Even after joining law school in 2017, I did not intern for 3 semesters at all.
Why, you ask?
Well, I wanted to pursue UPSC.
But by the end of my 3rd sem, I realized that even if I wanted to pursue UPSC, I should have a decent CV so that I can do a corporate job as a backup option.
My study setup when I was studying for UPSC
This is why I applied for an internship at a law firm after the end of my 5th semester and got 2 internships at reputed law firms.
In this article, I will discuss where you should intern in your initial semesters and how you should actually apply for internships at places.
Where to NOT Intern in your 1st, 2nd Semester
If you are in 1st or 2nd Sem, you should ideally NOT intern at a law firm. Most law firms, anyways won't accept your application.
Another reason for not interning at a law firm is the fact that you will be interning at a law firm only from the end of 4th sem till the end of 10th sem. So you should use the initial semesters for interning at places such as NGOs, Startups, High Court, or even do Judicial Clerkships.
Yes, you won't get much 'core legal learnings' when interning at Startups, but working at a District court or Startup will help you in building connections.
For example - Let's say you intern at a Marketing team of a newspaper after your 1st sem. As you will be the sole 'Law student' in the whole office, people will notice you.
If you work hard there, people will remember you. These connections will help you 5-6 years down the line when those people will refer cases to you!
Please note the above points, especially if you do NOT belong from a Tier-1 NLU or if you wish to make a career in litigation. Litigation is all about building connections, and if you create a good image of yours, it will help in the future.
How to Apply for Internships in your Law School
As mentioned above, you should intern in district courts, good NGOs that actually give you work and Startups.
To apply for internships at District Court -
Go to Lawctopus.com and search for good advocates practising in district court. I suggest interning at New Delhi because it has the best district courts for learning. You will also get the opportunity of making a lot of connections.
To apply for internships at Startups
There are two choices - you can either intern at legal startups like Spotdraft, Lawctopus, or you can go to LinkedIn and search for non-legal startups.
But what will you do at these non-legal startups?
Well, you can do content writing, learn marketing, learn graphic designing or just simply network with people.
Just watch this video of a small startup named 'Bluelearn'. You will meet people like this at a startup and it will help you learn a lot about field other than law too.
All I want to say is - you can do such kind of internships only at the beginning of your law school journey, after that, you would not get the time EVER in your life, so do not waste the opportunity to do that!
Use LinkedIn and search for 'startups' in the search bar. Look at the profile that appear and DM the one you find interesting. All this would be difficult, but simple things rarely give good results.
To apply for internships at NGOs -
Same as the above. Go to Lawctopus and you will find many NGOs.
How to Send Email for Internships
Once you get email/contact details of the advocate/startup or any place you wish to intern at, write a good email.
Whatever you write in your email would either make or break your chances of getting internship. So make sure you give your best.
1. Write a good subject
Subject needs to be simple. You can write - 'Application for Internship - Nov 2023 - Law Student at GNLU/SLS Pune/etc'
Don't just write 'application for internship'
2. State why you want to Intern there
For writing this, read about the startup or the advocate you want to intern under. Go through their website, their LinkedIn posts, etc.
After reading so much about them, you would gain fair idea of what kind of work they do. So state the same in your mail.
I have produced a sample mail below for your reference. I used to send mail like these which helped me in getting internship at desired places.
How I used to send emails for getting internships - Cover letter
I'm sure this cover letter would help. Do use this as an inspiration and write emails that help you in getting internships.
If you wish to read more about 'How to get internships at Tier-1 law firms' or 'How to get internship at MNCs' you can read my eBook.
Here is the list of 13 chapters I’ve put in the book –
4 Ways to Score Good In College Exams - How I went from scoring 50% in Sem 1 to 70% in Sem 4
How is it like Working as an In-House Lawyer - Salaries, Type of Work and More
3 Reasons Why You Should do CS with Law
Detailed 5-Year Internship Plan - Plan from 1st Sem to 10th Sem
5 Tips for Performing Good in Internship - How I Secured a Job Offer Through My Internship
2 Secret Ways to Get In-house Internships
5 Practical No-nonsense tips on How to Write Research Articles
How to Send Mails that Get You Internship Anywhere
NLU v. Non-NLU - What Firms Actually Want
Do these 5 things to Ace in Moot Court Competitions
Why You Should Learn Playing a Musical Instrument - 5 Tips to Live a Memorable College Life
And finally, How to Remove the Tag of 'Shy Person' and Become Confident Socially - Story of My Own Experiments
You can either learn these things by hit and trial over the course of 2-3 years, or you could spend the next 2 days reading the whole book and learn from my experiences.
The average fee of a Law School is Rs. 10-15 lakh. This book worth Rs. 200, ensures the fee you spent on college doesn't go to waste and becomes well worth it.
You can check it out here.
I hope this article solved your doubts about how to get legal internships. Now I just want one thing from you in return - please comment down below.
It motivates me to write more articles and makes me feel like people indeed are reading my articles.
Do checkout the book too, I'm sure it will be highly helpful!
All the best!