Internships & Special Opportunities
Student who are on the pre-law advising roster get sent all scholarship, internship, and other special pre-law opportunities that come through the office. Some of those from the past year have included:
The ABA Legal Scholarship
- The Barack Obama internships
- The CLEO program seminars
- The Chicago-Kent PLUS program
- The City of Chicago Clerkís Office summer internship
- The Florida State PLUS program
- The LawMAP program
- The Minority Corporate Counsel Association Scholarship
- The Sidley Austin, LLP Pre Law Scholars Program
- The Syracuse University Law School Summer Abroad program
- The University of Iowa summer PLUS program
- The UIC William Lamar Fund Scholarship for LSAT preparation
The best advice for students seeking internships is to network, use connections you make, and be open to going out and creating opportunities where you can gain the experience you are seeking. Many formal pre-law internships or programs designed specifically for undergraduate students are national programs so they are very competitive. Apply to those opportunities when you qualify, but also use your time to create your own opportunities. Remember that many things that you find may be non-paid.
Here are a couple of ways to go about finding an internship or relevant experience:
College Internship Office or Internship Program
A good place to start is to visit your collegeís internship or Co-Op office. These
offices are designed to help students find internship and externship opportunities
in their field. In the College of LAS, some of those opportunities relevant to pre-law students include things such as The Cook County Stateís Attorney Office where there are opportunities in victim witness, adult probation, and the prosecution division, to name a few. There are also opportunities in the State of Illinois Attorney Generalís Office, the Governorís Office, and the State Department of Regulation. There are also some opportunities with non-public entities. These opportunities can be paid or non-paid and can also be done for college credit.
For further information on these opportunities for LAS students, please contact the Co-Op office to set up an appointment at (312) 996-0425. The College of Business also has an internship program and you can contact that office to find out more information about their program at (312) 996-2700. Students in other colleges should check to see if there are similar opportunities in their college.
Informal Internship or Volunteer Opportunities
Students should also take advantage of attorneys, judges, or other legal
professionals they know. Although these individuals may not have a formal internship program, or may not have one that is open to undergraduate students, they may be willing to allow you the opportunity to volunteer in their offices. Even getting volunteer experience of 10 hours per week would be helpful. Even when you donít know someone personally, you should take time to call local courts and firms near your home to seek out these types of opportunities. Students living outside of Chicago should especially take advantage of local courts and law offices, as there is not the level of competition with all of the law students and other Chicago-based college students that city-based students face. Also, do not forget about the government offices on the federal, state, and local level.
Think outside of the box. If you know what particular field of law you are interested in, and there are no direct legal internships available to you, look for similar opportunities on the non-legal side of that field. If you know that you are interested in Environmental Law, why not look for a non-legal internship with the EPA? If you know you are interested in Labor and Employment Law, why not look for a non-legal internship with a labor organization, if you can not find anything at a labor law firm? The key is to create opportunities that make you a well-rounded and diverse candidate!