Today, students want to make the most of their college years and begin internships right from the first year of college. If you’re wondering whether any internships are available for first-year law students, the answer is yes, a lot of em actually! (Majority of them unpaid, lol)
If you’re a law student, you know how difficult it is to find a traditional part-time job matching your interests. Now, there are more opportunities than ever for students to work in law firms, NGOs, and agencies as interns. Whether your goal is to explore various types of legal work or to gain hands-on experience for your resume, these are “fun, interesting, and lucrative” positions.
This article offers an overview of the opportunities for first-year students. If you’re interested in finding out more about internship programs in your area, talk to your law school’s career services office or contact a local law firm directly.
The most preferable internship for a first-year student could be in an NGO. They provide students with an opportunity to directly deal with people in need and develop some empathy towards them. Some find NGOs the best option for their first internship because they haven’t explored law that much.
In-house placements vs. Agency placements
If you’ve already decided to intern at a law firm, there are many options open to you. Many firms offer internships, and while the majority offer them year-round, others may only have a few available in certain departments. Internships are typically offered for one or two terms of a three-term academic year (for example, August through May/June as opposed to November through April).
Many firms place interns in departments such as their corporate law department or litigation department. This is generally referred to as an “in-house” placement. These internships usually last for one or two terms of the academic year and usually involve doing work for the firm rather than working on pro bono projects for clients. Some students will be placed in office settings like research or document review. Working as an intern in the first year can be the perfect opportunity.
Another popular option is to work for an agency, usually a legal clinic or public interest firm. Students can obtain these types of internships by sending out resumes and letters of inquiry to various law firms and agencies. Many law firms have placement offices that work with students during the application process, but it’s also possible for students to find these positions on their own. These internships typically last for a full year, from September to May or June. Students often do pro bono work for the agency while they’re interns and are often able to choose the type of work they want to do—in some cases, this will be drafting documents for clients, while in others, it involves writing briefs in court.
One can also intern in reputed blogs (like Lawocals, wink wink) and get into a habit of writing which is gonna be of great use later in your law career.
First-year peeps, chill out, breathe a little because trust us, you’ll find your way to what’s actually good for you! So, on a lighter note:
- Twitter Account of Asad Ghani, @NLU_LAW_MEMES