First, why not just take the summer off? I’ll tell you why. When you graduate, you’ll be competing for jobs against everyone in the country. Those who have “experience” will have a leg up on those who did not gain any work experience during law school. Similarly, it will be just a bit harder to get a job your second summer because you didn’t have a job your first summer.
Secondly, top law firms are picky, competitive and, most of all, they follow the crowd. If it looks like no one wants to hire you, the top firms will simply assume that they shouldn’t hire you either. The logic goes something like this…this candidate looks like a great potential associate but didn’t work after the first or second year of law school…hmmm, something must be wrong with him/her…I’ll pass just in case I’m missing whatever it is. (You can argue with the logic but would you rather be right or employed?)
You don’t have to work at a firm as a summer associate this year. And you don’t have to work a “law job” all summer. But you should try to work at least a few weeks doing something related to law. Let me be clear about something here. I’m not saying that you are out of luck if you don’t work during your summers. However, I am pointing you in the path of least resistance.
The next few blog posts will give you some helpful ideas and suggestions on how to get valuable legal experience this summer to make you more marketable down the road. Be sure to check back regularly or just subscribe to the blog for notifications delivered right to your email!