This article on ‘Importance of Internships for law students in India‘ was written by Samar Jain, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
For a student to survive in the field of law, it has become necessary for them to do internships. A Student who is knowing how things are done practically definitely has an advantage over a student who has just theoretical knowledge.
A Law Student gains this practical knowledge through internships either by working under an advocate or a research organization engaged in legal research or a law firm or a government body that works in the domain of law or finally any institution which is legally aligned.
The Bar Council of India has also made it mandatory for students of law to gain experience through internships for law students. Even the National Education Policy of 2020 has emphasized the importance of internships for law students and has made it mandatory to gain experience through internships.
The main intent of this article is to list the advantages which a student of law receives through the medium of internships and how those advantages are beneficial in the long run to the student itself.
The issues which law students normally face are why should we do an internship, how is it beneficial to us, who should we apply for doing an internship and when should we do it? All these questions are covered in this article and the answers to them are also present.
Importance of Internships for Law Students in India
The Knowledge that one gain from interning has tremendous advantages and are as follows.
- Compulsory as per the Bar Council of India:
Many people are unaware that as per The Bar Council of India, Rule 25, it is compulsorily required by students of law to Intern. It has been prescribed as follows:
- For a 3-Year Law Course- 12 Weeks of Internships.
- For a 5-Year Law Course- 20 Weeks of Internships
- Also, a procedure is to be followed when selecting internships, and is as follows:
- Firstly, go with non-governmental organizations.
- Then Go to District Courts.
- Then go to High Courts.
- Implementation of Knowledge learned in Law School:
A law student curriculum is so designed that it provides the student case laws, provisions, statutes, and meaning of various articles of not only the country’s constitution but also of major enactments like CrPC, CPC, IPC, or enactments for family, Contract Act, etc. It is expected from the students that they will understand the various principles, and reasons for the enactment of that act and also make sure that the set procedures are maintained.
However, studying them from the perspective of an exam does not allow for a better and deep understanding of the subject. Thus, it is essential for the student that he applies what he has learned in law school in the corporate world or the litigation world. It makes a student aware about what is the practical procedure.
Getting familiarised oneself with the practical procedures of how things are done let’s say procedure of filling a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) or how are stocks listed on the Stock Exchanges the backend word of compliances etc are some of the many aspects that one can expand and can develop a flair for it in internships for law students.
For any student getting the right amount of exposure is a must and an internship helps with this. It helps a law student to make himself a keen observer, and develop perspective and also ideology about how things are handled. If a student does an international internship, he becomes culturally rich and also helps to perceive things in a better manner.
By doing internships under various people or authorities a student develops an understanding of the work culture in various places.
Internships for law students help to explore a world outside of law school. It introduces us to new people, places, or situations. It also helps to get in contact with different people maybe juniors or seniors and have discussions with their help in increasing knowledge. Also, it helps in the amplification of your mind and the knowledge which you have.
There is yet another edge that a law student receives when doing an internship is that if one can build a healthy relationship with your mentor, it is beneficial in the long run maybe for future jobs or career advice. The benefits that one receives by interning in the form of diversity, behavior, and also perception helps a student to grow. This networking has an advantage which is the addition of value in the form of experience, knowledge, and contacts which has an advantage in the future.
- Grasping of latest skills:
A Law Internship helps one to acquire skills like handling clients, and co-interns, becoming a patient, or also skills like teamwork, etc. Also, certain essential skills like Drafting, style of speaking, and writing style developed. Soft Skills essential to the field of law like Communication, Research and Writing, and Analysing Skills are also learned during the internship.
- Experimentation and Learning:
An internship is a good chance to discover and explore numerous career opportunities. It is like a direct impact of what can be expected from this field of law and on that basis, one can take a decision and choose which type of law career one wants to choose.
- Building Of CV:
A good CV is built if one has interned at places and has learned the practical aspects of the field of law. Just having theoretical knowledge is not enough for companies to hire a person for jobs in law roles. Having the element of practical knowledge is necessary. Work Experience is a major factor in showcasing one’s grip and command of the application of law and what one has learned during the internship. Having a wide range of internships for law students spread over multiple law fields provide them with an advantage over others.
Choosing internships for law students in India
Choosing the right internship at the right time is crucial to enhance the skill set of a law student. Internships for law students vary from working under an advocate or a law firm it varies and hence choosing the right internship is important. It depends upon many factors such as preference for a stipend, location, work domain, skill set available, opportunities for learning, etc.
Many a time it has been seen that law students in the first semester itself go for internships under a lawyer or a corporate firm but that student gains no benefit from the internship primarily since firstly the student has no idea about the procedures of law, secondly does not know theoretical aspects of law thus it is of no advantage to him. However, at the same time, a student from let’s say the sixth semester will defiantly have an advantage if he opts for an internship.
Internships for the above reason have the maximum importance in a student’s life and especially in a law student’s life. Not only does a student gain invaluable work experience but he also gains a certain skill set which comes in very handy for the future of the student. The amount of time invested by the students in internships cumulatively does have an impact when that student seeks a job whether in the corporate world or the world of litigation. Also, the quality of The Legal World is enhanced as the next set of lawyers become trained to handle the procedures of law, how are they implemented, have the requisite skills (Hard as well as Soft), etc.
List of References
- “Importance of internships for law students”, Eduaspirant, 21 January 2020, available at: https://eduaspirant.com/importance-of-internships-for-law-students/
- Shrey Lodha, “11 Reasons Why Internship is Important for Law Students”, iPleaders Blog, 5 June 2018, available at: https://blog.ipleaders.in/why-internship-are-important/