How did this happen? After spending an entire academic year hunting relentlessly for a summer job, you’re still unemployed. How is it possible that after several months of going on interview after interview, completing hundreds of job applications and finally going against your introverted nature to attend countless networking events, you see no summer job in your near future? As the spring semester winds down and you work up the courage to feign a sense of joy and happiness as you exit your last final, I implore you to not allow your nonexistent job status to control your happiness. The reality is that many students (more than you think) are currently facing this same struggle. Additionally, the reality is that summer is not yet over, heck depending on when you’re reading this, it may not even have started yet. Therefore, there’s still time on the clock to turn things around. So keep reading, and let’s find you a summer job.
As I stated earlier, many students face the predicament of coming upon summer without a summer job in town. In fact, I myself faced this predicament (well kind of) during my 1L summer. After my first year of law school, I had a judicial internship lined up. However, this internship would only last for the first six weeks of summer, and it was unpaid. Considering my dire financial situation at the time, it was crucial for me to find a paid job for the summer or at least some source of funding to supplement my internship. But after several months of going on numerous interviews, reaching out to networking contacts and even applying for public interest grants/fellowships, I still faced the summer of 2014 with a short term job and no source of income coming my way. Yes, I was pretty down regarding this reality, but I pressed on. During my 1L year, I treated my job hunt as a full-time job itself so I continued doing that. I started my internship, but I continued to aggressively job hunt for a paid job for the second half of summer. After numerous rejections, my search ultimately proved fruitful as I was able to land a paid position at an employment law firm literally during the last week of my judicial internship.
So how is it possible to turn things around this late in the game? I think the best way to do this is to “amp up” your job search with the resources you already have in place.
How To “Amp Up” Your Summer Job Search
“Amping up” your summer job search means exactly what it sounds like. This means that it’s time to intensify your job search and put your all in it. Now that classes are out, you have no excuse to not give this your full commitment. However, the important part of applying this process is to “amp up” your search by using the resources that are currently around you. Regardless of whether you’re a 1L or 2L, you’ve been in the legal environment for some time now. Therefore, it’s time to take full advantage of the connections and job search resources you’ve come across along the way.
Here are some ways in which you can effectively apply this method:
1. Create your own Research Assistantship
One way to “amp up” your summer job search is to create your own research assistantship position for the summer. Now that you’ve completed either a year or two of law school, you’ve inevitably come into contact with numerous professors. You’ve probably even gone the extra mile and developed a substantial relationship with one or two of these professors. You know, the professor that gave you an A in that course that you can now see yourself practicing in or that professor that you’ve completely “nerded out” with during office hours about the societal effect of that recent plurality opinion. How about approaching that professor about the possibility of being their research assistant (RA)? Many professors write case books or conduct extensive research throughout the summers. So tell them you’re interested in helping out! RA’s are a very popular position for law students and they’re usually paid. So take advantage of this opportunity that may already be right under your nose.
2. Network With People Who Are Already In Your Network
Another way to “amp up” your summer job search is to network with people who are already in your network. Take the time you now have to reach out to former college professors who may be affiliated in some way with the legal community or reach out to attorneys or judges you may already know from back home. Maybe even reach out to friends of your parents who may be super excited about connecting you with their professional contacts. This is a network of people whom you may have a deeper connection with because of their relationship with you. Therefore, if they can help in any way, these may be the people who work expeditiously on your behalf considering your timeline. So reach out!
3. Keep Doing What You’re Doing but Do It Even More
Finally, another way to “amp up” your job search is to keep doing what you’re doing, but do it even more. This is the method that I applied when I faced my summer job search predicament. Now that classes are over, you have more time on your hands. So use this time to keep: applying to jobs, networking, resume dropping and interviewing at every chance you get. It may suck to not have a job in your first month of summer break. But you still have a solid 8-10 weeks remaining, even after your first month is complete. Therefore, there’s still a ton of time to get the intensive summer work experience you need. So don’t lose momentum and keep at it!
Stay positive and apply even just one of the strategies I’ve outlined above. You’ll be surprised to see how quickly your summer turns around.
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