Career Paths

OU Law is committed to assisting students learn about all practice areas and facets of the law. It is essential during law school that students gain as much legal experience as possible – any kind of legal experience. One of the many benefits of interning with various legal employers and being involved in experiential learning opportunities is that students begin to learn about what areas of the law they are drawn to, what areas of the law they are not interested in, and how their particular passions can translate into a legal career.


In-house lawyers serve the legal needs of the company they work for and, therefore, their work is structured around one client. Work varies depending on the nature of the business and the size of the legal team but often in-house lawyers are required to handle a variety of legal issues.

Judicial Clerkships

Judicial clerkships are short term (often one or two years) post-graduate positions in which recent graduates clerk for judges across the country. Judicial clerkships are tremendous opportunities to work closely with a judge and gain invaluable legal experience from a judge’s perspective. Judicial clerkships are very competitive and students are encouraged to actively seek such post-graduate opportunities during their 2L year. All students interested in applying for judicial clerkships should meet with an OCD counselor at the end of their 1L year or very beginning of their 2L year.

Government & Public Interest Careers

A career in public service can mean many things – but at its core it means the practice of law to further interests shared by the entire public. Government and public interest work is based on concepts of justice, fairness, and the advancement of the public good. This is a broad definition and one that encompasses working in government, non-profit organizations, and public interest law firms. For more information about Government & Public Interest careers, and how the CDO assists students interested in this career path, please view our Government & Public Interest Careers Handbook

Private Practice

OU Law students and alumni work in law firms across the country, ranging in size from large, national firms, to mid-size regional firms, to small and solo practitioner firms. Private practice allows lawyers to specialize in almost any facet of the law, or, in the case of many small firms and solo practitioners, create a varied and all-encompassing practice based upon clients’ needs.

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