The Transition From 2L to Rising 3L: Setting Up Final Year Success

The end of 2L year is right around the corner. True to form, it’s been B-U-S-Y. You’ve worked your tail off. You’re more than ready to call yourself a 3L student. But it’s important to finish strong on upcoming 2L final exams, and then you can look ahead. Here are some things to do before fall semester begins, which can set you up for easier sailing through 3L year.

MARCH & APRIL | SPRING FINAL EXAMS PREP

Stay focused on spring finals. BARBRI 2L/3L Mastery can help you with challenging subjects – Evidence, Taxation, Corporations, Wills, Trusts, Secured Transactions, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law and Family Law. Access to 2L/3L Mastery is one reason you might want to commit to bar review early. Find out more reasons here.

APRIL | COURSE REGISTRATION

Consider registering for 3L courses that will help prepare you for your state bar exam. Check out this list. Just remember to meet all the requirements for graduation. Be sure to get with your advisor to make absolutely sure you complete (and have completed) the right courses.

APRIL | JUDICIAL CLERKSHIPS

If you want to go after a judicial clerkship, you’ll need to ask professors to write you a letter of recommendation. Don’t be shy and don’t wait. Most judicial clerk applications require three letters of recommendation and at least two should be written by a law professor. Try to meet with each professor personally to let them know enough about you to write a great letter.

APRIL | EXTERNSHIPS & CLINICS

Keep building valuable practical experience. Check with your school for externship or clinical opportunities available. Think about what you’d like to do and during which semester of 3L year. Start by thinking about the kind of law you want to practice and then research the options. Be aware, too, of any special student licensing or course requirements.

MAY | CHARACTER & FITNESS APPLICATION

Start now, if you can. Many states/jurisdictions require you to submit a character and fitness application before you take the bar exam, and some allow it afterward. You can save yourself hundreds of dollars by completing this portion of your bar application early, but you need to know the state in which you are taking the bar to begin the process. It’s also extensive and time-consuming – you’ll need to gather details about your academic, work, financial, any criminal history … maybe even provide fingerprints. Getting started as early as possible is key.

Be mindful, too, that the character and fitness application is just one of the many requirements you need to have ready to take the bar exam. Follow our 3L Bar Admissions Checklist to stay organized and ahead of the game.

MAY | LAW PREVIEW JOB NETWORK

Get noticed. Whether or not you’ve landed a job offer by now, keep your name circulating through our Law Preview Job Network website. Put your resume in front of legal recruiters, as well as our BigLaw and AMLaw 200 partners, who actively scour the site to connect with law students. Take a few minutes to create a free profile.

JUNE | MPRE REGISTRATION & DEADLINES

If you didn’t take (or pass) the MPRE during 2L year, your next chance is in August. Pay attention to the “regular” and “late” registration deadlines, which usually fall within the second and third weeks of June. Registering by the regular deadline date will save you a little money, too.

JULY | ANOTHER ROUND OF OCI

No job offer yet? You’re still in the game. There are both private and public sector employers out there that participate in OCIs with the intent to hire 3L students. These firms may not have extended as many offers to summer associates as expected or have an increased capacity to hire.

JULY | BAR EXAM RESEARCH

Your legal career may not begin as a straight line to a single destination. It could potentially lead to prospects in more than one state/jurisdiction. It’s smart to familiarize yourself with the bar exam for all of them. You can start by downloading our comprehensive BARBRI Bar Exam Digest. Know the deadlines and fees, subjects tested, scoring, reciprocity and local content knowledge required, for example. Find out if you’ll be taking the Uniform Bar Exam and what the UBE means to your job search and career marketability.

Remember you can always reach out for guidance from your BARBRI Director of Legal Education, who is still with you every step of the way.