The first article in this two-part series discussed the reasons for hosting an in-house internship program. This second article in the series outlines best practices for implementing high quality in-house internships for law students. Developing and maintaining internship programs can be challenging. These programs are unlike law firm summer associate programs because they are not supported by a team of staff recruiters with a path to conversion for full-time employment. They are also unlike other internships offered by the company because they pull from unique pools of law student candidates and must be sensitive to the professional skills necessary for lawyers to develop. However, these challenges are not insurmountable—there are tried and true learnings about recruiting techniques, adequate resourcing, program design, and feedback cycles that can be applied by in-house legal departments undertaking internships.
Identifying Law Student Candidates
Most corporations have internal recruiters who can fill open positions. However, because these recruiters often cover multiple departments and business lines without dedicated expertise in law school hiring, in-house counsel may need to assist the internal recruiter in obtaining exposure to law students to drum up applicants. Also, it is important for the in-house lawyers supporting the internship to determine the criteria for hiring. For example, the attorneys managing the program may need to jump in to strategize around which law schools to recruit from and how to balance consideration of grades against other aspects of the application.
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