Finding law-related internships
Most of what you may have learned already about finding internships generally applies to finding law-related internships, but we have some specific tips as well.
There are many sources of information about internships:
- Your major department —most departments on campus have a designated internship coordinator who can help you identify interesting internship opportunities related to your field
- The Career & Professional Development Office in your college or school. You can find and make an appointment with the advisors in your particular school/college by logging onto Handshake with your NetID. Handshake boasts a comprehensive searchable database of internship opportunities available to UMass students. The internship and fieldwork pages of the central UMass Career Services website includes a range of resources regarding internship and job searches, as well as an FAQ about the logistics for earning academic credit for your academic year internship.
- Handshake and other job boards are a great resource, but be careful: often, you’re going to find internships that really for law students. As a general rule, these aren’t approved for posting on Handshake for UMass Amherst, but some do slip by — read the qualifications section carefully, and don’t be disheartened if at first, you see some of these. Keep looking! Law firms do in fact hire undergraduate interns. The SBS Pathways Center curates some of the listings on its Law/Legal Services Careers page.
- Your own contacts through family members, neighbors, and acquaintances. Don’t hesitate to ask people you know if they’re aware of any opportunities. This includes UMass alums you might meet at campus networking events!
- Some local firms/organizations offer internships on a regular basis, including — but not limited to! — the following:
- If you have a lot of room available in your schedule, you should also consider the Student Legal Services Office (SLSO) internship. This 12-credit full-time internship gives you experience working in a law office right here on campus, serving the legal needs of UMass students.
- Search for the law firms and legal organizations that do the kind of work that interests you, in the city or region where you hope to be during your internship. Very often, internships are never posted anywhere except on a firm or organization website — rather than the employer looking for you, you have to go looking for them. One great resource for finding these potential employers is through Martindale.com, the largest and oldest directory of attorneys and law firms. Martindale offers a searchable database, with filters for region, field of law, and more. Once you’ve identified some good prospects, skip over to the firms’ websites to confirm the information, learn more about the lawyers and what they do, and to check out their current job postings. And if you find a place that looks super exciting but currently has not undergraduate internship postings? Reach out with a professional inquiry — maybe they just haven’t updated their website yet.