Law school is 5 year-long journey with every summer/winter break demanding us to do an internship. Aside from the tedious task of finding yourself an internship, the challenge also lies in surviving a month-long internship successfully. Most law students during this course of time have witnessed that while some internships demand a lot from you, there are some which do not utilize the time and talent of their interns. In many firms and companies or even in the chambers of advocates, interns often sit idle when no work is delegated to them, especially when it’s off-season.
This article aims to provide a few tips with which you can usefully utilize your spare time during internships, making the experience more fruitful:
SEND EMAILS TO ASSOCIATES/JUNIOR ADVOCATES
Sometimes the lawyers at your organization are so preoccupied that they might not have the time to think about an intern. Moreover, interns change every month and it’s difficult to remember new names each month. An associate or junior may have a lot of work to delegate but they might be busy to coordinate with you or even unsure whether you are free.
For these reasons, sending an email stating that you are available for work to all the associates/juniors in the firm might be beneficial. It will bring to their notice that one particular intern is available and if they have work they can either reply to your mail or call you and delegate the work immediately.
This way you also do not disturb them when they are working and you do not have to go up to them and ask for work either.
THINK OF PUBLICATIONS/ARTICLES
Having some free time in your internship and access to a good library is enough reason to think about writing a paper for publication. You could think and research about an area of law pertaining to the internship you are doing or any other legal topic.
You may frame your ideas and discuss it with an associate/ partner and take their inputs. If you see them taking interest in your work, you could also offer to co-author a paper with them. This also shows effort and curiosity on the part of an intern.
RE-VISIT PREVIOUS WORK
If you have time at hand it may be a good idea to revisit any research you did or any previous drafts that you made. Make an effort to polish your work by putting in more time and create a better document. Read articles around the work you did or you could re-read the case file again to find something substantive.
USE YOUR LOCATION TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Most of these firms/chambers are located in the same area i.e. in an around the High Courts. In your spare time or after work you could take print-outs of your CV and visit the offices of the organizations where you would like to intern next. You can meet with the HR and tell him/her about your interest in interning with them next break.
Try your best to use your location to network with lawyers and organizations located there. You can also talk to juniors and seniors at the organization you are interning and learn from them more about the workplace, its clients, its culture and its aims.
This helps you get more details about the place you are working at and this information is crucial for you to make a decision about whether you want to intern there in the future.
LEARN FROM CO-INTERNS
The advantage of sitting in a room full of interns is multi-fold. Make an effort to socialize and learn from your co-interns who come from other law colleges and different backgrounds. Each of them may have something new to say and share with you about work, internships and the legal field.
Developing a rapport with your co-interns and being nice to them will take you a long way because they too will be lawyers along with you and having contacts is never a bad thing. Moreover, by being friendly you can share contacts and internship details with each other so that next time around the application procedure may be easier for you.
Talk to them about their experiences in different internships and try to note the places they mention which intrigue your interest and then ask them about the application procedure there. Help each other get opportunities by sharing the information that you have.
If they have too much workload on one particular day then share the load by helping them out if you are relatively free because very soon you might be needing their help too. ￼
Being kind and friendly to your co-interns is great because if you are staying and interning in an unknown city, it is always a source of comfort to have some friends to hang out with.
These are just some strategies to make your internship experience more meaningful and tips on how to utilize the extra time at hand. Of course, each individual has their own way around things depending on their comfort zone but these tips are just an indicator of the things you could do when boredom gets to you at an internship.
These suggestions are just a guide to ease your internship journey so that you feel more productive by the end of it and leave the place feeling content!