The OPIA Blog

Entry-Level Post-Grad E-Advising Series: Getting Started on the Post-Grad Job Search as a 2L

We know it may seem early to start thinking about your post-graduate job search as a 2L. However, your 2L spring is the best time to check out our new [link_to id=100261 title=”3L Resources and Timeline”]3L Guide to Entry-Level Post-Graduate Jobs[/link_to], review our [link_to id=353020 title=”Fellowship Application Calendar”]fellowship application calendar[/link_to], start monitoring [link_to id=135171 title=”Fellowship and Entry-Level Job Deadlines Calendar”]fellowship and entry-level job deadlines[/link_to], and [link_to id=47038 title=”Current Student Services”]make an appointment with an OPIA adviser[/link_to] to position you for success in your search.

A successful job search starts with identifying positions that are a good match for your preferences, experience, and skill set. A balance of focus and flexibility is key.

Narrow your focus by thinking about your preferences for issue area (e.g., immigration), practice setting (e.g., federal government), types of work (e.g., litigation), and geography. Reflect on your summer, clinical, and extracurricular experiences. Which did you enjoy most and least, and why?

Consider the narrative reflected in your resume and how it will match with the jobs you plan to pursue.

In addition to engaging in the self-reflection described above and reviewing the [link_to id=100261 title=”3L Guide to Entry-Level Post-Graduate Jobs”]3L Guide to Entry-Level Post-Graduate Jobs[/link_to], we strongly encourage you to [link_to id=47038 title=”Public Interest Services for Current Students”]meet with an OPIA adviser[/link_to] this spring to discuss the next steps in your personal post-graduate job search. Early strategizing with an OPIA adviser can often make a difference in the following:

  • Identifying fellowship sponsors, projects, and job and fellowship opportunities that are a strong fit for your background and expertise;
  • Effectively using your 2L summer and 3L year to develop additional experience and skills in an area of interest, especially if your background does not currently reflect that experience/skillset;
  • Avoiding missed deadlines; and
  • Identifying job search skills that may need greater practice and attention (for example, interviewing skills).

If you know you will be seeking a public interest job next year, please let us know as soon as possible, even if you anticipate that you will be holding open a law firm offer.

Remember: your first job after law school will not be your last, and your goals and priorities for the future may even shift as a result of what you learn from this first position. You may need to make trade-offs as you balance competing priorities, and it is important to be as flexible as you can. With persistence and diligence, HLS students are well-positioned to land public inerest jobs immediately after graduation – your hard work will pay off!

As you are closing out your 2L year, please plan to attend these events designed to provide rising 3Ls and graduating clerks with information relevant to the post-graduate public interest job search. Also, stay tuned for our upcoming recorded webinar, which will provide an overview and timeline for rising 3Ls as you start thinking about your post-graduate job search.