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Alert COVID-19 Update

Harvard University and Harvard Law School will shift to remote teaching and learning beginning Monday, March 23. For more information and the latest updates, please visit the HLS coronavirus information page.

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Published March 13, 2020

We understand that in this time of uncertainty you may have questions about the impact that COVID-19 will have on your summer experience, your job search, and your post-graduation plans. As we transition to a remote-teaching environment, we write to let you know that OCS and OPIA remain open to you as a resource for information and advising.

Keeping in Touch with Our Offices

Keeping in Touch with Our Offices

Contact Us

OPIA and OCS will be available during our normal business hours, Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

OPIA Contact Information

OCS Contact Information

Communicating Updates

OCS and OPIA will communicate important information through Hire Ground, the OCS Blog, and The Weekly Bulletin, OPIA’s weekly email. To ensure that you are receiving important information from both offices, please make sure you are subscribed to both.

OPIA Updates

If you are not already receiving OPIA’s weekly emails, please email opia@law.harvard.edu.

OCS Updates

If you are not receiving Hire Ground visit Managing Your Hire Ground Account.

OPIA and OCS Office Services and Programs

OPIA and OCS Office Services and Programs

Will OPIA and OCS be open during the spring term?

Yes! Both OPIA and OCS remain open and available for individual advising appointments and walk-ins during the spring term with student appointments being handled remotely.

Will individual advising appointments be held in-person or virtually?

Appointments will be held over the phone or by Zoom. When signing up for an appointment, please note whether you would like to conduct it by phone or by Zoom.

For guidance on how to install and set-up a Zoom account, please review the HLS Zoom Videoconferencing site about creating an account.

How will walk-in advising appointments be held?

OPIA and OCS will host their walk-in hours through Zoom. Information on scheduling appointments is provided on both websites. For guidance on how to install and set-up a Zoom account, please review the HLS Zoom Videoconferencing site about creating an account.

What will happen to lunch talks and other programming OPIA/OCS have been planning?

OPIA and OCS are making arrangements for their lunchtime and other programs to be broadcast online or through podcast or recording and accessible remotely. While some such programs may need to be modified or postponed, most will go forward as planned.

  • OPIA programs: Check OPIA’s list of remote programs for details on how to access them.
  • OCS programs: OCS will release information about programs through Hire Ground.

Can I still have my materials reviewed?

Yes! You may continue to submit your resume and/or cover letter for review by an OPIA or OCS advisor. As always, please allow 7-10 business days for your materials to be returned with edits and comments.

For judicial clerkships, please schedule an appointment for “Judicial Clerkships – Review of Materials” and see our webpage about review of clerkship application materials.

Summer Jobs

Summer Jobs

I don’t yet have a summer internship secured. What should I do?

If you do not yet have a summer internship secured, please make an appointment with an OPIA and/or OCS advisor. We will discuss your options and help you identify organizations that are still hiring.

Where can I find up-to-date summer internship postings?

We know that some students are still in the midst of their search for a summer internship, and others may be reevaluating their plans because of disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • OPIA continues to receive postings from employers who are still hiring for the summer. These opportunities are all posted on our 1L Summer Jobs and 2L Summer Jobs pages as we receive them.
  • OCS opportunities are posted in the CSM Job Bank. Students who may have been solely focused on the private sector are encouraged to consider opportunities in the public sector as well and apply broadly to positions of interest in both sectors.

I have accepted an international internship this summer. Should I still plan to go?

Harvard has imposed travel restrictions that include a prohibition on all University-related international travel and all University-related non-essential domestic air travel. These restrictions are currently in effect through April 30th, and they may change or be extended as the pandemic plays out. Many governments are also recommending precautionary measures and/or enacting travel restrictions. Given the fluidity of this situation, there is no universal guidance for international summer internships.

As a first step, you should speak to your employer about the possibility of working remotely for some or all of the summer in the event that on-site work is not feasible. It is also worth considering arranging an alternative placement in the event that travel restrictions are extended or you are not comfortable traveling abroad. If you have already purchased plane tickets, we recommend that you also buy travel insurance that would allow you to recoup a portion of the cost if you are unable to go abroad. We encourage you to make an appointment with OPIA or OCS for support navigating this process.

My international internship is in a non-Level III country. Does that mean I can go?

Harvard’s current prohibition on University-related international travel is across-the-board, not limited to Level III countries, and currently in effect through April 30th. They may change or be extended as the pandemic plays out. You should see whether you can work remotely for your employer, and we encourage you to make an appointment with OPIA or OCS for support navigating this process.

Will OPIA/OCS be able to help me if my employer tells me my internship is cancelled?

You should speak to an OPIA and/or OCS advisor right away if your summer internship is cancelled. We are available to help you think through alternatives and will work with you to help you find a different placement. In past years, OPIA and OCS have been very successful at helping late-seeking students find summer internships, though student flexibility is often key. The current circumstances are unprecedented, however, so we hope you can be patient if the number of similarly situated students rises.

My domestic employer is moving to remote work. Can I still work there?

We anticipate that some offices, both in the private and public sectors, may transition to remote work.  If this is the case, we encourage you to communicate directly with your employer to ensure you have the resources you need to have a successful summer employment experience. Remote work will remain eligible for Summer Public Interest Funding (SPIF). In a few cases, security concerns may raise additional issues with working remotely. An OPIA or OCS advisor can support you in talking this through with your employer.

I have accepted a summer internship in a city with an outbreak of COVID-19. What should I do?

As this is a rapidly evolving situation, it’s hard to generalize, and OPIA/OCS do not have all the answers. A good first move would be to reach out to your employer to see whether you can work for them remotely if necessary. Next, reach out to an OPIA or OCS advisor for a more specific conversation about your circumstances.

Post-Graduate Job Search

Post-Graduate Job Search

I am still seeking a post-grad job…now what?

If you are waiting to hear from potential employers, now is a good time to reach out to them to see where they are in their hiring process. If you are still applying to positions, we encourage you to continue doing so, with the knowledge that a video interview is more likely at this stage. Additionally, please make an appointment with an OPIA or OCS advisor so we can assist you in securing employment.

Where can I find up-to-date post-graduate job postings?

OPIA continues to receive postings from employers hiring 3Ls, clerks and fellows. These opportunities are all posted on our Fellowships and Entry Level Jobs page as we receive them. All private sector job opportunities are posted in the CSM Job Bank, and there are still judicial clerkships available for 2020. The best way to get started with clerkships is to skim our index of clerkship information and then dig into the step-by-step guide. If, after exhausting the online resources, you have more individual questions on clerkships, feel free to schedule an appointment.

Remote Learning and Grades

Remote Learning and Grades

I am concerned that my grades will be affected by Harvard’s change to remote learning.  How do I communicate about my grades to employers?

Try not to worry about your grades! Focus on adjusting and adapting to these changes and trying to remain positive during what is a stressful time for everyone. In any event, every legal employer will certainly be aware of the disruptions to law schools this semester.

Will remote learning impact my future employment opportunities?

This is a global pandemic in which no one is unaffected. All potential future employers will be understanding that these are circumstances beyond your control. As long as you take your remote coursework as seriously as you would if it were held in person, and continue to take advantage of other learning opportunities, remote learning will not negatively impact your future.

Recruitment Programs

Recruitment Programs

What about summer and fall recruitment programs?

We continue to prepare for our EIP Preview, EIP Week, and Public Interest Interview Programs, and do not anticipate any changes or disruptions to those programs. We will communicate important information through Hire Ground, the OCS Blog, and The Weekly Bulletin, OPIA’s weekly email.

To ensure that you are receiving important information from both offices, please make sure you are subscribed to both.

What about getting ready for EIP?

Your first priority should be your own health and safety, and as always your academics should also take precedence over your job search. Those of you intending to participate in EIP Preview and EIP Week are still encouraged to schedule an EIP Planning appointment with an OCS advisor at some point before the summer to discuss your individual plan, but only when you feel ready to turn your attention to this again. You may also still submit your EIP resume for review through the EIP Resume Review Program. We will also continue to roll out new resources and legs of the EIP Roadmap in the coming weeks through Hire Ground. Our Spring Mock Interview Program will still take place later this month and into April with mock interviews being conducted through Zoom. Rest assured, we will ensure you are well-prepared for EIP, even if you are not able to focus on EIP prep right now.

Clerkships

Clerkships

If I’m a 2L preparing to apply for clerkships in June, is anything changing?

In the short term, no. Try to continue progressing through the timeline we outlined and feel free anytime to schedule an appointment, to be done by phone or Zoom. Conceivably interviews in June might be done by phone or video, rather than in person, but that might be a small blessing in disguise to minimize travel costs. If you are not already getting email messages from the OCS clerkship blog, the Bench, be sure to subscribe to receive fluid information.

Can I still have my clerkship materials reviewed?

Yes, you can still have your materials reviewed by schedule an appointment for “Judicial Clerkships – Review of Materials” and see our webpage about review of clerkship application materials.

Additional Concerns

Additional Concerns

I’m feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. Who can I talk to?

OPIA and OCS recognize the impact of the outbreak on mental health, and that times of such uncertainty can cause anxiety and emotional strain. We encourage students to contact Counseling and Mental Health Services, where they can receive additional support.

If this triggers a recession, how will that affect hiring, both for summer internships and for full-time offers?

We simply don’t know at this time what the impact of this pandemic will be on the economy or future hiring. For now, that should not be something you are focusing your energy on. Take care of yourself and rest assured that during the last economic downturn our students fared well.

How do I practice social distancing but continue to network?

Social distancing is a way to reduce exposure, slow the spread, and minimize transmission of contagious diseases. We encourage students to have a ‘virtual coffee’ over Zoom or a phone conversation instead of holding in-person meetings for the time being.