1L Career Planning Timeline

Below is an overview of the career planning steps you should take in your 1L year. 

If you are interested in pursuing a public interest career, we also encourage you to review the 1L Public Interest Career Planning Timeline.


Ideal Timing: September

Being organized is key to ensuring that you make the most of law school.

Ideal Timing: September – November

In this structured small group appointment, you and your career advisor will discuss your interests, goals, values, and preferences to build a productive ongoing relationship and to inform your individual career plan.  You will also examine your reasons for pursuing a law degree, to keep you grounded and goal-directed as you continue to explore the wide variety of options available to you in the law.

Your advisor will review our 1L Action Plan* with you during this appointment to help set the pace for your semester.  We encourage you to complete the 1L Action Plan’s first task, Pre-Work for Initial Appointment & Self-Assessment, which will include a statement of purpose, before your appointment. These self-assessment materials will help you identify your strengths, preferences, and areas for growth.

*Your personalized Action Plan can be found in your GW Law Google Drive’s “Shared with Me” folder. The Action Plan found in your drive is private to you. Should you choose to share this document, simply refer to the included sharing instructions.

The initial appointment is a requirement of the 1L Foundations of Practice program. The initial appointment is the first of many meetings you should have with your career counselor. The better we know you, the better we can serve you.

Schedule an Appointment

What to Expect in Your Appointments

1L Fall Semester Action Plan

Ideal Timing: September – ongoing

Developing relationships with your peers and professionals is a major part of the law school experience that will continue through your entire career. Attend an informational interview workshop to understand the best way to find contacts, conduct informational interviews, and make the most of those interactions.

The relationships you build in law school may bear fruit in your job search and beyond. The key is to start now and keep at it. This is a skill that you’ll use for business development as an attorney and building rapport with colleagues in any professional setting.

View Upcoming Workshops in CORE

Informational Interview Resources

Ideal Timing: End of September –January

Editing and refining your resume and cover letter are a major part of getting your documents in order; also make sure to maintain your LinkedIn profile.

Attend the resume and cover letter workshops throughout the Fall to make sure your resume is in the proper legal resume format.  Then, make an appointment with your career counselor to fine tune and tailor your application documents to ensure you are showcasing your strongest skills.

View Upcoming Workshops in CORE

Application Documents Resources

How I Found My 1L Summer Job 
Friday, November 6, 2020, 12-1pm EST 

Practice Area Expo 
Thursday, November 12, 2020, 3-5 pm EST

Public Sector Recruiting Program (PSRP)
Friday, January 22, 2021

*This is not an exhaustive list of all 1L career events.


Ideal Timing: November to April

View the Career Center’s Guide to Job Searching Over Winter Break to make the most of your time off and get a head start before the start of the spring semester.

Attend a job search resources workshop to learn about the most commonly used resources for 1Ls in researching opportunities.

Use the Spring Semester 1L Action Plan* to stay on top of your job search and professional development plan for the spring semester.

*Your personalized Action Plan can be found in your GW Law Google Drive’s “Shared with Me” folder. The Action Plan found in your drive is private to you. Should you choose to share this document, simply refer to the included sharing instructions.

Meet with your counselor again to put any finishing touches on your application documents and to develop your action plan for your summer job search.  Job opportunities posted in CORE and other job posting sites are discussed in the job search resources workshop.

Don’t forget to save the date for the the Public Sector Recruitment Program on Friday, January 22, 2021; this is one of the leading ways 1Ls get their summer jobs and applications are due over winter break.

View Upcoming Workshops in CORE

1L Spring Semester Action Plan

 Job Listings Sites

Guide to Job Searching Over Winter Break

Ideal Timing: January to April

The Interview Skills Workshop teaches participants how to create a plan for an effective interview. 

Students may also schedule a mock interview with a career advisor. Even if you’ve interviewed well in the past, interviewing is a skill that can continually be refined and improved.  It is imperative that you practice articulating your responses in real time, rather than simply thinking through what you will say. In a mock interview, your career advisor will deliver honest feedback and tips for improving your interview skills before the interview.

View Upcoming Workshops in CORE

Schedule a Mock Interview

Interview Preparation Resources


Ideal Timing: May to August

Work with your counselor to identify the key skills you want to focus on for the summer to continue building your skills and developing your resume.

Watch these videos for tips from lawyers and alumni on how to have a successful summer experience.

How to Succeed in Your Summer Job


Summer Judges Chambers

How to Have a Successful Summer in a Judge's Chambers

Summer DOJ

How to Have a Successful Summer at the DOJ

Summer Law Firm

How to Have a Successful Summer at a Law Firm

How to Have a Successful Summer at a Public Defender's Office

How to Have a Successful Summer in a Public Defender's Office