2L Roadmap

A month-by-month snapshot of many of the key things to know and do during 2L year.

Academics

  • Pre-Register for Fall courses, taking advantage of your academic and career advisers as you plan your schedule.
  • Submit your classroom seating requests in LawNet.
  • If you are submitting a paper for a Moot Workshop, do so by the deadline.
  • If you are writing a note, finalize your topic and secure a faculty note supervisor. If you would like to receive credit for your note, have your supervisor fill out the Supervised Research and Major Writing Registration Forms and submit them to Registration Services by the deadlines listed on the forms. 

 Careers and Professional Development

  • If you are participating in the Early Interview Program, attend your interviews and see counselors in the Office of Career Services (OCS) for advice on callbacks and offer acceptance/deferral.
  • Apply/bid for/participate in Fall On-Campus Interviews (OCI), keeping in mind that most public sector employers have mid-August application deadlines. (Both public and private sector employers, exclusive of the federal or state judiciary, will participate.)
  • If you are considering a public interest, government, or international human rights 2L summer, meet with advisers from Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) to begin discussing your options.

Student Life

  • If you signed up to be a Peer Mentor or Sexual Respect Initiative Facilitator, attend the relevant trainings and programs.

Academics

  • Take advantage of the Add/Drop period and academic advising provided by Student Services and the career offices as you finalize your courses and exam schedule.
  • If you are considering spending the spring term in Washington, D.C., as a part of the Externship on the Federal Government, attend the information session, then apply.
  • Attend the Global @ CLS information session to learn about the wealth of international opportunities at Columbia Law School. Speak with career advisers about their intersection, if any, with your professional goals.
  • Attend the Study Abroad General Info session to learn about international semester study and Global Alliance programs if you want to study abroad in the fall or spring of your 3L year.
  • Research options if you are considering applying for an independent semester abroad program for your 3L year (in places we do not have established programs).
  • Review the Journal Credits Overview to learn about the types of credit you may be able to earn in connection with your journal work.
  • If you are writing a note, finalize your topic and secure a faculty note supervisor. If you’re thinking of applying for a clerkship, discuss with an OJC adviser whether your topic and format may serve as a writing sample. If you’d like to receive credit for your note or independent paper please review this helpful guide, Supervised Research and Major Writing Registration Forms. You can register to receive credit in LawNet. Additional information about pre-registration can be found on Registration Services’ resource page.

 Careers and Professional Development

  • Attend SJI Mondays, OJC Workshops, and other practitioner or guest lecture events.
  • Register for the Equal Justice Works Career Fair in October if you are pursuing a public interest career. 
  • If you plan to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in November, register by the September deadline.
  • Continue to meet with your career advisers in OCS and SJI to navigate 2L summer job applications and offers.
  • If you are considering applying for a postgraduate judicial clerkship, register as "Clerkship Search Active" in Symplicity, meet with an OJC clerkship adviser, and sign up to be matched with a peer mentor (alum or 3L) as a participant in its Clerkships Peer Mentor Program.
  • Participate in the Fall On-Campus Interview (OCI) program for public and private sector summer jobs.
  • Attend the Davis Polk Leadership Initiative informational session about the DPLI Fellowship.

Student Life

  • If you are on the board of a student organization, attend the leadership training programs.
  • Get involved in a pro bono project.

Academics

  • Begin to plan for spring courses by attending faculty-led panels, student-to-student info sessions, and faculty office hours. Meet with your advisers in Student Services, OCS, OJC, and SJI as needed.
  • Attend the Experiential Learning Application Overview to learn about clinics, externships, and other experiential learning opportunities in the spring term. Attend individual practice area info sessions to learn more about these offerings. 
  • Attend information sessions on participating in Global Alliance programs (in Amsterdam, Oxford or Paris) or specific international study programs for the fall or spring semester of your 3L year.
  • Consider taking part in the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition. Stone is an excellent opportunity to develop a writing sample for a clerkship application, as well as gain additional experience with written and oral appellate advocacy. Stone participants argue before a panel of distinguished jurists, and prior Stone finalists have secured clerkships through their participation.

Careers and Professional Development

  • Continue to meet with your career advisers in OCS (private sector) and SJI (public sector) as you apply for 2L summer jobs and manage offers. Speak with an OJC adviser about how your clerkship application process may intersect with your 2L summer job.
  • Attend the Davis Polk Leadership Initiative informational session about the DPLI Innovation Grants.

Student Life

  • Attend the Spring Break Pro Bono Caravans information session to learn about exciting public service opportunities both in the United States and abroad.
  • If you are a student organization leader, attend working group meetings.

Academics

  • Pre-register for spring classes and the January term.
  • Keep an eye out for emails from Registration Services regarding fall exams. Take note of the deadline to reschedule exams.
  • Reach out to professors about opportunities for serving as a Research Assistant (RA) or Teaching Fellow (TF) during the spring semester.

 Careers and Professional Development

  • If you want to work in public interest or government next summer, register for Columbia Summer Funding by November 30.
  • If you want to work internationally in human rights next summer, submit an application for the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP).
  • If you want to do a public interest 2L summer, register for the Public Interest Legal Career (PILC) Fair in the spring—some 2Ls get their summer jobs there. (Deadline is January 12.)
  • If you are a Clerkships Peer Mentee and plan to apply for postgraduate judicial clerkships next June, connect with your mentor and potential faculty recommenders before the end of the term.
  • If you are interested in the Salzburg Cutler Fellowship in International Law (two-day February program in Washington, D.C.), apply in early November.

Student Life

Academics

  • Focus on your exams. Meet with your academic adviser, professors, and TAs as needed for exam prep.

Careers and Professional Development

  • 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 as needed and take note of your final schedule, including exams.
  • If you plan to get Supervised Research Credit for writing a note in the spring term, get the registrar's deadline for submitting the needed paperwork.
  • Submit your classroom seating requests in LawNet.
  • If you are applying for an independent semester study-abroad program for your 3L year (in places we do not have established programs), apply by the end-of-month deadline.
  • Connect with your professors to pick up your fall term exams and take advantage of your professors' posted office hours if you would like feedback. Consider using these discussions as an opportunity to speak about potential clerkship recommendations. Review OJC’s best practice guidance on requesting faculty  recommendation letters, available on its Courseworks page.

 Careers and Professional Development

  • Participate in the spring On-Campus Interview program. (Both private and public sector employers participate.)
  • 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.
  • If you plan to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in March, register by the January deadline.
  • 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.
  • Attend OJC’s Clerkships 201 Program and begin to prepare and plan to apply for state and federal clerkships. State courts will begin to consider law clerk candidates as early as February, while most federal and state judges will wait until the summer. The Federal Law Clerk Hiring Plan provides Monday, June 12th, as the first day that adhering federal judges will review 2L clerkship applications.
  • If you are in the Human Rights Internship Program, attend the opening event.

Academics

  • Attend Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Information Session.
  • Keep an eye out for information about applying for externships, clinics, and other experiential learning opportunities offered in the fall term. (Applications will be due later in the spring term.)
  • If you are considering spending the fall term in Washington, D.C., as a part of the Externship on the Federal Government, attend the information session, then apply.
  • Apply for international semester study or Amsterdam, Paris, or Oxford Global Alliance programs to take place in the 3L fall or spring semester. (Application open all of February.)

 Careers and Professional Development

  • If you are pursuing a public interest or government job in the summer, attend the Public Interest Legal Career (PILC) Fair to interview and table talk with potential employers.
  • Participate in On-Campus Interviews for 2Ls.
  • 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 Postgraduate Fellowships Overview to learn more about different types of fellowship opportunities and deadlines. (Several project-based fellowships have application deadlines in early September.)
  • If you are interested in a career in academia, attend the weekly Careers in Law Teaching workshop.
  • Attend the bar application information session.

Student Life

  • If you are on the board of a student organization, continue to attend working group lunches.

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 other informational programs on upper-year courses.
  • Apply to serve on your journal’s editorial board. Review the Journal Credits Overview to learn about editorial board credit as well as other types of credit you may be able to earn in connection with your journal work.
  • Keep an eye out for communication regarding final exams.

Careers and Professional Development

  • If you’d like to apply for clerkships this summer as a 2L, Friday, March 10th, is the suggested deadline by which you should request a clerkship recommendation letter from potential faculty recommenders for classes taken, or research or teaching assistant work, completed in any prior semester. This provides you and your faculty recommenders time to speak about your clerkship application strategy. Follow OJC’s guidance on faculty recommendation letters in its Courseworks page or speak with an OJC adviser for best practices.
  • 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 and introductory programs on postgraduate fellowships.
  • If you are interested in a career in academia, attend the weekly Careers in Law Teaching workshop.
  • Consider using your spring break as an opportunity to meet with potential employers or network with alumni. It’s also a great time to work on clerkship application writing samples and develop a draft list of judges to whom you plan to apply.

Student Life

  • If you are on the board of a student organization, continue to attend working group lunches.
  • Consider applying to be a Peer Mentor or Sexual Respect Initiative Facilitator for incoming students in the fall.

Academics

  • Apply for fall externships, clinics, and other experiential opportunities that will satisfy the experiential credit requirement.
  • If you are studying abroad during the following academic year, attend a mandatory pre-departure briefing.
  • If you are considering participating in the Pro Bono Scholars Program next year, attend the information session.
  • Attend the information session to learn about becoming a moot court student editor and teaching fellow in the Moot Court/LPW program during your 3L year (this program fulfills the major writing credit).

 Careers and Professional Development

  • Students pursuing public interest or public service should meet with SJI to discuss strategies to apply for postgraduate fellowships in the fall, and review the Postgraduate Fellowship Toolkit.
  • If you are headed to a firm, attend a panel on How to Succeed at Your Law Firm Summer.
  • If you are in the Human Rights Internship Program (HRIP), attend weekly trainings.
  • If you are receiving Columbia Summer Funding this summer, complete the needed paperwork.
  • If you are interested in a career in academia, attend the weekly Careers in Law Teaching workshop.

Academics

  • Focus on your exams.

 Careers and Professional Development

  • If you will apply to clerkships in June, be certain to ask for any faculty clerkship recommendation letters for work related to this term by no later than Friday, May 26th.
  • Apply on LawNet to become a moot court student editor and LPW teaching fellow for your 3L year.

Academics

  • Continue to think about how you might explore experiential learning opportunities as a 3L.
  • Reach out to professors about opportunities for serving as an RA or TF during your 2L summer or 3L year.
  • Pre-register for classes, meeting with your various advisers as needed as you plan your schedule.

Careers and Professional Development

  • If you are applying for federal clerkships, most judges will begin reviewing applications on Monday, June 12, and interview candidates, and make clerkship offers, as early as Tuesday, June 13th..  Many state courts also consider applicants at this time.  After June 13th, it is a rolling process and you can apply until you secure your clerkship(s), whether this summer, as a 3L or as an alum. Speak with an OJC adviser or your Clerkships Peer Mentor to prepare for this process.
  • Reach out to OCS or SJI if any issues arise with your summer job. Remember to keep a list of matters and clients for future conflict checks.
  • Complete a summer employment evaluation in Symplicity.
  • If you are participating in EIP, 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.
  • If you are considering a career in law teaching, submit an abstract and paper for a September Moot Workshop by the corresponding summer deadlines.
  • Public interest and public service students applying for government honors positions or public interest/service fellowships should work closely with SJI to begin working on their applications.
  • If you plan on taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in August, register by the June deadline.

Student Life

  • Apply to be a Sexual Respect Initiative Facilitator and, if selected, note the required trainings.
  • Attend Social Justice Initiatives’ small networking events for students working in your city. Keep an eye out for invitations.
  • Start thinking about doing pro bono in the fall and exploring potential projects. Every student must devote at least 40 hours to public interest law service by March 1 of 3L year.