Director’s Tip: Taking Stock Halfway through the Summer

It is hard to believe, but you are about halfway through your summer!  Read on for some tips for this time of year.

If you are doing non-legal work this summer, or taking traditional classes: seek out a pro bono project which will give you some exposure to legal work, and may give you the opportunity to do some legal research and writing.  The work will bolster your résumé and may lead to the creation of a writing sample you can use as you seek future legal employment.   

If you are doing work through a summer clinic, internship, or working as a law clerk: take a moment to evaluate what you have done thus far and determine whether you need to be doing more:

  • Review Director’s Top Ten Tips for a Successful Summer Legal Experience – and Real Attorneys’ Perspectives: Ten Tips for Succeeding as a New Attorney or Summer Associate –  Are you getting to know your co-workers, from the secretaries to the associates to the partners?  Are you gaining an understanding of the work that they do and whether you actually like it?  Are you impressing those who might hire you or at least provide a future reference?  
  • If you have gotten little or no feedback on your work so far, it is probably time to ask a supervisor or confidante how the evaluation process works, and if you can get some pointers on things you are doing right and things you can improve.  This will impress upon your employer that you want to learn and succeed in your position.  Also, doing it now (before the summer concludes) will also allow you to correct any problems that are identified.  It is an unfortunate truth that lawyers are not always the best trainers or supervisors, and may need to be prompted to offer guidance to you.    
  • If you have not had the opportunity to draft anything, seek out research and writing projects.  If your supervisors ask you for legal research, ask if you can prepare a memorandum on the given issue.
  • Contact PDO if you have any questions!