5 Tips to Make the Most of Your 3L Year

By William Peacock, Esq. on August 06, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

One more year. Well, one more year and bar review, but still, it's almost over.

For rising 3Ls, it's time to work on your golf game, and your brown-nosing game. You need to find a job, obviously, especially if you didn't get offered after 2L summer. And oh yeah, there's class, which you'll totally take seriously.

Nine more months. Twelve, if you count bar review. As our series of Back to (Law) School Week blog posts continues, here are five tips to make the most of your 3L year:

1. Maintain Your Class Rank.

This might be the least important tip, as you're pretty much set after two years. If you're top of the class, you probably have a job lined up and only need to focus on class -- something you've done well for two years. If not, good luck overtaking those guys and gals.

Just don't ditch class entirely -- it'd be a shame to waste two years of work over "senioritis."

2. Spam the World With Cover Letters.

Seriously, you don't want to get stuck in a dead-end job. And believe me, there are real-life law jobs where you'll be chasing ambulances, defending well-funded pimps who beat their hookers (actually, that one's pretty common and rewarding -- it's called being a public defender), and even some jobs that'll feel like a legally themed spiritual sequel to "Office Space."

Send good cover letters everywhere. Do it for your children, your student loan servicer, and for your late-20s/early-30s sanity.

Going solo out of school? Spend more time developing practice skills and leave the marketing work for the experts.

3. Last Call for Suck-Ups!

No room for shame in the game. Many jobs that you'll apply for (clerkships, Judge Advocate General, etc.) require letters of recommendation, preferably from professors. If you haven't affixed your lips squarely to a professor's behind, do so now -- and get a backup, just in case.

4. Where Do You Want to Be Homeless?

No job? Been there. That's why I went to California: plenty of family-owned couches and a warm beach on which to place my refrigerator box/cardboard condo.

In all seriousness though, we've talked about the most difficult bar exams and best places for new grads to live -- plan accordingly.

5. Drop the Casebooks.

Clinics. Practicums. Externships. You've read enough casebooks over the last two years -- why not try your hand at experiential learning? Even if the "practice-ready" graduate is a myth, at least you'll know what a basic pleading looks like when you enter the job market.

Besides: from personal experience, these classes are far more rewarding and entertaining than reading fifty-year-old cases and law review notes.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard