1L Summer Employment

The summer after the first year of law school provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to explore employment possibilities and gain insight into legal practice areas and work settings. Many students at Yale spend all or part of their first summer working in the public sector, either with a government agency or public interest organization. The law school provides  summer funding for students working in the public interest sector through the Summer Public Interest Fellowship (SPIF) Program. Just over 10% of first-year students spend at least some part of their summer working for a private firm, and a few students conduct research for faculty, work for a corporation, or serve as a judicial extern. The majority of first-year students secure positions for the summer through direct application to employers. Some students accept jobs from employers participating in the Winter Interview Program at Yale or the NYU Public Interest Career Fair.


Employment Type

Class of 2021 Class of 2022 Class of 2023 Class of 2024 Class of 2025

Law Firm


14% 13% 15% 14%

Public Interest


45% 47% 41% 38%



39% 38% 44% 44%



2% 1% 1% 4%

(teaching, administrative,
research, other graduate studies)


1% 1% 1% 1%

Percentages based on students reporting their employment to CDO and reflect the percentage of the class spending all or part of their summer in each employment sector (approximately 7% of first year students work in more than one employment sector their first summer).