1L Roadmap


A seasonal snapshot of many of the key things to know and do during 1L year.

  • Engage with all of the resources available to you, from peer mentor programs to health and wellness programming to academic advising services. 
  • Attend information sessions about career path options, legal practice areas, Moot Court, upper-year international study, health and wellness, and more.
  • Join a few of the Law School’s 80-plus student organizations.
  • Map out your summer employment plan with the help of  career advisers. Perfect your résumé and cover letter, and set a plan for applying in late fall. Many students work in the public sector their first summer - be sure to keep an eye out for important dates and programs from Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) about finding summer internships and securing funding for public interest work through Guaranteed Summer Funding (GSF) or the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP). Speak with the Office of Judicial Clerkships (OJC) about a summer judicial internship at a federal, state or specialty court.
  • Prepare for your midterm and final exams, leveraging the guidance and support provided by study groups and academic advisers.
  • After consulting with your academic and career advisers, register for spring classes, including your elective.
  • Continue to apply for summer internships, enlisting the guidance of your career advisers.
  • If you are spending winter break in a city where you might want to work after graduation, reach out to potential employers about informational meetings.
  • Relax and recharge for spring! 
  • Cultivate relationships with faculty, advisers, and professional contacts. 
  • If you are interested in studying abroad, apply for one of our international programs.
  • Research the many pro bono projects that will help you develop professionally and provide much-needed assistance to a broad range of organizations and communities.
  • Explore the wide range of career paths Columbia Law School graduates follow by attending panels, events and info sessions.
  • Continue to apply for summer positions as needed. Attended career fairs such as PILC Fair in February for public interest positions.
  • Submit required materials for GSF or participate in required HRIP Training and Orientation Program if applicable.
  • Consider running for a leadership position in a student organization or becoming a peer mentor.
  • Apply for journals, and fall externships and clinics
  • Develop a plan to stay in touch with your classmates and professors over the summer.
  • Prepare for your 2L fall semester by thinking about your long-term career goals, engaging with advisers, and registering for classes. 
  • If you are writing for a journal, start brainstorming note topics with faculty note supervisors.
  • Consider staying an extra, unpaid week at your summer employer for pro bono credit.
  • Keep an eye out for information about fall On-Campus Interviews (OCI), some of which may have August application deadlines.
  • Attend networking events hosted by the careers offices and employers.

Comments or questions? Reach out to Student Affairs at [email protected].