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How to figure out if Law School might be right for me?

I'm a junior studying Philosophy and have an interest in pursuing a career in law. The only summer internships available with firms are limited to 1L and 2L students with no opportunities for undergraduates. How might I be able to get some perspective into the field and see if it might be the right fit for me?

#law-school #college #internship #lawyer #law

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kim’s Answer

Charlotte,

Look beyond law firms!

Look up Litigation Support Services. They help law firms get the documents in a case, and sometimes help put together videos like "a day in the life of Joe Smith." Such as when trying to show how difficult life has been for Joe since the traffic accident. I see Magnolia Legal Support, Trial Concepts, Quality Litigation Support (they look like a smaller company, and might appreciate the help), Persuasion LLC, to name a few. Familiarize yourself with this type of service before reaching out to them. While big law firms can contract out, smaller firms do most of this themselves!

Scroll to the bottom of the page on this link. They are looking for someone! (I would guess there would be strong competition, but, it is worth a try! https://www.nlg-npap.org/our-programs/

A little bit about them. NPAP is the National Police Accountability Project. It is a group of lawyers sharing information to help each other in cases involving police officers violating prisoners civil rights. It is headquartered in NOLA. It is an awesome group of people. If this area of the law appeals to you, you should check it out!
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Angel’s Answer

Have you considered working as a temp? I have worked in MANY law firms over the years and have many friends that started out as a file clerk or receptionist, and then just kept moving up over time into other positions within the firm. Personally, I started out as a Word Processor (back when computers were pretty new to us old folks!) In time, my job responsibilities changed from WP duties to legal secretary duties and then I began doing work that was legal assistant/paralegal work. By this time, I had been at the firm for 6 years when I decided to get my paralegal certificate from USD to make it more official and then I worked there another year as a certified paralegal. You can learn sooooo much about a law firm through humble beginnings! I wish you the best in your search!
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Nathalie G.’s Answer

I would recommend looking into loco legal aid societies often times they allow undergraduate or even high school students to help around the office. I interned at the California Innocence Project while I was in law school and they allow undergrad and high school students to help. You c and look to see if there is a local legal aid society or innocence project near you and get exposure there.

Also, it might be worth reaching out to the career services offices at local law school for instance, the law school i attended had a workshop called A.I.M. for law that was specifically for law students to mentor high school students interested in going to law school. Best of luck! You’ll make the right decision
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Jorie’s Answer

This is a tough one. I was in the same boat when I was in college. It was next to impossible to find legal internships and most companies do not want to hire students who will only be available for the summer. I assume you are a full time student and are only looking for something over the summer. Do you know anyone in the legal field? If so, I would recommend asking them if their firm or company would permit a prospective law student to shadow their employees. I've worked at several firms that let students shadow the office for a few days. I know that won't be the same as a summer internship, but it might help steer you in the right direction! You could also look for a part-time unpaid opportunity if you're able to make that work with a paid non-legal job. Lastly, I suggest also taking some law related courses if your school has them. I took classes like constitutional law, business law, civil rights and liberties, etc. that all really helped me in deciding that I wanted to pursue a legal career. Best of luck to you!
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Tiffany’s Answer

Charlotte,

Like Kim's response above, I would recommend looking for opportunities outside of law firms. Some companies and public interest organizations will have summer legal internship opportunities (paid or unpaid) for college students, but you will need to be proactive in searching for them. LinkedIn, Indeed, and other job boards would be a great starting point to search for these opportunities. I would also recommend reaching out to Career Services at your university to see if they have any local connections for internships.

Also, if you know any attorneys, don't hesitate to ask them if their firm/company/organization would be interested in a legal intern either during the school year or summer. When you reach out to them, it would be helpful to emphasize your passion for the law and any skills you may have which would make you a successful candidate for a legal intern position. Certain qualities and skills that I would look for in a legal intern would be: critical thinking/analysis, excellent writing and proofreading, and an attention to detail. If you can demonstrate that you possess these qualities (amongst others), it may help with getting your foot in the door. Wishing you the best of luck in your career search!

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Job’s Answer

The first question is why are you interested in law, and what is your goal, Make money, social justice, environmental protection. The practice of law can be very time consuming and draining. It can also be very rewarding and meaningful. I wa sa corporate trial attorney, very high stakes cases, high pressure to win and demanding clients. I enjoyed the practice for 15 years and left the practice of law to start businesses. I studied taxation, real estate and corporate law in school. I left Wall Street to go to law school, and was very focused on makiing a good reputation as a trial attorney and being well paid. I succeded at both, but found the practice very nerve racking and time consuming. It is not like tv.
To get an insight into the practice of law I would talk to legal aid or another organization that helps the underrepresented (normally free clinics) to see if they would offer you an administrative position for a summer. You would be exposed to the terminology, legal paperwork and see the daily work of attorneys. The reason I reccomend these type of places is that are non-profit, need all the help they can get and may see potential in you to hire you durring summers from law school.
Good luck
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