HOW TO LAND YOUR DREAM INTERNSHIP ?
Author: Balabavithra M
If you are here just after reading the title of this article, then you are halfway there because you are not willing to miss any piece of information that gets you there. I love inquisitive minds like yours. Smart!
Speaking of being smart, your grades don’t matter. I am saying this because I scored well in my college. So what really matters to get that top-tier law firm to reply to your Application?
Last week, A friend of mine called me up in the middle of the day and said, "Didi… I have applied to X firm for the 3rd time and I have not received a reply yet. Do you think calling up once again would help?" . To this, my reply was, "Hey, XXXX! I’m No Expert. But I’m pretty sure you have nothing to do now. If they can’t see your potential from your resume then it’s not your problem. It’s either the resume or the situation the firm currently is in. Also, XXXX Do you really want to work in a place that does not value you?". He seemed to be taken aback. He responded with a thank you and later that evening he gave me access to his drive that contained a bunch of good Law books (I have such good internet friends !).
If you are blessed with lawyer parents who provide you golden information about the legal profession, half of this article might not make any sense to you. Now, I am going to give you a route map to get to your dream law firm/organization. These are absolutely the things that I wish someone had told me long before I learnt it the hard way. The following are the most important steps to get your law firm/organization to notice you.
Step 1: Curriculum Vitae
This is a bitter truth. But your marks are not going to help you in the long run but luckily, your resume does. Your resume needs to make you look like an asset to that organization.
3 MUST HAVES: Courses (Online / offline that do not fall under your primary law school academic Program), Publications, Moots
Back-ups (Just in case you miss out on any of the 3 Must-Haves): Volunteering experiences, Legit previous Internships, Recommendations (You need to be careful here – I suggest a little research into the work atmosphere at the firm . Make sure you dig in to find if they accept recommendations or not )
Insights from my personal experience: Make sure your resume has ATS Compliance. Do not have a tabular column. Send them as PDFs and not as a WORD Document. Your resume accompanied with a cover letter and a statement of purpose speak louder for you. Before you let anyone make your resume, try making it on your own. Because technically speaking, you know your strengths more than anyone and that’s going to be highlighted while you make it, and logically speaking, you don’t want to miss the chance to make your resume stand out by giving your original touch. At the end of the day, Hard work beats talents when those talents don’t do enough hard work.
Step 2: Communicate
No! Not to the firm / that organization directly. But to the people, you want to look like in your future and to the people with whom you would love to work with. Choose your LinkedIn Idols. Stalk them like you stalk your EXs. LOL.
Know their strengths and how they secured their positions by using them to their advantage. If you love an organization, find what it does. Find the events they organize. Participate in them, raise questions. Look sharp. Make them understand your genuine interest.
Next time when you apply, your name is going to look familiar. When given a chance to speak at the interview or with a superior at the firm bring up the things you liked about the event. (Works like a charm).
Step 3: Become a Hunter!
Do not let anything dim your light. I agree “Unpaid” internships take the attraction on this field away in the beginning. But if you find a firm that you love, it’s not going to fade, that “Crush” away.
So Now is the time to answer that nagging question on your mind, "So Bavithra … what if I don’t get that internship at the big law firm after following all these steps too ?".
Hang in there! It’s going to get better. Now is the time to unleash the hunter in you. If you don’t get any big internship from the firms/organizations that you love, you are going to find an internship that lets you do things that you love. Now read that again.
Some things that I loved doing while I waited for my turn to show up for the interviews were Content Writing (Both legal and non-legal), Editing, Volunteering, etc. (Lawgic stratum is one good place to start with !)
These are some of the underestimated internships. These not only improve your skill sets and looks good on your resume but also let you acquire some soft skills that sometimes you might not have earned through your academic performance. They include communication, Openness to criticism, Adaptability, etc.
With this, we come to the conclusion that Luck sounds fancy but most of your life relies on your hard work. Go out there and play the game of darts. Keep aiming at the target and even if you miss you are just closer than the last time.
Self Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will!
Disclaimer : Views expressed here are personal and does not reflect my employer or anyone else .
About the Author:
Bavithra is a Final Year law student who is also a strong media and communication professional pursuing her bachelor's degree in law focused in BBA LLB (Hons) from SASTRA University. She is an enthusiast of Law, Sociology, Psychology, and Corporate governance. She has a knack to bring a creative solution for business development and she works with one of India’s Tier 1 Firms now.