GAINING EXPOSURE TO LAW PROFESSIONS

One of the most valuable experiences you can have that will inform you about the legal profession is obtaining a law-related internship. Actually working with attorneys in a court, a government agency, or a law firm will enable you to experience the day-to-day life of an attorney. While many students are drawn to law because of debating, the legal profession is about more than the stereotyped idea of waging arguments in court.

According to The Task Force on Law Schools and the Legal Profession, the legal professionalsí day-to-day reality involves a combination of the following: reading, researching and writing along with negotiation and oral advocacy skills. An internship in which some or all of the five core attributes of the legal profession are utilized would allow you to identify if you are interested in the type of law practiced or in the legal profession as a whole.

In addition to arranging an internship for credit, you can also arrange a non-credit internship or summer job with a law firm, agency, or law-related organization to gain legal experience. For example, during the summer, you could combine a part-time internship working for a member of Congress with a part-time job or you could work full-time at an agency; during the school year, you could work at an internship or job at an agency, law firm, or organization in your local area.

Experiencing the culture of the agency, law firm, or organization, gaining an appreciation for the type of work, and talking to the legal professionals about their careers should be your priorities. Experience in law or law-related professions will enable you to further refine your ideas about legal work and your preferences in law, and will therefore enable you to make better, more well-informed career choices.