Legal Internships: 3 Timeless Lessons and 8 ‘Must Do’ Things

By Tanuj Kalia

Lesson 1- Early Bird Catches the Worm.

We read this in LKG. Sadly, we didn’t take the lesson on board. Apply for your internships as soon as possible! If you apply two months before your intended period of internship, your chances of securing an internship double vis-a-vis if you had applied one month before.

The bird who sleeps is the bird who weeps! People come to me three weeks before their internship period and ask me to fix their internships. Eight out of ten times, I fail.

# 1 Do this: When your vacations end, check the college calendar and jot down the next vacation (internship period. As soon as one vacation ends, apply for the internship for the next vacation. For lawyers like KTS Tulsi, I know people who apply one year prior to their intended internship period. They get the internship with the legend.

# 2 Do this: Some of the recruiters might specify this: Please apply _____months/weeks before your intended period of internship. Respect their internship policy.

Lesson 2- First Impression is the last impression

Do you remember how your mom made you dress for your friend’s birthday party? She wanted to make you look good. Look good when you apply for your internship. And since you’ll probably be emailing your internship application, you’ll have to look good on the email.

# 3 Do this: In the ‘subject’ of the email mention the purpose of the email: internship application, the duration of the internship and the office where you plan to intern (the city). For example: Internship Application: June 1-June 30: Delhi office.

# 4 Do this: Do not send cover letters as attachments. People won’t read them. The body of the email should itself be the cover letter.

Caveat: Some organisations might ask for 300-600 word cover letters. In such cases, it makes sense to send the cover letters as an attachment!

# 5 Do this: Attach your CV. The CV should be neat and not flashy! Make sure there aren’t too many boxes and such frills which do not look good to the eye especially when you are not sure whether the recruiters version of MS word is the same as yours! Keep the CV to the point and in bullets. And if you forget to attach your CV, only god can save you! “I’ll be honoured to intern at a reputed law firm like yours”. Really? Then why did you forget to attach the CV?

# 6 Do this: Make a good email account. Look professional. is good. is not!

Lesson 3- Seek and you shall receive

When you have sent your internship application, wait for 48 hours for the recruiter to reply. If they don’t reply, send an email again telling them that you had applied 2 days ago and that you would like to know the status of your application.

Wait. For two days again. If they don’t reply, call them.

# 7 Do this: If you don’t get the verdict soon, better try other options. Seek, but not for too long!

# 8 Do this: Save the phone numbers of the organisations you have applied to. When you get their call, you will not be caught off guard.

Bet of Luck with your internships!


Editor’s note: The post was first published on 29th September 2010.


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