Your 2L year is the easiest of the lot. By now, you should have a handle on hows, whats, and whys of studing cases and you have left most of the intro courses for the more interesting ones. Now’s the time to start looking for that first legal job (if you can find volunteer work during the summer between year 1 & 2 so much the better). Finding that first job is going to be all about networking, so even if you aren’t interesting in a job with BIG LAW, participate in the on campus interviewing program and start talking with other lawyers – you’ve little to lose and could even gain summer employment. Moot Court and law review are good resume builders, but you can gain a great deal more practical experience by volunteering with a local legal aid organization or a local judge – you can open a lot of doors by with the simple phrase “I’m looking for some practical legal experience, could you use some volunteer labor?”
A brief word of advice, if you didn’t do it during your first year, sign up for your bar review courses during your second year. This will save you money down the road. I used two review courses, one that concentrated on essay preparation and one that concentrated on the multiple choice portion.
Year 3 is tough – the end is in sight and the urge to just coast is strong. Here is where time management really plays a big part because you’ve got to do 3 things – complete your courses, keep up the job search, and complete your bar exam application. I allowed 4 months to complete my bar application and that was barely enough time to track down all the necessary supporting documents, letters of recomendation, etc. If I were to do it again, I’d start 6 months before the deadline.
Once law school is over, take a day off and congratulate yourself. You deserve it, because tomorrow you are going to start reviewing for the bar exam.