1L Roadmap

 

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

Orientation

  • Attend orientation events

Academics

  • Focus on your Legal Methods and LPW studies. If you prefer to study with others, consider forming a study group with classmates.
  • Make an appointment with your academic adviser at Student Services to discuss your academic experience and/or your adjustment to Law School.

Student Life

  • Pick up your ID card from Registration Services.
  • Attend required Sexual Respect Initiative and Inclusion and Belonging Initiative events.
  • Participate in student organization orientation events throughout the month.

Academics

  • Attend the Moot Court information session.
  • Attend the Global @ CLS information session to learn about the wealth of international opportunities at Columbia Law School.
  • Attend the study abroad general information session to learn about international semester exchange and joint degree programs.
  • Attend Skills & Strategies  and Academic Success programs (acclimating to 1L year, study tips, time management, briefing cases, outlining) presented by Student Services.
  • Meet with your academic adviser in Student Services to discuss your classroom experience or any questions you have about study skills.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Attend Introduction to Social Justice Initiatives (SJI), Office of Career Services (OCS), Office of Judicial Clerkships (OJC) & Careers in Law Teaching Program.
  • Attend the joint Career Offices résumé session and the SJI job search strategies and cover letter sessions (usually held in late September or early October). You can begin meeting with your SJI and OJC advisors on Sept. 27 and with OCS advisors on Oct. 15.
  • Attend SJI Mondays and other practitioner events.
  • Check out the Careers in Law Teaching program and join their mailing list.
  • If you are interested in public interest opportunities (most students do a public interest internship in their first summer) or careers, review SJI’s Roadmapping Guide.

Student Life

  • Attend programs about adjusting to law school, self-care, and other health and wellness programming.
  • Attend the Block Party and Pro Bono Fair to learn about student organizations and service projects.
  • Continue to participate in student organization orientation events throughout the month.

Academics

  • Attend information sessions on specific semester abroad, Global Alliance, and international joint degree programs.
  • Continue to build your skills by attending Skills & Strategies Focus Fridays and Academic Success programs programs on outlining, exam prep, and more.
  • Prepare for your midterm exams.
  • Learn about your options for your January Legal Methods II course and your spring elective by attending faculty-led panels with Student Services.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Prior to meeting with advisers about your 1L summer, review the Public Interest Job Search Toolkit created by Social Justice Initiatives (SJI).
  • Starting October 18, meet with your career advisers in OCS (private sector), SJI (public sector) and OJC (summer judicial internships).
  • Register for Columbia Summer Funding. (Registration runs run October 1 through November 30.)
  • Research other supplemental summer funding programs.
  • Continue to attend programs with practitioners to learn about different areas of practice.
  • Attend OJC’s Clerkships and Summer Judicial Internships 101s.

Student Life

  • Attend the Spring Break Pro Bono Caravans information session to learn about exciting public service opportunities in both the United States and abroad.

Academics

  • Keep an eye out for emails from Registration Services regarding Spring pre-registration and exams.
  • Pre-register for your Legal Methods II and 1L Spring Elective.
  • Attend Skills & Strategies and Academic Success programs on preparing for and writing exams.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Register for CSF by November 30, even if you may not need it. (You can opt out later, but you cannot register past the deadline!)
  • If you may work internationally in human rights next summer, submit an application for the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP).
  • Attend Private Sector Diversity Expo.
  • Watch NYC Metro Area Public Interest Employer Web Series.
  • Finalize your résumé (in both OCS and SJI formats) and cover letters.
  • Research summer job opportunities and meet with your advisers in OCS, SJI, and OJC to discuss your interests.
  • Begin applying for 1L summer jobs—public interest, private sector, and government (including judicial internships)—on November 1. (Speak to your career adviser about the best timing for the employers you are interested in.)
  • Register for the February Public Interest Legal Career (PILC) Fair at NYU—many 1Ls get their summer jobs there. (Deadline is January 15.)

Student Life

  • Apply to participate in a Spring Break Pro Bono Caravan by the deadline.

Academics

  • Focus on your exams. Meet with your academic adviser, professors, and Teaching Assistants as needed regarding exam prep.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Continue applying for summer positions. Register for and participate in the Practice Interview Program hosted by OCS.
  • If you are hoping to work in your hometown in your 2L summer and are traveling home for the holidays, reach out to potential employers to meet with them over break.
  • R.S.V.P. on Symplicity and attend home for the holidays events in your city.

Student Life

  • Take advantage of counseling hours and check out other Law School- and university-sponsored wellness programs.

Academics

  • Add/Drop your elective as needed and take note of your final schedule, including exams.
  • Pick up your fall term exams and take advantage of your professors' posted office hours if you’d like feedback.
  • Continue to build your skills by attending programs on learning from the fall term, getting to know faculty, and more.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Continue to research summer job opportunities, apply for jobs (and follow up on applications already submitted), and meet with your advisers in OCS, SJI, and OJC to discuss your progress.
  • Attend Law Firm Networking Night and individual firm receptions to learn about and meet Early Interview Program employers.
  • Register for and participate in the Practice Interview Program (private sector: OCS) and Mock Interview Program (public sector: SJI).
  • If you are interested in a career in academia, attend the weekly Careers in Law Teaching workshop.
  • If you are considering public service or public interest law as a career, attend SJI’s Planning and Financing Your Public Interest Career series throughout the spring term.
  • Participate in the Spring On-Campus Interview program for 1Ls.

Academics

  • Attend Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Information Session.
  • Apply for joint degree programs in Paris, London, or Frankfurt that will entail spending your entire 3L year abroad. (You must apply during your 1L year, as you will plan your 2L year accordingly to fulfill all J.D. requirements.) Apply for semester exchange or Paris Global Alliance programs if you plan to go during the 2L spring semester.
  • Begin thinking about taking a clinic, externship, or other experiential opportunity in the fall term and watch out for information about applying.
  • Start thinking about opportunities for Research Assistant (RA) and Teaching Fellow (TF) positions during your 1L summer and/or 2L year by reaching out to professors in whose classes you excelled during your first semester.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Attend the Public Interest Legal Career (PILC) Fair to interview and table talk with potential 1L summer employers.
  • Continue to research summer job opportunities, apply for jobs (and follow up on applications already submitted), and meet with your advisers in OCS, SJI and OJC to discuss your progress.
  • Participate in the Spring On-Campus Interview program for 1Ls.
  • Register for and attend the Beyond the First Job program co-hosted by OCS and SJI.
  • Register for and participate in the Mock Interview Program (public sector: SJI).
  • Attend individual firm receptions to learn about Early Interview Program employers.
  • If you will be receiving Columbia Summer Funding, attend a mandatory paperwork and orientation session.
  • If you are in the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP), attend weekly trainings.
  • If you are considering public service or public interest law as a career, attend SJI’s Planning and Financing Your Public Interest Career series throughout the spring term.
  • If you are interested in a career in academia, attend the weekly Careers in Law Teaching workshop.
  • Attend a Bar Application Information Session.

Student Life

  • Attend information sessions on student organization leadership opportunities and consider running for a board position.

Academics

  • Attend the Experiential Learning Application Overview to learn about clinics, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities in the fall term. Attend individual practice area info sessions to learn more about these offerings. (Applications will be due later in the spring term.)
  • Attend Student Service panels to start learning about the Law School’s writing requirements, what journal work entails, and why joining a journal might be right for you.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Continue to research summer job opportunities, apply for jobs (and follow up on applications already submitted), and meet with your advisers in OCS and SJI to discuss your progress.
  • Attend the Private Sector Career Symposium and individual firm receptions.
  • Participate in the Spring On-Campus Interview program for 1Ls.
  • If you are in the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP), attend weekly trainings.
  • If you are considering public service or public interest law as a career, attend Moving Forward sessions.
  • Register for and participate in the Mock Interview Program (SJI).
  • If you are interested in a career in academia, attend the weekly Careers in Law Teaching workshop.

Student Life

  • Run for a student organization leadership position.
  • Consider applying to be a Peer Mentor or Sexual Respect Initiative Facilitator for incoming students in the fall.

Academics

  • Apply for fall externships and clinics and other experiential learning opportunities that will satisfy the experiential credit requirement.
  • Consider applying to be a student editor in the Moot Court/LPW program.
  • Keep an eye out for programs on note writing.
  • Keep an eye out for communications from Registration Services regarding fall pre-registration.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Attend Early Interview Program (EIP) Orientation.
  • If you are in the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP), attend weekly trainings.
  • Continue to research summer job opportunities, apply for jobs (and follow up on applications already submitted), and meet with your advisers in OCS, SJI and OJC to discuss your progress.
  • If you are interested in a career in academia, attend the weekly Careers in Law Teaching workshop.
  • Attend 1L summer preparatory programs in professionalism, ethics, and resilience to prepare for your summer internship.

Student Life

  • Attend Journal Day to learn everything there is to know about Columbia's 14 fantastic law journals. Participate in the Early Journal Application Process if you are interested in joining a specialized law journal. (Most students wait to apply until the Regular Journal Application Process.)

Academics

  • Focus on your exams.

Student Life

  • After exams end, participate in the Columbia Law Review’s Write-On Competition.
  • Apply to journals through the Regular Journal Application Process (results will be released by the end of June).

Academics

  • Learn which journal you matched with during the Journal Application Process and start brainstorming possible note topics and faculty note supervisors. 
  • Continue to think about how you might explore experiential learning opportunities as a 2L.
  • Explore opportunities for RA and TF positions during your 1L summer or 2L year by reaching out to professors in whose classes you excelled during your first two semesters.
  • Pre-register for Fall classes, meeting with your various advisers as needed as you plan your schedule.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Throughout the summer, review periodic emails from OCS and SJI to start thinking ahead to your 2L summer.
  • If you are participating in EIP this summer, update your résumé and meet with your OCS adviser as you prepare your bid list.
  • Bid for EIP interviews.
  • Keep an eye out for emails about deadlines for Fall On-Campus Interviews (OCI), which can be quite early, and start to prepare to apply/bid. Both private and public sector employers will participate.
  • Complete a summer employment evaluation on Symplicity.
  • If you are considering applying for postgraduate judicial clerkships, register as “Clerkships Search Active” in Symplicity and discuss your plans with faculty and an OJC adviser.

Student Life

  • Social Justice Initiatives often hosts small networking events for students working for the summer in cities with active grads, as well as larger summer student/grad receptions in NYC and D.C. Keep an eye out for invitations.
  • Apply to be a Peer Mentor or Sexual Respect Initiative Facilitator.
  • Start thinking about doing pro bono in the fall and exploring different projects.
  • Consider joining a new student organization.

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