Getting a Legal Internship

Posted December 26, 2014 by
Law student outdoors

Law student outdoors. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Graduating law school is a great accomplishment. It takes a remarkable amount of studying and dedication to become a criminal lawyer. Lawyers are very bright people. However, you will still have work to do after you receive your diploma. Now you need to set your sights on getting a legal internship. As you might imagine, there is a great deal of competition for these coveted positions. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to set yourself apart from the other applicants. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can go about landing a legal internship as soon as possible after you graduate:

1. Make this your top priority

You have already dedicated many years and countless hours of your life to become a criminal lawyer or some other type of lawyer. You can not afford to slack off now. You need to make finding an internship your top priority. With so much competition out there trying to obtain the few internships that are available, you need to be more prepared than the other people who are trying to get these jobs. Sitting back and waiting for an internship to fall into your lap is not the road to success. Take the time to craft a quality cover letter to the specific judges and employers you want to work for. While it may seem like a tedious task, this type of personalized touch will set you apart from the dozens of standard cover letters these people receive every day. Remember, the name of the game is to make yourself memorable enough to stand out from the crowd. The extra time it takes you to type up your cover letters will pay big dividends down the road. An application that is focused will have an impact on the person reading it. Instead of being tossed in the trash, it could get you an interview.

2. Have people review your resume

Before you commit to sending your resume out to the people you are trying to impress, getting some constructive criticism from people you respect and trust is always a good idea. Whoever you decide to send it to, make sure you only send it to people who will give you honest feedback. People who will only say nice things to avoid hurting your feelings will be no help to you at all.

3. Learn about the judges you will be applying to

While customizing your cover letter for each recipient is a nice touch, you can take it one step further and check out the careers page of the firm you’re applying to. It would be in your best interest to set up an appointment with the career counselor at your law school. See if you can find out if any lawyers who are former students have ever interned for the judges you will be sending your resume to. If the answer is yes, find out as much as you can about the judge in terms of the qualities he or she prefers a clerk to have. You can then use this information to highlight these qualities on your cover letter and your resume itself.

Sarah is a small business owner, and is currently learning about marketing, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.

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