In today’s job market, law graduates are expected to have participated in at least two internships during their undergraduate education. This can include externships, clinics, fellowships, summer associate jobs, clerkships, and working part time at a law office while attending law school. This experience has shown to be significant to many law students when it comes to developing proper attorney skills. In addition, students are able to obtain great recommendations for future employment opportunities. Since the stakes are high and competition is fierce, here are tips to get the most out of your legal internships and come out on top:
Research Your Internship
Before starting your internship, spend time researching the organization. This includes their history, mission, office culture, events, etc. Also, take a look to see if they have social media pages; this area usually shows a more personal touch of a law firm. From here, you can gather information that can help you make the most of your internship.
Once you start your internship, go in optimistic and enthusiastic. Having a positive outlook can change your entire experience. It is not uncommon for interns to start their internship, and suddenly hate their experience. This can be because they are stuffed in a small space, doing tedious work, and not spending as much time around the bosses as they expected. In addition, the people managing the interns are sometimes difficult. However, no matter how bad your situation may be, as long as you think positively of the overall experience, you will enjoy your time there more.
Details, detail, details
Thirdly, details are important. This can be from the documents you type to the type of work you do. Sending typos to your supervisor is not acceptable, these should be looked over before sending. Also, the tasks you are given may seem boring and tedious, but they are important to the overall function of the law firm. Even if you are alphabetizing files, that is an important part of the way the firm is run. Pay attention to everything you do to see how they are a key part of the law firm.
Communication is Key
At the end of your internship, find time to meet and interact with attorneys around you. Interns are usually very busy with school, interning and maintaining a personal life, but finding time to socialize with those in the law firm is helpful as well. Don’t forget to get a “de-brief” from your supervisor to see how you did as an intern, and maybe get tips on how to improve your skills as an attorney. Say your goodbyes in a warm and inviting manner, and make sure to leave your contact information with those around you.
Participating in an internship is a great way to get your foot in the door to a law firm. Even though the location may not be your ideal future firm, the experience you gain will be used in your future career. Despite all the hard work and long hours studying and interning, you are opening doors to better yourself and gaining needed skills to be a successful attorney post-graduation.