First-year and second-year law students tend to have different goals for their respective summers. According to Duke University's
are to pursue a particular interest in the law field, to expand legal knowledge, and to enhance the skills needed for a career in law. The National Association for Law Placement prohibits students from contacting legal employers to discuss summer employment before December 1, though students often research and prepare their resumes and cover letters before that date.
Many second-year students work as summer associates at law firms and, at the end of the summer, are offered employment after graduation. The summer following the second year is often considered a time for students to show passion for or dedication to a certain field of law, and many do government or public interest work during the summer.
Students obtain positions with in-house legal departments or law firms primarily by writing letters to employers. You can browse the NALP Directory for listings of firms that hire. Though large firms tend to be the most competitive and desirable, mid-size and smaller firms should not be discounted.
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