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Date Created: 12/21/15
CAREER CORNER 1.800.973.1177 Productive Summer Vacations from Law School [by Rachel Daniel] As summer winds down, it’s time to examine what you did with your time off and what —if anything— you can do with the remaining month. While it is a given that summer vacations friends and parties. What will you gain from Even some menial but unusual duties for away from law school are far too short, they this? Well, for starters, you’ll be ahead of an interesting case will look better on your can still be productive. But such productivity your law school peers who may have taken resume then the “same old” research and usually does not just come naturally; instead, some time off. Secondly, you’ll also be pre- writing work. Consider your competition at all we must plan and make ourselves do what is paring yourself for what your career will be times. Some of them will be relaxing all sum- needed to ensure a fruitful time off. like. Attorneys do not get 3 months off at a m er, so you’re already ahead of them. But time to vacation, and you are vying to become others will have internships just like yours, Now what constitutes a “productive sum- one. So why not start getting yourself into so it’s up to you to do something outstand- m er” can be a highly subjective matter. Some that frame of mind by continuing to work? Of ing during your internship to make yourself would say that working and studying are the course, this line of thinking does not allow stand out. only ways to remain productive. In that way, your brain to get its R & R time, but in the you can stay on top of your game and be competitive, dog-eat-dog world of law school, Now for the other side…taking the summer ready for the competitive world of law school you might be able to persevere without taking off. We’ve just extolled the virtues of working come the fall term. An internship or clerkship those rests. hard all summer, but the drawback of that, will deﬁnitely fall into this “work-now, rest- of course, is there will be no break for you. later” plan. Besides just studying, you may also be hard Instead of three separate years of law school at work at an internship or clerkship. While with enjoyable breaks in between, you’ll be Others would contend that you should forget these duties deﬁnitely take away from your caught in one (very) long semester that will about your studies. Perhaps relax and hit study time, the beneﬁts are enormous. You last 36 months. Your summers will be a break a beach resort for a month. Or just rent a receive real-life experience, albeit at low or from the classroom, but not from work and few dozen movies and get caught up on your no pay, and you get to see and experience the studying. Can you handle that? relaxation. Anything to give your brain a inner workings of a law ﬁrm or perhaps of a break from the intense studies that you just judge’s chambers. But once you get an in- If your answer is no, then it’s not the end endured and that are about to follow. Such a ternship or clerkship, you still must maintain of the world. There is no shame in taking break in and of itself does not sound produc- hard work and discipline. some time off to enjoy your life. There is no tive, but in the long run, it could very well escaping the fact that some of your competi- serve as a brain refresher that will beneﬁt One thing to keep in mind here as you ﬁnish tion may have jumped ahead of you in their you greatly come next semester. up your work this summer is that many other studies or in real-world experience, but think law students spend their summers doing positive and focus on the advantages that you Still a third method is a combination of both this exact same thing. The fact that you have yourself now have because you took time off. studying and relaxing…maybe a study-abroad “internship” or “clerkship” on your resume program in the South of France. But these is not that rare. Common duties here include You should be more refreshed, more ready dual plans often fall short on both ends, dispositions and ﬁlings and research, for and able to begin again in the fall term. You’ll where you get both too little work done and example. Granted, those are important du- have a revitalized approach and a sense of a far too little relaxation. So we’re left to exam- ties, but they are also duties that appear on new beginning when the ﬁrst classes begin ine the pros and cons of what to do with your virtually every resume of law students when again…just like we all felt on the ﬁrst day of summer…a summer that, by the time you they try for that all-elusive ﬁrst job. school growing up. To someone who worked read this, will only have a mere four weeks or all summer, the ﬁrst day of school will bring so left of it. So instead of spending your summer intern- less excitement because that ﬁrst day of Let’s begin with the ﬁrst example, where you ship just doing the basics, take your last school will be merely a continuation of the continue to study and work hard…ignoring month and ask for some duties that will hard work they put in all summer. Just ask the summer sun and the beaches and your differentiate yourself from your competition. anyone who had to endure summer school PAGE 1 continued on back 1.800.973.1177 CAREER CORNER during high school. Almost everyone who took summer classes will tell you how they stared out the window, watching enviously as their friends played in the sun. There is also the possibility, either by chance or by your making it happen, that your sum - mer vacation yields some productivity after all. You may encounter something—either in or out of the legal realm—that could make good fodder for a law journal article. Sometimes if you go out looking for a story or theme, it will not come to you; but if you sit back and relax and just go through your sum - mer, that theme may hit you. So whether you read this in retrospect for this soon-ending summer or consider it for next year, the choice is yours. It all depends on the individual and what you need to accomplish. Your remaining year(s) in law school and then getting a job afterwards will be very competi - tive ordeals for you, and only you know the best way to for you to prepare for those. And planning your summer can be just as impor - tant as planning your in-school time. PAGE 2
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