If you're a 1L, it's not a crisis if you don't have a legal job. Sure, interviews are a bit harder, but you do what you have to do. Check with your law school. At my old one the career services office will hire out law students for attorneys looking for a little extra legal work during the summer. Solos and small firms are likely to love volunteers as well — and if you can sit in and watch some hearings, etc., plus snag a reference, that's great.
Click Here to Find Law Student Jobs on LawCrossing
Local nonprofits and government offices can always use some help. Why not try a rural county prosecutor or defense attorney? They can always use help, and watching trials with them is handy.
If trial work isn't your cup of tea, professors are another source to tap. Remember: in the legal world it's publish or perish, and the summer is the time when professors are (in between lazing around) doing research and editing their latest casebooks or law review articles. Extra eyes are usually welcome, and they may even pay some.
Click Here to Find Summer Associate Jobs on LawCrossing
It isn't fun to work for free. It flat out sucks, in fact. However, experience is crucial, and something you can mention in the interviews when they come in the fall.
For second years, if you don't have a legal job by now, things are pretty grim. The above advice still applies, but even more so. You must get something legal on your resume for the summer. You will likely be looking at the smaller firms, though, in the fall. Forget New York and Big Law. But then, who wants to be a slave to some eccentric senior partner anyway?
Click Here to View the 2015 LawCrossing Salary Survey of Lawyer Salaries in the Best Law Firms