Doing internships in undergrad

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ElToro89
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:03 pm

Doing internships in undergrad

Postby ElToro89 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:11 pm

Hello all!

I am a junior in university planning on going to law school school when I finish. I'm interested in getting some experience being in the environment of a law firm during the next two summers when I am home from school. What's the best way to scout out/solicit these jobs? I've never really done any volunteer/intern work, but I had a job as a tax preparer for a year and a half at H&R block, so I do have some work experience.

In addition, I speak high-intermediate level Spanish and could function with it in a professional environment (minus legal terms, which I would have to learn seperately.) Will this help give me an edge?

Basically, any advice on applying for and securing such a position would be great.

Thanks!

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mrtoren
Posts: 733
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:43 pm

Re: Doing internships in undergrad

Postby mrtoren » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:58 pm

Local state's attorney's offices are usually great places to look for a first internship. They're also one of the few legal employers that will risk hiring undergraduates because the offices generally have the resources and manpower to compensate for the lack of students' knowledge. Most private firms don't have that kind of luxury...they need interns who know the law and can work independently.

I'm interning for a state's attorney's office right now and your Spanish skills would be very valuable. We run into roadblocks with defendants who speak little to no English on a daily basis. With the courthouse interpreters in high demand, we routinely have to wait an hour or two to speak with the individuals. Even simple tasks such as setting a new court date require an interpreter to ensure proper understanding. I think you would probably be a valuable candidate if you applied.

Even if criminal law isn't one of your top choices, its legal work experience that you can claim for future jobs.
Last edited by mrtoren on Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

ElToro89
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:03 pm

Re: Doing internships in undergrad

Postby ElToro89 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:57 pm

Thanks for the information, I'll certainly look into that. I live quite far from the actual district office of the state attorney's office, but they do keep a division office here. Would that be something I should look into? I'm guessing private sector firms in a mid sized city would be a harder nut to crack altogether?

Assuming I plan to inquire with local private firms as well as the district and local state attorney's office for the summer, when would be the best time to solicit these positions?

justinp
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Doing internships in undergrad

Postby justinp » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:12 pm

Your local Legal Aid firm might also have use for you. Especially if you speak Spanish well-- pretty much anywhere, and especially anywhere in the South, a huge number of their clients are Spanish speakers.

Call around, send resumes, and figure out if you know anyone who works for Legal Aid, district attorney, state AG, etc. etc.

Pound the pavement til something sticks.




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