Career Development Timeline for 1Ls

In accordance with The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) Principles and Standards, and in order to allow 1L students to focus on their studies rather than job search activities, 1L students may not receive one-on-one career counseling or application document review from the Career Development Office before October 15. Prospective employers and 1L students should not initiate contact with one another before December 1. Employers are aware of these dates and do not recruit 1L students, accept applications, or conduct interviews prior to December 1.

August and September

  • Focus on your coursework, develop strong study skills, and make sure you keep up with assigned readings.
  • Get involved. Join student groups that interest you or are related to your projected career path.
  • Research areas of legal practice and think about your career goals.
  • Attend CDO programs and workshops to learn about different legal fields.
  • Get to know your mentor(s). Your mentor relationship is designed to provide you with insights about the legal profession and the realities of practicing law.


  • Beginning October 2, you may schedule an appointment to meet with your Career Development counselor to discuss your career goals, review your cover letter and resume, and begin planning for summer employment following your first year. Email your resume to your Career Development counselor before the appointment.
  • Bring your self-assessment exercises to your intiial appointment.
  • Research different types of legal careers:
  • On October 2, attend the CDO’s Mandatory 1L Orientation.
  • Meet with your Career Development counselor (as scheduled in early October) to review your resume and discuss your career goals.
  • Register and set up your account in Symplicity.
  • Familiarize yourself with other online databases and secure sections of the Career Development web site.
  • Review job postings on Symplicity, PSJD, and other databases.
  • For judicial externships, attend the workshop on November 12 led by Director of Externships, Laura Fry.
  • Subscribe to practice area specific listserv(s) by emailing the appropriate CDO counselor.
  • Attend table talks with public interest and government employers on October 29 and 30 as part of the CDO Public Interest and Government On-Campus Program.


  • Attend the student-organized Career Fair. Speak with 2L and 3L students about their summer work experiences.
  • Attend CDO skills workshops on conducting job searches, drafting resumes and cover letters, and interviews.
  • Review prior years' summer evaluation surveys for an inside perspective on employers and summer experiences.


  • Continue reviewing job postings and working on your cover letters and resume.
  • Create a contact list: develop a list of networking contacts, including former employers, undergraduate mentors, parents of friends and friends of parents to whom you will speak about your career plans and job search.
  • Schedule informational interviews. Meet with one or two contacts during winter break.
  • Make an appointment with your CDO counselor to discuss your networking plan.
  • Map out your preferred 1L Summer Plan and back-up 1L Summer Plan.
  • Follow up on applications you sent to employers with an email or telephone call. Attempt to schedule interviews over winter break if you will spend the vacation in the same place you hope to spend your summer.

January and February

  • If you did not do so in the fall, begin your job search. Develop contacts and start networking.
  • Attend workshops, presentations and networking events sponsored by both the CDO and outside organizations (e.g., local bar associations).
  • Consult the CDO Career Fair Guide (PDF) for program descriptions and registration deadlines.
  • In late January, follw up on outstanding applications once your grades are available.
  • Monitor CDO emails about the Spring Interview Program and apply for positions.

March through May

  • Be aware of deadlines for summer funding, including the Public Interest Law Fund (PILF), and other fellowships and grants.
  • Target small and mid-size firms that may be prepared to hire.
  • Continue job search efforts and check for job postings on Symplicity, PSJD, and other online databases.

June and July

  • Update your resume to include summer employment and activities. Email your CDO counselor to review your resume.
  • Map out your preferred 2L Summer Plan and a back-up 2L Summer Plan.
  • If you are interested in applying for judicial clerkships, email Dean Chernicoff to subscribe to the clerkships listserv.
  • If you are interested in participating in the Fall Early Interview Week (EIW):
    • Information regarding the schedule for Fall EIW, and participating employers is made available on Symplicity.
    • Research Fall EIW employers to determine which firms you intend to apply for. You will apply (or "bid") for interview in early July.
    • Sign up for a mock interview through the CDO.


  • Participate in Fall EIW. Fill out the summer evaluation survey and provide feedback on your summer job experience to help subsequent UCI Law students make summer employment decisions.