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 through September

  • Focus on your coursework, develop strong study skills, and make sure you are keeping up with assigned readings.
  • Get involved. Join student groups that personally interest you or are related to your career interests.
  • Determine what practice areas interest you by researching potential fields of interest.
  • Attend CDO programs and workshops to learn about different legal fields.
  • Based on your fields of interest, 1L students will be paired with one or more mentors. This experience is designed to provide you with insights about the legal profession, and the realities of practicing law.


  • Beginning October 1, you may schedule your appointment to meet with a Career Development counselor to discuss career goals, conduct one-on-one reviews of cover letters and resumes, and begin planning for summer employment following the first year. Email your resume to your Career Development counselor before the appointment.
  • Conduct research to familiarize yourself with different types of legal careers.
  • On October 15, attend the CDO’s Mandatory 1L Orientation.
  • Meet with a Career Development counselor (as scheduled in early October) to review your resume and discuss your career goals.
  • On October 15, you will be given access to UCI Law Symplicity. You should register and set up your account immediately.
  • On October 15, other online databases and secure sections of the Career Development Intranet go live. Familiarize yourself with these resources.
  • Review job postings on Symplicity, PSLawnet and other databases to see the job opportunities available.
  • For judicial externships, attend the workshop in November led by Director of Externships Laura Fry.
  • Subscribe to practice area oriented listserv(s).


  • 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 interviewing skills.
  • Review summer evaluation surveys completed by fellow students for an inside perspective on the employer and job experience.


  • 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.
  • Schedule informational interviews. Meet with one or two contacts during break.
  • Visit the CDO for help mapping out contacts and your preferred plan. Due to the holidays, the Career Development team has limited availability, so scheduling an appointment is advised.
  • Create a Summer 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, as you may be able to schedule interviews over the winter break.

January through 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 association events).
  • Consult the CDO Career Fair Guide (PDF), for program descriptions and registration deadlines.
  • In late January, transcripts become available and may provide a good occasion for following up with employers.

March through May

  • Be aware of deadlines for summer funding, including UCI Law's Al Meyerhoff Public Interest Fellowship, the Public Interest Law Fund (PILF), and other fellowships and grants.
  • Target smaller to mid-size firms who may have a better sense of their hiring needs at this time.
  • Continue job search efforts and check for job postings on Symplicity, PSJD, and other online databases.

June through July

  • Update your resume to include summer employment and activities. Email your Career Development counselor to request a review of your resume.
  • Map out your preferred 2L Summer Plan and a back-up 2L Summer Plan.
  • If you are interested in participating in the Fall On-Campus Interview (OCI) Week:
    • Information regarding the schedule for Fall OCI, and participating employers, is made available to students online.
    • Research Fall OCI employers to determine which firms you want to interview with. The bidding window to sign up for interviews will be in early July.
    • Sign up for the Mock Interview Program hosted by the CDO.
    • Students may elect to participate in a mock interview program with attorneys from participating law firms, in preparation for Fall OCI. Students can also set up mock interviews with the CDO.


  • Fill out the summer evaluation survey and provide feedback on your summer job experience. This information is invaluable for fellow students who are exploring a position with the same employer.