Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summertime blues

MN asks: So what do you do if you can't find anything? If everything has been filled or you can't afford to go 1000 away from where you are now and it's too late for summer school?

For the sake of having a gender for pronoun purposes, I'm making MN a guy. I am guessing he is taking about summer jobs, though he doesn't indicate if its 1L or 2L summer. He posted the question July 1, which is really late. I would respectfully suggest that not everything has been filled. Just everything that might pay him a salary.

If its 1L summer and you don't have anything legal, it is not the worst thing ever. I know many people who didn't do legal work last summer. It made interviews more difficult in the fall, but you know, if you have to wait tables to pay the bills, then that's what you have to do. I still think there is a way to work some legal work if you don't have other demands on your time (like a kid.)

Have you contacted solo or small practitioners and volunteer to do 10 hours of legal research and writing a week in exchange for a reference and the chance to sit in on hearings etc.? Even if its a plaintiff's lawyer and you want to do defense work, you will learn something and have the chance to network. Have you contacted local non-profits to see if they or their counsel need a student volunteer? Similar reason.

Does it suck to work for free? You bet.

But it pays off in experience and something to talk about that will hopefully lead to the job you want.

Any others have advice?