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Welcome to the CLEO Diversity in Legal Education Blog! On this site we will talk about the reality of a prelaw education, the programs that CLEO sponsors, and the challenges and triumphs you encounter as you diversify the legal field. CLEO staff and colleagues will share practical insights and discuss how to become a competitive law school applicant.
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|CLEO Blog - Will Intern for Food?!?|
Will Intern for Food?!?
Law School Admission Deans are searching for the "complete student". A strong transcript proves that you will be successful in class. A diverse and practical resume demonstrates that you will succeed in Law Clinics and that you will bring "real life" into the classroom. Are you the student they are searching for?
As an undergraduate or post-grad you don't need to rub elbows with the politically powerful. You need to know what skills law students use in clinics and in practicum. Prove to the Dean of Admissions that you can flex the following leadership muscles!
Researching a single issue comprehensively and identifying related issues
Brian storming best solutions to challenges/problems
Planning events or programs that involve others
Instead of choosing an internship based on what you already know, choose one based on what you need to learn. Step out of your comfort zone and demonstrate that you can be given responsibility and that you are reliable, willing, and able.
Do you want to standout from everyone else? Find the "core skills" that you will need to learn and offer to sharpen those skills in private law offices, the Public Defender's Office, Legal Aid offices, and in specialty venues. The first three examples will most likely have you working on the periphery of legal cases. In specialty venues you will be working on a specific issue: the environment, children's issues, civil rights, business concerns.
NOTE: Your internship experiences could become the groundwork of your personal statement or special addendum.
No one expects you to be drafting legal opinions. You need an internship appropriate to your abilities. Your job is to
Listen - Watch - Feel your way around a professional office. You have three tasks - plus one - to get this done.
2. Participate actively on as many projects as possible or on one project in its entirety
3. Build a network of references
* Plus One. Integrate these skills into your law school admission package
Let's talk about who's hiring. You can find summer positions using local resources like your College Career Center or by researching online. Smaller firms and non-profit agencies are looking for more volunteer and unpaid internship support. You can use this summer to combine your "commitment to community" and an internship at agencies like Habitat For Humanity, the Sierra Club, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and political campaigns. Start your search where you find agencies in need!
Here are a few good online resources to review:
Legal Aid Society - a non-profit legal services agency
Idealist.org - a site for community based positions
United Way - a clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities
Government Agencies - an opportunity for a structured internship
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