How to grab an internship as a law undergraduate ?

Having a nice record of internship can increase your chances of getting your dream job offer. But then there is a lot of favoritism going on among top law firms for hiring law graduates. There have been cases where a firm favors students from a well known NLU and putting the internship applications of top firms in the trash bin of their mail. How grabbing an internship is different for Non-NLU students and NLU students?

The only NLUs which have a great advantage when it comes to getting a good internship at big law firms are the top 3-5 NLUs. The rest of the NLUs are also good but if you belong to those top 3-5 NLUs, then getting a nice internship is a very easy task for you. But at the same time, it does not mean others can’t get a job at big law firms. One question which will come to your mind is that what are those benefits which these top law schools get. The answer is that, these law schools organize Day 0 placements. In day 0 placements, big law firms recruit top students of the batch. Those law school which organizes Day 0 placement are-

NLSIU Bangalore

NALSAR , Hyderabad

NILU , Bhopal

NUJS , Kolkata

GNLU, Gandhinagar

NLU Delhi

There are also few private universities that manage to get a few top law firms to visit their campus and recruit. They are-

Symbiosis Law School

Jindal Global Law School

But statistically, the number of such recruitments are very insignificant. It’s not that all the student of NLUs gets big high paying job after their graduation. Most of the time it’s just top 10 of the batch gets multiple job offers. The  Rest of them get rejected during the CV shortlisting.So, You have to tailor your CV in a most crisp way. For the rest of the students in even these top graduate schools as well as in other graduate schools, the best way to make into these big law firms is through intern positions. If they can impress the firm during the internship period, they might be allowed to show up in a meeting for PPO. If the recruiter gets impressed in the PPO interview then they can get a job into these big law firms. Most of the undergraduate law students do not get placed in big law firms during their campus placement. so the best way to get into these firms is through PPOs.  You can’t just be relaxed even if you are a top scorer in these big law schools. You still have to prepare, maintain your CV and even if you get a job in these firms then you have to work hard to sustain that job.  There is a big number of law students who get hired in these top tier firms and then they eventually quit it or get fired. Also, in every law school 5th_ year batch, some academically bright students somehow miss the bus and don’t be able to get a job in these firms.

Advantages and disadvantages – You have to realize your advantage and disadvantage to make the best use of your law school. You should sharpen and exploit your advantages and compensate for your disadvantages. Once you get to know your disadvantages you can work on turning your disadvantages into advantages. You should not lie about your disadvantages or overestimate your advantages. None of that is of any help. Getting into big law firms is not everyone’s cup of tea. You should have a long term strategy and application of that strategy in your daily life.  It’s never about how much talent you have, it’s always about how much you can grow and how you handle the setback. Here are the common advantages that you should have-

  1. Good communication Skills – Every law student should have good written and oral communication skills. Top law students can write in a very articulate and skillful manner. They know how to interpret the law and give judgment. They are well versed with complex language which is an essential skill of this profession. There are a lot of students who get rejected due to their poor English skills in their CVs and interview. You should have an impeccable English skill otherwise you should try litigation.
  2. Practical knowledge, skill, and training –  Law firms have tons of application for internships, so you should have a distinguished quality which can stand you out of the crowd. This can only happen if you have practical knowledge of all the theoretical concepts you have studied in class.  You need to have the following skills to get a good internship –
    • Research skill – I can’t stress enough how important it is to have good research skills. It will help you in many ways like in moot court competition, research paper, and article writing, etc. You should have good knowledge of operating legal research databases such as Manupatra, SCC Online, Westlaw, etc.
    • Contract Drafting- No one will tell you to draft a full-fledged contract during your law school years. But you can have an advantage if you provide your valuable additions and suggestions when they tell you to do proofreading of those contracts.
    • Relevant courses –  It is better if you find out your interest in the early years of your law school so that you can do relevant courses, For example, if you are interested in Mergers & Acquisition then you can do a relevant course on it. The idea is to get acquainted with those legal topics which you generally do not study in the classroom.
    • Publication of papers-  This can tell the recruiters that you have a deeper understanding of those topics on which you have published papers. Publications of research papers help you in many ways which include legal writing and research skills.

The perfect time to start working on internship and jobs-

Your aim should be to get a PPO at the end of your 4th-year law school or at the starting of your 5th year.  Students delay the beginning of their preparation and that’s where they do mistakes.  The right time to work on this is as soon as possible. So, A little progress every day adds up to a big result. If you take care of all these small points then most of the law firms will let you intern with them.

All the Best. Comments and Queries are welcome.

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