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Thermalstorm

Going Into Summer After 2L Without a Job

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As the title suggests, I'm about to enter into summer after 2L without having secured a paid position or an internship. Although I participated in recruitment for multiple cities, I was unsuccessful in obtaining a position. When I requested feedback from a few firms I was informed that there was nothing negative about my interview, it's just that the applicant pool this year was highly competitive. 

I had the CDO and 2 other lawyers from firms participating in OCIs review my CV and cover letters and subsequent revisions. I participated in mock interviews and I applied extremely broadly to many paid positions and unpaid internships. So far nothing has panned out. I'm becoming concerned at this point as I'm getting the sense that most other 2L students have secured something for the summer. The deadline to submit a proposal for an internship this summer is in just over 2 weeks at my school and it's unlikely I will find something before this time given that I'm in the midst of exams as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions for some law-related activities I might be able to do over the summer that don't include paid work or an internship? Is it advisable for example to take summer courses or study abroad somewhere? 

In the worst case scenario, if I worked a non-legal job over the summer, would it substantially affect my ability to obtain an articling position or an associate position in the future? 

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, Thermalstorm said:

As the title suggests, I'm about to enter into summer after 2L without having secured a paid position or an internship. Although I participated in recruitment for multiple cities, I was unsuccessful in obtaining a position. When I requested feedback from a few firms I was informed that there was nothing negative about my interview, it's just that the applicant pool this year was highly competitive. 

I had the CDO and 2 other lawyers from firms participating in OCIs review my CV and cover letters and subsequent revisions. I participated in mock interviews and I applied extremely broadly to many paid positions and unpaid internships. So far nothing has panned out. I'm becoming concerned at this point as I'm getting the sense that most other 2L students have secured something for the summer. The deadline to submit a proposal for an internship this summer is in just over 2 weeks at my school and it's unlikely I will find something before this time given that I'm in the midst of exams as well.

Does anyone have any suggestions for some law-related activities I might be able to do over the summer that don't include paid work or an internship? Is it advisable for example to take summer courses or study abroad somewhere? 

In the worst case scenario, if I worked a non-legal job over the summer, would it substantially affect my ability to obtain an articling position or an associate position in the future? 

Thanks!

Would you be comfortable disclosing what city you are in? And forgive me if I am missing this in your post, but did you try RA positions at your school? Some end up offering employment for the summer. 

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I'm in Ottawa. One of the biggest challenges here is that I don't speak a word of French and quite a few positions here demand bilingualism. I did apply for the two RA positions last month that were posted at my school but haven't heard anything from there either. 

One mistake I definitely take full responsibility for thus far is not getting to know my profs more. A lot of the RA positions seem to be given on an informal basis to students who regularly show up to office hours. I think there are very few profs in the school who even know who I am. Is it advisable to email random profs and ask them if they need an RA for the summer? 

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Could you elaborate on what area of law you are interested in?

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I'm specifically interested in health law or family law. However, I am really willing to work in any sector except for criminal law. Although I'm even willing to revise that if necessary. At this point I can't afford to be picky.

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Thermalstorm said:

One mistake I definitely take full responsibility for thus far is not getting to know my profs more. A lot of the RA positions seem to be given on an informal basis to students who regularly show up to office hours. I think there are very few profs in the school who even know who I am. Is it advisable to email random profs and ask them if they need an RA for the summer? 

  1. Never too late to start getting to know your profs, and everyone should--you pay for access to them!;
  2. I wouldn't cold call profs you barely know asking if they'll hire you. They won't;
  3. But you could contact profs whom you admire, and who teach in an area you like, and see if they are willing to talk to you about your future career. If they agree, and when you meet, you can discuss your employment issues with them and they may have some tips or may help connect you with someone who is looking for some help.

Generally speaking, law students seemingly have no clue how to (or are afraid to) network/hustle for jobs and it is a consistent problem I see on this board. One to which I'm sympathetic, particularly for more introverted types, but certainly also one which law students really need to get over unless they have an A+ average or nepotistic advantages or both. There is no industry I know of where networking doesn't give you some kind of advantage in finding decent employment, and better still, employment that caters to your interests (since you probably won't waste time networking with lawyers practicing completely out of your area of interest).

In any case, you should be proud of yourself for acknowledging you're in this position not necessarily because you're unqualified, or bad at interviews, but rather because you aren't hustling--at least that's what it sounds like. That's great! A lot of people believe they are entitled to get what they want by doing very little and making no professional friends, and you've gotten over that hump. Now you can start reaching out to people and developing a web of contacts who may be willing to help find you law work, even if only short-term and unpaid. Better than a blank space.

(Also note, RA positions at my university as well as other interesting job opportunities tended to arise even well after exams and into the summer. Don't lose hope.)

Edited by FineCanadianFXs
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Get a non law job if nothing else pans out. Ottawa has a few legal clinics so you might be able to get in as a volunteer. 

You can also reach out to soles practicing family law and see if you can shadow them for a bit. Or ask if they know whether any interesting motions will be argued. It's hard to go watch family court as conferences are closed to the public. 

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Hey, I don't have any advice for you, but I wanted to let you know you aren't alone in this. I'm in the same boat. Above average grades, good EC's, applied all over Ontario, nothing. Just keep grinding, it's all we can do. 

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