Even though classes haven’t started yet, at this very moment, 2Ls across the country are making decisions about where they will spend next summer. * This decision, which many 2Ls already feel unqualified to make, can be even scarier because of the peculiar way that the legal job market is set up: after just one year of law school, students are faced with what rightly feels like a high-stakes decision about where to start their legal careers. If this sounds familiar, rest assured that it’s not just you; this feeling is real and valid.
Before I share my tips for how to navigate this situation, here are two preliminary thoughts. First, if you have the luxury of deciding between multiple offers, you’re already in a good place. Many students—for a variety of reasons—aren’t looking at that kind of a choice. It’s a good problem to have. Second, while this decision is important, if you spend next summer at a firm and determine it’s not a good fit, you will have learned something important about what you should look for the next time you’re on the market. Nor is a bad 2L summer the end of the road; although it’s a tougher path, many 3Ls find jobs at firms where they haven’t worked before. A clerkship can be a particularly good opportunity for a “re-set.” And even if you spend just a year or two as a young associate at a firm you don’t love, you can still use that time to position yourself well to make a move.
With all of that said, here are my tips for minimizing the chances of accepting a summer associate position at a firm that isn’t right for you. Continue reading “Say “yes” to the firm: making an informed decision”