Beneficial tips for law students to excel in the law internship

Law internships help students to gain practical exposure to the legal field. This article explains how law students can gain maximum practical experience while interning in law firms. It also explains professional behaviour they should inculcate in them.


A career as a lawyer has always been a promising one. There are numerous branches in the law field. Students of law school should choose the right branch which interests them and enrol in an internship in that particular branch to succeed in life. A legal internship is a good opportunity for every law student to learn about the legal profession. New skills learnt, and the experience gained, will help them expand their resume. The best interns need not look for a job after completion of a course. They will have plenty of job opportunities. However, if law students do not take their internship period seriously, and make most of it, they are doing too much harm to their career. It does not matter whether they were able to secure an internship in a firm of their choice or not, what matters is that they have the chance to build their resume thus, they should be serious about it. Below-mentioned is a few useful tips for law students so that they can make the most out of their internship period.

Plan and implement the plan

Law interns should plan everything. While taking an internship, they must be sure that it is the right branch of law for them. Thus, they should know the useful tips for landing an internship for law students. Once they secure their internship in the legal firm or under an employer, they should be well aware of all the skills they want to learn, all the projects they want to work on and the type of resume they want to build by the end of the internship period. An intern should be upfront with the supervisor. The type of job they want to do, the office in which they wish to serve and the geographical location where they aim to move should be discussed without hesitation. In future, if there is any job opening that fits the likings and resume of the interns, mentors will inform their interns and recommend them.

What should law interns do in their internship period?

  • Learn the professional side of the legal field-
    A lawyer's work is mainly related to drafting, dealing with clients, negotiating the deals, and conducting research based on legal terms. Every intern by the end of the internship should be able to do all these tasks with confidence. They should spend the majority of their time conducting legal research. Not every task is of the same level. Some are easier, and some require the help of supervisors. Interns should never hesitate to approach their mentors in law firms whenever they face a problem. They should also observe and learn the type of jobs their mentors and other professionals in the law firm carry out. Only sticking to the work assigned to them and not showing interest to learn new skills will haunt them in long run. Law interns are going to be lawyers someday, and thus, they should learn the valuable skills at the earliest. The more the number of skills they have on their resume, the better their chances are of securing a job immediately after completing an internship.

  • Get maximum exposure to the law field-
    Law interns should not miss out on any opportunity of learning. As discussed earlier, they should learn as many skills and tasks as possible. Apart from that, there are numerous day to day meetings and events at the firm or organization. Law interns should make a point to attend every one of them. These are the occasions where they can learn a lot. Law interns can have experience of attending a hearing in the court. They can learn a lot about how to present a case. They should take all the important points as notes and start the preparation right from the time when they are interns instead of doing the same when they will be given a case as an attorney. If they gain the first-hand experience as an intern, they will not be nervous and can present the case in an excellent way as professionals.

  • Learn the perfection and skills required for the field-
    Law interns will be assigned lots of work such as conducting legal research to writing a memo. Any work that is assigned should not be taken lightly. A law intern should never feel that it is okay to submit a rough work as they are just students and not professionals. It is a wrong attitude. Anything they carry out should be nothing but their best work and should equal to courtroom ready work. If they lack in writing experience or other skills, they should approach their mentor and seek guidance. An intern has to understand that soon they will be working as lawyers, and thus, their writing should be not merely a law school assignment. It should have that practical approach. After completing a law internship, when they go out to seek a job, many employers will demand them of a writing sample. Thus, learn all the skills that are of value in the internship period itself.

How should law interns behave in law firms?

  • Attendance is a must-
    Whether there are legal proceedings, meetings, events, staff lunches, make sure to become a part of them. Law interns should attend every meeting at a law firm and become a part of social events and legal proceedings. Sometimes, it may not be possible, and the supervisor may deny it. The reason can be that certain meetings are confidential. It does not matter. The supervisor will notice that their intern is enthusiastic in participating. The better the attendance, the better will be the chance of securing a job in the legal firm, the interns are working. Mentors when notice that their interns are taking their internship at the firm seriously by attending every event, and are asking permission for more participation, they might want to employ them after the internship completes. Thus, punctuality in law internship matters a lot and always gets noticed.

  • Learn to be a professional and behave formally-
    Law interns are not students of law schools anymore. They are just one step away from landing a career in a law field. Why miss out on the opportunity for behaving in a non-formal way? Law is a serious business. Every client who visits a law firm wishes to meet a professional who would present, and also lead their case in the right direction. Similarly, to get employed at the law firm where law school students are interning, supervisors at the firm should be able to notice a professional in the intern. For this, law students should behave formally. Dress formally. The language and tone should be strictly professional. Text messages, written letters and emails should also have a formal tone. To get employed or to seek a recommendation letter from supervisors, law interns must behave and sound formal. Showing disrespect may cost them a lot and ruin their career. Good communication skills and right interactions are helpful in the law field. Learn them from the supervisor at the firm.

  • Learn from mistakes-
    A lawyer cannot let his emotions out. Law is a serious business, and lawyering requires a lot of skills. Keeping a poker face is one such skill that can be learnt right from the internship period. Whenever there is disapproval in the legal firm, an intern should not take it personally and show his emotions on the face in the form of disappointment. An intern has to understand that there will always not be words of appreciation from the mouths of mentors. They can sometimes criticize. Thus, it is important to own up to the mistake and look at all those things which went wrong. Try to rectify them at the earliest and take care that the same mistakes are never committed. Also, have a positive outlook towards everything instead of getting stressed now and then. Showing emotions may also make an intern look unprofessional. Whether it is appreciation or criticism, it is related to the profession. Always try to learn from it, and never take these things personally.

Look for job opportunities in law internship

The chances to get employed immediately after the internship depend on how vast the network is. Thus, socialize as much as possible. Meetings and social events are some of the ways to meet new people. Through them, attorneys and other professionals in the legal field will come to know about the interns. If the law interns can leave an impression on the minds of these people, their scope of securing a job increases. Thus, law interns to stand out and outshine others should get out of their comfort zone, and not resist from meeting new people. Do not hang out only with other interns or co-workers of the same firm. Meet and greet others too. Law interns should not think that professional network can directly help them get a job. There is something that is known as professional references. Interns with professional references will always have the advantage of getting job easily than those who do not.

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Author: K Mohan28 Oct 2021 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

This is a good article giving inclusive tips on having a good internship and learning laws at the beginner stage itself. But what I have seen is that those who are joining as interns with professionals. they are sent to court only to get the dates for the cases posted to next term and thus the scope for learning is not that great. And when the cases are posted for hearing, the main lawyer would certainly come to the court for an argument and send the interns to the office to manage the things. Here also he or she missed the intricacies of learning. Most of the law interns are being sent to the client to obtain their details, payments, and other details regarding the witness and their deposition details. In fact, the interns are used to taking office work to which their learning experience is nil and they cannot learn the case while the argument is going on. Moreover in the courts also they are not allowed to mingle with other lawyers and thus I feel pity for the pathetic situation of interns in Hyderabad civil courts who are simply wasting their time and learning nothing the whole day. During the evening when the clients come to the office for discussion, the inters are kept out deliberately. This way the goal of the internship is not achieved.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao28 Oct 2021 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

Professions like Lawyer, doctor, etc. requires a lot of practical approach and experience to establish themselves as good professionals. That is why people say, a doctor's son as a doctor and a lawyer's son as a lawyer will shine better in those professions. Some people will add acting also in this class. Such persons will get much exposure to the profession. They can practice along with their fathers and can become good professionals. But all people will not have such facilities. For them, these internships will help a lot. They can understand the profession better.

During the internships, students should observe their seniors while they are working and should also try their hands and get the nod from their seniors. A good senior lawyer helps the interns who are with him in understanding the cases and the way they have to make their argument strong. A legal internship is like a hands-on experience on a machine to a diploma engineer or graduate engineer. Many industries will prefer a diploma engineer with hands-on experience as their employee than a fresh engineering graduate.

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