7 ways to still have a productive summer, even if your internship fell through

 By Hillary Mantis

Your summer internship may have fallen through. Or you may not be able to find one. It’s not an easy time to be a pre-law student. But despite the worldwide effects of COVID-19, there are still many ways to make your summer productive, even from home.

Here are some ideas:

-Take the LSAT:  Last week I had three sophomores reach out to me to run by their idea of studying for the LSAT early. I think it can be a good idea. If you have time to study for the LSAT and you don’t have a summer internship, you can potentially get the LSAT done this summer, or at least start LSAT test prep. Check out www.lsac.org for updated information about test information and registration. Also check out the Khan Academy, which has free LSAT prep online. Many test prep companies are offering online courses, and often have discounts and scholarships.

-Load Up on Summer School Credits: If you don’t have an internship or job, now might be a good time to take extra credits at summer school. The good news is since most schools are still operating remotely as of now, you may be able to take courses both through your home school and through other colleges. Some law schools also have a summer pre-law institute which offers early insight into law school and legal careers. Often those courses can be taken for college credit.

-Acquire a New Skill: While you might not find a legal job, you can still add to your general skills. How about taking a computer course to learn new software? Or getting EMT or other training? Or even learning a new language or skill you have been wanting to learn?

-Volunteer: You can find many ways to volunteer, as there are countless ways in which people need help now. This could be legally related or not. You could potentially do anything from pro bono legal work, to helping the healthcare workers, to tutoring kids online who need help learning, to volunteering on campaigns for the upcoming political elections. I know many college and law students have come up with their own great ideas of how to help during these troubling times.

-Network: Networking is certainly not the face-to face scenario it used to be these days, but it is still possible. Many colleges offer mentor programs, and webinars are being offered on how to network, often featuring alumni. In fact, alums who may now live far from their alma mater and could not travel to campus to be on a panel, now can participate in a webinar or Zoom meeting. While you may not be able to go to your career services office, they are still there, offering programs remotely.

-Get A Head Start on Law School Applications: This summer may be a good time for you to write up a good draft of your personal statement for law school, and start to request recommendations. You can set up an account on www.lsac.org and research what is needed to apply.

-Research Law Schools and Legal Careers: You research different law school’s websites even if you are not applying yet. You can also look at sites such as www.nalp.org for comprehensive information about the legal job market.

When the fall semester starts, you might be glad you took advantage of the extra time you had this summer to learn new skills and get things done!

 Hillary Mantis works with pre-law students, law students and lawyers. She is assistant dean for the pre-law program at Fordham University and author of career books. You can reach her at altcareer@aol.com