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2L Rising: What to Expect, and How to Prepare (Part 2)

This is the second in our two-part series “2L Rising”. Click here to read Part One, which focuses on course selection and extra-curricular activities.

OCI…or No-CI?

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n-campus interviewing has been on the wane for the past few years, so it’s not a wise strategy to put all your eggs in one basket where your future job is concerned. Even if your school has a good number of employers participating in OCI, don’t bank on all of them extending offers for summer associateships. Law firms are increasingly “going through the motions” and interviewing students just to maintain good relations with a given law school. Many more law firms only conduct resume collections, which rarely result in job offers.

However, if you are selected to participate in OCI, go in with gusto. Make sure to thoroughly research each firm to which you are applying and prepare thoughtful questions that will demonstrate your knowledge of the firm and its people. If you can find out the identity of your interviewer ahead of time, even better—nothing like a little ego-stroking to impress a future boss!

Take the time to practice by doing mock interviews whether it be with your school’s career counselors, a professor, or a trusted friend. Also, be sure to tailor your resume to highlight any experience you have that might be particularly relevant to each potential employer. Even if you have very little work experience, it is still possible to craft a resume that shines a spotlight on your unique abilities, which will set you apart from the competition.

If you are not selected to participate in OCI, don’t fret! Fewer students are graduating with jobs these days, so you will be in good company. Now is the time to develop your professional skills by seeking out internships or clerkships in areas of law that you wish to pursue. Volunteer at your local District Attorney or Public Defender’s office or a legal aid clinic to get some practical experience.

If all else fails, consider participating in a summer study abroad program in a field of law that interests you. Not only do these programs afford you the opportunity to learn about foreign legal systems, but you will also develop relationships with students and professors from law schools around the world that can be valuable as you embark on your job search later on.

And finally…have fun!
The summer before 2L is really going to be the last time you will have a chance to take a proper summer vacation. The summer before 3L will be spent working, most likely, and you have to jump right into your bar preparation after graduation, so make the most of the time you have left!

Tell us how your summer is going! 3Ls, what do you wish you had known before your 2L year? What advice do you have to offer rising 2Ls?