SemesterÂ is about to end and you haven’t been confirmed for any internship yet?
Donâ€™t Worry! These strategies will help you catch up in a hurry.
Sometimes due toÂ hecticÂ schedule and sometimes due to sheer negligence, you realise that your semester is about to end and you donâ€™t have any internship for the vacation. Keeping in mind, the role internships play in getting a good job, skipping even a single chance to undergo internships would not be such a good Idea.
The reality is that by the time May / November comes around, almost every prestigious law firm or organization have confirmed their internship slots. However, students who havenâ€™t yet secured a spot shouldnâ€™t give up hope. The internship market for the law students is very heterogeneous and with some diligence, students should find them. Keep these 7 last resort techniques in mind while on the hunt for a decent internship to ensure that your vacation is not wasted:
- Ditch the Top Law Firms / Organisations / Senior Advocates:–
If your semester break starts in few days, donâ€™t waste your time by sending applications to most sought after legal employers. It is better to focus on lesser known / small law firms, companies or Independent Advocates. You will be surprised to know the number of legal employers in India, whose contact details are not easily available on the internet. It is a little-known fact that the number of applications any employer receives is directly proportional to its visibility on the internet. So, dug deep and try to find their contact details because your chances of being selected by them would be the highest.
It is also worth mentioning that generally grabbing an internship with such employers is not as difficult as with Top employers. They have moderate norms for the students applying for the internship and some of them even provide the internship on the first-cum-first-serve basis. However, it must be kept in mind that just because they are easy to get into doesnâ€™t mean that they are worthless. With such employers, you will get both the ground level work along with some quality research work and in some cases even the chance to good quality drafting work. While you work with these employers you learn a lot if you put your mind to and don’t shy away from doing hard work.
- Start Doing Walk-ins for internships, especially with Independent Advocates: –
Most of the Students I know are reluctant to do walk-ins for the purpose of internship and solely relies on emails and phone numbers obtained from the internet, but there are many Independent Advocates whose contact information due to BCI restrictions is not available anywhere on the internet. So ask your friends and family members if they know any good Advocate and after shortlisting a few, you should directly approach them and request for an internship. If nothing works out, as a matter of last resort you can visit your nearest Court with 10-15 copies of your CV and randomly select few Chambers for the purpose ofÂ applyingÂ the internship. It is almost certain, one of them will select you for an internship.
You will be quite surprised to know that a very large number of established firms donâ€™t expressly and strictly prohibit walk-ins for the purpose ofÂ applyingÂ for an internship or a job. From my experience, I have learnt that a student with a CV in his/her hand will almost always have a better impact on a law firm then just sending them an email. However, this method is not recommended if you have enough time in your hands but as a matter of last resort, it can sometimes bring favorable results. I personally know many Students who have been selected for internships through this method and few of them even got a job offer after completing the internship.
- Jugaad is not a Bad Word:-
If you know someone who has some connection in the legal profession orÂ knowÂ someone who knows someone who has a connection in the legal profession, donâ€™t shy away from calling a favor. Desperate times require desperate measures and while you do so keep in mind that Jugaad is not a bad word. It must be kept in mind that the Certificate you will receive after completing an internship obtained through Jugaad will be exactly the same if such internship was obtained on your own merits. At the end what matters the most is the knowledge you are able to acquire at the end of the internship, which is only possible if you willing to do hard work.
- Taking the Path Less Traveled:
In these circumstances, it would not be a bad idea to start exploring some non-conventional opportunities for internships such as legal Start-ups, Legal Blogs etc. Even though many of them donâ€™t pay any sort of stipend and they ask a lot from you in return, but the only thing that matters is enhancing the knowledge. Most of these Start-ups and Legal Blogs would ask you to write articles on various topics of law or on current issues, which will be at the end of day enhancing your knowledge.
- Ask a Senior in Your College: –
In case you have some good relations with a senior then you may consider asking them to refer you to some place where he/she had interned before. When a person refers another to an employer his/her goodwill is at stake so it is your duty to maintain dignity in such cases.
- Ask your Professor: –
If you are a well-behaved student whom a professor can easily recognise and have some sort of bonding with, then asking your professor for the internship is one of the options. Generally, students are afraid of having anÂ off-academic conversation with their professors, but that only requires breaking some ice between both of you. All the professors have some or the other contacts and if you can convince him/her then getting a good internship is a possibility.
- Work with an NGO: –
NGO are of many types and most of them are willing to hire interns throughout the year. A few good NGOs would be CRY, CHETANALAYA, SMILE, GOONJ, HELPAGE INDIA etc. If they are not looking for interns, try to join them as Volunteers and try to impress them with your hard work, who knows after a month they might give you an internship certificate in appreciation of your hard work.
At last, if nothing works out, just visit the court every day and try to attend hearings before various judges, instead of just stuffing Samosas in the Canteen. Also, try to sit in the front row as it is sometimes quite hard to hear what Advocates or Judges are saying from the last few rows. Someone once said that â€œlistening is the best way to learnâ€ and with that aim if you visit the court every day you will learn a lot. However, this option is only available for District Courts as most of the High Courts and the Supreme Court require a pass to enter the Court premises, which can only be obtained if you are an Advocate, an intern to an Advocate or a party to the litigation.
Most importantly in the future, start looking for an internship as soon as you get back from the break. Getting a head start on the process not only means a higher chance of landing an internship, it also means youâ€™ll have more options to pick from when deciding which position fits you best.