Every law firm hires some interns to impart legal education and to give them practical experience of how the lawyers and law firms function. Internships have been included in the par of curriculum for many law colleges. The number of law colleges in India now can be compared to indefinite, and the intern positions in law firms are very limited. The number of applications received for an internship is also insane. In such a scenario, it becomes very difficult for the recruiter as well as the candidate to hire and to get hired. In this article, we have discussed what the expectation of the recruiter from a student and what should be strategies that can be implemented to get a good intern for the firm are. The number of the position for an intern is very less; however, the number of applications received is very high, so it becomes a tough call.
What should you expect from the intern?
It is important for a recruiter to understand that the person is applying for an internship and not the position of an associate. So, we should have amicable expectations from the candidates. The expectation should be based on research skills, eagerness to learn, punctuality, and dedication. We need to understand the person is coming here to learn as well as to showcase some skills.
How to choose a good intern?
- Primarily decide what the nature of work for which an intern is needed
This is primarily important because we should understand what an intern is required whether taxation, the corporate side, litigation, content writer, etc. this clarifies what we expect in the intern. Because as lawyers are masters of a particular field, some students might be strong in research but not in taxation.
- Throw the position open only for those years of students you think can complete the task
When releasing the internship application through any source, make sure you clearly mention who can apply for the internship. This can be the best way to shortlist cv, which is not matching the criteria.
- Shortlist CVs
This is rather an important and most crucial stage to pass. What to look for in a CV?
- Look for the marks secured, not in one semester but average, and this will help you understand the consistency;
- See for the research and publications to get an idea of the vivid areas of interest
- Look for the achievements section.
- Look for languages known (Not always necessary) because at times internships have requirements like Odia, Hindi, Punjabi, etc.
- Writing Sample or assignment
This is valid not only for a content writing internship, but other internships also, after shortlisting CVs, assign a task to understand the functioning, the ability to meet deadlines, and the amount of hard work done which will show how much the person is actually interested in the internship. The majority of the law firms ask writing samples to be attached along with the CVs to fasten up the process.
In the alternative, you can provide them with a situation-based question and then understand the opinion of the candidate, analytical skills and ability to understand the problem, etc. this method has also been adopted by leading law firms like tri legal, etc.
- Shortlist some write-ups and conduct an interview
A telephonic or skype interview should be part of every recruitment process. This should no be a stressful call but a call to give insights about the company, understand the knowledge the candidate has about the various fields of law, how much time and effort can he/she put, etc.
Some other pointers
- The traits like hard work time dedication etc. must be believed what the candidate says but cannot be tested.
- Make the internship a process of giving and take. Teach the intern. Something which he may not learn
- Do not hesitate to give a pre-placement offer to someone you think deserves it.
- Go through the CVs do not make blind rejections.
- Do not only give preference to the top 5 NLUs. There are good students in other colleges too.
- Communicate the decision even if you are hiring a candidate process an auto-generated email for them so that they do not just keep waiting.
- Provide remuneration for the work, and it gives a boost and motivation to work.
- Appreciate it if you like some one’s work, it is a very good motivation to come back tomorrow and work with you.
Interns always look forward to opportunities to learn, so be courteous enough to provide them with one. The above strategies will help your law firm hose a good intern. An intern may prove to be an asset for the law firm, choose wisely. But also keep in mind, you are hiring someone who is yet in the learning stage, so act accordingly. Choosing the best legal intern may be a tiresome work, so make sure the process of filtering is adequate, and you do not end up interviewing everyone who applied.
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