In the five years long journey of law school, there are five things that make or break the chances of getting that attractive law firm job which every law student dreams about. It’s five internships. Whether the candidate is one of the toppers of the top NLUs or a mediocre of the lesser known law schools, everyone needs to have those shining internships in order to bag their dream job.
However, since the dawn of time, the road to success has never been easy and neither is landing your dream internship. When we say dream internship it is very subjective and changes with every candidate. There are many variables involved like there aren’t just dream firms but also dream teams in the firms.
For instance, a candidate may want to intern with the General Corporate team of SAM while another may want to intern with Greenpeace to save the environment. It is this angle of subjectivity which makes landing dream internships tricky and unique for every candidate.
There is no master key to unlock the doors of all organizations, one has to work their way and plan every step (or call your chachaji if he is a mantri).
Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Find your niche
Before you even think about dream internships, you need to know and understand which area of law interests you and why. It might be a little tough to get hold of in the early years of law school as you will need a working knowledge of all major subjects, to say the least.
As mentioned earlier, the road is tough and there are thousands competing for that position you want. The effective way to do it is to read articles on various subjects and get in conversation with faculties after class. This will spare the long process of reading the whole bare act.
Once you get an idea and understand your affinity, work day and night to make yourself familiar with every aspect of the subject. You should know about all the advancements and amendments, provisions and processes. There has to be theoretical as well as practical expertise in the area.
This is hard work and will require dedication which will only come if your affinity drives you.
Let’s assume you have identified the area of law which interests you and you’re firm on making a career out of it, the next step is to spread the word. You don’t have to announce it in the cafeteria of your college because that will not be enough (and not because it’s stupid).
In order to spread the word that person x from college x has found her/his niche in environmental law (for instance), at least one publishable article of not less than 1500 words or two of 1000 words each needs to be churned out every week.
There are 3 benefits to this exercise:
Research required to write articles will enhance your knowledge of the subject and keep you updated about the advancements.
It will give you the much-required writing expertise which is empirical for a law student regardless of which arena she/he chooses.
Quality content will make you stand out in a pool of empty C.V applications.
It is a good ice-breaker to send an article to a partner or litigator and ask for feedback, there is no guarantee they will reply but there is a chance which is good enough.
Place your target
No matter how fast an athlete is, she/he must have a sense of direction to win the race. Similarly, you may be on the way to gaining expertise in the said area but you need to set goals and targets.
Find out which firm or organization is doing the work that you want to be doing in the future and if you’re a detail-oriented person find out about the person who is doing the said work for that organization. It is that person/organization that you have to target and the goal is to land in their field of vision.
Follow the person on LinkedIn and social media and know everything you can about her/his work (do not invade privacy though). Attend seminars and events which this person is chairing or moderating and strike a conversation whenever there is a suitable opportunity (please do NOT follow them to the washrooms).
As soon as you can, show them your work and take their card, once this is done wait for a day and then send them a few of your articles. Keep in touch for a while, if the person has time to spare for you, ask away your doubts and/or share your ideas/vision.