Law School Discussion

summer before law school


summer before law school
« on: April 08, 2004, 05:08:49 AM »
I'm ging to law school right out of undergrad.  Does any one know if it matters what you do the summer before law school?  Would it be misguided to take a non-law related job just so you can make some money?  And, for the summer after 1L, is it better to take a non-paying (or really low paying) law-related job, even if it has nothing to do with the area of law you want to practice, than to take a higher-paying non-law related job?

Re: summer before law school
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2004, 12:31:28 PM »
so for the summer before your 1L year, do whatever the hell you feel like doing (or need to do to earn $$)... it doesn't really matter..

as for summer after 1L I was told (by attorneys, 2 and 3L's, and career services) to take even an upaid legal job rather than do nothing law related... which is what i am doing, legal intern 3 days a week, waiting tables ever other available hour...  :-\

Re: summer before law school
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2004, 05:26:09 PM »
I have also been fishing around for things to do this summer (before LS) ... people keep telling me to relax and do whatever I feel like, this is the last unstructured time I will have, etc ... there is no pressure to do anything remotely law-related, or even to do anything at all.

Re: summer before law school
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2005, 10:58:15 PM »
I've also heard that it doesn't matter what you do before law school, but it just intuitively seems better to do something law-related and to have firm experience on a resume for when you look for a job your 1st summer in law school, doesn't it?  I'm coming straight from undergrad too and I'm going to Penn Law in the fall, but until then I'm in Chicago.  It's been really hard trying to get a job ata law firm though, and I even turned down another administrative assistant job in order to wait out trying to get a job at a law firm as a legal assistant or secretary or something.  I don't know if I should keep on waiting it out or just pick something up now, since there's not that much time left until law school.  What does everyone think?

Re: summer before law school
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2005, 11:10:03 PM »
Whoa!  I just realized this thread is waaaaaaaaay old. Does anyone actually use this section anymore?  Maybe I can get at least this thread revived...


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Re: summer before law school
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2005, 04:18:40 PM »
Don't worry about doing anything law-related before you get to law school.  Next summer you'll have a law related job, probably for free or credit.  Don't be too anxious to jump into a legally related job now.  Even from Penn, most firms don't even look at 1L's.  The few that do are probably going to hire someone who's been out in the workforce for a few years and have gone back to school.  Your first summer you'll probably be working for a judge, as a research assistant for a prof, a DA or public defender's office, public interest group, or for a small private practice if you already have contacts.  Taking one of these your 1L summer will definitely impact what firms will look at you for your 2L summer, but the big firms really won't consider anyone until that second year.  So this summer, get a job that will allow you to make a few bucks and have fun.


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Re: summer before law school
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2005, 04:55:28 PM »
As i am taking out over 20K in loans, 200 bucks a week isn't all that much.

I expect to do a lot of sleeping, drinking, and eating for the month and a half i have free.

Re: summer before law school
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2005, 12:17:14 PM »
Well at least I started yesterday at a small Chicago law firm that's paying me $15/hr to be their secretary and legal assistant all in one. I don't know if they're keeping me on for the whole summer, though, and I'm thinking of asking them today because I can't deal with this not being securely employed. I'm typing now while I'm supposed to be working but I don't have anything to do because nobody has told me to do anything.  I spent some time randomly going through documents to see what life will be like later in a firm, but then i got kind of bored.  Hmmmm, what should I do now? 

I figure I'll at least make some money this summer if they decide to keep me that long, and--if it helps at all which it probably won't according to everyone on here--I'll get some law firm experience pre-law. 

Omg a fax is coming in! Gotta go

Re: summer before law school
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2005, 05:29:05 PM »
hey, im from chicago and i've been trying to find a legal job that would be for the summer. How'd you land yours? through a temp agency thing?

Re: summer before law school
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2005, 07:14:00 PM »
Try your undergraduate school's alumni office or career services office and find alums who are lawyers in the area.  Use that as your "hook" in a cover letter explaining how eager you are and why you'd be a great asset to a firm.  Mention in your cover letter that if that firm doesn't have any needs right now, you would encourage that alum to pass your resume on to another firm.  Maybe you'll get some suggestions. 

Also, it wouldn't hurt to ask some alums if you could have lunch with them sometime and discuss the legal profession.  Never too early to start networking. Focus particularly on people who went to your undergrad institution as well as your chosen law school. 

Good Luck!  Just remember, having legal experience before law school really isn't that important.  If it's what you want to do, great...but if you have ever dreamed of leading white water rafting excursions down the Colorado or whatever...this might just be your last chance (with any luck!!).