Job Searching Over Winter Break

The 2019 GW Law Student Guide to Job Searching Over Winter Break

After fall semester exams, it’s time to start thinking about your summer job search! Here’s your guide to job searching over winter break.


Review hiring timeline and stats

Most law students, especially 1Ls, begin applying for summer positions over winter break and continue to apply throughout the spring semester. Typically, interviews begin in January and offers are made starting in February through April and May. 

Keep in mind that PSRP takes place on Friday, January 17, 2020, with deadlines occuring over winter break.


Finalize your application documents

Before you apply to summer positions, your resume and cover letter must be updated and properly formatted for legal employment, polished, and ready to go.


Get help with your resume or cover letter

Make an appointment with your career counselor. The Career Center is open during winter break, through December 23, 2019, and again on January 2, 2020, to help you polish up your application documents and develop a personalized job search plan. If you are out of town, phone appointments are also available.


Get organized

Create a list of each position to which you apply that includes the name of the office, materials you sent (e.g., cover letter, resume, writing sample), the date and method you sent them (some offices, particularly judges, still prefer mailed paper applications), and a copy of the text of the job description (if you applied to a particular listing). You’ll need the details in the job posting if you’re asked to interview, and the posting may be expired or deleted from the web by the time you receive an interview request.


Prepare your writing sample

Some employers will require a writing sample as part of your application package. Only send a writing sample if it is requested. Most 1Ls should use an edited, excerpted version of an open research memorandum from their first semester legal writing course.


Schedule informational interviews

Schedule informational interviews with attorneys in your area over winter break to begin developing your own professional network. Review our 4-step guide to informational interviews for advice on identifying professionals, sending invitations, and conducting the informational interviews.


Register to attend holiday receptions

Law firms nationwide host networking receptions over winter break to begin meeting the newest class of law students visiting family at home during the holidays. These receptions primarily target students in the Class of 2022 (1Ls). Although most large law firms do little to no 1L hiring for the summer after the first year of law school, “Home for the Holidays” receptions are focused on getting to know potential candidates before OCI. Current 1Ls will begin the OCI process in the summer of 2020, and Home for the Holidays receptions are the first recruiting events targeting candidates for positions for the summer of 2021 (yes, you read that right, firms are already scouting candidates for summer associates in 2021!). If you are interested in a firm or office not on this list, you may reach out to the firm directly to inquire about local receptions.


Get ready for PSRP 

The annual GW/Georgetown Public Sector Recruiting Program (PSRP) will take place on Friday, January 17, 2020. This program has three components: an interview program, a “Table Talk” networking event, and an online resume collection. The interview program and resume collection require students to submit applications online in advance: applications to interview are due Friday, January 3 at 12:00 pm EST, and resume collection applications are due Thursday, January 9 at 5:00 pm EST. The “Table Talk” program is open to all students and doesn’t require you to apply in advance. PSRP is exclusively for GW and Georgetown students and is the premiere event for public sector job opportunities for Summer 2020. 


Start applying for summer internships

Begin by researching employers participating in PSRP. The Job Listings in CORE are the first place most students look for job listings, but there are several other great resources for job listings. 


Consider diversity-related opportunities

This time of year tends to be the peak season for diversity-related opportunities for 1Ls. While most of the positions available are in law firms and corporate legal departments, there are a few in the government and with judges. If you are a 2L or 3L, please note that there are also a handful of opportunities available to you as well. All students should periodically check CORE and visit our Diversity & Inclusion page for more details. Often, these opportunities require a diversity personal statement in addition to the other standard application materials. 


Enjoy your break!

Happy holidays from the Career Center.