What Are Legal Internships and Where Can I Do One?
Doing a Legal internship is a great way to get some professional legal experience and develop the skills needed to become a lawyer while you study. This page tells you what to expect from a law internship and includes a list of organisations that offer them.
What is a Legal Internship?
Similar to vacation schemes, open days, mini pupillages, a legal internship is a type of legal work experience that will set you on the path to a legal career. However instead of taking place in a law firm setting, legal internships usually happen within the in-house legal department or a large company. They last longer than most other forms of law work experience and can range from a month to a year, so doing one is a great idea for those who are taking a gap year.
The experiences gained during law internships will help you bolster training contract or pupillage applications. Law internships also provide invaluable insight into how the legal department interacts with other departments within an organisation such as human resources and finances. They offer a broad range of legal and commercial work experience across several areas which will look fantastic on your CV!
What Do Legal Internships Involve?
The exact format of any law internship is difficult to predict and will very much depend on where you undertake it. You’ll be involved with a range of tasks including:
- Helping draft and negotiate legal documents
- Proofreading and reviewing forms of documentation
- General office administration
- Sending internal and external correspondence
- Attending meetings
What Kind of Law Internships are Available?
There are a large number of internship opportunities available in organisations that can give you an idea of how the legal system functions in human rights law, EU law and criminal law and commercial law.
Organisations Offering Legal Internships
|Amnesty International||London, Geneva and New York||Four to six months
|International Bar Association||London, Washington DC & The Hague||Not stated
|International Criminal Court||The Hague||From three to six months
|UN Commission on International Trade Law||Check website||Two to six months
|United Nations||Various||Three to six months
How Do I Apply for Law Internships?
For most law internships, you will need to visit the organisation’s website for more details about the application process, but it usually involves sending in a legal cover letter and CV or filling out an application form.
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>> Want to find out what it’s like doing a legal internship at a top international law firm? Read our Allen & Overy: Internship Insight here!