Career Questions Answered: Part-Time Jobs; Making Contacts to Get Internships; Non-NLU Students into Foreign Law Firms

By Tanuj Kalia

Q. Fresh LL.B from Calcutta University.

Currently working as junior lawyer at District Court.

Want part time jobs like case summarisation or Headnote writing etc. to continue study.

Answer: It will be difficult to get such a part-time job; but very much possible a the same time.

The usual places to try would be Manupatra and SCConline.

A good way to approach and get a part-time job will be similar to how you approach and get an internship. Here is a (nearly) fail-proof method.

Elance.com too would be worth a try for a part-time legal job.

Also, try Legally India’s new Legally Direct; maybe they’ll be such an opportunity posted there.

Q. Everyone stresses on the importance of having good contacts for securing internships in prestigious law firms.

So, can you enumerate a few effective ways of forming good contacts for securing that elusive internship?

Answer:

1. Stay in good touch with your faculty in law school.

They were students once and some of their class/college mates are now lawyers, law-firmites etc.

Ask your faculty to fix internships for you.

2. Whenever you have a call for paper/seminar/workshop go up to the people who are invited there to speak or tutor you (the lawyers, law firmites again).

Say hello. Talk about the topic at hand. Talk about life. And take their card. Say hello again.

After all is said and done, send them an email preferably with a thoughtful comment or a maybe a link to an interesting article.

Make sure the ‘subject’ of the email is interesting enough for them to open the email.

Add them on Linkedin.

Say hello again.

Send them another thoughtful comment/article.

Repeat.

Apply for an internship.

3. Be on Linkedin and learn how to use it effectively.

4. When you intern at an NGO, request the good people there to fix you an internship with a good lawyer.

When you get an internship with a good lawyer, request him/her to fix an internship for you with a mid-size law firm.

When you get an internship with a mid-size law firm, ask a good Associate/Sr. Associate/Partner there to fix you an internship with a Big Law Firm.

5. In case you have a friend/acquaintance/frenemy/ whose dad is a good lawyer or a law firmite, do NOT feel shy of asking him/her to fix you an internship.

This is how the job arena operates.

6. Be an active member of a committee/society in your law school. Organize a good conference with good speakers (lawyers, law firmites).

Do what’s written in point number 2.

7. Start a good blog and interview some good lawyers there.

PS- the key is ‘good’. 

3. Is it possible for a student who is not studying in one of the top 3 NLUs to secure an internship in a foreign law firm like Linklaters, Freshfields, etc?

As a 2nd year student, what should I do to improve my chances of getting into 1 of these firms?

Answer:

Yes, you can get an internship in these foreign law firms even if you aren’t a top 3 NLU student.

But it’s difficult. They might restrict you. They’ll say: “Only students from ANLU, BNLU and CNLU are allowed.”

However, if they don’t have such stipulations, they’ll have a ‘test’. Anyone who clears this ‘test’ gets a shot at the ‘interview’ or the ‘GD’ and those who do well there, get the internships/summer placements or whatever they call them.

Neeati Narayan, assistant editor of Lawctopus, who is a student of the Symbiosis Law School, Pune was made an offer by one such law firm. She was in her 2nd year then. “Ooops! Sorry. We’ll contact you later“, they’d told her.

These firms generally recruit brilliant people, some of which can’t be taught.

Exceptional logic reasoning skills, flawless English language skills, great legal knowledge and skills (research and drafting) would be required.

PS- We’ll get Neeati to do a post on this.

NOTE: Please ask your career questions here. We’ll answer them asap.

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