The OPIA Blog

1L E-Advising Series: Still Looking for a Summer Internship?

If you haven’t yet secured an internship for this summer, don’t panic. There are still public interest employers that are actively hiring in March and even in April. If you put in the effort, apply broadly, and remain persistent, you WILL find a summer job.

  • Talk to us. Make an appointment with an OPIA adviser as soon as possible. We are available to help you identify opportunities, develop a strategy, prepare for interviews, and otherwise support you in landing an internship you are excited about. If you have quick questions (10 minutes or less), feel free to pop into drop-in office hours.
  • Check public interest job boards regularly. We receive new opportunities from employers daily and post them to our 1L summer job feed. Make it a habit to check that feed, as well as PSJD and other public interest job boards, regularly. Note that these resources are different from other job boards not specific to a public interest search, including CSM and LinkedIn.
  • Be geographically open. Consider applying not just to organizations that are in locations where you may want to relocate after graduation, but where interesting legal work is being done. Consider organizations in the Midwest, South, and abroad, that tend to see fewer applications from HLS students or might be hiring on a later timeline. Also, remember that many internships may be conducted remotely.
  • Apply to organizations facing high levels of need. Communities across the country have been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic and are in dire need of legal assistance. Many legal services organizations are interested in hiring HLS students but don’t have the time to draft and circulate a job description. Affirmatively reach out to these organizations to express an interest in serving their clients and inquire about summer opportunities.
  • Pick up the phone. There is nothing worse than spending an hour or two drafting a cover letter, only to find that an internship position has already been filled. A quick phone call to ask whether an employer has already completed their hiring process can save precious time and energy.
  • Prioritize your job search. We know you are busy law students and have a lot going on besides applying to internships. However, the longer you wait to send out that next round of applications, the fewer opportunities will be available to you.

Remember that the recipe for landing a summer public interest internship is one part flexibility, one part persistence, and a heaping scoop of elbow grease. Don’t expect opportunities to find you, and try to shake off any disappointment you’ve experienced to date. You’ve got this! And OPIA is here to support you in any way we can.