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Mar 19 / George

Getting an advantage when studying law with internships

Choosing law as a career is an ambitious move that requires dedication, commitment, and an ability to stand out in the crowd. It’s a fiercely competitive world, and like in all job markets, the right vacancies are scarce; employers naturally look towards those with the most experience. An internship is the perfect way to beef up a CV and gain some invaluable experience – not just in your career, but in life. Law internships are available around the world – here’s a look at why they’re worth doing:

Meet employers’ expectations

As with many careers, legal employers will now expect most prospective entry-level employees to have at least one internship under their belt. An internship on a CV signifies many things: it proves to the employer that the person is serious about their career path and committed to certain goals; it demonstrates initiative and resourcefulness; and it provides evidence of relevant working experience. Plus, in an increasingly competitive jobs environment, an employer will always pick a candidate with internship experience over a candidate without.

Gaining important experience

Four years of law school cannot amply prepare you for the real thing. Your studies can only ever be theoretical – an internship thrusts you into the practical world of law, and gives you insights that no textbook could ever provide. Being right in the heart of the daily working life of a practice gives you a chance to see the logistical side of your profession and shadow veterans of the field.

Garner new perspectives

An internship is not just about making cups of tea and working long hours. It’s also an opportunity to get outside your comfort zone and experience a new way of looking at the world. Taking an internship abroad can shed new light on your chosen career and give an insight into other cultures and people. There are a huge number of volunteer projects for law students or graduates in vulnerable parts of the world, dealing in human rights and other urgent ventures. Check out some of examples of available programmes offered by companies such as Projects Abroad UK.

Opportunity for job offers

If you make a dazzling first impression and throw yourself into your internship, people will notice. Job offers can come from internships and in fact are a major source of new hires among law firms – for many employers, an internship is like an extended job interview, a chance for them to observe how you work and test how you might fit into the company. With every internship it’s vital to be positive and hardworking throughout – even if a permanent position doesn’t arrive, you will still make contacts that you may use again in the future.

Resource box

Should You Do An Internship

About.com explains why internships are so important.

Five Benefits of an Internship in a Law School

Yahoo! lists benefits for a law school internship.

Work Experience Abroad

Prospects details the advantages of a foreign internship.