2L Summer Job Search

This post is geared to 1Ls, as I remember hearing all this stuff that 2Ls were doing and not having any idea on what it meant. It is also to prepare you because last year, I had no idea that in less than one year, I would already have an internship lined up for summer 2019. So while this post is mostly to explain to 1Ls what the 2Ls are doing (and why some are very stressed), it is also to inform you of the process you will go through in about a year or less!

One term that many 1Ls are hearing a lot of lately is "OCI." OCI stands for On-Campus Interviews and is where employers (firms, Attorney General Offices, non-profits, etc.) come to the law school to interview students, usually 2Ls. These are interviews that the school sets up, and students "bid" to get. You submit your resume, transcript, and any other requested materials, and you will be picked one of two ways. It is either a random draw, or the employers will look at your information to determine if they want to interview you.

If you are selected for an OCI, this is usually (not always) only the first step in the process. This is also known as a screening interview. This typically last anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, with 30 being the norm. During these interviews, you can expect questions about why you want to work in a specific area, what type of law you are interested in, why you went to law school, etc. You can do screening interviews outside of OCIs, as well. Look at employer's websites to see when they start accepting applications for summer intern positions. Oftentimes, it will be in July of the summer before when you are applying for.

If an employer is interested in speaking further with you after the OCI, you will be selected for a call back interview. Here, you will spend about half a day at the firm, meeting with many attorneys. You will usually get lunch with attorneys as well. When 2Ls leave for a day or two and travel for an interview, they are going to a call back interview. These are long, and they can be stressful. But they can also be very fun. After this, you will usually not have another interview, as then the employer will decide whether they want to extend an offer for an internship to you.

Overall, this is a long process that can take many weeks, and a lot of times, is seen as a waiting game as 2Ls wait for places they interviewed with to get back with them.

Many public interest internships don't start the application process until October while other employers, like firms, start it in summer. For those of you who know you want to do public interest work (or clerk for a judge), you will start the application process later than some of your classmates. This can be good and bad. Good because you know you are on a different timeline, but also bad because you won't know about your internship when other classmates do and this can cause some stress. Just remember that you are not behind, but rather looking for different jobs.

For 1Ls, I hope this helped explain what the 2Ls are doing with OCIs, traveling, and some of the stress they may be feeling. I also hope it helped explain OCIs because some schools have OCIs for 1Ls in the spring semester, and that it gave you a better idea of the timeline of law school and summer internships. It's kind of crazy because some people don't know where they will be interning for their 1L summer until March, but may know where they will be interning for next summer as early as August. (Those are extreme cases, but still, it can happen!).

For right now, 1Ls don't worry about OCIs or summer jobs- focus on law school! For 2Ls, don't worry, it is still early and even if you didn't get a job offer in the first round of applications, there is plenty of time and amazing opportunities that haven't even opened up yet!


  1. Hi, 2L here! I wanted to clarify for any confused or (unnecessarily) worried 1Ls. OCI is ONE option that you might pursue, but by no means is it necessary! I informally interviewed at a national law firm (offices in pretty much every state) after shooting their recruiter an email and had an interview and a job offer not even a week later! That is to say, you can always be looking for opportunities outside of OCI. Law school job search isn't just OCI and "maybe" some public interest or clerking!

    1. Thanks for clarifying! I just wanted to give a brief overview of the most common options, but they definitely aren't the only ones. I had a similar path as you when landing my 2L summer job. I interned in a geographical area that doesn't tend to go to my school for interviews. I interviewed with them before the summer was even over. Thanks for your comment!


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