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15 Law Internships for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A lady justice figurine and mortar and gavel

15 Law Internships for High School Students

Exploring the legal field during high school can be an enriching and transformative experience for students aspiring to pursue careers in law or related fields. Law internships for high school students offer a unique opportunity to gain practical exposure to the legal profession, develop essential skills, and explore various aspects of the legal system.

These internships are often hosted by law firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions, providing students with hands-on experience in legal research, case preparation, client interaction, and courtroom procedures. By immersing themselves in real-world legal work, high school students can gain valuable insights into the complexities of the legal system and the diverse career paths available within the field.

In this blog, we will introduce 15 law internships that are perfect for high school students.

1. Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship at NYC Bar 

  • Cost: Fully-funded, paid ($15 – $21 hourly)
  • Location: New York City
  • Application Deadline: undisclosed (typically around January)
  • Program Dates (subject to change): undisclosed
  • Eligibility: public high school students from NYC

The Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program offers a rigorous experience, pairing a range of New York City public high school students with legal organizations for summer placements. Additionally, it furnishes them with supplementary activities prior to, during, and following the summer to equip them for a career in law.

a judge talking to attorneys inside a trial room

Selection for the Program hinges on personal interviews and a proven track record of academic achievement. Assignments within firms fluctuate based on the employer’s requirements but commonly involve aiding paralegals, handling filings, maintaining records, supporting library and administrative staff, managing data entry, and organizing documents and exhibits.

2. The National Student Leadership Conference Law & Advocacy Program

  • Cost: $3795 – $4095
  • Location: Georgetown University, Yale University, and University of Michigan
  • Application Deadline: rolling basis until slots are filled in
  • Program Dates: June – August 2024
  • Eligibility: middle to high school students

The National Student Leadership Conference offers a summer Law and Advocacy Program hosted at Yale and Georgetown, both distinguished law schools. Throughout this program, students engage in simulated court proceedings, taking on the role of trial attorneys to advocate for justice.

Participants are immersed in every aspect of the courtroom process, encompassing evidence examination, witness preparation, legal research, case construction, and courtroom argumentation. Key skills refined through this program include conflict resolution, negotiation, public speaking, interpersonal communication, research, and persuasion.

3. California Innocence Project Internships

  • Cost: unpaid, no cost
  • Location: San Diego
  • Application Deadline: no info for this year’s round
  • Program Dates: Spring, Summer, and Fall sessions
  • Eligibility: high school and college students; open to post-bar students

The California Innocence Project operates as a law clinic, extending pro-bono services to individuals unjustly convicted. Each trimester, the project seeks a legal intern to join their team. This unpaid opportunity is particularly valuable for those interested in post-conviction law or criminal law. The expected commitment ranges from 15 to 35 hours per week.

Selected interns undergo in-house training at the CIP, providing them with an overview of wrongful convictions and an introduction to their specific duties aligned with the organization’s overarching mission. Responsibilities may include legal research, document preparation, client assistance, and other tasks as directed by the CIP.

4. High School Internship at San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

  • Cost: No cost and unpaid
  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Application Deadline: undisclosed but typically on April
  • Program Dates (subject to change): undisclosed but typically between June and August (runs for 11 weeks)
  • Eligibility: high school students

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office provides unpaid internship opportunities perfect for students with a special interest in criminal justice, aiming to introduce them to the distinctive and diverse experiences available within the SFDA’s Office. Interns may support prosecutors in various clerical tasks, including organizing and preparing case files for trials, communicating with witnesses, and managing subpoenas and records related to pre-trial hearings and jury trials (subject to attorney approval and supervision).

Ideal applicants are dependable and well-organized students capable of effectively managing their academic responsibilities alongside their duties at the office. High school internship applications are exclusively accepted for summer sessions.

5. Summer Law Internship Program at Atlanta Bar Association

  • Cost: No cost (allowance is $2000 for 6 weeks; $333/week)
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Application Deadline: undisclosed
  • Program Dates (subject to change): May 29 to July 19, 2024
  • Eligibility: junior and senior high school students from class 2024 and 2025

The Atlanta Bar Association offers a highly demanding summer internship program tailored for high school students. As an intern, you will undertake a variety of responsibilities for your employers, including but not limited to copying, summarizing depositions, making deliveries, stamping documents, answering phones, and assembling trial notebooks. Additionally, each intern will have the opportunity to observe a deposition or court hearing.

Prior to commencing the internship, participants undergo intensive mandatory orientations. These orientations are designed to acquaint interns with the expectations placed upon them and what they can anticipate during their tenure. Key topics covered in these sessions include confidentiality, professionalism, and more. Furthermore, interns are expected to attend weekly meetings where they will undergo assessments of their progress.

6. Ladder Internships

  • Cost: $1990
  • Location:  varies on the location of the host company
  • Application Deadline: February 18, 2024
  • Program Dates: June to August (8 weeks)
  • Eligibility: Open to high school students (must work for 10-15 hours/week)

Ladder Startups operates across various sectors, including media, journalism, technology, machine learning, A.I., finance, environmental science, sustainability, business, marketing, healthcare, and more. Their application form provides comprehensive options for exploration in these fields.

Throughout the internship, each student goes through a practical project, culminating in a presentation upon completion. Apart from collaborating closely with their startup manager, interns also benefit from the guidance provided by a Ladder Coach. This coach acts as a secondary mentor, offering support and advice to navigate the startup landscape.

Law student office

It’s worth noting that Ladder Interns follow a distinctive coaching-plus-work model, setting it apart from typical internships. The virtual internship typically spans eight weeks.

7. The United States Attorney’s Office Internship (Eastern District of New York)

  • Cost: no cost and unpaid
  • Location: Central Islip and Brooklyn, NY offices
  • Application Deadline: rolling basis
  • Program Dates: undisclosed
  • Eligibility: senior high schoolers from accredited schools

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York provides several student internships, all on a volunteer, unpaid basis, during the summer months. These internships are available at both our Brooklyn and Central Islip offices in New York. They present an outstanding opportunity for students pursuing studies in pre-law, criminal justice, accounting, information technology, library management, human resources, or community crime prevention.

The internships offered include specialized placements such as Automated Litigation Support, Library Legal Information and Resource Center, and Paralegal-Legal Studies. These opportunities are particularly beneficial for students pursuing studies in pre-law, criminal justice, accounting, information technology, library management, human resources, or community crime prevention.

8. Baltimore City Law Links at the Maryland Youth & the Law

  • Cost: none, paid hourly ($15/hr)
  • Location: Baltimore, MA
  • Application Deadline: undisclosed
  • Program Dates: undisclosed; typically between June and August (runs for 7 weeks)
  • Eligibility: sophomore and junior high schoolers from a Baltimore public high school

Upon selection, participants are assigned to either a law firm or a law-related agency. Additionally, they have the opportunity to attend and engage in the Law and Leadership Institute, a 50-hour educational seminar hosted at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. The internship encompasses various interactive activities, including discussions with legal professionals from law firms, city agencies, and the courts, as well as field trips to Citi Watch and the Baltimore FBI Bureau.

Close up of a lot of law reports in library

More than just a summer employment opportunity, this internship is crafted to effectively prepare young individuals for professional environments. As part of their involvement in Law Links, participants receive professional attire from either Ann Taylor or Joseph A. Banks.

9. Diversity Committee Summer Intern Program by the Nashville Bar Association

  • Cost: No cost, allowance is provided
  • Location: Nashville, TX
  • Application Deadline: March 2024
  • Program Dates: undisclosed but typicalls between June-July (8 weeks)
  • Eligibility: senior high schools from Nashville

Numerous state bar associations provide internship opportunities for high school students. Presently, the Nashville Bar Association is conducting its Diversity Committee Summer Intern Program, placing students in law firms, corporate legal departments, and government law offices within the state’s hub.

This paid internship spans seven weeks, offering students direct exposure to the legal domain and the chance to network for potential legal mentors. Nashville seeks to recruit exceptional students for these roles, requiring a demonstration of academic excellence on your resume.

10. Summer Law Intern Program at Dallas Bar Association

  • Cost: No cost, allowance is provided
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Application Deadline: March 29, 2024
  • Program Dates: June-July (8 weeks)
  • Eligibility: high school juniors from Dallas Independent School Districts

The Summer Law Intern Program is a partnership between the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Independent School District. Upon acceptance, participants are matched with a law firm, nonprofit organization, or corporate legal department for an 8-week internship. The work schedule is determined by the partnering employer, offering flexibility for either full-time or part-time hours.

Selected interns also receive a comprehensive Summer Learning curriculum outlining expectations and customary practices within law firms, which they are required to complete. The program includes educational activities organized by the DBA and concludes with an end-of-program reception. For individuals residing in Dallas, this internship presents a robust opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field.

11. Judicial Youth Corps Program

  • Cost: No cost, paid hourly
  • Location: Massachusetts (Boston/Worcester)
  • Application Deadline: undisclosed
  • Program Dates: May-June and July-August
  • Eligibility: high school students

The Judicial Youth Corps (JYC) Program is a comprehensive educational internship held during the spring and summer, providing high school students with insights into the Massachusetts court system and the principles of the rule of law. Mentored by judges, lawyers, clerks, probation officers, and other court professionals who volunteer their time, students engage in educational sessions and supervised work experiences.

an female high school law firm intern

The program includes activities such as mock trials, field trips, and group discussions, offering a rich learning experience. Administered by the Supreme Judicial Court’s Public Information Office, the JYC program consists of two sessions during the spring and summer, and successful applicants are expected to attend both sessions.

12. International Internships in Law and Human Rights

  • Cost: $1099
  • Location: International (remote option is available)
  • Application Deadline: Rolling basis
  • Program Dates: flexible
  • Eligibility: Open to high school students

Explore Law & Human Rights internships to gain insight into the legal system of another country and intern alongside seasoned lawyers, attorneys, and judges worldwide. Intern Abroad HQ’s Law internships abroad facilitate the development of cultural intelligence, the expansion of your global network, and the refinement of essential soft skills by partnering with a leading organization of law and social justice experts.

Their law and social justice internships abroad cater to individuals seeking to blend experiential learning with international exploration. Additionally, they offer remote Law internships for those valuing the flexibility and autonomy of working from home and setting their own schedules.

13. Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Internship Program

  • Cost: no cost, with allowance ($175/week)
  • Location: Manhattan, NY
  • Application Deadline: March 8, 2024
  • Program Dates: July 8 – August 9, 2024
  • Eligibility: high school students who reside or attend school in Manhattan

Interns at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office gain an insider perspective of the criminal justice system. This immersive experience involves a commitment of 35 hours per week, during which interns participate in workshops and discussions covering topics such as criminal justice, police conduct, civic involvement, and leadership. They are also expected to engage in a series of presentations and conversations with staff members to develop a fundamental grasp of policy development and implementation. The internship spans a duration of six weeks.

Attendees will join workshops and discussions, engage in a mock trial program, cultivate professionalism within an office environment, and explore additional opportunities. Interns will receive compensation at the minimum wage rate.

14. The ACLU High School Summer Internship

  • Cost: no cost, with allowance
  • Location: Hybrid
  • Application Deadline: February 2024
  • Program Dates: Summer (10 weeks for fulltime; 12 weeks for parttime)
  • Eligibility: Available for high school students

The ACLU has championed the expansion of civil liberties and rights for over a century. Join the endeavor to construct a brighter future for all Americans in the coming century. Participate in dialogues with individuals at the forefront of today’s most significant civil liberties and rights battles. Contribute to initiatives within one of their departments while honing valuable skills and gaining professional experience.

a male law student studying

Benefit from the expertise of ACLU staff members across various subjects through training sessions and hands-on learning opportunities. Finally, receive a stipend for a 10-week full-time internship or a 12-week part-time internship. The stipend amount may be adjusted based on any external funding received.

15. NYU High School Law Institute

  • Cost: no cost
  • Location: NYU Campus
  • Application Deadline: undisclosed
  • Program Dates: Fall 2024
  • Eligibility: 9th to 12th grade

New York University School of Law hosts this institute, presenting an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in challenging coursework, interactive workshops, and mock trial simulations. Under the guidance of seasoned law professors and legal experts, participants get into legal principles, sharpen critical thinking abilities, and explore the practical applications of law across various domains.

Throughout the program, students go through case studies, engage in debates, and interact with legal practitioners, refining their advocacy skills and nurturing a commitment to justice. Additionally, the institute offers guidance on the law school admissions process, equipping students for future legal studies and potential careers in law. This rigorous and intellectually stimulating program empowers high school students with a robust understanding of legal studies, inspiring them to pursue a legal career path with confidence and enthusiasm.

How do law internships prepare high school students for college?

Law internships provide a unique avenue for students to achieve goals while gaining valuable insights into the legal profession. By participating in law internships during high school, students not only receive practical experience in legal work but also develop a range of skills and attributes that prepare them for success in college and beyond.

In this section, we will explore how law internships prepare high school students for college by providing academic enrichment, professional development, networking opportunities, and personal growth and confidence.

Academic Enrichment

Law internships offer high school students the opportunity to engage in intellectually stimulating activities, such as legal research, writing, and analysis. By participating in these internships, students develop critical thinking skills and enhance their academic abilities, which are invaluable for success in college. Engaging in substantive legal work prepares students for the rigorous academic demands they will encounter in college courses.

Professional Development

Law internships provide high school students with exposure to professional environments and interactions with legal professionals. Through these experiences, students learn essential workplace skills, such as communication, time management, and professionalism. By navigating the expectations and responsibilities of a legal internship, students develop the maturity and professionalism necessary for college and future career success.

Networking Opportunities

Law internships often offer students the chance to network with attorneys, judges, and other legal professionals. Building relationships with professionals in the field can provide valuable mentorship, guidance, and potential recommendations for college applications. Networking also exposes students to diverse perspectives and career paths within the legal field, helping them make informed decisions about their college and career aspirations.

Personal Growth and Confidence:

Law internships challenge high school students to step outside their comfort zones, take on new responsibilities, and overcome obstacles. Through these experiences, students develop resilience, self-confidence, and a sense of independence, all of which are essential for a successful transition to college life. By navigating the complexities of legal work and contributing meaningfully to their internship placements, students build the self-assurance and adaptability needed to thrive in college environments.

How should a student choose the best law internship?

Choosing the best law internship requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure alignment with the student’s interests, goals, and preferences. Here are some key steps a student can take to select the most suitable law internship:

  1. Identify Interests and Goals: The student should reflect on their interests within the legal field and their career aspirations. Are they interested in a particular area of law, such as criminal justice, corporate law, or human rights? Do they have specific goals for their internship, such as gaining hands-on experience, networking with legal professionals, or exploring different legal career paths?
  2. Research Opportunities: Students should conduct thorough research to explore available law internships. They can search online databases, review internship programs offered by law firms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and bar associations, and seek recommendations from mentors, teachers, or career counselors.
  3. Consider Program Structure and Duration: Students should consider the structure and duration of each internship program. Some internships may offer full-time or part-time opportunities during the summer, while others may be available throughout the academic year. Students should evaluate their schedule, availability, and commitment level to determine the best fit.
  4. Assess Program Components: Students should carefully review the components of each internship program, such as the type of work involved, mentorship opportunities, training and development resources, networking events, and any additional benefits or perks offered.
  5. Evaluate Location and Accessibility: The location of the internship can also be an important factor to consider. Students should assess whether the internship is located in a convenient location, accessible via public transportation, or if it requires travel or relocation.
  6. Review Program Reputation and Reviews: Students should research the reputation of each internship program by reading reviews, testimonials, and success stories from past participants. They can also reach out to alumni or contacts in the legal field for insights and recommendations.
  7. Consider Financial Considerations: Students should consider any financial implications of participating in an internship, such as whether it is paid or unpaid, if there are costs associated with transportation or housing, and if financial aid or scholarships are available.
  8. Seek Advice and Guidance: Finally, students should seek advice and guidance from mentors, teachers, career counselors, or professionals in the legal field. These individuals can provide valuable insights, advice, and support to help students make informed decisions about their law internship options.

Final Thoughts

Participating in law internships during high school can significantly enhance a student’s college readiness and strengthen their college admissions profile. These internships demonstrate a student’s initiative, passion for learning, and commitment to pursuing their academic and career goals. Colleges and universities value applicants who have engaged in meaningful extracurricular activities, such as law internships, as they showcase the student’s intellectual curiosity, leadership potential, and readiness to contribute to the academic community.

Additionally, the skills and experiences gained through law internships, such as critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving, are highly transferable and applicable to college coursework, making students better prepared for the academic rigors of higher education.

Overall, law internships for high school students serve as a valuable stepping stone toward college success and pave the way for future accomplishments in the legal profession.

 

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