How to Become a Successful Legal Intern?

How to Become a Successful Legal Intern?

April 29, 2021 Off By Glespynorson

If you are to enjoy a long and thriving career in law in America, the chances are that at some point,you will want to undertake an internship.

This will give you a chance to see legal professionals in action at first hand, giving you the eye-opening experience of what to expect once your studies are completed.

As you put together your resumé in the pursuit of your first job in the industry, a successful internship will stand out like the proverbial sore thumb – this should be an absolute priority if you wish to get off to the best possible start in law.

What Does a Legal Internship Involve?

While you will learn all of your theory in your college course, there’s no substitute for the experience that you will gain in an internship at a legal firm or as part of an in-house legal team.

As part of a wide-ranging internship, you can expect to sit in on legal matters, liaise with other company departments as necessary, and shadow a legal professional as they go about their work – all invaluable lessons that you simply cannot learn with your head in a textbook.

You might even be tasked with drafting legal letters and other forms of documentation, writing internal and external communications, attending hearings, and much more besides.

Typically, a legal internship can last for anything from a month to a year, and the quality of your internship provider – and the feedback they provide on your performance – will be crucial as you seek your first professional role in the industry.

Tips for A Successful Legal Internship

Whether your internship is a matter of a number of weeks during the summer or it lasts a whole year, this is a fantastic chance to make your first impression.

If your internship goes well, it can have a number of benefits for your career, so we advise following the tips below with gusto.

Do Your Research and Take Notes?

One of the key skills of a legal professional at any level is research, and during your internship, you’re likely to have a chance of honing those.

You will probably be asked to research case materials and use both physical and online resources in order to provide essential backing for your superiors.

There may also be opportunities to sit in on hearings and interviews. Keep yourself discreet, but don’t be shy in taking notes on how the legal professional conducts themselves and the sorts of questions they ask.

Be inquisitive

Don’t think for one minute that you are going to annoy people if you ask them lots of questions – this is what is expected from an intern!

Remember, for the period of your internship, you are essentially an employee of the legal department, and so it is imperative that you are able to conduct your duties effectively.

Asking questions shows initiative and that you are conscientious enough to want to do your job properly, and, of course, you may pick up really useful bits of information that will aid your future career.

Think About the Future

It’s key that you ‘stay in the present’ during your internship – giving your all to help the organization you’re interning at, andalso presenting the very best version of yourself.

However, you should also consider the future. Your internship could be your passport to a future career in the industry. The network of connections you build may be key in finding your first full-time position, and the feedback you receive from your intern leader could also have the same effect when applying for jobs elsewhere.

Is this the career for you? This is another valuable question that your internship will answer.

What Are the Best Legal Internships Available?

While a number of legal firms take on interns, you may actually find yourself a role in the legal department of another commercial entity instead.

Perhaps you will follow in the footsteps of Rachel Lader, who interned at a number of companies before finding herself at Hach & Rose, LLP in New York City. Now, she works alongside the firm’s top attorneys in their case preparation while also producing a variety of internal and external communications.

A number of legal firms have active internship programs that are welcoming applications – there are stacks of resources online that advertise those – and another potential consideration is undertaking an internship overseas.

This will add another string to your bow, showing that you have the versatility and adaptability to work in a different environment, and a lot of legal firms like to see such initiative shown.

You could head to Europe, Asia or Australia, gaining life experience along with key learning in the legal field. When putting your resumé together, this will be a real talking point for prospective employers.

There you have it – a guide to interning in the legal profession. It’s hard work, fun, and could set you up for a successful career in the industry.