The delivery of legal services is a complex process that typically requires teams of skilled professionals to provide quality and cost-effective service. As a result, the legal field offers many jobs encompassing a diverse range of skills, experience, and education. Due to the multiplicity of law, professionals in this field also benefit from career opportunities in private, nonprofit, and government/public sectors. In this section, you will also learn more about the work of lawyers and how they work just about everywhere — law firms, private business, government, public interest organizations, the judiciary and academia.
Notes about pre-law internships: Law schools do not expect applicants to have had any previous legal employment, nor do they generally give any preference to applicants who have had legal internships. If you decide to do a legal internship, you should do it for the other personal benefits, not because you think it will help you get into law school.
There tend to be the most legal internships for undergraduates in government agencies and nonprofits. For information on congressional internships, make sure to search representatives’ or senators’ websites. There are a small number of corporate legal departments that have formal internship programs, but it is extremely rare for large law firms to hire undergraduates as interns. Small law firms sometimes hire undergraduates as interns, although these internships often go to those with an existing connection to the firm.
We encourage you to check out these recommended resources for career exploration, internship and job searches. In addition, you’re invited to make an appointment with Dovie King, Pre-Law Advisor, to discuss the process of applying to law school.
Learn & Explore
- Pre-Law eNewsletter — Read current issue and sign up for future editions
- InsideSherpa Virtual Work Experience Program for Law — Top companies teach you the skills they look for in new hires BEFORE they hire you. No application or experience required; programs are done in your own time, at your own pace. The programs mimic entry-level work done at Latham & Watkins, White & Case, and more. Once enrolled, you are given a hypothetical set of tasks that an employee would be expected to complete on a given workday. By completing the programs, you experience real world scenarios and gain practical skills professionals use daily
- Law School Admission Council — The Law School Admission Council is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting quality, access, and equity in law. Besides administering the LSAT, they offer resources for researching types of law programs, as well as choosing schools and applying
- ABA Before the Bar — Lots of helpful articles
- Exploring Practice Areas and Practice Settings
- Chambers and Partners — Practice area info as well as reviews of 110 leading law firms
- FindLaw’s Learn About the Law
- Martindale.com — Resource for identifying lawyers, firms, and specialized practices. Also offers career information for future legal professionals, including resume and interview tips, compensation surveys, and an online job database
- Lawyers.com — Nationwide directory of legal professionals and resource for researching law fields and finding firms based on legal focus and geography
- NALA, NFPA, and NALS — Professional associations with resources for paralegals and legal assistants
- Internships for Undergrads: View internship books for 3,000 organizations with positions in 14 sectors.
- Capitol Hill Careers (Tom Manatos) – Job and internship listings for those interested in careers in politics or government.
- Opportunities in Public Affairs — Internship opportunities in the Washington, DC area focused on government, public relations, advocacy, and media.
- Idealist.org — Jobs, internships, and organizations in the nonprofit sector
- American Bar Association Career Center — Job listings and career resources, including various articles about law career paths
- LawJobs.com — Job listings searchable by category (e.g. legal secretary, paralegal) and location
- Global Jobs — Jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities in NGOs, think tanks, government, and the private sector
- American Bar Association Diversity Fellowships and Programs for undergrad and law students
Sample Internships, Fellowships & Experiential Programs
- Boston Lawyers Group Diversity Summer Internship at area law firms
- Soros Justice Fellowships — 12-18 months, funds outstanding individuals to undertake projects that advance reform, spur debate, and catalyze change on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system
- Coro Fellowships — develops emerging leaders to work and lead across different sectors by equipping them with knowledge, skills, and networks to accelerate positive change
- American Bar Foundation Undergraduate Research Fellowship
- ABC News: Law & Justice Unit
- ABA Detention and Legal Orientation Program (LOP) Information Line Internship
- Children’s Defense Fund Internship Program
- Human Rights Campaign Internships
- International Law Institute: Intern — Program/Marketing
- Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Internships
- Office of the Attorney General for DC Internship Program
- Supreme Court Internship Program
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Pathways Internship Program
- White House Internship Program
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
- New York City Legal Aid Society Intern Investigator Program
- Alliance for Children’s Rights
- California Lawyers for the Arts