Sorry to hear about your situation. My thoughts here are based only on limited personal experience and anecdotal evidence. I feel fairly confident in saying that a DUI will not be an absolute bar to a bright, successful career as an attorney for you. You presumably will be asked about any criminal record in applying for jobs. Additionally, many firms (as well as many employers generally) do run a criminal background and credit history check. The best thing you can do is be *extremely* well prepared with an explanation of the circumstances, why it happened, why it will never happen again, and what you learned from the experience to take forward with you. You're probably right in that this may prevent you from working for some firms. My guess would be that particularly prestigious firms (Cravath, etc) may care more than others because they're always looking for ways to differentiate students. However, I would bet a lot of money that in any given firm of more than 100 attorneys there are probably more than a handful of functioning alcoholics, and presumably at least a few of those may have been caught for DUI at some point in their lives. One final thought, if you do manage to swing a summer associate gig somewhere, I would be very very selective about when you drink at social events and how much. Better to come off as totally reformed than to give anyone a reason to think you've got a more serious substance abuse problem.