How To Prepare For Your Law School Summer Job
How To Prepare For Your Law School Summer Job: With finals in sight, many law students are preparing for their upcoming summer experience. Wherever you are planning to spend your summer—at a firm, courthouse, or company—there are a few things you should do before stepping foot in the office.
How To Prepare For Your Law School Summer Job
1. Get any appointments out of the way.
For many law students, their summer experience a test for a future job. This means the employer is testing you out to see if you are the right fit. Keeping that in mind, if you have to take off many days for appointments or vacations, that could not sit well with your bosses.
If you have a break between finals and starting your job, use that time to get all appointments out of the way—hair, doctor, oil change, etc. Your employer will appreciate your organization and foresight.
Naturally, there will be some things that you cannot plan for, or appointments that are not available any time before you start work. Still, try your best to get what you can scheduled early and let your boss know in advance when you need time off.
2. Organize all your notes.
The last thing you want to do on your first day is to search through all your law school folders for a paper you need to help with an assignment. Try to organize all the documents you may need for your summer job. In particular, if you are doing any legal research and/or writing, everything from your Legal Research and Writing course will be beneficial.
If a lot of the documents you may need are on your personal computer, make sure to bring your computer in the first day. Or, if you get a staff computer they expect you to use, print out any documents you may need and organize them in a three-ring binder.
3. Talk to others who were in your spot.
If you know anyone who has worked or does work at the same place you have your law school summer job, reach out to them with any questions you have. Try to get information on the people you will be working with and the culture in the office, such as how to dress, where everyone eats lunch, who to go to for help, etc.
Also, if there will be other law students working there over the summer, try to reach out to them. You will likely see a lot of them, so it would be great to already have a connection before your first day.
If you do not know anyone who has worked at the firm, ask your law school career counselor any questions you may have or if they are aware of anyone who has had experience at the firm.
4. Learn more about the business.
Make sure you know everything you can about the place you are working. If you are working at a firm, do some research on information including what types of cases the firm handles, your boss and some of the other associates you will be working next to, or if they were in the news lately. If you are working for a judge, read up on some of his or her recent decisions. This research will show your employer that you care and it will also help you feel more prepared on your first day.
If you have never been to the physical location of your work, try to make a trip there before your first day. Take note of any traffic you encounter, where the best parking is, and restaurants nearby.
5. Take a break!
Before you start, try to get your mind out of finals mode and into work mode. Plan fun activities if you have time between finals and starting your job. You deserve some relaxation before you start your law school summer job!
Try to remember that everyone knows you are a law student, so they will not expect anything more than you have learned up to that point in school. So, try not to feel too nervous! Rather, be confident and ready to work.
Starting a new job is always tough. But, if you follow these tips, your summer will run smoothly.
Watch out for more tips and strategies from JD Advising on legal writing, research, and editing; resume and interviewing tips; working for a firm; and, starting a law firm.
Isabella Shaya graduated from Wayne State University Law School in 2018, where she was the Managing Editor of the Wayne Law Review. Isabella is a JD Advising blogger and editor.
Looking for Law School Assistance?
- Free! Download our free guide on how to succeed in law school here!
- Free! Access our free law school prep course here!
- Looking for law school tutoring? Our law school tutors provide personalized, one-on-one tutoring!
- We also have NEW and very highly regarded law school study aids, which you can try for free here!