Final Year (Long-Term) Internships: Know-How

Internships in one’s college life play an important role in shaping up one’s career decisions. A student can seek clarity on a wide range of queries regarding which role suits them best, working environment they would prefer, learning required law skills, and the likes.

Following upon the same, are you confused as to your final year internship? Do you find yourself wondering how can you properly invest your final year before graduation and possibly turn your internship into a PPO? Let’s find out!

Guiding your way:

Dr. Rahela Khorakiwala

Legal Academic at Federal And Co.

She has an LLM from NYU School of Law and completed her LLB from GLC, Mumbai.

Previously, she has worked at the Ministry of External Affairs and the World Bank.

As we have already established the importance for internships throughout one’s law school life, it becomes all the more imperative to mark the importance of final semester internships.

While some students already have their graduation plans sorted, for most, such internships can actually act as the ‘make it or break it’ situation. If you choose wisely and work efficiently then getting that PPO we talked about earlier, won’t be as difficult.

This blog will focus upon final year internships which are longer than 4 weeks. Let’s read further!

Successful Application

1. Applying for an internship- How and When

If the college you are studying at has an established Placement Cell then your first priority should be to apply via your college in time.
Students, who wish to apply independently should write to the recruitment coordinators at firms. If they do not have contact details, they can ask seniors from their law school to assist with the same. If a senior is working at a law firm that a student is interested in interning at, they can reach out accordingly.
Ideal time to start applying for a long-term final semester internship is atleast 1 year in advance. This is considering different policies followed by different law firms.

2. Where should I intern?

This would depend on whether the student has decided what they want to do upon graduation. If the student is clear about their plans, then they can take this time to explore internships in varied fields, fields that they would otherwise not have an opportunity to explore / work in post their graduation.
If the student is still deciding which field of law they want to enter, then they should use this time to do internships to decide where their interest lies.

3. Articled Clerkships

As a final year law student you can opt to intern as an Articled Clerk. Various law firms provide such clerkships depending on their firm’s policy.
As per the policy of Federal and Co., Articled Clerks have to sign their articles for 3 years and they can start in the final year of law school. Articled clerks work with solicitors and are expected to work in the fields that prepare them for the solicitor's exam.

What to expect

1. Kind of work in a long-term internship

Long duration internships are always better as the intern is then familiarized with people at the firm and so they can give them work accordingly. Also, people at the firm assign work based on how long one will be around - so an intern is likely to get work on matters that would pan out for a longer duration rather than only doing external research work.

2. Chances of a PPO

This depends upon various circumstances - whether the law firm is hiring that year, how many positions are available or not. Having said that, one definitely has a higher chance of getting recruited if they have interned at a firm before, that too for a significant duration to get noticed.

In conclusion,

Enjoy your final year as a student - you have your whole life ahead of you to work. Do something off beat, and use your law school learnings in creative ways.

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