Can we not, am I right? If you readers are in a position similar to mine, you probably still have a few weeks left at your summer internships. How can you even think of next summer, yet? Easy.
You see, 2L/3Ls are given a lot more freedom with their job hunts. As a 1L, you can’t make contact with Career Services until November 1 and can’t send resumes out to employers until December 1. As a 2L/3L, there aren’t any restrictions like that and the madness begins pretty early. Like now.
A few weeks after I took my last final, I got my first email from career services advertising symplicity and various job fairs.
I gave myself a few weeks to focus on my internship, journal comp and moot court comp and told myself that after July 6 I would start looking at job fairs/ocis. Well, I kind of screwed myself by doing that because the deadlines for the first round of OCIs* were July 11. Fortunately, the first round was mostly/entirely big law and their requirements for summer associates were pretty strict, so I wasn’t eligible anyways. I bid on a few, but I’m not getting my hopes up. At my school there’s ten rounds of OCIs, but most rounds are still empty. I’m going to wait about a week or two before checking again. I have heard that only 4% of the class will get job offers through OCIs so don’t put your full faith into them.
This brings me to job fairs! Career Services advertised a diversity job fair that was taking place in the beginning of August, so I checked those out too. You see, my grades aren’t what I’d like them to be. Typical, right? Nobody, unless you’ve made law review, is entirely happy with their grades. Mine aren’t terrible, but there’s two grades that I received that really bring me down. I figure that a job fair could give me a better shot, at least compared to OCIs so I bid on 9 firms. I heard back today and 3 firms accepted by bids. I’m actually pretty excited, but I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. Just because I have interviews doesn’t mean I’m going to be offered a position. But still, it’s a step in the right direction!
Lastly, networking*. Everybody knows that in order to get a job, it’s not what you know, but who you know, right? Well the legal field is like this, but even more so. I’m terrible at networking. Horrible. I’m very shy, so meeting new people is hard enough, but forget meeting new people and try and schmooze my way into getting an interview. My roommate and I are both going to force ourselves to attend local bar association meetings during the school year to meet new people. My LS has relationships with the local bar associations so law students usually get memberships for free. If it’s free, it’s for me, right? Why not go? Besides, if I keep forcing myself to go out of my comfort zone eventually it will become second nature to me. (Fingers crossed!)
My point is, apply early and apply often. I know that when school starts, I tend to get really overwhelmed and focus only on school work. Doing all of this work now, when I’m not in school, is really only beneficial to me.
Happy job hunting!
*OCIs – On campus interviews. Students bid on employers to interview with and submit various required documents like a resume, cover letter, writing sample and transcripts. The employers, if they like you, will accept your bid and interview at school. These take place from the middle of August through October. All types of firms will usually do OCIs.
*Job fairs – Pretty self-explanatory. The bidding process is similar to OCIs, but students can also show up on that day and see if there are any open time slots for the particular firm that they want to interview with and write their name in. Pretty neat, since it gives you a second chance .
*Networking – Also pretty self-explanatory. Meet employers, other law students, and learn about what each person does. The main goal of networking, obviously, is to make connections with potential employers, get their business cards and keep in contact with them.