Flexibility key for students

February 9, 2009
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Some advice for law students struggling to find summer work: be flexible and think broadly. That’s what the director of the career and development office at Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington told Indiana Lawyer Friday.

Comments from our previous blog on students’ summer associate searches last fall and this year shed a little light on the issues facing current law students. Summer associate positions are being slashed and fewer are receiving offers. The ones that did receive a position are keeping their joy to a minimum to spare the feelings of friends who didn’t get an offer.

Some law firms have eliminated summer associate positions for 1Ls; and many are cutting back significantly on their 2L programs, according to Caroline Dowd-Higgins from the Bloomington law school. She said as a result of the cuts, students have to be more creative and scrappier to get other experience.

Dowd-Higgins has suggested students look to non-profits and small law firms. Students may be able to earn credit from their law schools for their internships at non-profits, and small firms do consider hiring an unpaid law student.

In fact, the small law firms may have more business right now because of their typically lower hourly rates, so it would be in students’ best interests to consider contacting small firms for possible summer work.

Dowd-Higgins said the law school is encouraging students to network and build new connections so when the market does bounce back, they will have a leg up on others.

There’s no sugarcoating that this is a bad time for law students, she said, and it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. In the meantime, students should keep sharpening their skills and consider looking outside large firms for summer work, even if that means accepting an unpaid position.

How many of you have summer work with a small law firm or non-profit this year? If you tried to go that route, did you find it was tough trying to get a job there?
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  3. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  4. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

  5. Once again Indiana has not only shown what little respect it has for animals, but how little respect it has for the welfare of the citizens of the state. Dumping manure in a pond will most certainly pollute the environment and ground water. Who thought of this spiffy plan? No doubt the livestock industry. So all the citizens of Indiana have to suffer pollution for the gain of a few livestock producers who are only concerned about their own profits at the expense of everyone else who lives in this State. Shame on the Environmental Rules Board!

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