Are Most Law School Internships Paid?
Law school internships can be an invaluable experience, and has come to be an expected rite of passage for most law students—and whether you are a older attorney or a student at California Desert Trial Academy College of Law, you are probably accustomed to a legal atmosphere that has at least one enthusiastic intern around, a person who is more than happy just to be in the midst of the legal realm—and with good reason, because the internship is an excellent vehicle for reinforcing all that learning from law school. The educational experience goes the other direction too, as you learn a lot from your internship that you take back with you into your next year of law school.
The internship usually occurs during the summer break but may be a short stint over Christmas break—or you may choose to work in one or more law firms during all your time off from school. The intern’s responsibilities may vary widely as they revolve around the firm learning everything about it, and depending on the size of the firm, that could be an infinite number of tasks and responsibilities to explore.
Although the intern’s responsibilities may vary widely depending on the size of a law firm and the intensity of their workload, in almost any case they are able to soak up the general atmosphere of a law firm and spend time with many different individuals working there. One law firm may specialize in several different niches meaning that the intern gets a taste of several different areas of law. They may get to work on everything from answering phones at the front desk and setting up appointments to sitting in on appointments with clients while attorneys go over their cases. Interns may also get to help more seasoned lawyers who are preparing for trial, as well as sit in the courtroom while the case is being tried.
Many interns are not paid. If getting paid for an internship is what you are after, you will need to seek out a more specific type of experience. Although the internship could seem like a lot of work to do for free, the law firm often sees it as a fair exchange for teaching you skills that can be put on your resume (and may take you far). Keep in mind also that there is always a chance the firm you intern with may offer you a job.
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