Law Firm Internship is an excellent opportunity for law undergraduates. It offers first-hand exposure to the legal profession and allows you to grow your skills. Not only this, but internships also help to narrow down career choices. Moreover, it enhances your resume thus increasing your chances when applying for future jobs.
HOW DO I FIND A LEGAL INTERNSHIP?
The hardest part of landing an internship is to find the right places to apply. Also, few law firms prefer to take interns onboard. This may sound depressing but this is just the beginning. And we will guide you to it.
Networking is important irrespective of the field you belong to as strong networks help you in so many different ways. But what if you don’t have a strong network of lawyers. No worries, you can still find an internship. Tell your friends about it and put the word out on social media. You might not know any lawyers personally, but your friends and family might.
If you already know which companies you wish to intern with, then start sending emails along with your resume and a short-personalized cover letter. Be brief and clear about why you’d like to intern with them and request them about their upcoming vacancies.
The best way to do this is to create a spreadsheet along with the name of the companies you emailed, the date of the email, and their responses (if any). Now, do bear in mind that not all companies will revert to you. So be prepared for receiving no or maybe a few responses. Therefore, you must apply to all the places that can offer legal experience. Apart from law firms, you can also try your luck at a few corporations, non-profit organizations, and government jobs just to be thorough.
Law Schools often host career centers where they guide and help students in securing law firm internship. Denning Law School also helps students in this regard by conducting seminars, offering guidance for interviews, cover letters and resumes. Strong Alumni Associations also help students by connecting them with attorneys offering internships
As a law student, your goal should be to get as much hands-on legal experience and exposure as possible during your internship period. Now everyone dreams to work at the large, reputed law firm. But the truth is only a handful of students will be able to do so. But, don’t let this get you down. There are many small/solo law firms where you can do an internship.
Smaller companies comprising of 2-3 lawyers are more prone to hire interns as they are eager to have help. Not only this, but smaller firms also give you even better chances to learn and that is your ultimate goal.
As you prepare to apply for different law firm internship, you should also focus on preparing for interviews. These days companies/employers conduct interviews on phone, skype, on-campus or maybe at the office. However, the questions are more or less the same, no matter where the interview takes place. You can expect some of the questions given below:
- Tell us about yourself. (This is probably the most important question, so prepare this one thoroughly)
- What has been the hardest part of law school for you?
- What type of law do you want to practice in the future?
- Do you have any legal experience?
- Why did you apply here?
- What interests you about working here?
- Do you know about some of the cases we have handled/won/settled?
There may be more questions related to the law firm. Therefore, we recommend following and researching the company thoroughly. This will also give the law firm the chance to see how good you are with research, which is one of the most important responsibilities of a law intern.
Most legal jobs need you to focus on looking the part of a lawyer. A conservative suit is the standard lawyer apparel. Well fitted clothes and proper grooming helps set a good first impression. It also gives you the confidence to show your strengths and express yourself freely.
We hope these few tips will help you in securing an internship position. But, do keep in mind that the real challenge begins after you start working. Therefore, be as professional and respectful as you can. You are not there to just learn but rather help too. Passing this period with dedication, punctuality, and perseverance will improve your chances of getting hired even before you graduate from the law school.