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How to Turn Your Law School Internship Into a Job After Graduation

Summer has arrived. And that means many of you are interning. Congratulations, you’ve put yourself in position to gain valuable experience, build a professional network and, if you play your cards correctly, land a full-time job after graduation.

Here are some tried and true tips for turning a summer internship into the first job of your legal career:

Keep it professional

Everyone has heard internship horror stories. There’s the one about the intern with a prominent New York firm who got drunk and jumped into a river to demonstrate her swimming skills. And of course everyone has heard about the intern who tried sleeping her way to the top.

Don’t be these people.

Treat the people with whom you work as colleagues, not friends. Don’t drink too much at social gatherings. Dress the way everyone else does. And whatever you do, don’t get involved in an intimate relationship with a co-worker.

Stay positive

Let’s face it: interns sometimes get the worst jobs possible. You might not have to make coffee runs, but chances are pretty darn good that you’ll be poring over meeting notes—rewriting them for distribution, taking the meeting notes or sometimes feeling ignored completely.

Don’t get down. Don’t complain about it—not even to other interns. Stay positive and ready to help wherever possible. Don’t get involved in office gossip. Instead, pay attention to the things that matter:

  • Fitting into the culture
  • Making meaningful contributions however and wherever you can
  • Gaining real-world experience.

Be patient

Every intern on the face of the earth pines for more responsibility. You will too. You’ve studied contracts and know how to write well. Heck, maybe you’ve even represented a client in a clinic. You think you’re ready.

Don’t rush things.

Many internships are auditions for full-time employment. Good internships give you increasing responsibilities so by the time summer is over, the firm knows whether or not you’d be a good hire. Show them you will be by doing what is asked of you well, and then, near the end of your internship, ask to discuss the possibility of a job.


About The Author
Sumita Dalal is the Founder and CEO of FindMyLawTutor, the largest and most trusted website and online portal that connect law students with law tutors for success in law school. Whether preparing for the LSAT, are currently a law student or are studying for the bar exam, FindMyLawTutor makes finding a law tutor fast and easy.

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