Law students, either pursuing their 5-year BA-LLB or 3-year LLB courses or students aspiring to do such a course from any of the top law colleges in India, generally have a lot of questions to ask regarding Law School internships and mostly, the questions revolve around “How to choose the right internships in Law school?” To mellow down the curiosity of law aspirants and to provide them a streamlined view on internship procurement, here are some useful tips that they can refer to for their knowledge and clarity:
In any top law schools in India offering BA LLB or LLB courses – like Asian Law College (ALC) in Delhi NCR’s Noida – the student can divide their internships into phases. If we are a first-year student, then there is a likely chance that we do not know what exactly is your calling or what we might end up doing? Some might think that they really like Corporate Law and may, therefore, want to become a Corporate lawyer. But, three years down the line or by the end of the fourth year or fifth year you may think “no, I was wrong, I really don’t want to become a Corporate lawyer, my actual calling is that I really want to serve people.” You want to go for litigation but then, you look at your CV and all your internships are in corporate law. Now, what do you do? So, never stick to one kind of internship because that might become a problem when you realize that your area of interest has changed.
Therefore, we should always divide your internships. In order to make things easier, here is an explanation of how we can divide your internships. Ideally, it is suggested that we should divide your internships into five parts:
As a law student always remember that although internship is important, the kind of internship you do is more important. One very strong skill you must possess in order to be a successful Lawyer is a good and effective Research Skill. In order to enhance this skill, you must definitely do a Research Internship. Start with this in the first year of Law School and this will prepare you for all the other internships that you will apply for later in your professional journey.
Law Firm Internship
A legal intern’s duties vary based on the needs of the firm and the student’s level of experience, but typically it includes basic office work such as filing, legal research, client assistance, and helping lawyers with paperwork and courtroom preparation. This will boost your knowledge of substantive areas of law, gain exposure to a real work environment, and provide valuable support to a legal employer. Besides, in a law firm internship, a student of 5th year will ideally be performing the same tasks as a lawyer is required to do. By the time the student is in the third year, the internship helps a lot to gain cumulative knowledge. The mainline of difference between a 3rd-year law student and a fresh law graduate starting his law practice is the fact that one has taken the Bar exam and one hasn’t.
A corporate internship is one of the most important branches of law as it brings an in-depth understanding of the issues in the Corporate world which are extremely important when it comes to statutory compliance. A corporate internship benefits a student in more ways than one. Anyone who wants to make a career working as a corporate lawyer in an MNC, Private Company, LPO, etc., must definitely do a corporate internship to learn the technicalities of the job and the workings of it. Some of the benefits that arise out of a corporate internship are:
- Improves professional network
In a corporate internship, the student has the advantage to build a professional relationship with many companies they provide support for and that helps in getting better job opportunities in future. Better professional network is as important as gaining knowledge, improving skill set and understanding the nuances of the legal field.
- PPOs (Pre-Placement Offers)
If an intern works pro-actively on the matters it offers support in the Company or firm, then the efforts are appreciated, observed and subsequently, the company might offer a pre-placement to the student. This helps the students in not just learning and being part of such a company for four weeks but also beyond and become a part of the company as an employee in the future. As the intern already knows the working of the company, it saves a lot of company’s time to hire new employees and train them.
- Understanding the practical technicalities
These internships are very much similar to working as an employee in the corporate sector and hence the practical working of the corporate sector is what the student will come across which will help him/ her in obtaining a job later in life.
Work under an independent lawyer
If you wish to have a close working environment and learn the courtroom practice, you must do this internship. This internship is recommended because, as there are comparatively fewer interns working under these lawyers, it leads to direct interaction and learning experience from the senior. This eliminates the possibility of sitting without work, and 99% of the time you deal with challenging work and the seniors assign you and depend on you for information gathering and documentation. In larger law firms, most students get the certificates but the skill set may not be improvised to that extent of which the internship under independent lawyers can provide.
Subject-matter specific internship
This refers to the internship in which your interest lies. There are a lot of students who wish to do area-specific internships like Sports Law, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, IPR, Banking Law, etc. Hence, towards the end of the law school years, you must focus on these area specific internships as this will help while making a career in such an area of Law. By the 4th and 5th year, most students realize their interests and that is the time when they must look for firms specializing in these areas of Law. This will help you in securing a PPO and if you want to sit for an interview in a similar area-specific law firm, you can use this internship to show experience in that area.
Wish you all the best!