Plan Ahead! Three Things You Can Do Now To Help Make The Most Of Your Summer

Need a study break? Take a few minutes this week to look past exams and make a plan for your summer. There are several things you can do now to set yourself up for a successful summer that take no more effort than a few minutes of self-reflection and internet research.

Set goals for the summer

What are the professional goals you want to accomplish this summer? Make a list and start thinking about the things you need to do to achieve them. Think about goals that will help you get to next summer’s job or prepare you for practice:

  1. Complete a writing assignment for your summer employer that could serve as a strong writing sample for future applications. (But make sure to ask permission from your employer before using any work product as a writing sample!)
  2. Gain exposure to a practice area of interest. This could be through a research or writing assignment, observing a trial or other legal proceeding, meeting someone who practices in that area of law, joining the local bar association section, or attending a CLE event
  3. Meet someone who works at your dream employer. Better yet, meet someone who works at every employer you intend to apply to for a position next summer or post-graduation.
  4. Prepare for fall interviews by completing a mock interview with an NDLS alum. (This is a CDO requirement for all 1Ls!)
  5. Update your LinkedIn profile. Check privacy settings on any other social media profiles and ensure any public posts are appropriate if viewed by employers.

Add deadlines and events to your calendar

Planning to participate in OCI or one of the OCIPs? Dates for bidding and interviews are up on the CDO’s website HERE. Add them to your calendar now and block off time for researching employers, preparing applications, and travel if necessary. Also take note of these dates when planning your networking. OCI Early Interview Week bidding ends JUNE 29, so if you want to plan networking meetings with attorneys at firms of interest before you submit your application materials, you should plan to do that early in the summer.

You can also start researching events that you may want to attend this summer. Look at the events calendar for your local bar association(s), Notre Dame club, and employers of interest. Firms may hold 1L cocktail hours and public interest employers may have fundraisers or volunteer days. Remember to check Symplicity’s Events Calendar as well.  It will be updated as the CDO learns of new events for the summer.

Create a networking plan

One goal for your summer should be meeting practitioners who do what you want to do and who work for employers you are interested in working for. Aim for 2-3 meetings or networking events per week. Do your research now to create a list of attorneys you want to meet with. These may be new contacts or you may be reconnecting with attorneys you have already met, including your alumni mentor, attorneys you met at the Meet the Employers reception, and contacts from prior to law school. Use LinkedIn or other resources to find additional attorneys you are interested in meeting. Develop your list now and draft a standard outreach email so all you have to do is send them out once you are done with exams and headed to your market this summer.

Have questions?  Contact a CDO counselor for help developing a personalized summer networking plan.

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