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Entry-Level Job Search Timeline

Entry-Level Job Search Timeline

In order to give your job search an overarching structure, below is a loose timeline for your job search . You will, of course, need to adjust the timeline to take into account the hiring practices of the types of organizations you are targeting. Be sure to work with an OPIA advisor to tailor this timeline for your specific needs.


  • Throughout 2L and 3L Years

  • Spring 2L Year

    March – April

    • Schedule appointments with an OPIA advisor to develop a personal post-graduate job search game plan. Meet with Judy Murciano, OPIA’s Fellowships Director, to develop a fellowships game plan and Catherine Pattanayak or Joan Ruttenberg to develop a Government Honors Program game plan (if relevant).
    • Attend OPIA fellowship sessions and post-graduate job search events

    April – May

    • If you are considering applications for portable fellowships (Skadden, EJW, etc.), brainstorm potential fellowship sponsors, and begin to apply for sponsorship (sponsorship deadlines may begin as early as April)
    • Apply for early fellowships, as relevant (for example, the Lindsay Fellowship and Aryeh Neier Fellowship)
  • Summer 2L Year (Rising 3L Summer)

    • Network in the city/field you want to work in (even long-distance networking can be helpful) to identify potential fellowship sponsors and “hidden” jobs
    • Draft cover letters and update your resume; submit them to be reviewed by an OPIA advisor
    • Begin working on fall fellowship applications
    • Continue to apply for early fellowships
    • Apply for early government honors programs (e.g., historically, Washington Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission, State Department, Department of Justice)
    • Stay in touch with OPIA by scheduling appointments to discuss your situation via phone/Skype
  • Fall 3L Year

    • Participate in the Public Interest Interview Program, MA Consortium Job Fair, and EJW Job Fair
    • Keep on top of the large number of deadlines
      • Fellowship deadlines (Skadden, EJW, and other external fellowships; Public Service Venture Fund Seed Grants, many organization-based fellowships, and other internal fellowships)
      • Many government honors programs
      • DA/PD deadlines
      • Some private public interest law firm fellowship deadlines
      • Some early international fellowship deadlines (Fulbright)
    • Continue to network(Wasserstein Fellows, OPIA contacts, etc.)
    • Mock interview with an OPIA advisor
  • Winter 3L Year

    • Be aware of additional miscellaneous deadlines
    • Continue to network
  • Spring 3L Year

    February – March

    April – May

    • Research and apply to entry level positions as they open up
    • Continue to network
    • Register for appropriate bar exam and meet all deadlines


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