Pre-Law Summer 2020 Opportunity Search

Claire Cornell
Every Summer has its own story

Are you trying to figure out how to spend summer 2020? Do you struggle with knowing where to begin? Do you feel overwhelmed with the list of requirements in job descriptions?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, try starting with some of the resources below.


Career Community Drop-In Hours

If you’re in search of tailored advice specific to your situation or an industry of interest, connect with a Career Counselor to talk through the search and application process. They can talk with you about how and where to begin searching, how to determine if a job is worth applying to, how to best represent yourself in a resume and cover letter, and SO much more!

Drop-In Advising: 1:00 - 5:00PM in the Career Center Express (Newcomb 170)

Are you still exploring what type of career you might be interested in? Stop by 1515 on the Corner instead to meet with Exploration Counselors!



Handshake can be a wonderful resource, but it can take some time to learn how to yield the most relevant results.

  • Try starting with these general FAQs about Handshake
  • Next, you could update your Career Interests in Handshake, which tailors the jobs, internships and events that pre-populate on your home screen. To do this, click on your name in the right hand corner to find Career Interests
  • Finally, when searching for positions try a few different search tools:
    • Search Keywords – If you’re looking for a specific opportunity or title, try typing a general, brief keyword into the search tool
    • Search Location – have an idea where you want to be geographically, limit your search to openings in that area
    • Utilize Filters – there are filters that can help yield the results you’re looking for
      • Job Type – are you looking for full-time or part-time, a long-term job or a short-term internship, paid or unpaid?
      • Industry – Narrow your search to companies in Government/Education, Tech/Science, or Non-Profits, to name a few.
      • Job Function – If you have a specific type of role, whether management in administration or community & social services or in operations like political lobbying, see what results fall under those categories

If one search, doesn’t yield many options, try mixing up your filters!


Additional Search Resources

Did you know that each Career Community in the Career Center, has entire web pages dedicated to providing information and resources on the particular functions within their industry?

Take Public Service & Government, for instance. This community digs deeper into EIGHT different fields within PSG! See a few highlights below:

Within each of these pages, you can find helpful information about the roles and work environment as well as industry timelines. They even include links to organizations and job/internship search engines for that field under Find Opportunities.

Here’s a snippet of what’s listed under Non-Profits & NGOs:



Are you interested in an unpaid internship or conducting your own research, but unsure how you can afford it?

Note: many summer grant deadlines are in March and April!


Shadowing & Informational Interviews

Regardless of your summer plans, you can always find a way to incorporate building connections with professionals in the legal field (or other industries you want to explore). Here are some suggestions for finding these opportunities:

  • Who do you know? A shadowing experience may lie closer than you expect! Consider reaching out to any of the following contacts. But don't stop there. Consider not only who you know, but who you know that might know someone else they can connect you with.
    • Family members
    • Neighbors
    • Family friends
    • Friends' parents
    • Contacts from former/current volunteer experiences
    • Contacts from former/current research experiences
  • Connect with Alumni. Alumni who work in the healthcare field are often more than willing to help pre-health students achieve their career goals. Consider using the following resources to identify alumni and start a conversation where you can gain insight into their career in the health professions. While this approach may not lead to an immediate shadowing experience, it could very well lead to that opportunity in the near future. Consider starting with an informational interview!

  • Reach out to those you don't know. Although it may seem like a daunting task, contacting unfamiliar individuals can result in successfully obtaining a shadowing opportunity. Contact information for professors or practitioners associated with UVA or an organization you may have connected with can usually be found on the UVA or organizations' websites, along with information about their diverse specialties and interests. Additionally, you may have other indirect ties to contacts who can provide shadowing experiences. Don't be afraid to give it a try!

Remember, everyone's summer plans look different! While a peer may have a full-time internship, you may find that the best way to use your summer is through piecing together experiences. Every experience is valuable in its own way!