Paralegal Internships - An Easy Way To Explore This Career Field


Students participating in paralegal internships have an edge over those who don't.

Why? Well it may seem obvious. Hiring managers look to prior work experience. And, internships really can make a difference to increase your employment opportunities.

A paralegal internship serves two purposes. First, it...

  • gives you exposure to how a law office works,
  • you learn the office work flow,
  • that firm's computer systems,
  • the relationships between staff and attorney, and
  • the way in which client matters are handled.

Second, internships are networking opportunities.

Don't overlook this aspect. It's quite important. It's true when people say "It's a small world," but this is particularly true with the legal field.

Establish good connections early on and make positive, lasting impressions on the attorneys you support.

Because the legal field is a small world, you don't want your reputation preceding you unless, of course, it's outstanding!

Otherwise, law offices like hiring people they know from friends and colleagues.

It's competitive out there and companies are looking at their bottom line. Law offices are no different. They need to provide their clients with superior work and very good results.

Often times, legal recruiting agencies are used to increase the pool of qualified applicants. But... they're expensive. And, while those contracts can be negotiated by the law office, it's still expensive with no guarantee the candidate will work out.

Stay away from paralegal programs not offering internships. The very nature of internships is to advance your learning experience through a period of hands-on involvement in a law firm, government agency or courthouse.

I interned at a courthouse. Initially I was unpaid, but the judge who's research attorney I was helping wanted to make it worth my while to support her.

I worked at the courthouse for several months on a complex litigation matter involving homeowners suing the developer of their subdivision for building their homes on a landfill and the subsequent problems that developed.

The experience was an interesting one. I got first hand experience about the legal process that I wouldn't otherwise have.

I learned the software, got further document management skills under my belt, met new people and established friendships in the legal field.

Working for the court made me an appealing candidate for my next job.

The internship absolutely made a difference for me. I enjoyed the people and was open to the experience.

Your internship rounds out your educational experience.

And Paralegals are very important to...

  • law offices;
  • corporate legal departments;
  • government agencies; and
  • courthouses.

They handle case analysis, legal research, client interviews and deposition summaries.

They're often charged with

  • drafting deposition notices,
  • discovery requests,
  • subpoenas,
  • as well as preparing estate planning documents, bankruptcy records and real estate papers.

As a paralegal student you can achieve real world experiences by finishing an internship. You'll get valuable insights into different areas of practice. This will help expand your legal knowledge and career choices.

Further, the American bar association guidelines require all paralegal students to attend and complete an internship program.

Paralegal internships help you apply concepts and principles learned in class. You'll also mingle with professionals in the legal community and get hands-on practice.

In the United States, paralegal internships offer practical working experience in a legal setting. While most internship programs are unpaid, by doing good work for your attorneys and getting along with other staff members, you develop industry connections that may serve you later in your career.

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