2L to 3L year: Time to plan you future

By Christie Weidemann, Esq.,
BARBRI Manager of Legal Education and Legal Education Advisor

So you are finally wrapping up your 2L year that, if you are like most students, was so busy you did not really have time to stop and think. Not to worry – that is what your 3L year is for.

You finally have this law school thing down and now it’s on to the rest of your life. In the midst of finishing up your classwork, 3L year is about figuring out where you want to live, where you want to work and, perhaps most importantly, where you can find a job.

START SOON ON THE BAR EXAM APPLICATION

You’re still handling school and extracurricular activities, and it is time to determine where you are going so you can register for the proper state’s bar exam by the deadline. Make sure you check your potential state(s) in the fall 3L semester to have plenty of time to complete the bar exam application. You don’t want to risk missing any deadlines.

GET THE MPRE OUT OF THE WAY

Another couple of things to add to your to-do list: take the November MPRE if you have not already and sign up for the free MPRE review course. I always advise against waiting until the spring MPRE because if you happen to miss the required score, you really do not to wait until August to take it again. At that point, you’d have to suffer through another test after just completing a bar exam.

LOCK IN YOUR BARBRI BAR REVIEW COURSE

Also, do not hesitate on registering for your BARBRI bar review course and taking advantage of a locked-in tuition rate. Once you are enrolled, you have time to figure out the logistics of the bar review course location to attend, as well as all the online bar review study resources available.

Despite everything you have going on, try to enjoy your last year of law school. You will not ever have this time back. For most graduating students, work will continue for the rest of your life. Remain in touch with the good friends you have made and soak in all the knowledge you are gaining while you have it!

Law school problems: What if I don’t have a summer job?

By Chris Nikitas, Esq.,
BARBRI Director of Legal Education

Alright, you don’t have a summer job.

Whether you’re a 1L or 2L student, this is a rather scary position. First thing’s first. In the words of Douglas Adams, “don’t panic.” Especially in your first year of law school, having a legal job during the summer isn’t an end-of-the-world scenario. I hosted bar exam trivia during my 1L summer. A prominent scholar I know – who shall remain anonymous – taught tennis lessons. The fact is, you can make up for not having a job in a number of ways and here are a few ideas.

DON’T THROW IN THE TOWEL

Okay, maybe when final exams wrap up, you don’t have a job but do not give up. Get out there. Go to legal aid societies, public interest firms, non-profit organizations and start handing out resumes like they’re flyers for a local band. You may get a late start, but you’ll still get to add a valuable line to your resume. At the very least, you’ll get your name circulated and show potential employers that you’re proactive.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NETWORKING EVENTS

One of the biggest benefits of a summer job is the networking opportunities; however, you can still network outside of a summer job. There will be networking events all summer for young lawyers and law students. Do some investigating, find some to attend and start slinging around business cards like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll be surprised how quickly these can turn into possible employment leads in the future.

MAKE UP FOR IT DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR

Your school has opportunities to provide you with experience during the year: Field placements, internships and externships. Talk with your career services office to find out what the school can offer you as far as placement help. You’ll get some course credit at the same time, too. Consider taking a litigation or drafting class for some realistic experience that you can add to your cover letter and resume.

SPEAK WITH YOUR PROFESSORS

One of your professors may still need research assistants or may introduce you to someone who would like some summer help. Your professors might even have more sage advice on how to find that elusive summer job.
Above all else, remember, this is not by any means the end of your law school career. Part of my 1L summer, I worked for career services during On Campus Interviews, serving as a runner between the interview rooms. I ate lunch with the attorneys and spoke with them more each day than anyone they interviewed. As a result, I left that week with a stack of business cards that turned into valuable new contacts. I was able to utilize them in the coming years. Just keep at it!