Last week I wrote about how to make the most of your summer clerkship. In this economy, however, I am certain many law students are either taking summer school classes, waiting tables, working for free, and maybe all of the above. The good news is that all is not lost.
Make the most of summer school
I never took summer classes, but they are renowned for two things: high curves and small class sizes. The high curves are the obvious upside, but smaller class sizes are hidden gems. One, use the opportunity to get to know your professor. Maybe you already have a professor who knows you and is ready to write an awesome letter of recommendation for you. If you do not, then use this time to get to know your professor—and make your professor get to know you.
Two, get to know your classmates. Unlike normal school time, you should have more time to go have lunch, or grab a beer after class. Your classmates can tip you off to job opportunities during school, they can help you after school. But only if they know you. Trust me, I transferred after my first year, and I am fairly certain that at my graduation ceremony everyone was still wondering who I was.
No job? You can still network
Just because nobody hired you, that does not mean you should stop networking. Sure, some employers will wonder why you want to have lunch in the middle of the day when you should be working. Others, however, will give you credit for still beating the pavement when you could be sitting by the pool.
Some lawyers got to where they are because they are brilliant. A lot of them got to where they are because of hard work and tenacity. Nobody will ever hold either one of those attributes against you.