Three Reasons to Intern before Law School
By: Jaliyah Turner
1. It will allow you to gain legal exposure
One of the most appealing reasons that an undergraduate student may want to find a legal internship is to gain experience within the industry before heading to law school. A legal internship can help you get a sense of what a career in the legal field entails. Most large law firms are looking for 1L, 2L, and 3L students but there are often opportunities specifically catered to undergrads. These are usually entry level administrative and clerical positions at smaller law firms, non-profit organizations, and places like the Judicial Court, Clerk of Court, District Attorney’s Office, etc. A legal intern position usually entails organizing and drafting legal documents, conducting complex legal research, and gaining insight into the professional lives of attorneys and judges.
2. It will help you decide whether a career in the legal field is good for you
Attending law school is a big time and financial investment. Although pre-law undergraduate students are already on the track to attend law school, interning can help them decide whether they want to pursue that career. A legal internship is beneficial as upon completion of one, you may find that you’re still interested in law, or you may discover that you’re having doubts. You don’t necessarily need legal experience to apply to law school, but interning can help you get that first-hand experience and decide if practicing law is right for you.
3. Interning can help you decide what areas of law interest you the most
If an undergraduate student decides that attending law school and pursuing a career in the legal field is right for them, then interning can help them narrow down which areas of law interest them. There is a plethora of law fields that range from Estate Planning Law to Civil Rights Law, to Entertainment Law. During a legal internship, you’re able to see the day-to-day schedules and practices of attorneys and decide if the work interests you. By interning with different firms or organizations, you can confirm which areas of law you’d prefer to practice and which you wouldn’t.
What you learn during your internship can help prepare you for law school and the career that comes after. Although it is not expected by law schools, all in all, a legal internship looks impressive on your application as it shows that you have already begun to venture out into the field of law. If you are an undergraduate student currently considering an internship, be prepared to gain valuable experience that can potentially help you decide whether the career is a good fit for you.