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Law school and summer work

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Hello, 

I was recently admitted to law school for Fall 2021. I am curious about what law students do in the summers between semesters. Is it typical or expected that you find an internship after your first year? Are there any organizations or businesses in BC or Alberta that regularly offer summer internships or work opportunities for current law students? Is there anything I can do in the months between now and when classes start to improve my chances of getting law related summer work?

Thank you for the advice. 

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^ What FingersCr0ssed said... but here is my take

- very few students have a law related job after 1L. There is a 1L recruit where a limited number of firms hire students. This recruit is heavily focused on your 1L grades. 

- UVIC has a co-op program, so UVIC students are somewhat more likely to find law related 1L summer jobs. Usually in a small firm or government office. Hiring for these jobs is generally more holistic than formal recruits.

- otherwise you might secure a position with a small law firm, but this isn't a big deal. Try to find something interesting to do - whether that's work, volunteer, travel, or whatever interests you and will make you a more  well-rounded applicant in the future. Many people I went to school with needed and could afford a break and travelled after 1L. Others worked their pre-law jobs in order to save money. There is no wrong way to do the 1L summer, except doing nothing.

- In 2L there is a formal recruit that many of your classmates will participate in it starts with On Campus Interviews (OCIs), so when you hear about OCIs this is related. These jobs typically lead to an articling position after 3L , but are not the only way to secure an articling position. You'll want good grades and interesting experience on your application. Having experience traveling, working for something pandemic related, etc. will give you more to talk about than a front desk position at a law firm. 

Basically, the best thing you can do right now is something interesting and that you enjoy. Once you're in law school focus on getting good grades. If you can network with people working where you want to work do that, but know it will mostly be for information purposes and probably won't actually lead to a job..

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BC law firms generally don't hire students after 1L, hiring occurs in 2L for the summer following 2L. There are exceptions to this, I can think of a couple of specific firms that hire 1L students, and some people who already have connections to firms might secure legal jobs after 1L. A lot of people just do normal summer jobs (retail, serving, etc.).

In BC, a popular option to get legal experience after 1L is to volunteer for LSLAP (Law Students' Legal Advice Program). It's a legal clinic program run by UBC Law and open to volunteers from all Canadian law schools (applications open in the spring).

You might also be able to find RA positions within your law school.

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13 hours ago, CalgaryAlbertaCanada said:

Is there anything I can do in the months between now and when classes start to improve my chances of getting law related summer work?

Nothing you can do - just relax and enjoy your spare time.

Edited by canuckfanatic
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1 minute ago, canuckfanatic said:

Get really good grades

Great advice for what one can do before classes start. /s

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Just now, CleanHands said:

Great advice for what one can do before classes start. /s

I misread the comment, I was thinking "between now and 1L summer" - whoops

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3 minutes ago, canuckfanatic said:

In BC, a popular option to get legal experience after 1L is to volunteer for LSLAP (Law Students' Legal Advice Program). It's a legal clinic program run by UBC Law and open to volunteers from all Canadian law schools (applications open in the spring).

Just to build on this; there are a number of paid summer positions with LSLAP. They use a point and lottery system based on volunteer contributions over the year in hiring. It's a great way to get a 1L legal job and get paid to help marginalized people (and my friends that did that during 1L summer actually made more money than I did working as a summer articling student for a small firm).

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2 hours ago, CleanHands said:

Just to build on this; there are a number of paid summer positions with LSLAP. They use a point and lottery system based on volunteer contributions over the year in hiring. It's a great way to get a 1L legal job and get paid to help marginalized people (and my friends that did that during 1L summer actually made more money than I did working as a summer articling student for a small firm).

The paid summer positions are only for Allard students though. 

EDIT: Non-Allard students are free to volunteer in the summer, they just can't participate in the lottery. 

Edited by Psychometronic
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Someone advised me to go travelling during my 1L summer, I did and I have zero regrets about it. 
 

Worked as a server for the first 3(?) months, then travelled for the last month. Best use of my student line of credit.

Edited by Coolname
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This is some great advice and information. I only know one person whose been to law school. Listening to the experiences of others is giving me a better idea of what I have just signed up for.  

Thank you to everyone.  

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I got a sweet gig with an administrative board after 1L through volunteer work I did at Pro Bono Students Canada program—and it still has relevance to my current work. It certainly looked good in my CV. There’s lots of interesting summer job opportunities outside of firms in 1L and there’s little stress in terms of the position having to lead to articling. That being said travelling is not a bad idea.

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