Strategies for finding law-related experiences as a first-year or Sophomore student

Freshman and sophomores who plan on studying law after graduation sometimes have a difficult time looking for a summer internship opportunity. Many legal internships require higher credentials and it can be frustrating to scan pages of job postings that are primarily looking for upperclassmen or students already enrolled in law school. If you have been facing a similar challenge, check out these tips for searching for an internship that will help you improve your resume for law school.

Do your “homework” on LinkedIn: A neat trick for finding internship opportunities is to search current law students on LinkedIn. Navigate to the page of a law school you are interested in and click on the “alumni” tab, which will show all of the accounts of individuals who are presently attending this school or have previously graduated from it. By examining their profiles, you can look at the experiences they have listed and find out what they were doing when they were freshmen and sophomores in undergrad that made their resumes a good match for this law school. This might give you an idea of some internship opportunities to pursue that would also make you a competitive applicant at this particular school. Feel free to connect with them and ask questions about their underclassman experiences.

Network: When in doubt, ask an industry professional! Create a Mentor Match account today and conduct informational interviews with lawyers and current law students to see if they have any advice on how to make your underclassman years count.
Join Campus Groups: Consider joining a club on campus, such as the Thurgood Marshall Pre-Law Society, to gain valuable knowledge about entering the study of law and network with other pre-law students. Also, gaining leadership experience in any campus group, law-related or not, will look great on a law school application.

Think Broadly: A great way to get your foot in the door is to think about your interests in a broader sense. Are you interested in environmental law? Consider interning or volunteering for an environmental conservation organization. Would you like to study health law? You could benefit from working in a hospital. These relevant experiences will help to strengthen your knowledge about the area of law you plan to pursue.

Be Realistic: The legal profession is one that requires years of study, so naturally underclassmen in college are unable to truly intern as a lawyer the way some other students can intern under their desired profession. This is okay! At this stage, any experience is “good experience”. The knowledge you gain through the internship you choose will bring you closer to your ultimate goal of becoming a lawyer.

If you would like personalized assistance in finding an internship, the Fleishman Center is happy to help! We offer appointments for internship searching, resume and cover letter help, mock interviews, and anything else that will help you find and secure an internship.

By Julia Sullivan
Julia Sullivan Julia Sullivan