Advice For Your 2L Summer

The 4 Best Pieces of Advice For Your 2L Summer

Your second and final summer during law school is undoubtedly an important one.  If you feel a little nervous thinking about how best to use this chunk of time, that’s okay.  In fact, your nervousness is a good thing because it means you appreciate the importance of using this time well! We are here to help calm your nerves by giving you the best advice for preparing for your 2L summer.  So get your pencil and paper (or keyboard and Microsoft Word document) ready and let’s get started.

NOTE: If you’re curious how the coronavirus will impact your summer 2020 summer association position, check out our thoughts here.

The 4 Best Pieces of Advice For Your 2L Summer

1. Literally, plan out your summer schedule.

This is our biggest and best piece of advice.  It’s one thing to have a rough idea in your head about how you hope your 2L summer will go.  It’s an entirely different, and better, thing to look at a calendar and write out a plan allocating each of your precious 2L summer weeks to different projects.  Nothing will calm your nerves better than seeing a well laid out plan before your eyes.  Not only will this calm your nerves, but it will help ensure your summer is both productive and fun!

Let’s start with the fun stuff first.

Is there a big summer blockbuster you want to see on opening weekend? Calendar it.  Do you want to take a short trip after your summer associate position concludes and before 3L year starts up?  Calendar it.  Did the firm you’ll be working for give you the calendar of social/networking events and you already know which ones you want to skip and which ones you want to make sure you don’t miss?  Calendar it.  Seeing the fun parts of your summer will give you the motivation to work hard during the less fun parts of your summer!

Now let’s get to the less fun parts.

Not everyone’s 2L summer will look the same of course.  But, generally, everyone will have a number of serious responsibilities and tasks to accomplish over 2L summer.  The best way to ensure everything that needs to get done actually gets done is to write out a plan, making sure everything fits.

For me, for example, my summer position started pretty quickly after my last 2L final exam and was located in a big city about 7 hours away from my law school.  My 2L summer planning needed to account for plenty of time to relocate to a new space for the duration of my summer position.  Further, as an editor on law review, I was responsible (along with a few others) for grading all of the casenote submissions by 1Ls hoping to make it onto law review.  That project came with its own series of deadlines and overlapped with the first half of my summer position.

Many of you will have similar types of law school-related projects to work on while you are working full-time and trying to make a good impression during your 2L summer position!  And of course, your 2L summer position will have its own set of deadlines for various assignments.  Plan out how you will stay on track and accomplish everything!  Plan it all out—that is our best piece of advice for your 2L summer!

The rest of our advice below is also very important and also gives you even more items to factor into your 2L summer planning.

2. Know when you’ll be studying for and taking the MPRE.

Your 2L summer is the perfect time to pass the MPRE.  You first need to know your jurisdiction’s rules about whether you must have a passing MPRE score to sit for the bar exam.  Check out our post on What Score is Passing MPRE Score. Even if your jurisdiction doesn’t require that, it’s best to pass the MPRE before the bar exam.  You do not want the MPRE to be the reason you can’t take the bar exam. Or that you can’t be admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction!  Your 2L summer and your 3L year might seem hectic. However,  studying for and taking the MPRE while working full-time after law school would likely be even more hectic.

The MPRE is offered in March, August, and October of each year. If you plan to take it at the end of your 2L summer in August, plan your study schedule over your 2L summer accordingly.  Here are some additional MPRE planning tips that are worth taking into account.

3. Know clerkship deadlines.

Clerkship deadlines vary greatly throughout the country and even within different jurisdictions throughout a particular state.  While some deadlines happen before the start of 2L summer, many occur throughout 2L summer.  You should research your clerkship deadlines early so you can plan which applications you need to work on and when during 2L summer.  Pay a visit to your law school’s career center and grab all the information they have on clerkships well in advance of your 2L summer.

4. Be the best summer associate.

The biggest chunk of your 2L summer will likely be spent working in your 2L summer position.  This is the position that, for many successful summer associates, results in a full-time job offer at the end of the summer.  Do not underestimate the importance of this position and all the work, deadlines, and even social/networking events that go along with it!  That is why one of our best pieces of advice is to be the best summer associate!  So how exactly do you do that?  Learn how to be the best summer associate here.

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