A legal internship is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door of the legal industry. Although law school provides you with a great foundation of knowledge, you will mostly develop practical legal skills on the job. An internship is therefore a priceless chance for networking and practical learning.
Most employers want to see that you have some real-world experience, so an internship is the perfect way to show them what you’re capable of. And since an internship is also a great opportunity to network, you just might end up with a job offer before you even graduate!
In this blog, we’ll show you how to make the most of your legal internship and get ahead in your career as a lawyer.
START BY BEING PUNCTUAL
Arrive on time in the morning, be there for meetings when they start, and finish projects by the due date. Give it your all because internships are just for a brief & specified amount of time. Be prepared to arrive at work early and stay late. As an intern, you must respect your co-workers by being punctual because you are both a guest in a strange setting and a colleague on whom others must rely.
DOING THE WORK PROPERLY
Be flexible with the kinds of duties that are given to you. If you are asked to complete a seemingly unimportant task, such as gathering facts, recording data, or conducting research on a simple legal matter, take this opportunity to demonstrate your skills and commitment. This may lead to further involvement in the transaction and more opportunities for employment.
Of course, the best way to guarantee that you will be given additional work is to do the initial task well.
SHOW YOUR INVOLVEMENT
As an intern, it’s important to be enthusiastic about your work if you want to make a good impression on both your fellow interns and supervisors. Enthusiasm is contagious, so spreading your excitement about your work can benefit the company as a whole. If you want to be hired after your internship, exhibit the traits of an enthusiastic intern within the brief time you have to make a good impression. This means being motivated and excited about your work, and requesting inclusion in professional workshops and meetings. Showing your enthusiasm will help you stand out and make a positive impact.
ASKING THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME
We understand that you might have a lot of questions, and as a law intern, it’s important to be mindful of how you phrase them to your seniors. Before asking, consider the situation carefully and try to take action on your own first. If you still have questions after taking those preliminary steps, ask them in batches and be as specific as possible. This is better than repeatedly approaching your senior with ambiguous inquiries because they’ll appreciate that you tried to handle the situation on your own first and that you’re being mindful of their time. Additionally, asking specific questions in batches shows that you’re organized and that you value their time – two qualities that are essential in the legal field.
BUILDING CONNECTIONS – VERY IMPORTANT!
As you move on from your internship and enter the professional world, it is important to maintain the relationships you built during your time as an intern. Connect with your coworkers on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, and keep them updated on your work and life.
Additionally, take some time to review your internship experience by reading the essay you wrote at the start of the internship and writing a new essay that reflects on how many of your objectives were accomplished.
It is a common misconception that you should already know what kind of work you want to do or be assigned to. The truth is, it is perfectly fine to be open to learning and trying new things. A key part of being a professional is being able to adapt and learn from experiences.
An error that people often make is wanting to do the task as quickly as possible in order to appear good and take on more work. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You should always prioritize quality over quantity.
ABSORB AND ACT
Be a sponge. Your aim as an intern should be to take in every opportunity event that comes your way. You want as much experience “lawyering” in your internship as you can get from a legal skills’ perspective. As an intern, you can take notes and be more prepared for times when your actions will directly affect a case if you attend these sessions.
Before seeking help from a Partner or Associate, it is important to do your own research and give yourself time to think about a possible solution. You can start by looking for resources on internal websites or asking other interns for help. It is key that your coworkers see you as someone who is resourceful and independent, rather than someone who gives up when faced with a challenge. By taking the time to solve problems on your own, you will show that you are a valuable member of the team.
ACCEPT ADDITIONAL LABOUR WITHOUT BEING ASKED
Taking on new and important tasks is a great way to stand out as an intern. Not only will you be remembered for your hard work, but you’ll also be appreciated by your supervisors.
Internships require a lot of work, so it’s important to make the most of your time in the company. That means being punctual and producing high-quality work. But it also means going above and beyond what is expected of you. By taking on new initiatives and tasks, you’ll show that you’re willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done right.