Useful tips for landing an internship for law students



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Useful tips for landing an internship for law students


Updated: Category: Internships
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Every law student dreams of securing a good job after completing law school. However, many are confused about where to look for an internship. This article is a guide providing useful tips about landing an internship in the legal field.



Introduction

There are various professions in which the internship is not necessary. Theoretical knowledge alone is enough to step into the profession. However, it does not stand true for the legal field. Law students must enrol in an internship so that they can expose themselves to the practical side of the profession they are going to get in. In the legal profession, practical learning plays an important role. Law schools and courses cover the theoretical aspect but learning everything on paper does not sharpen the skills. A law student should be creative and come up with ideas. Thus, to succeed in a legal field, law students must enrol themselves in an internship so that they can apply the learnt laws from law school to practical use. Students of law school should start searching for their internship in the right firm at the earliest. Before graduating from law school internship is an excellent opportunity to gain some experience. Law interns are usually undergraduates from law schools who work under either a person or in a firm involved with the legal profession. Law internship is for a fixed amount of time.

Importance of law internship

Law internship is not just beneficial for undergraduate law students. When a law student works under the employer or firm involved in the legal profession, it is equally beneficial for the employer and firm too. The reason is they get assisted in various aspects of day to day work at the legal firm. An intern is given many responsibilities which many professionals such as legal, paralegal secretaries or attorneys perform. Thus, the workload gets shared. A new person always brings creative ideas with him/her. Thus, the employer and firm are benefited from the new ideas that an intern has to offer. If the intern has good potential, the employer or firm may think of appointing him/her. In this way, they do not have to look for candidates outside.

At the same time, for an undergraduate student, working under a legal employer or firm is an excellent opportunity to learn about the legal profession. It is necessary for professional growth. Every new day serves as an opportunity to study new cases, meet various people and work under experienced legal employers. Law internship is an excellent way to sharpen skills and creativity. It helps law students to polish themselves, and get ready for building a career in the legal field. One of the objectives of a law internship is to get the resume out so that all the interested employers and firms can approach the candidate to work for them.

What are the benefits of it in the legal field?

  • Law is a serious business. Every client who approaches a firm with legal issues wishes to meet a professional standing in front of them. Law internship prepares students accordingly so that they can represent themselves as skilled professionals.
  • Internship enables students studying law courses to sharpen their creativity and skills. Thus, at the end of it, they will be able to handle the tasks much more professionally. They will be good at everything from handling the clients to applying the bookish knowledge in practical use in the professional world.
  • Law interns are given an experience of everything that goes around in the legal world from court proceedings to bookkeeping. Thus, at the end of the internship, they will be ready to begin their career in the law field with much more confidence.


Where to look for it?

Not only working as a law intern is necessary to sharpen the skills but equally important is to work for the right people and reputed firm. Working as an intern just for the sake of doing it is not going to serve any purpose. Thus, there is no point in sending a resume to all the law firms that are present in the city. Look for the one which is reputed, and has something to offer. It is best to ask for seniors who can share the internship experiences they had with different law firms. Do not hesitate to send resumes to all those law firms which seem interesting.

As mentioned earlier, it is best to look for reputable law firms. By reputable it does not mean, always look for bigger law firms. It is the dream of every law student to work under big companies as they feel they will be surrounded by lots of legal professionals who all will have something to share with them. However, it is also okay to work for a small law firm. Not every law student can guarantee themselves an internship in big law firms. It is because they are lesser in number. Most of the law firms are small. These small law firms are eager to have an intern working for them as they always require some help in their profession.

Why smaller law firms should not be ignored?

Many professionals work in big law firms. If a candidate is allowed to work as an intern for them, it is obvious that he/she has to mould as per the firms' strict rules. On the other hand, small companies are not rigid with their rules and there is not much formality involved. Thus, reputable small companies can be an excellent place to work as an undergraduate law intern. Also, they will be happy to guide and at the same time appreciate the helping hand.

What to look for in a law internship?

Don't keep on sending resume to law firms or seniors. Carefully judge whether the internship is right and is going to yield good experience and skills that are required in the law field. Internship period should not be a waste of time. It should open the professional world for the students. Thus, look for the below-mentioned points before choosing an internship.

  • Try to enrol in an internship that will help in shining and standing out from the rest of the crowd.
  • Do make sure that the internship will help to build a resume by helping to develop numerous skills and providing a chance to gain various experiences during the fixed period.
  • It should give a real taste of how the professional career will be. If it does not give a hint or expose to the real law field, it is a mere waste of time.
  • Law internship the students enrol in should give them the scope to put their learnt theoretical knowledge to best use.
  • While looking for a law internship make sure that it offers something extra such as exploring new places as fieldwork experience, meeting reputable people in day to day basis. Some of them even offer some salary to their interns which can be counted as an additional benefit.
  • Look for the internship in the area and under the people who inspires and motivates every second. Every day at the internship period should make a difference and should be motivating enough so that an intern can make a difference in the law business.
  • Always try to land in an internship under a reputable firm and work under a good experienced supervisor or employer. Only an experienced supervisor can guide interns on where they are going wrong and give them insight and teach them to handle responsibilities.
  • The law internship should be able to teach numerous skills to the interns which are essential to secure a job in the future. Thus, make sure the selected firm teaches project management and instils leadership qualities.


Get started with the application process

Some law firms give the internship based on resume whereas others may call candidates for interviews. While going for interviews, dress appropriately and behave properly. Law is a serious business and the employer will therefore carefully observe everything from body language to how well-groomed a candidate is. It is because the employer or firm wants a candidate who can present a perfect image in front of their clients. Get prior information about the law firm or the employer who is interviewing. One question that will always be asked is the reason the candidate has applied for an internship under them. Knowing the history and success of the firm is, therefore, necessary to answer the question. Never hesitate to ask the questions back. The candidate should let them know that he/she is interested to work for them, and taking the job as an intern seriously. Enquire about everything from working hours, job responsibilities to challenges encountered. Enquire about the person to whom reporting should be done daily, pay scale and many such important questions.

What to expect at a law internship?

At a law internship, students can expect various works. Some of them can be simple office works such as bookkeeping, whereas others can be associated with practical aspect, and may involve fieldwork. Thus, a law intern should be well aware of all the legal policies of the firm he/she is working for. They may have to do legislative drafting, look for the case law, and assist in searching the legal options for the clients. They may have to work on all sorts of legal activities.
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