Are you wanting to find the perfect law internship to help you get a foot in the door at a respected law firm? Maybe you want to upskill and gain some experience in your College summers? Perhaps this is the first step on the career ladder for you? Whatever your reason for wanting to learn more about finding an internship in law, here’s everything you need to know about becoming a law intern.
What is being a law intern like?
Being a law intern can be an eye opening experience and will either give you the push to become a qualified attorney or will make you think “get me out of here”. Either way, it will offer great experience and will help you make the decision of a lifetime - what career path you wish to take. Taking on an internship in law may also help you decide what field of law you like working in. It’s great to gain experience whilst in a flexible internship position.Being a law intern offers great benefits - you’ll be working with some top legal talent and will gain valuable experience that you can use to impress in future interviews. Often, an internship in law is the first step towards getting on the legal career ladder and enjoying a thriving career.
The main components of an internship in law are research, observation and potentially courtroom assistance. You’ll be expected to take on a legal assistant/ paralegal role and help your attorney with research and admin tasks. All the while, it will be expected that you take notes and observe how the firm works - this is where you can benefit hugely from being a law intern. If you’re lucky, you may be taken into the courtroom which will offer invaluable experience and will help you decide is a career in law is really for you.
How can I get an internship in law?
If you’ve attended law school already, or are currently studying you shouldn’t find it too hard to land a law internship. A great way to break into a law firm is to start the internship process before you graduate. This will mean that when you graduate you’ll be able to hit the ground running, so it’s a good idea to start applying to be a law intern over your College summers.
A great way to get an internship is to reach out to a legal placement agency and see if they have any internship positions available. It sounds strange, but going directly to a law firm may not be the best approach and exploring the recruiting options can be a good idea. Legal placement agencies, like BCG Attorney Search, have pre-established relationships with law firms and can help you secure an internship or a position later in your career.
A great way to get an internship in law is to contact a legal placement agency that you wish to work with and see if they have any internship positions available. It sounds obvious, but going directly to a law firm and exploring the options might not be a good idea. When you send your information to the recruiter you should treat it like you are applying to a law firm. Take a look at our advice on The Purpose of a Cover Letter and Resume for Law Students to understand what employers are looking for.
You may also want look at legal job boards and newspapers to see if any of your desired companies are looking for law interns. Regardless of whether you are successful with your first chosen law firms, keep trying to find a way into the industry. To make yourself more attractive as a potential law intern, learn as much as possible about the industry and the sector that you wish to go into. Read up on some Tips for Becoming a Successful Paralegal and learn more about what will be required of you as a paralegal or law intern.
Skills you need to become a law intern
The skills you need to become a successful law intern are very similar to those you will need to succeed as an Attorney. Take a look at the top skills that will help you become a law intern below:
- Communication: You’ll need to be able to communicate effectively both orally and in written format. It will be really important that you can communicate effectively with the legal team whilst interning. Good teamwork skills are essential to a legal career.
- Organization: Working in the legal sector is about time management and organisation as much as it is about winning cases. Be sure to focus on organisational skills so that you can stay on top of the admin you’ll be expected to do as a law intern.
- Logical reasoning: It’s important that a law intern can reason effectively to make conclusions independently. Whilst you should always be able to ask if you’re unsure on anything, it looks great if you can use initiative to make your own decisions.
Take a look at our article on the things a perfect paralegal resume must include for an idea of the skills you need to become a law intern.
Can BCG Attorney Search help me become a law intern?
Our website is full of useful advice on how to succeed in the legal profession, which would be perfect for someone looking to become a law intern. Take a look at our article on What a Firm’s Clients Say About The Firm and its Culture to find out about what you should be looking for in a firm to do a law internship with.To keep your finger on the pulse you should also read articles from our CEO, who often writes on questions that have been sent in like this article on How To Land a Law Internship. Take a browse of our site for useful content, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with the legal recruitment world.
If you want to explore your options you could also speak to a legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search and submit your resume for future roles.