How to Boost Your Career During COVID: A Law Student Guide

As you sit at home staring into the abyss of a computer screen, it can be hard to imagine a future any different than the present. While we wait for “our new normal” to return to its former self, below are some tips to boost your career right now—most of them can even be done from home. (Here’s to saving on gas and beauty products!)

1. Get a virtual internship. Here’s the biggest benefit to the pandemic: so many opportunities are available to you now. You are no longer bound by geography—even some of the country’s best law firms are offering remote summer internships; as long as you have a laptop and a reliable internet connection, you can be anywhere! While the pandemic and quarantining as a whole are an awful necessity during this unique time, use that to your advantage and apply to jobs or internships that would normally be out of your league or geographic area. Worst case, they reject you. Best case, you just scored an internship at a prestigious law firm or company five states over.

2. Log volunteer hours. Depending on your level of comfort with human interaction during the pandemic, consider volunteering in-person or remotely to give back to your local community and make a few valuable connections. During the holiday season, food banks often need additional man power to manage and sort various donations, prepare food, or deliver them to people in need. If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider reaching out to local legal (and non-legal) nonprofits to see if you can help them in anyway—you could transcribe interviews, send mailers for the holiday season, or even help them create social media posts for their website. In a time when the majority of people are working from home or E-learning, find a way to connect with others and have genuinely cathartic interactions.

3. Earn a certificate. This isn’t the first time I’ve suggested this. I may sound like a broken record, but law school is one of the most opportune times to earn a certificate or other professional credential in your intended area of practice. The majority of classes are online and can be completed at your leisure and the experience can certainly give you a leg up on other students in your class—especially after graduation when everyone is swarming around the same limited job opportunities. If you’re unsure of what area of law you’d like to practice in, consider getting a certificate in a soft skills course—leadership, personal advocacy, management, project management, or critical thinking (to name a few.)

4. Develop a new skill or hobby. You can bake sourdough, you can learn French, you can even take up knitting. Many people are using this time to “level up” their skills, so why shouldn’t you? Even if your extracurricular interests don’t coincide with the law, by branching out and being a well-rounded person, you will eventually develop contacts in other industries that could come back and help you later. Even if it’s just Marge from your scrapbook club; she could be well connected.

Let’s be honest: there aren’t a lot of good things coming out of this pandemic. Use whatever means you can to set yourself up for success when this is over—try and find some small semblance of silver lining.