Once you hone in on the jobs for which you are interested in applying, it is important to start preparing your job search materials in advance. The typical application will include a resume, cover letter, and writing sample. Some employers will also ask for a transcript and references or recommendations. Follow our advice to help you submit materials that get you the interview.
Speaking with attorneys practicing in your areas of interest (i.e., networking) is a critical component of a successful post-graduate job search. If you have been slow to make career connections in your city and/or field of interest, now is the time to kick things into gear, even if you're working remotely this summer.
Government Honors Programs are the most common pathway for 3Ls and certain recent graduates to enter government service. In preparation for your 3L year, 2Ls should start to get familiar with these opportunities now.
Our goal is to help you find a great public interest job and avoid the common mistakes that can derail your job search. Take a look at our list of common job search mistakes and don’t let them happen to you!
While the public sector is extremely varied, most employers are looking for a core set of skills. Additional qualities that may be valued by employers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are increased flexibility and comfort with remote work. Continue to work on these skills throughout your 3L year and meet with an OPIA advisor to discuss them.
If you haven’t yet secured an internship for this summer, don’t panic. There are still a number of public interest employers that are actively hiring in late March and into April. If you put in the effort, apply broadly, and are persistent, you WILL find a summer a job.
We strongly encourage you to apply for any fellowship that may help you reach the work you are excited about. Because many fellowships require you to pursue a project with a host organization, however, and because some fellowships have very early deadlines, it is important to begin preparing NOW for your fellowship search.
As a 2L, we know it may seem early to start thinking about your post-graduate job search. However, now is the best time to get started with identifying positions that are a good match for your preferences, experience, and skill set.
Are you beginning to think about your 2L summer and weighing the decision of whether to work in the private sector or the public sector? We in OPIA want every HLS student to feel empowered to make career choices that are the best for their individual interests and circumstances – whether those choices involve work in the public or private sectors.
We are often asked by students interested in public service work about how to weigh their wide-ranging academic options while in law school. Our advice gives broad guidance on the choices you may be contemplating.
A significant majority of HLS graduates begin their public service careers through domestic and international fellowships offered by Harvard University and hundreds of other organizations. We provide a short roadmap for the coming months; stay tuned for more information on the post-graduate public interest job search and fellowships beginning in March, and mark your calendars for OPIA’s spring fellowship and job search events.
Unsure about how to begin your summer job search? Contemplating listing your GPA or LSAT score on your resume? Wondering how to describe your non-legal experiences in your cover letter? Nervous about how to respond to e-mails and phone calls from employers? Review our answer some of the most common 1L job search questions.
Make sure to read our latest updated advice on communicating with employers throughout the potentially difficult public interest hiring timeline to make it easier for you to manage your timeline and make your decision.
Advisors are available to help with whatever job search questions you may be facing. If you have concerns or questions about your summer internship search, please make an appointment to discuss them with OPIA.
Networking is an essential part of getting to know the world of public interest law. But sometimes, it can feel intimidating to approach a potential contact, or hard to know where to plug in and get started. Review the Q&A below to help make networking a smoother part of your professional journey.
OPIA’s Virtual Public Interest Networking Reception provides an opportunity to connect with attorneys from a wide range of public interest organizations, including federal and state government, legal services, public defenders, prosecutors, public interest law firms, and non-profit advocacy organizations. Learn about potential summer and post-graduate job opportunities and brush up on your networking skills. RSVP required.
Interviews take on particular significance with public interest employers, who give tremendous weight to how deeply you are committed to their mission and how well you would fit in with their office. The following resources can help you prepare to put your best foot forward in public interest interviews.