When final exams ended last semester, the question on every 1L’s mind (after a week-long refusal to use any mental capacities) was, “Where am I going to work for the summer?”
With guaranteed summer funding for public interest and government jobs, the power shifts to students to choose where we want to work rather than simply wherever will take us. Some students opt to go international, many stay in NYC, some choose other domestic cities, and others return to their hometowns. Some students become research assistants, others work in government positions, some work for corporations or law firms, a few become judicial interns, and many choose from a vast variety of public interest organizations.
NYU offers many resources to help you find your summer job. I found both the Office of Career Services (OCS) and the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) to be extremely helpful. I was nervous about the job search since I do not have any attorneys in either my immediate or extended family, as some students will simply rely on family connections. However, I quickly realized this was an irrational worry for an NYU law student.
For students interested in international human rights work, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) summer fellowships are a great way to focus academically on a human rights issue, improve language skills and land a job by November of 1L year. For all other summer positions, 1L’s must wait until December 1st to apply, per the American Bar Association (ABA) rules.
For the private sector, OCS offers spring on-campus interviewing and a Symplicity Web site to enable students to filter job searchs to places specifically seeking to employ NYU 1L’s. For firm positions, students should apply as immediately as possible after December 1st. As this date conflicts with studying for final exams, many students opt to wait to search for summer jobs until after first semester.
For the public sector, NYU 1L’s most commonly use the PILC Fair and PILC intern reports written by 2L’s and 3L’s based on their 1L summer job experience as resources. Over 200 employers came to the Fair in February for interviewing. Within a month of the Fair, many students had received offers. A few even received offers at the Fair or prior to it, by the employer’s simple review of their resume. PILC also encourages students to independently research organizations and filter their job searches through PSLawNet.
I began my personal job search in mid-December and had accepted an offer by mid-February. I will be working for the New York County District Attorney’s Office this summer and additionally doing research for a professor part-time. To make my decision, I reached out to many upperclassmen for their perspectives. So far, I have learned that at NYU, fellow students are more than willing to help each other. In fact, many students participate in a program promulgated by OCS to reallocate declined offers to other students. Because of the administrative offices and student body at NYU, I am certain that not only will every NYU 1L end up with a job this summer, but each student will find the right experience for him or her.