The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the summer plans of hundreds of law students across the country. Maybe you had the perfect summer job lined up but now it has been put on hold. Or maybe you were still working on finding summer employment but now find it practically impossible to do so. Whatever situation you find yourself in this summer, here are some tips on how to make the most of it.
Make a law twitter
If there is only one tip from this article that you follow, make it this one. It’s quick and easy (you don’t even have to leave your bed) but can lead to huge rewards. There is a surprisingly large legal community on twitter (#lawtwitter). Twitter is a great way to stay up to date on current legal issues, and it is a great networking tool. Lawyers frequently post job opportunities on twitter. Take, for example, Peter Sankoff’s #100interns project, which offered 100 internships to students this summer.
Update your resume and LinkedIn
It is always good to have an up-to-date copy of your resume on hand (maybe one of your new contacts on #lawtwitter has a position available and you need to get that application in fast). While you have the time, it is a good idea to update yours. You can even make a draft cover letter.
Keep looking and keep applying
Especially as things begin to open up again, it is important to keep actively looking for jobs. Keep an open mind about the types of work you are looking for as well. Lawyers may be looking for students to help with research on short-term projects, for example. Check out the OBA Legal Career Centre as well as any resources offered by your law school. Market yourself as someone who is capable and willing to help in any way you can.
Take up two hobbies
It is important that you take care of your mental and physical health during this time. You can do that, and also help your future job search, by using this strategy: Take up (or continue) two hobbies. One hobby should involve physical activity and one should involve “mental activity” (like cooking/baking, reading, or (my new hobby) playing bridge). You never know what connections you might make based on who shares your hobbies, and they can be a great conversation topic in interviews.
Focus on building connections
Even if you find yourself without a job, you can still set the foundation for your future career by forming connections. Reach out to lawyers in cities and practice areas that you are interested in. Ask if they would be willing to meet with you (virtually) to offer advice and guidance. If this seems intimidating, start by looking to see if there are any articling students or recent calls who went to your school. The worst that can happen is that they don’t reply. You never know what these connections may lead to!
The OBA community has come together to provide tomorrow’s lawyers with opportunities to develop skills, build connections, and contribute to the future of their profession throughout this summer and beyond. Learn more.
About the author
Claire Sweeny is entering her third year at Western Law and is currently serving as the OBA's Western Law Student Ambassador.