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Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

Q&A: Should Paralegal Students Start Looking for Internships in Their First Year?

Q&A:  Should Paralegal Students Start Looking for Internships in Their First Year?

This entry is in response to a much appreciated reader comment on my December 19, 2008 posting, “Locating a Paralegal Internship”. The second part of the question is, “I just started a 3-year paralegal program this past fall, and my school will be setting us up in law firms in our last year. Should I jump ahead and look for internships for the summer?”

The simple answer is “Yes, start looking for any job which will give you legal experience prior to graduation as soon as you can.” Even if a student is financially able to attend school without working, experience working in the legal field makes a huge difference to potential employers. If the student does not actually need a salary, then she may have more flexibility locating unpaid paralegal internships.

I understand that many students do need to work full or part-time while in school, and that with no prior experience, it may be difficult to find a job working for lawyers. Even working in a different field which provides highly marketable transferable skills, such as the medical, banking, insurance or real estate fields, is better than having little to no relevant work experience. Some paralegal jobs may even require experience in a different field.

Serious paralegal students who are working in “dead-end” jobs which do little to enhance their administrative, computer or analytical skills should consider seeking work which will help them build their resumes and appeal to future employers, even if they cannot locate a job in a traditional law firm or corporate legal department.

2 Responses to Q&A: Should Paralegal Students Start Looking for Internships in Their First Year?

  1. Agreed 100%. Law firms like experience; it’s less training and more billable hours. While I was taking paralegal courses, I worked full-time as a legal secretary to pay bills, and not only did I build experience for my resume, I learned a lot about the litigation process.

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Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]gmail.com

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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