The Briefcase Diaries

Job Hunting Tips for Summer Employment During the Spring Semester

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Happy New Year to all! A brand-new year means that the spring semester is on the horizon, and most first-year students and even some second-year students are still seeking summer employment for an internship or summer associate position. If you have not found a summer position to date as maybe some of your friends or peers, there is no reason to be concerned at this time. Plenty of positions continue to open up during the spring semester. However, it is important to get an early start and begin preparing your application by: (1) updating the resume; (2) polishing your writing sample; and (3) contacting all recommenders to request permission in serving as references to prospective employers.

Finding the ideal job for the summer can take a significant amount of time, research, and effort. As such, it is important to do one’s own due diligence early on before the spring semester gets in full swing; especially before you are bogged down with law school work. No matter what year student you are whether it be a 1L or 2L, it is important to pursue a position in an area of law that truly peaks your interest. Similarly, it is highly advisable to seek a position where one would have an opportunity to get some ideal practical experience, produce writing sample(s), and attain good recommenders for future jobs. To better make this determination, research the employer’s summer employment program to have a better understanding of the type of work that interns and summer associates perform, the assignments which are typically delegated, and the opportunity to shadow attorneys in legal proceedings.

One other key piece of advice is to tailor your cover letter accordingly to the respective position when submitting the application to a potential employer. While it is sufficient to create a general template for your cover letter, it is inexcusable to send the same document to every job which you apply to. Tailoring the cover letter requires demonstrating some interest in the position being applied for, including relevant background, and prior life or work experiences. In essence, a cover letter should not simply be a reiterated version of one’s resume. Even if you lack previous educational or work experiences to demonstrate interest in a particular position, explain why you would be the ideal candidate for the job, and why this particular job greatly peaks your curiosity and interest.

Additionally, one must be extra keen in proofreading all documents in that they are free of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or improper formatting. Such type of errors on documents can be automatic disqualifiers from the position, when one would otherwise would be a qualified candidate based on the student’s credentials. Further, applying very early in the process affords the best opportunity to land the ideal summer job, especially if the number of slots are limited with a particular firm, government agency, or chambers if pursuing a judicial internship. Lastly, reach out to friends, peers, and the Offices of Career Services at your respective law school if seeking further guidance for how to broaden the job search, available positions, where to find them, and deadlines. With respect to deadlines, some can be very short or open-ended until the position is feel. Nevertheless, submitting the application as early as possible will only work to your beneficial advantage.

Good luck to all those still searching on finding the ideal summer position for 2018!