The thought of finding a 1L summer job can be quite frightening and paralyzing. It doesn't have to be. With a few easy steps you can be well on your way to getting that 1L summer job.
Things You Will NeedThe basics: Resumes, writing samples, transcripts.
Contact information for potential employers.
Step 1Create THE List.
Spend an hour or so writing down anyone and everyone you know, might know, or used to know that works in a field surrounding law. This includes previous employers, friends, parents, cousins, literally anyone. And think broadly â€“ did you intern for a politician? They hire lawyers. Your undergraduate university has a general counsel's office â€“ they are lawyers. Does your dad own a business? He uses a lawyer. This may seem counter-intuitive as many of your classmates will be listing the places they want to work instead. The truth is that generally the most significant thing you'll get out of your 1L summer job is a line on your resume and a point of discussion during OCIs (On Campus Interviews). Other than that, it only matters that you're somewhere with a job that's at least tangentially legal.
Step 2Once you've got your list, sort it by geographical preference. But remember, this is just icing on the cake. Your goals should be: 1) Get a paid summer legal job in a nice location, if not 2) Get a paid summer legal job in a bad location, if not 3) Get an unpaid summer legal job in a nice location, if not 4) Get an unpaid summer legal job in a bad location. You get my point.
Step 3Once your list is sorted, contact the potential employers that are in the city you will be spending your winter break in. This is strategic: you're going to send them a cover email stating that you'll be in town for the holidays and would love to drop by for an interview if they're available. Once you've hit this entire group, start on the rest of the list, working your way down from best chance to worst chance.
Don't get discouraged. Your contact sequence should be: Introduction email with resume, cover letter and writing sample attached. If you haven't heard back in a week, follow up with a phone call. I would follow up with a phone call every week or so until you get an answer from them. Eventually you will.
As long as you remember to sort your list by most likely, even if it's your high school district office, you'll be well ahead of your classmates that are mass-mailing 400 law firms for paying jobs that will likely result in nothing.
Tips & WarningsDon't start your job search until after finals. There'll be a mad rush on December 1st, but resist. The most important thing for your new legal career and your 2L summer associateship is your 1L grades. DO NOT JEOPARDIZE THEM.
Remember to think outside the box when coming up with potential employers.