2017-18 Course Selection Guide

By: Michaela Owens

Marketing Editor

Spring has sprung, and so has “brief season” for 1Ls. Because we (justifiably) worry about everything and anything, I decided to reach out to some 2Ls and 3Ls for advice regarding course selection and 2L summer jobs – a great read after turning in your brief.
A common worry among those of us who are still unsure as to what practice area we want to pursue after graduation pertains to what courses we should be enrolling in during our 2L year. Current second-year students not only assured me that there is ample time to choose a practice area, they also offered a few tips for enrolling in courses.


Image of man staring a multiple course descriptions

Interests, future practice areas, or bar preparation all guide which classes you take. | Source: glutenfreeretailer.com

Ben Nye, 2L, explained that if you are still unsure as to what area of the law interests you, take some classes associated with major practice areas of larger law firms. He explained, “I took employment law in the fall because it was a course that a lot of law firms have a practice group in. In taking this course, I involved myself in a specific area of the law while targeting a common practice area among larger firms.”
Taylor Davison, 2L, added, “If you’re unsure as to what you want to practice after graduation, think about what subjects may be on the bar. If you’re not sure that you can learn it from a prep course, you could take it as a course. Otherwise, take classes that you’re interested in because you’ll definitely do better if you enjoy what you’re reading and writing about.”
Arthur Vorbrodt, 3L, explained “I knew that I wanted to do corporate law, so a lot of my courses were tailored to that. I took Bankruptcy, Federal Income Tax, Partnership, LLC Tax, and similar courses. My practicums as a 3L were also business-oriented, and so was my Immersion.”
Once classes are situated for the fall semester, we can turn to the summer 2018 job search. Many upper-level students said that they began looking for these jobs during the summer before 2L fall semester, and that this left them enough time to submit their resume and applications to most of their desired employers.
How do you pick who to apply to, though, and how do you apply? Thankfully, upperclassmen offered some helpful answers to these questions.
Will Knapp, 3L, said, “Apply as early as possible. I started in the summer a little bit later than I should have and then got busy with Moot Court, class, and other extracurriculars. The earlier in the summer that you can get applications out, the better. Just get them done. Also, try not to worry too much if you don’t have a job by the end of first semester of your 2L year, because I didn’t get mine until the end of that year. If you know you’re interested in something, apply to as many jobs within that area as possible.”
Vorbrodt also commented on the job search saying, “Know your employer. Even if you have 15 interviews in one day, do your research and know each person you’re interviewing with, know each firm’s environment, and prepare and practice in advance. Also, do not use one cover letter for every firm/employer. Tailor each letter to the job you’re applying for.”
Davison also highly recommended using “Colonnade Connections” during the 2L summer job search. She explained that while using this online tool, you can narrow your search down to a city you’re interested in, and alumni in that location will appear along with their current job title. “Reach out to the alumni,” she explained, “they’re extremely helpful.”
We have time and we have resources. I suggest reaching out to 2Ls, 3Ls, and the law school faculty for further advice. Discussing the potential options available to you within the legal profession is both valuable and reassuring.

For now, good luck on finals and may the curve be in your favor.

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