Getting a legal internship is always a win because it is the best way to network and can be a substantial resume booster. But if you don’t behave professionally during your internship, then there are chances that it will do more harm than good.
so, this post is all about workplace etiquette that you need to uphold throughout your internship-
- Maintaining dignity while facing criticism and disappointment – A “Poker Face” is considered to be the top skill of a lawyer. It is highly probable that legal interns face negative feedbacks and make a lot of mistakes while broadening their practical skills. So, you should never take any criticism at your workplace personally. This habit of yours will impress your colleagues and boss because of it a sign of eagerness for learning.
- Punctuality – In India, Judges are overburdened with cases and everything in the courthouse runs in a tight schedule. Even if you are not doing a litigation internship, then also your punctuality will reflect your professionalism and dedication to your job.
- Maintain Formal Communications- Millennials love to use emojis and abbreviations. But your boss and senior colleagues will not be into it. So, it is advisable to match the tone of your office staff, boss and supervisors. If you sound overly formal, you won’t get a recommendation letter or employment opportunity, but it will sound disrespectful or immature.
- You are there to help and learn – This aspect can be a little tricky, especially if you’re an undergraduate legal intern. In truth, some firms may not have much work you can do, since you lack the appropriate credentials. You may become frustrated that all you do is make copies or retrieve documents from LexisNexis, SccOnline,Manupatra or westlaw. You may ask to attend as many events as possible, but know that your responsibilities will be limited. Never look annoyed or bored at your job, and remember that you’re lucky to even have the opportunity to work at a law firm or in the public sector.
- Treat everyone with respect and Politeness- Rudeness and ego are some of the worst traits an intern can display. If you do mistakes in your legal tasks, then the situations can be in your favor because of the record of being polite and respectful with your peers. If you’re rude to someone, the news will travel fast. You could be top of your class, but lose potential employment opportunities due to a bad attitude. So, make sure that you are very polite and respectful. It will go a long way and help you in building goodwill in the industry.
- Be Thankful – You should be thankful for whatever opportunities you get during the internship. You can show your thankfulness by giving a thank you card to your boss or send a thankyou email to your co-interns and colleagues.
Overall, your internship is like one big audition. Your legal expertise matters, but so does your behavior. Use your internship in the best way possible and do a hell lot of networking . Make sure you make the best use of the given opportunity because only the best among all can do that.
Here a few other posts that you might be interested in –
- What to do if you don’t get your dream internship
- How to stand as an effective In-House lawyer
- A complete guide for drafting a resume
- How to grab an internship as a law undergraduate