1L summer, law school summer classes

What To Focus On During Your 1L Summer

Congratulations on finishing your first year of law school!  You have now completed one-third of your law school journey and have a whole summer between you and your 2L year.  Many students wonder what they should be focusing on during this 1L summer.  While you have certainly earned some time off, there are plenty of things you can be doing to set yourself up for a successful 2L year.  Here are some things to focus on during your 1L summer.

What To Focus On During Your 1L Summer

Internship/Summer Job

During your 1L summer, you more than likely have some sort of internship or summer job in the legal field.  If you don’t have one, make sure you are putting all of your effort into getting one!  Obtaining practical experience is crucial to your development as a lawyer.  These summer internships are the perfect opportunity to boost your resume and make you more desirable to employers looking to hire new associates once you graduate.  They also give you excellent opportunities to network!  Meeting new people in the field and establishing connections can be invaluable to you down the road.  Take full advantage of your summer job as this can set you up for future success.

Extracurriculars/Clubs

The beginning of 1L summer is typically when extracurricular clubs such as law review, moot court, and mock trial hold their tryouts.  You should be receiving information on what the tryout involves at the end of the school year.  If you plan on participating in one of these activities during 2L year, be sure to treat this tryout as you would any other school assignment.  It is a true honor to be a member of any one of these teams and only the best will be selected.  Although you might feel like it is time to turn off your brain since it is summer, stay in “school mode” for just a bit longer.  Put maximum effort into whatever your tryout assignment is so that you can impress the current board.

OCIs

While this might only be your 1L summer, you can also begin preparing for your 2L summer by participating in on-campus interviews (OCIs).  Many of the larger employers looking to hire summer associates will be visiting law schools toward the end of summer. They are looking for candidates already for the following summer.  Thus, your 1L summer will also involve a focus on more long term plans as well.  Be sure to investigate what firms are coming to your school and schedule interviews with those you might be interested in.  Even if nothing comes from these interviews, they are still an excellent learning experience where you can practice and develop valuable skills.

Summer school/MPRE

You might also consider taking a course or two during your 1L summer.  This might not sound appealing after working so hard during the school year. However, it can allow you to pick up a few extra credits. Taking one class now means one fewer class you will have to take later.  You could even choose to take Professional Responsibility over the summer in preparation for the August MPRE.  The majority of students will take PR during their 2L year and then take the MPRE during their 2L summer.  But this can increase the pressure as there are limited MPREs before the bar exam.  Taking the MPRE during 1L summer gives you a few extra opportunities to take the exam before the bar in case you don’t pass the first time.

Relax!

There are certainly a lot of things to think about during 1L summer, as evidenced above.  However, make sure you also take some time for yourself!  You just went through a very grueling nine months and you need some time to become rejuvenated mentally.  Be sure to take a vacation, spend time with friends and family, and let go of the stress from your 1L year.  Don’t dwell on anything that might have happened – learn from your previous experiences and move on to your next ones!

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