Your Second Year

You made it through your first legal job search, and successfully navigated a summer legal workplace. Now what? Your strategy depends on your aspirations.

Private Practice

The first order of business in the world of law firm recruiting? Timing.

Large law firms begin recruiting for summer associates during candidates' 1L summer, and tend to proceed quickly.

  • Expect a twenty minute initial interview.
  • Selected candidates are then invited for a series of "call-back" interviews in the firm's offices.
  • Plan to apply through SCORE to firms recruiting through our Interview Programs or on campus.
  • Submit materials directly to other law firms of interest.

Mid-sized and small law firms tend to recruit later, accepting applications, conducting interviews and extending offers any time from late fall through spring.

  • Some firms in our region recruit on campus.
  • Plan to apply directly and make periodic follow up contacts.

OCS acts as your search consultant throughout the process, beginning with an orientation session in spring of 1L year. SCORE's Resource Library includes a range of tools to help you prepare for a career in private practice.

Government Careers

Government service is a rewarding career path, and positions are available at the federal, state, and local level. Consider any agency, office, commission and board, including federal, federal regional, state, local and municipal government entities, a potential summer employer.

Major federal agencies can begin recruiting for summer interns early in fall, while others don't begin until later in the season.

  • Several federal and state agencies have structured internship programs.
  • Many others hire on a more ad hoc basis after considering application materials sent directly.

State agencies will recruit throughout the year.

  • Larger offices, particularly offices dedicated to legal services, may have dedicated internship programs.
  • Many others hire on a more ad hoc basis after considering application materials sent directly.

Local agencies will recruit throughout the year.

  • Look at both city and county levels for attorney's offices.
  • Many offices will hire directly.
  • Some may have dedicated programs.

OCS will act as your consultant as you locate opportunities and develop your application documents.

SCORE's Resource Library includes a range of tools to help you learn about government careers. We also recommend you start by reviewing the opportunities listed in the Government Honors and Internships Handbook (password available in the SCORE Resource Library) and those on PSJD while developing a comprehensive strategy with an OCS counselor.

Students who have incurred expenses during initial and call-back interviews with public sector employers may apply for reimbursement.

  • Applications for reimbursement of public sector job search expenses incurred during fall term are due by January 15 and expenses incurred during spring term are due by May 15.
  • Visit the SCORE Resources Library for the required form; direct any questions to LawCareer@wlu.edu.

Public Interest Careers

A thorough review of PSJD.org - legitimately billed as "your pathway to public service legal careers" - should be item one on your to-do list if you're interested in a career in public service.

  • If you're thinking about a post-graduate fellowship with a public interest organization, applications are due early in third year - PSJD has specific resources dedicated to these fellowships.
  • The fall Equal Justice Works conference is a terrific way to meet others dedicated to a career in the public interest, and interview for positions.
  • Numerous students obtain positions through our annual Government and Public Interest Interview Program, held in February.

SCORE's Resource Library includes a range of tools to help you learn about careers in the public interest. Work with an OCS counselor to develop an application plan.

Students who have incurred expenses during initial and call-back interviews with public interest employers may apply for reimbursement.

  • Applications for reimbursement of public interest job search expenses incurred during fall term are due by January 15; expenses incurred during spring term are due by May 15.
  • Visit the SCORE Resources Library for the required form. Direct any questions to LawCareer@wlu.edu.

Professional Development 

In addition to focusing on academics and your job search, reserve time to develop the other skills that distinguish successful lawyers. Those are the skills that will put you at the head of the pack when you arrive at your summer gig.