Top 10 Career-Related Things To Do Over the Holiday Break

#10. Update and Revise Your Resume and Cover Letter. Review the chapters in the CSO Handbook to assist in your edits and then send your documents to the CSO (at so we can review them for you when the University reopens on January 4, 2016. You can find the CSO Handbook on DuqLawConnect and this site under “Career Resources”.

#9. Catch Up on Lawcountability Videos. Earlier this semester, you started to receive weekly emails containing videos geared towards job searches and professional development. Now is a great time to watch these 10-minute videos so you can put the information to good use next semester!

#8. Renew and Make New Contacts. Get together with contacts, even if it is just for a morning cup of coffee. Also, find out if there are any bar association functions that you can attend. A number of functions involving lawyers are conducted over the holidays, and these are a great opportunity to network.

#7. Conduct Informational Interviews. Locate someone who is doing what you think you want to do and arrange an informational interview. Ask: What is a typical day like? What do they like most/least about what they do? How can you make yourself an attractive candidate in that field? Who else should you contact?

#6. Write an Article or Do Volunteer Work. If you are not working over the holidays, see if a local legal services/aid office could use some volunteer help. A good way to get your name noticed is to write an article for a bar journal, a competition, or a publication in the field you are interested in. Often, students can get involved in various bar sections & attend meetings – another great way to meet people! Information about scholarships, writing competitions and professional organizations can be found via the tabs above.

#5. Check Scholarship and Writing Competition Listings. We post numerous announcements for scholarships and writing competitions that are sponsored by schools and professional organizations nationwide. Take some time during your break to see if you qualify for any of them. You can find them on this website.

#4. Prepare Applications for Judicial Clerkships. If you are scheduled to graduate in 2016 or 2017, and you are considering a clerkship with the federal or state courts, use the break to gather info and prepare applications to submit in the spring. Ask your professors for letters of recommendation now; some of them are former law clerks. Do some research, talk to alumni who are currently clerking, & get materials in order. The CSO created helpful info sheets that you can find on this site under “Career Resources”. Some federal court applications will be submitted via, so be sure to create a free account soon.

#3. Prepare Applications for Public Interest & Government Opportunities. Take time to review postings online for public interest & gov’t positions – paid & unpaid. If unpaid, apply for the position & for a Summer Public Interest Fellowship or McGinley Public Service Law Fellowship through the Law School. If you want to work in this area, often you need to volunteer or work for low pay to make contacts, gain experience, and show your commitment to public interest work.

#2. Create a Job Folder. Keep track of your assignments as you work as a law clerk or intern: drafting pleadings & motions, preparing discovery, etc. Keep a folder in which you briefly describe what you have done. This is a useful tool when it comes time to update your resume & cover letter and prepare for interviews.

#1. Do a Self-Assessment. Spend some time figuring out what you want to do. Assess your skills, interests, personality traits, & consider where you would most like to work . . . Law Firm? Public interest? Judicial clerkship? Government? Military? Non-traditional Career? Check out the CSO Handbook for a self-assessment checklist or stop by the CSO & borrow a book on a career path you’re considering.

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