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HOW TO GET TOP TIER LAW FIRM INTERNSHIPS ON MERIT?


If you are looking for the best internships, just like every other student in a law school, there are a lot of (baby) steps one must follow. Of course, you can get internships by having a reference or connection but having these are not common. In this article, we aim to provide you with insight based on our own experiences and of our peers;

 

1. Start taking internships seriously from the very beginning of college-

 

Most colleges have internship policies wherein students have to compulsorily do internships. In your 1st-2nd year of law school, it is best to explore District Courts, High Courts, NGO based internships to get a good grasp of the subjects such as – IPC, CRPC, CPC, etc. Getting these internships is relatively easy. Getting these internships not only helps you in gaining knowledge but also a good chance to network with the advocates. Your CV will also get better.  

 

2. Create an account on LinkedIn-

 

Do not underestimate the power of networking (LinkedIn). Connect with people working in the field. Send them a small note while connecting, giving a brief about yourself and the reason behind sending them a request. This increases your chances of getting accepted. Also, connect with the talent acquisition teams and follow the pages of law firms. A lot of opportunities get posted there daily and this is where you get a lead.

 

3. Apply to law firms -

 

It is advised as a law student to explore all the opportunities in this field. Interning at law firms will help you make a decision concerning your preferences. If you do not like the law firm environment and prefer litigation (or want to opt for judiciary), make the best of your remaining law firm tenure to work towards that goal. If you feel that a law firm environment is suitable for you, explore your area of interest- Taxation, IPR, General Corporate, etc.

 

Now the main question- How to apply? Do not solely head for top tier firms in the beginning. Remember one step at a time. Again chances of getting selected at tier-2/3/4 firms are relatively easier. Start by searching contact details of the firms which practice in your area of interest. Contact details of HR (Email) is also very helpful. You may also try cold messaging them on LinkedIn. In the end, the aim is that your CV should reach HR.

 

Draft a professional cover letter (body of your email), and attach your CV. Double-check, if required triple check each and every word that you mention in both of them. Lesser number of mistakes=lesser rejections. You can find draft CVs and Cover Letters from websites of various universities such as Harvard University. Mention your educational qualifications, prior experience, publications, moots, extra-curricular activities. Do not mention your hobbies or other personal details (except for the name, phone number, email address and LinkedIn profile link). Everything should be mentioned separately in bullet points. Refrain from using any fancy templates. A normal word file with a simple border and bifurcations is all you need. Always send these documents in PDF format. Also, rename the files to- <Your Name_CV>.

 

Make sure to apply well in advance, at least 3-5 months in advance. Follow up in the same trailing mail every 10 days or so. After following up 2-3 times by mail, reach out to the concerned HR on their professional/office phone number. Refrain from communicating on Monday/Friday/Weekends. The best days are Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday between 11 am-4pm. These timelines do look very strict, however, it is necessary to think from the perspective of HR.

 

4. Applying to Top Tier Law Firms-

 

As a student, everybody has this curiosity to work at a law firm. You get to meet amazing professionals, work on different queries and it definitely makes your CV shine. The only way to reach here on merit is to make sure you start giving your best from the very beginning. You ought to have some experience to get an opportunity. Several top tier law firms conduct interview rounds as well. Make sure you know each and everything mentioned in your CV. You should also be able to answer questions related to the subjects that you are studying currently in college.

 

Approximately 50-60k students apply to these firms every year. It seems pretty overwhelming and competitive but if you start working from the very beginning, this stage would not scare you. Also for top tier law firms, apply 7-8 months in advance, this sounds crazy but remains true for all.

 

5. After getting selected-

 

If you get selected, make the most of your internship. Try your best even at the easiest tasks. Make sure to form a connection with your mentors. Nobody can guide you better than them. At the end of your internship, get feedback and request a call back internship (another internship). Thank HR for selecting you and asking for future opportunities.

 

6. Assessment Internships-

 

By the time you reach the 4th-5th year of law school, try to get assessment internships. These will increase your chances of getting employed by the organization. The procedure for applying remains the same, just mention that you are looking for an assessment internship rather than just an internship. If the firm likes your work and feels you are compatible enough to join the organization, they will offer you a PPO.

 

IN CASE YOU HAVE MISSED EITHER OF THESE STEPS, DO NOT WORRY! IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. START WORKING, NETWORKING RIGHT NOW AND YOU’LL MAKE IT!

                                                                                                                                  

ALSO READ- In conversation with Managing Associate Vibhav Mithal, Anand & Anand

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