Career Development

1L Timeline

Fall Semester

  • Before school begins, read the Official Guide to Legal Specialties and take the Strengthsfinder assessment.
  • Concentrate on your studies and focus on getting used to law school.
  • Join and take leadership roles in student groups that are related to your career interests.
  • Get to know your fellow students.
  • Explore the Career Development Website and learn about the resources we offer, programs we coordinate, and the wealth of information available there
  • Register for the Mock Interview Program.
  • If interested in public interest jobs, register as a user at and consider attending the Equal Justice Works Career Conference in October.
  • Attend 1L Academy, Jump Start Week, and other Career Development programs, and get to know the Career Development staff.
  • Consider applying for the Summer in Oxford Program, the Washington D.C. Summer Program or other study-abroad programs to obtain law school credit.
  • Prepare a legal resume and cover letter.
  • After October 15, but preferably before Thanksgiving break, meet with your career advisor to have you resume and cover letter reviewed and gain access to Symplicity.
  • After October 15, become familiar with Symplicity and check frequently for announcements.
  • On December 1 or soon thereafter, send resumes to large or medium sized firms of interest. For information about researching firms, click here.
  • On December 1 or soon thereafter, send resumes to federal government employers.  For information about researching government employers, click here.
  • If interested in government jobs, ask Career Development for court directories, information about court externships, the Federal Government Honors Program and other opportunities.
  • Study for final exams.

Winter Break

  • Develop a list of networking contacts.
  • Schedule informational interviews and meet with one or two contacts during break.
  • Map out your preferred 1L summer plan and a back-up summer plan.

Early Spring Semester

  • Check Symplicity announcements and on-line job postings regularly.
  • Participate in Spring On-Campus Interviews (OCI) and the Public Sector Interview Program.
  • Attend the Sector Opportunity Forum to meet government and public interest employers and apply for summer positions.
  • Apply for the judicial externship program.
  • Apply for the government and non-profit externship program.
  • Attend Career Service Programs on Off-Campus Job Fairs.
  • Attend other Career Development presentations and programs sponsored by employers.
  • Talk to professors about research assistant positions for the upcoming summer.
  • Brainstorm with Career Development about 1L job opportunities and strategies.
  • Watch for deadlines regarding Foreign Language Area Study fellowships.
  • Apply for financial aid/submit your FAFSA by the priority deadlines.
  • Apply for PILF Fellowship funding if you plan to volunteer for a public interest employer.
  • Request reciprocity through Career Development if you are looking for out-of-state employment, so you can use other law schools’ Career Development offices over Spring Break.
  • Follow up with employers to whom you have sent applications and let them know you are free to interview over break.

Spring Break

  • Schedule a few informational interviews to learn about your preferred practice areas of law and to meet with one or two alumni in your preferred city.

Late Spring Semester

  • Continue to apply for positions.
  • Check Symplicity often for late-breaking job opportunities.
  • Maintain a current resume on Symplicity.
  • Consider volunteering and taking for-credit summer classes.
  • Study for final exams.

Summer Break

  • Participate in the law journal writing competitions.
  • Update your resume on Symplicity to include your summer work experience and your spring semester grades, and have your career advisor review your updated materials.
  • Research all bar exam deadlines in the states where you are considering taking the bar.
  • Map out your preferred plan for the summer following your 2L year and a back-up plan.
  • Apply on Symplicity for Fall OCI Session I & II positions for your second summer. The deadlines are typically in mid-July and late August, respectively.
  • Research and target small and medium-sized firms which do not participate in OCI.  Hiring timelines are typically later for these employers, but begin networking.
  • If you are seeking an out-of-state position, review job fairs and resume collections on Symplicity. Also apply for opportunities through the National Law School Consortium (NLSC) programs.  Applications are typically due in mid-July.
  • Send letters to large law firms that are not participating in OCI between August 1 and August 15.
  • Apply for the Department of Justice Honors Attorney Program.  Deadlines are usually in August.
  • Apply for for the Federal Government Honors Programs.