Turning Double Degree Internships into Legal Work Experience
All final year double degree students will know the pain – you’ve decided you want to be a lawyer, but that pesky ‘other degree’ is still forcing practical experience on you. Rather than waste my summer on an internship I’d never benefit from, I decided to work off my requisite practical hours for the Media and Communication side of my dual degree at my current place of employment – MacGillivrays Solicitors.
A quick chat with the right people saw me following the Marketing Assistant around for four weeks, writing articles for the firm’s website, newsletter and blog, learning how to market to clients, and how to sell myself as a lawyer.
I worked on a range of topics, from wills and estates, to personal injuries, to sexual harassment in the workplace. Researching and writing on areas of law I’ve not yet studied will prove very beneficial when those Succession and Anti-Discrimination classes begin!
I also learnt about direct marketing strategies and how to market lawyers and law firms directly to clients via different media outlets. For example, I learnt how to market directly to clients via email. By tailoring access by particular areas of interest, clients are not being spammed with everything we send out – this is a great way to retain the interest of current and previous clients.
I also learnt how to send the same message out in many different ways using social media. As technology evolves at a rapid pace, it is important for lawyers to keep up with social media outlets to increase access to current and potential clients. Nothing in your law degree will prepare you for trying to get an important legal bulletin out in 140 characters or less!
In addition, I learnt how to market myself as a future lawyer. Whenever potential employers Google my name now, an array of nice little legal articles published on the firm’s website will show up. This is a great way to prove practical experience and the ability to collaborate with senior associates and partners.
Though I wasn’t paid for the work I did, I can honestly say it’s one of the best uses of a summer – I’ve collaborated with partners and managers I’d never even met before, I’ve become a published legal author, and, most importantly, I’ve raised my profile in a firm I hope to score a grad job with.
I’ve also learnt some very important skills all successful lawyers need – how to self-market, build a client base, and to raise your profile within a law firm. All aspiring lawyers need to prove their ability in these areas if they want a chance at progressing up the food chain, and I’ve honed those skills in a few short weeks. Plus, I won’t lie – I got a secret thrill when I saw my name and photo up on the firm’s website next to my articles.
So if you’re sulking about requisite practical experience for your other degree – maybe look at ways you can turn it into legal experience. You won’t regret it!
This article was submitted by Survive Law reader Madelaine Hogan. If you’ve written an article and would like to see it on Survive Law, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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