Law interns are expected to complete a given number of hours per week, depending on their college and internship program.
You and the program staff will discuss the time commitment, which varies depending on the college and internship program. The number of hours you will be expected to work may depend on whether you are working part-time or full-time. Many law internships offer flexible scheduling of hours. Keep in mind that you are usually required to complete a certain number of hours per week and to work on a regular schedule.
Interns may also be asked to attend meetings, special events or training sessions. You should know how your internship fits into the larger organization.
Interns will be expected to complete a variety of tasks, including drafting memoranda, writing complaints and compiling research.
Some of the key responsibilities will include:
- Researching legal issues and writing memoranda on various topics
- Drafting complaints, motions, and other documents
- Attending court proceedings and helping to prepare for hearings and trials
Law interns must work at their internship sites in the city where the internship is based.
It is important to know that, in general, law interns must work at their internship sites in the city where the internship is based. There are some exceptions, such as remote or virtual internships, but they are not very common. Most law internships have a virtual component and can be completed remotely sometimes, but they still require in-person work.
When they were first developed in the 1970s, internships were generally unpaid.
While there’s no federal law mandating that an internship be paid, some states have their own laws that do require payment. So while unpaid internships are still legal in some cases, they’re not always the best choice for a company looking to get the most out of its interns. If you’re wondering whether you should continue to offer unpaid internships at your company, consider these advantages and disadvantages of paying your interns:
- Interns pay is often considered good for business among a company’s current employees. When other members of the team see that interns are being compensated for their work, it helps them feel more valued by comparison. It also increases employee morale and makes people want to stay around longer.
- You’ll attract more highly qualified candidates if you pay them (and therefore increase productivity). And this benefit isn’t limited only to the interns themselves—a quality internship program will help attract better job candidates from all over, including new hires after graduation or promotion opportunities within your organization later down the line for successful interns who want full-time employment at some point during their career path as well.
Most states have enacted legislation that allows students to work without pay as long as they receive academic credit for their work.
The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has established three criteria that must be met for an unpaid internship to be legal.
- The intern must receive academic credit for the work performed.
- The internship must be part of a formal education program.
- There are no employment opportunities for the intern at the end of the internship.
Internships can be very rewarding for law students but require a lot of time and effort.
If you’re considering taking a position as a legal intern, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what law internships entail. First of all, know that you’ll be expected to work at least 40 hours per week (in some cases, more), even though those hours may not be during the typical 9-to-5 workday. If you come from an academic environment where your work was often done in a group setting and structured around other commitments like classes and meetings, you should be prepared for the stark differences between working at school and working in a law office. There is typically more independence and self-direction involved in off-campus internships than on-campus jobs or extracurriculars. In addition to this increased independence, interns are also held to high standards of professionalism—while it’s good practice to act like an adult no matter where you’re employed, this is especially true if you want your internship experience to lead to offers of permanent employment after graduation.