Tips on how to get law Internships in India

3 Jul 2021  Read 8197 Views

Internships always have a major role in every student’s career. Landing on the right internships does not only boost your career but also, helps you bag the job that you always wanted. Legal internships help the students gain a practical application of what they have learnt in the law school. However, with the top firms of the country receiving thousands of applications every month, getting an opportunity to work there is not always that easy. Here are some tips that will help you land an internship.

Why is it necessary to do internships?

Firstly, lets talk about why is it necessary for a law student to do internships. 

  1. It helps you understand what is best for your career: Working in certain areas of the legal field will help you understand the career path that you want to choose- Whether you want to go for litigation or you want to enter the corporate field? Internships are a good opportunity to understand all the different career options in law that are available to a student. 

  2. Builds a strong network: Internships help you to interact with people who have been working in the same field for years. Discussions on different topics with them can broaden your perspective. Contact with such mentors or co-workers will benefit you in the long run.

  3. Developing skills: At times working as an intern will help you gain the knowledge that will not be provided in the law school. Working as an intern also improves other skills like time management, leading an entire team under your authority. 

  4. Edge over other students: The more internships you do, the stronger your CV will get. Between you, with a strong CV and experience and a student with no experience and a weak CV, the hiring company will always prefer you. Internships always increase your chance of being hired compared to others.

What are some of the tips that you need to keep in mind?

  1. Where should you look for an internship? 

Even though it is important for a student to work as an intern, it is also important to work in a reputed firm that serves their interest. Hence, there is no point in sending out applications to all the available firms in the city. Instead, look for well reputed firms that offer you the knowledge and skill set. Never hesitate to send application to the firms that fit your criteria. However, it is not guaranteed that there is a spot for all the students in the big firms. Hence, as long as the firm has something to offer you, it is okay to work in smaller firms as well. Smaller companies are somewhat flexible with their interns as compared to the top firms so, it is a perfect place to start working for a student as the mentors are always there to help you and guide you.

  1. What should you look for in an internship?

A mentioned earlier, sending applications to all the law firms is a mere waste of time. You need to analyze whether the firms are going to yield the experience and skills that you require. The following are the criterions to keep in mind.

  • Try to work in firms/organizations that will help you stand out from the rest of the students.

  • It should give you the exposure into the real world of the legal field. Through this you will understand how the professional career is going to be.

  • Make sure that the internship you select will have an impact on your resume. Do not forget the concept of quality over quantity as in this case also, experience in one well reputed firm will be given more acknowledgment than experience with five non-relevant organizations. 

  • The internship should teach you all the skills that will be essential to secure a job in the future. 

  1. When should you start applying for internships?

Once you have shortlisted the firms that you want to apply in, start sending out all the applications at least 3-4 months prior. Once you have sent the application, call the firm’s office and ask for the status of your internship application. It is important to keep in mind that without calling the office, your application is as good as “not acknowledged”, so do not hesitate to call the firms more than once. 

  1. Write a strong cover letter

A cover letter is a very important tool as it allows you to target the job and the employer when applying for an internship. A good cover letter should not only summarize your resume but also describe what it is about the internship that makes you want to work for the firm. Keep in mind that most of the recruiters always read the cover letter first. Some of the firms do not even consider looking at the resume until and unless they are satisfied with the cover letter. So even if the firm has enlisted cover letters as “optional”, you should still include it as it shows that you are willing to take that extra step to get the internship. A good cover letter must include:

  • An introduction of yourself that explains why you are the perfect fit for the position.

  • Your enthusiasm for the position

  • The different skills that you have to offer for the said position.

  1. Interviews

Once the recruiter is satisfied with your cover letter and resume, he/she will contact you and schedule an interview. Below are some of the tips that will lead to a successful internship.

Prepare yourself well: Have a good grasp the topic, research on the company and always have the copy of your resume on yourself. Do not forget to wear the proper attire for the interview.

First Impression: It is very important to create an excellent first impression. A good first impression is the first step of a successful interview. 

Talk about your skills: Mention about your skills to the recruiter whenever you get the opportunity. Experience and skills gathered from the previous internships are also worth mentioning.

Do not attempt to answer something that you don’t know: Never attempt to answer something that you don’t know. Do not forget that the recruiters have dealt with tens of thousands of students over the years so they will easily understand when you attempt to make up an answer, which will leave a bad impression on the recruiter. Instead, you can let the recruiter know that you are not aware of the answer and move forward with the interview.

Some other ways to get an internship

Placement Cells: Most of the law colleges have a separate placement cell whose job is to reach out to different firms and try to book slots for internship for the students. Once the slots are booked, the placement cell makes the students aware of the opening, who in turn can apply for the same.

Contacts: This is where the strong network comes into help. If you happen to know someone who can help to get the desired internship, you can contact them and ask for their help.

Moots and Writing Competitions: Moots and writing competitions have the opportunity of internships as prizes. Hence participating in them can increase your chances of getting an internship.

Conclusion

As an intern, one can expect to work under all sorts of circumstances. Some of them can be as simple as printing notices or managing files in the office while others give you the real taste in the practical field. They might also be assigned with drafting or assisting a client. Thus, an intern should always be well aware of all the work that the selected firm has to offer.

About the Author: Antalina Guha | 29 Post(s)

Antalina Guha, is in the  5th year of B.A. LL.B course in Ajeenkya DY Patil University, with a core interest in Intellectual Property Rights and Criminal law.

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