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FAQ About 1L Summer Job Search

What kind of work should I do?

  • All students are strongly encouraged to have a law-related experience over the summer.
  • Options include working for government agencies, non-profit organizations, judges, law school faculty, or law firms, or studying law abroad.

Geographically, where should I go?

  • Many students choose to go home, or to another place where they can live inexpensively with family or friends. Others stay in Ithaca.
  • For students who are interested in working in a place where they have no previous connection, working there for the summer can help to establish ties to aid future job searches in the area.

When should I start looking for work?

  • 1Ls should not think about their summer job search before November 1, and may not apply for jobs before December 1. Many students will choose to wait until after fall semester finals to begin their search.
  • All students are encouraged to make an appointment with a career counselor prior to the start of the spring semester.

Will I get paid?

  • Work for government agencies and non-profits is usually uncompensated, however, Cornell Law School's PIF program guarantees funding for all qualified government/public interest employment. In addition, other funding sources exist for these types of employers.
  • Judicial internships are unpaid as well, but not eligible for PIF funding; however, students working for judges may register for academic credit. Cornell law school faculty pay students on an hourly basis.
  • Law firms will pay summer associates, though compensation will vary by region.