Losing your summer associate job may feel like the world is crashing down around you, but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Alternatives to summer associate positions are out there, it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Future employers will want to see that you used your time wisely after losing a summer associate position, and there are many ways for you to show them that your work ethic and enthusiasm for the law didn’t dry up with the job market.
If your summer associate job offer has been rescinded, one of the first places you should look to replace it is right under your nose: McGeorge. Not only are many alumni asking us to post open positions in their offices on McGeorgeCareersOnline (MCO), but professors at McGeorge are now hiring more Research Assistants than in previous years in an effort to aid our students. The increase in these positions means there are many opportunities available for those looking to get some practical experience on their resume. Not only are RA positions paid jobs, but they typically involve working just a few hours each night, allowing them to be combined with other full- or part-time positions if you’re able to line up something else, as well. Additionally, the CDO will continue to send out our “Hot Jobs” emails throughout the summer, which highlights various open positions found on MCO.
Pro Bono Opportunities
Although unpaid internships and pro bono opportunities won’t provide the income you may have been expecting, they’re nevertheless great sources of practical experience. Pro bono service is a fantastic resume builder, and with the current economic impact of COVID-19 there’s a surge in demand for lawyers and law students who are capable of offering their time and knowledge. Interested students can fill out this form to receive more information from the ABA about their ongoing pro bono project designed specifically for law school students.
Instead of working for an agency or firm for the summer, you can also use this time to create connections through McGeorge’s Alumni Advisor Network. Now, more than ever, building a strong professional network will be one of your most valuable tools when searching for a future job. With much of the country remaining under stay-at-home orders and unease about spending too much time in public settings, connecting with our alumni via Zoom or over the phone can be done quickly and from the comfort of your own home. The connections you develop and nurture this summer will play a major role in your career path. Be sure to also keep an eye on your email for invitations to join the CDO for our Alumni Q&A sessions every other Friday on Zoom starting June 5, which are great ways to connect with various McGeorge alumni in a casual setting over the lunch hour.
In an ideal world, everyone seeking a legal position for the summer would find one, but that’s not the world we live in. You need to pay rent and buy groceries, so it’s OK to take a non-legal summer job if that’s what it takes to make ends meet. Go ahead and take that retail job, bag some groceries, or temp in an office if you can. Try combining your non-law-related job with any of the other alternatives mentioned to make the most of an imperfect situation.
Take a Break
If all else fails, or if the stress of the pandemic is too much for you to bear, it’s alright take a break this summer. There’s no reason to feel bad about taking a couple months off for yourself, and there’s only so much you can do if the jobs and opportunities you’re looking for simply aren’t there. Take some time to reset mentally and prepare for the coming fall semester. It’s a time of uncertainty for everyone right now, and sometimes the best course of action is to simply relax and prepare yourself for whatever tomorrow may bring.