During your undergraduate years, you may be thinking about what you want to do in the future. It all depends on the category of people you want to help with your knowledge and expertise. If you’ve seen the number of sexual assaults in states such as New Jersey, where there were 1,531 rapes this year alone, perhaps you may want to join the group of New Jersey sexual harassment attorneys. If you want to help people who are injured by someone else, you may want to become a personal injury attorney, and so on.
But to gain experience and increase your chances of obtaining your dream law career, you may be thinking of getting a law internship. After all, undergraduate years are ideal for this.
This post will tell you how you can get a law internship as an undergraduate, so you can be prepared.
What Is an Intern and What Does He Do?
Law interns are individuals who start working for a law firm, but not for an indefinite period. Simply put, an intern is a person who works with any legal department for a specific amount of time. During their time as interns, they can do some of the things that law specialists do, including legal secretaries, paralegals, and lawyers.
While supervised by an attorney, an intern may have to do some difficult legal work, like preparing files, organizing papers and even doing deep legal research or drafting documents. It all depends on the case.
Law internships are very useful to the undergraduate, who will be able to learn more things related to the dream job, gain more skills and also receive legal profession exposure. And even if this internship will not guarantee that you’ll be working for that specific employer forever, you’ll be able to build a strong resume for later.
Even law firms find it beneficial to get law interns. Interns not only fill a position in the company and help do extra work, but they also allow the employer to see how the intern performs for the company. Later on, the employer will be able to decide if they want to hire the intern.
How Can You Get a Law Internship as an Undergraduate?
Finding a law internship may seem complicated as an undergraduate, as well as stressful. You have to find the right place to apply for the internship, to begin with. Not all law firms want to take interns, so you have to do lots of research and questioning to find a suitable one.
Here are a few ways you can get a law internship as an undergraduate:
Get Ideas from the School’s Career Center
If your school has a career center, you can always go to them and ask them if they can recommend any law firm willing to take interns. Chances are that they will know local law companies or lawyers who will be able to help you obtain an internship. Don’t be scared to ask them – they’ll be more than happy that you went to them for help.
Think About Your Goals and Interests in the Short and Long Term
Your interests will have a great influence on the legal profession you want to have in the future. Perhaps you want to work with criminal law, or you may be more interested in commercial litigation. Think about your interests and you may have a clearer image of the internship you wish to get.
Also, think about your short-term and long-term goals. Do you want this internship to bring you closer to getting your dream career or do you simply want to have an internship on your resume during your undergraduate years? Think about this before choosing.
Make Sure Someone Looks Over Your Application
Have someone review your application for the internship before you submit it. They may be able to let you know which areas need some improvements to increase your success rate. It’s even better if you ask for feedback from someone who works in the legal field.
Consider Smaller Companies
You don’t necessarily have to go for a large company to get a quality and impactful internship. Smaller companies can be just as good, and you may be surprised to find that your chances of getting an internship with a small company are greater. They’ll be able to give you a custom program and will be more than happy to welcome another person to help them.
Should You Go for a Paid or Unpaid Law Internship?
Whether you want to go for a paid or unpaid internship may depend on your financial situation. However, there are other aspects to consider.
Unpaid internships may not be that strict with schedules and work programs – therefore, you will have more freedom to take care of your other chores. Paid internships may not only treat you as an entry-level worker but may also have much stricter rules.
Ready to sign up for an internship during your undergraduate years? Follow the tips in this article and make sure you establish your goals from the get-go. Then, you can start looking for the right company where you can gain much-needed experience.