rules, including the rules from the jurisdiction where we practice.

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