How to Find a Legal Internship During Law School
Legal Internships are a great way to bulk up your resume, network and gain valuable experience practicing law. Here’s a two-part check-list to help you land a great position.
What You’ll Need
Before you start introducing yourself to law firms,you need to prepare a few items.
After you’ve spent hours slaving over it and have finally printed your finished resume, I’m sorry to say it, but you’re not done. You need to let professors, law tutors, career councilors and even friends read it. They’re not just looking for mistakes; get their feedback on the type of person the resume presents you as, and make sure it lines up with your career goals.
Cover letters should be as job and company specific as possible. Write a general one now, but know that you’ll need to tweak it for each internship you apply to. The same as with your resume; make sure it’s read by professors, law tutors, career councilors and friends.
It’s an investment, but as you move out of school and into the professional field, you’ll need a suit (a few, actually). You need to look mature and professional; buy a conservative/traditional suit, not the latest fashion trend,because you’ll be able to wear it for years.
As you’re looking for an internship, make sure you practice both the interview and possible networking situations you might find yourself in with friends or a law tutor. You will be practicing your ability to discuss your skills and desire to work for Law Firm X in an organized and eloquent way. There’s no reason to have spent so much time preparing only to be tongue tied in an interview.
When it comes down to it, law firms look for confident, intelligent and motivated employees, and by practicing for both definite and uncertain situations you’re covering all three bases.
Where to Look
Now that you’ve got what you need, here’s what to do with it.
Use Your School
Chances are you have an advisor, a career services office and an alumni office at your school. Check with each of them about linking you with a company or school alumni.
Ask Lawyers You Know
Even if you aren’t friends with any lawyers, your law professors are lawyers. And regardless of whether or not they practice anymore, they’ve still got friends, right?
U.S. Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice offers internships all year long, and getting one will not only look great on your resume; it will add tremendous value to your future career.Start with their website for more information.
Use the Internet
Plenty of websites link firms with interns. Ask friends, classmates and even your law tutor about sites they know to be reputable, and spend some time browsing the Internet yourself.