2L Summer Employment

The vast majority of students spend part or all of the summer working for a private law firm, while typically one-third will use part or all of the second summer to explore government, public interest, academic, or corporate opportunities. The majority of second-year students obtain summer positions through Yale’s Virtual Interview Program (VIP) and Public Interest Interview Program (PIIP). Others take advantage of the NYU Public Interest Legal Career Fair co-sponsored by Yale or apply directly to employers of interest to them. 

Some students will work for more than one employer during their 2L summer, typically spending between six to eight weeks with each employer. Over the past five years an average of 28% of second-year students split their summer between two employers. For additional information about splitting the summer, consult CDO’s information on splitting the summer. Some firms offer students the opportunity to work for the firm for part of the summer and a public interest organization for the other part, with the firm paying the student’s entire summer salary. See CDO’s document Firms Sponsoring Split Public Interest Summers for additional information about this unique split summer option. The majority of second year students who summer with law firms obtain permanent employment offers from their second summer employers. 


Employment Type


Class of 2020 Class of 2021 Class of 2022 Class of 2023 Class of 2024

Law Firm


78% 70% 64% 68% 72%

Public Interest


22% 26% 25% 25% 18%



6% 6% 17% 6% 9%



3% 1% <1% 2% <1%

(teaching, administrative,
research, other graduate studies)


0% 0% 2% 0% 0%

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 6% of second year students work in more than one employment sector in their second summer).