An internship is where higher education meets employment. In today’s competitive job market, getting a degree alone without any practical experience does not guarantee students success in the workplace.
This is where an internship comes to the rescue. It provides you the first-hand experience of working in the ‘real world’ and enables you to gain greater insight into the field you are studying.
Serving as an intern can have manifold implications on your future career, especially in the legal profession.
Not only does an internship expose you to different court processes and experienced lawyers, but it also makes you a more favorable candidate to potential employers.
Here’s why an internship is a pillar to success in the legal world.
Application Of Theoretical Knowledge In Practice
During their academic years, law students go through various jargon, statutes, articles, sections, provisos, and case laws.
Their curriculum is designed so as to enable them to understand different principles, analyze burning judgments, and uphold a set of conventions.
While law school teaches students the fundamental laws they need to know, the key is learning how to apply those concepts from years of studying to real-world situations.
An internship provides students the opportunity that also benefits them when they’re studying for their exam.
Whether you aspire to enter the corporate world as an associate general counsel, or fight litigations, internships are equally important.
Managing the practical aspects of litigation or preparing contracts for corporate clients are the skills that one can develop during the internship.
Internships expose you to different people, situations, and work. You have the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life, having different ideologies and perceptions.
This will enable you to analyze things from a different perspective and help you to perceive things better.
Besides, interning under various organizations, ranging from a research organization to an international company, will provide you an understanding of wide and robust work culture.
While you always read about workplace etiquette and handling difficult situations, no amount of reading can match the actual, in-person experience you get during your internship.
Building A Robust Professional Network
The art of networking is a mandate for future success, particularly in this day and age.
Professional meet and greets help you land a job after graduation and build your contacts – a valuable resource you can tap in the future.
During the internship, you meet different people from various cultures, regions, and backgrounds. You may meet a person who takes your view of things or someone with completely opposing ideas.
Such exposure to diversity in nature, behavior, and perception helps you grow as a person.
However, one needs to understand that networking is about developing relationships rather than finding a job on the spot. Refrain from asking for job search assistance too early in your interactions.
Instead, use your network to gain information about careers, find more contacts, and seek advice.
Also, your networking communications shouldn’t be all about your needs only. Offer assistance to your contacts whenever you can, and you will find that they are more willing to help you when you reach out to them.
Ingraining New Skills
Whether you’re in a legal profession or not, it is essential to constantly upgrade and imbibe new skills in one’s skill set. This can be achieved if one is serious during their internship.
Language is one of the most important soft skill of a legal professional. The internship teaches interns to convey information in clear, concise, and logical terms.
Interns also learn to be articulate while drafting the petition, replies, written submissions, etc.
Not only that, but internships also help to inculcate the spirit of teamwork and effort. It makes you more patient and enables you to manage time more efficiently.
Most importantly, your internship experience makes you more responsible and accountable for your decisions and the way you execute the work allotted to you.
One of the most important things you learn during your internship is to conduct yourself in public places such as the courtroom, in front of clients, or behind your own desk in the office.
You learn by observing your mentor with their clients, support staff, fellow lawyers, court personnel, and judges. This will prepare you for similar interactions when you actually begin a job as a law professional.
Simply knowing how to conduct yourself in a professional setting will help ensure that you don’t stand out for the wrong reasons.
Acquaintance With Rigorousness
The work culture in today’s competitive era is subject to rigorous work hours that can exhaust a newbie if he is unprepared. Internship gets one acquainted with the same.
This puts them in a better position in comparison to their peers.
Audition In Disguise
Firms nowadays have started to use intern programs instead of using on-campus recruiting. Thus, an internship basically serves as an audition in disguise.
This is ideal for both interns and employers to test out if a working relationship between them is possible.
It provides both sides the opportunity to test a new relationship for a short time before committing to it fully.
Thus, if an intern showcases good work, there is a possibility that he/she will be given an opportunity for a full-time position in the company they are interning.
After completing a law firm internship, law school graduates become more marketable to employers.
An impressive resume that outlines your prior work experience and the skills you’ve learned during the internship gives you a competitive advantage over others.
With so many benefits to offer, one cannot underestimate the role of an internship in shaping one’s future career.
Hence, all students should take advantage of the internship opportunities offered through their law school.
What’s more, students should take their internship seriously and perform their best. However, tactics involving flattering the mentors are discouraged at all costs.
Let the quality of your work speak louder. Also, try not to miss the deadline, as punctuality is the key to a successful internship.
So start with an internship today and work your way up to the esteemed position of an assistant general counsel.