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How To Land A Summer Associate Position & Maintain It For The Fall

Post Authored By: Hannah Werner

Between deciding what kind of law you want to pursue, what firm lifestyle best suits you, and how to apply, you might feel overwhelmed when you first think about a summer clerkship. With the following tips, however, this can be a quick and painless process.

Work With Your School Career Office To Find Open Positions

Your school career office is there for a reason! The career services office can help you locate open positions, fine tune your application materials, and narrow down your offers to make sure you pick the right job for you. Take advantage of the system and build a relationship with the office early on so they will think of you when a new position is brought to their attention.

Be Professional

While you are still a student, the firms you will apply to are expecting professionalism and respect. Make sure you display this and show that you are up for the same tasks that practicing attorneys are given. Firms want to know that they will not have to hold your hand through everything, and you can demonstrate that you have the maturity of an already-practicing attorney should you work for their firm.

Have Answers to Common Questions Prepared In Advance Of An Interview

We all know the common questions asked in interviews. Make sure that you have succinct and professional answers laid out so when you are inevitably asked it during an interview you are not fumbling for a response. By outlining what you would answer to common questions, you won’t have to take your time coming up with an answer during an interview, just on phrasing or fine tuning.

Make A Good First Impression

I want to make it clear that being yourself throughout the interview process is of the utmost importance. You won’t know if you are the right fit for a job if you are putting on a persona, but make sure at the same time that you are professional and make a good first impression at your interview. Let your personality shine through while remaining a good hire for a firm.

Work Hard And Put In The Time

You just started the role, now what? While you don’t need to go overboard and most positions won’t expect you to work 60 hours a week, still work hard and show why you are an asset to the firm. You want the people you work with to question what they ever did without you and never want you to leave! Moral of the story: work hard enough to show you are up to the task but not too hard where you are putting in insane amounts of hours!

Talk To Key Administrators About Continuing The Position After the Summer

Even if you are hired just for the summer, you can ask the administrators in your firm if the future of your position has been discussed yet. Make sure you hold this conversation after you have proven your worth but give plenty of time for the firm to hold a meeting about your future in the company.

While this may be a daunting time in your law school career, just remember that every attorney before you has been through this same thing and knows the stress you are under. The right position will come to you and if it’s a good fit, the option to stay on into the fall of 2L is a strong possibility! Remain confident in yourself and what you will bring to a firm and know that any company would be lucky to have you.

About the Author:

In May of 2020, Hannah graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations and a B.A. in Psychology from Auburn University. After working at Ankin Law Office for almost a year, Hannah discovered an interest in law and joined the Chicago-Kent community. Hannah is currently a 2L representative for the Society of Women in Law, as well as a member of various organizations matching her passions, such as the First-Generation Law Student Association and the Chicago Kent Animal Legal Defense Fund. Following graduation, Hannah looks forward to a career in estate planning, real estate, or business law.

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