Starting your first law internship is an exciting time. This is your chance to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom, and see the law firsthand. Unfortunately, many interns are initially surprised by the lack of excitement they find at work. You should know what to expect from your internship. This doesn’t mean all internships are boring, it just means you have to know about office culture to know how you can best use your time. Here are some tips for your law internship.
While you are there to work and will have tasks to do every day, your main job is to observe what other people are doing. Make sure you know the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the office. Ask lots of questions. Learn the inner workings of a law firm as best you can.
Everyone is Busy
Typically, law offices are busy places. Everyone has a million things to do. While it is important to ask questions, it is also important not to bother anyone too much. A good way to talk to people is to offer help first. Which brings us to the next point.
You are There to Help
You are there to help make everyone’s job easier. This means you may receive some menial, administrative tasks such as making copies. You may also have to do a lot of research, and sum up your findings for your boss quickly. Whatever your assignment is, do it quickly, do it well, and go above and beyond whenever possible.
You are Also There for You
An internship should not just be free labor. You should receive some type of compensation either through pay, housing stipend, school credit, or amazing learning opportunities. If you feel like your time is being wasted, talk to your supervisor about how you can better learn from the environment. You want to walk away with more than a pretty entry on your resume, at the end of the internship. You need valuable experiences and information you can use later on.
Use your internship as a networking opportunity. You should know everyone in the firm you are working with, as well as any associates and judges who may be working with your firm. This is an important part of your internship. You should have a list of people and firms you can call upon once you are graduating and looking for a job, whether it’s a criminal practice in Minneapolis, or a local judge.
An internship is an amazing experience. Whether you are working for a Keyser law DUI lawyer or a public attorney, you will receive plenty of experience and knowledge to carry with you into your career.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.