Legal experts often tell students still in college to do at least one paralegal internship as an undergrad, but they don’t often tell those students where to find an internship. Paralegals do everything from answer calls and file documents to meet with clients and do research for an upcoming case. You’ll gain a better familiarity with the tasks you’ll do on the job with an internship. Here are a few different places where you can locate internships designed for paralegal students.
Call Local Law Offices
According to Forbes Magazine, students look for internships with cold calls first. Berger found that cold calling was the best solution for undergraduate students who usually don’t qualify for internships through their schools. Before making a single call, decide which area of law appeals to you. Whether you want to work in family law, real estate law or commercial law, you’ll likely find a few firms specializing in that field in your area. Call each one, ask for the human resources department and ask about possible internships for current students. Even if you need to make dozens of calls, you might find someone willing to give you a chance.
Turn to the Internet
The Internet has some of the best resources in the world for college students. Something as simple as putting in “internships for paralegal students” will come back with thousands of results. You can then narrow things down to the internships that are available in your area. Some of the links you find will give you all the details and information that you need to apply, and some sites even let you update a copy of your resume and apply for multiple internships with just a click of your mouse.
Ask Professors for Help
The professors working in your department chose their careers because they wanted to work with students and help those students find success. Don’t be afraid to take the time to ask your favorite professor or your advisor for help. Many schools now hire working professionals to teach their classes, and one of your teachers may know that his or her firm needs an intern but hasn’t yet listed a job posting. Even if your professors don’t work in the field, they may have the inside track on which local firms hire interns and the hiring process.
Look at the Career Center
If you want to find a paralegal internship, start at your college’s career center. While most students assume that these departments only offer help with finding a job, those centers actually have dozens or even hundreds of internships on file. Another benefit of working with the career department is that the experts working there can help you write your resume and tailor your cover letter for each position. Most career centers can also assist you with finding out more information about a firm before you apply for a position, which can help you decide if you actually want to work for that company.
An internship gives you experience that you can put on your resume when you leave school. It shows that you worked for a firm in the past and that you know what the job entails. Finding a paralegal internship is as easy as visiting the campus career center, talking to your professors, searching the Internet or calling law offices in your area.