As a first-year law student, you may be tempted to primarily focus on your GPA, but you shouldn’t restrict your learning to only academic pursuits. First-year law student summer internships offer a great opportunity to gain practical experience in your preferred field of specialization. Use this list of first-year law student summer internships to get ahead on your applications.
1. The DIRECTV Legal Department Summer 2023 Legal Summer Associate
The DIRECTV Legal Department is offering first-year law student summer internships. This internship offers an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally and gives you valuable experience working with in-house attorneys. You’ll get to know what it’s like to work as an in-house attorney for a top video content distribution company.
During the internship, you’ll be working on content distribution agreements, attending hearings and depositions, conducting research, and drafting memoranda for a wide range of practice areas of the department. These may include Labor and Employment, Product, Regulatory, Litigation, Intellectual Property, Content, and Programming, among others.
The internship will last for 8 to 10 weeks in Summer 2023. It will primarily be virtual with the possibility of traveling to Los Angeles, but in-office work may occasionally be available. This internship is paid. DIRECTV has a preference for applicants located in Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; and Washington, D.C.
There are certain qualifications you must meet to be considered for this internship. You must be a first- or second-year student who’s enrolled in a law school that’s ABA-accredited and in good academic standing. They’re looking for applicants with a passion for the entertainment business and an active commitment to furthering diversity in the legal profession. Interested candidates should present:
- A 1-page cover letter highlighting why they are great candidates for the internship and demonstrating their interest in the entertainment business
- A written statement (no more than one page) outlining their active commitment to inclusion and diversity in the legal profession
- A current résumé
- An official transcript (one’s GPA will not be taken into account during the application review process)
In addition to the amazing benefits that working at DIRECTV offers, you’ll be earning $47.50/hour.
2. Center For Family Representation Summer 2023 Legal Internships
CFR is offering first-year law student summer internships for 2023. CFR intends to welcome law student interns in their Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan, Queens for Summer 2023. As an intern, you’ll get to work collaboratively with social work staff and CFR attorneys in one or more of their practice areas.
In addition to taking part in thorough training and getting individualized mentorship and supervision, you’ll benefit from direct, hands-on experience with negotiation and case management, crisis intervention, client counseling, and advocacy. You’ll get to work on your research and writing projects, have the chance to work on tasks associated with the specific practice area to which you’re allocated, and more. You may also be required to testify in court in accordance with student practice orders. The practice areas include:
- Family Defense: CFR offers representation in family court for parents in neglect and abuse cases. They provide top-notch legal defense while achieving goals like preventing the placement of children in foster care, reducing the time children spend there, facilitating quality visiting arrangements, and ensuring families receive services tailored to promote safe and long-lasting reunification. An internship in family defense practice can offer valuable insight into the life of a custody attorney, and how the best probate lawyers handle wills and trusts.
- Criminal Defense: A third of CFR clients are involved in a criminal case stemming from the same claim that led to their appearance in a family court. CFR is among the few New York City organizations with a focused practice for those facing a criminal charge and a child welfare inquiry. The family defense team immediately refers a client who has been assigned to CFR in family court to CFR’s criminal defense practice.
They do this upon learning that the City is prosecuting them for the same charge in a criminal court. Their criminal defense attorneys collaborate closely with the family defense team to ensure their representation in a criminal court supports advocacy in a family court. This is because they’re aware of the potential effects a criminal case can have on a client’s family court situation. An internship in the criminal defense practice gives you valuable experience of what it takes to be a criminal attorney.
- Civil Legal Services: This team assists their family defense practice clients in administrative proceedings and housing court. They do this to prevent eviction, secure repairs to heating, stoves, and plumbing and gain access to benefits that help obtain stable housing, such as ACS vouchers.Additionally, the team represents clients in administrative processes when their benefits are terminated due to City error and assists them in obtaining or maintaining Medicaid benefits, cash assistance, and SNAP (food stamps). They also accompany them to eligibility appointments. All of these initiatives support families in maintaining the stability and resources needed to keep their children at home. This practice area can offer valuable insight into the legal implications of dealing with a realtor or local title companies.
- Immigration: About one-third of the clients CFR serves are immigrants. The immigration team provides them with specialized legal, social work, and paralegal support to protect them and their families. When the city accuses non-citizen parents of neglecting their children, whether they’re undocumented or hold a green card, it may jeopardize their immigration status and increase their likelihood of being apprehended by the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), taken away from their kids, detained, and even deported. If they’re also involved in a criminal case, the risk is significantly higher. The immigration team supports parents while petitioning for legal status and represents them when they’re facing deportation.
- Youth Defense: The CFR’s Youth Defense practice offers comprehensive, interdisciplinary defense to young people facing delinquency proceedings in family court as well as Adolescent Offender removal cases that come from the Supreme Court’s Youth Parts. Even a brief period of incarceration for low-income adolescents can have substantial long-term implications and fuel the poverty cycle. One of CFR’s goals is to keep children and young adults out of the criminal justice system. To keep arrested young people out of jail, at home, and in school, their interdisciplinary Youth Defense teams fight for them.
- Policy: CFR actively engages in policy reform and advocacy to encourage systemic change to the laws and regulations that disproportionately affect families and adolescents, especially those that cause racial damage to the clients they represent, who are primarily Black and Brown. The CFR staff meets with elected officials (City and State), takes part in coalitions with other advocates, defenders, and parents, drafts laws, testifies in public before City and State bodies, writes letters and op-eds, and educates the public about their rights through Know Your Rights presentations.
First-year law students who’ve shown a strong interest in CFR’s work are considered.
3. Manhattan Legal Services 2023 Summer Internship
Manhattan Legal Services is among the available first-year law student summer internships for 2023. All internships will, at least initially, involve both online and in-person practice. Manhattan Legal Services is a branch of Legal Services NYC, which is the largest provider of civil legal services in the country.
Through free legal counsel, community education, and systemic advocacy, they combat poverty and pursue racial, social, and economic justice for low-income borough residents. Manhattan Legal Services handles the complete spectrum of civil legal issues with an impact on the lives of low-income persons in New York City.
When applying, make sure you indicate your placement preference in the following units: LGBTQ/HIV Advocacy, Government Benefits, Immigration, Family Law, Disability Advocacy, and Housing Rights. While MLS tries to place candidates in their preferred unit, placement isn’t always guaranteed.
As an intern, you’ll get to expand your legal knowledge in different areas of the law, develop practical skills, and help the community. Your responsibilities may include:
- Legal research and writing
- Client outreach, interviewing, and intake
- Participating in judicial or administrative sessions as an observer
- Representation and advocacy with administrative agencies
You’ll also get an opportunity to attend court sessions and receive close supervision.
4. The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York Law Student Summer Internship Program
The Office is also offering first-year law student summer internships. This is an uncompensated summer internship program. You’ll either be placed in the Civil or Criminal Division, where you’ll get to participate in a variety of projects alongside Assistant U.S. Attorneys.
The Office also organizes a range of summer activities to teach interns about legal practice in general, and government law in particular. These activities include brown bag lunches and training sessions. You must agree to work for at least 8 to 10 weeks. As an intern, you’ll be paired with one or two assistants. Your typical duties include helping with trials, helping prepare for oral arguments and depositions in court, document analysis, taking part in witness interviews, and research and writing tasks.
Students in their first year of law school can apply between Dec 19, 2022, to Jan 20, 2023, for summer 2023. In your cover letter, be sure to specify whether you’re applying to the Civil or Criminal Division and if you’re applying via the online form. Whether you’re looking to gain experience as a custody attorney, an accident lawyer, or a condemnation attorney, all first-year law students are required to submit their transcripts as soon as they become available for the application to be finalized. First-year applicants must submit other application materials within the allotted time frame.
5. New York Civil Liberties Union Summer 2023 Law Student Summer Internship
NYCLU is also offering first-year law student summer internships for 2023. NYCLU is the New York state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. The NYCLU is looking for a diverse group of law students to benefit from their summer 2023 internships. Over the course of a 10-week program, you’ll participate in legal research and writing to support policy advocacy, litigation, and legislative priorities on a variety of civil rights and liberties issues. You may also get the chance to work on projects such as court monitoring, policy campaigns, and civil rights education.
You should be able to demonstrate your commitment to both civil rights and public interest law. Applications are reviewed and offers are made on a rolling basis. You’ll be required to submit a resume, a cover letter outlining your reasons for wanting to complete a summer internship with the NYCLU, and a recent piece of unaltered original writing (submit a brief, memorandum of law, or motion, not more than 10 pages).
As an equal opportunity employer, the NYCLU welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their arrest or conviction history, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, national origin, religion, disability, age, gender expression or identity, sex, race, or any other characteristic safeguarded by applicable law. NYCLU is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as having a workforce that’s representative of the clientele they serve.
6. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund 2023 Summer Litigation Internships
This is also one of the few first-year law student summer internships for 2023. Applications are now being accepted for the summer 2023 litigation internships at the New York and Washington, D.C. offices of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). They plan to host in-person internships in both offices.
Summer litigation interns are in charge of conducting legal research, writing memoranda, gathering evidence, creating educational and outreach materials, discovery review, and a variety of other tasks as they arise in the course of LDF’s advocacy and litigation work in Criminal Justice, Economic Justice, Political Participation and Education. This means you can gain valuable experience in what drug lawyers‘ day looks like, among other practices. Interns from throughout the country attend a series of brown bag luncheons featuring renowned civil rights and public interest attorneys as part of their exposure to various activities within the larger national civil rights coalition held in the summer.
Students are advised to first seek funding through their law school’s public interest programs or other suitable sources. However, if someone is unable to obtain funds from other sources, LDF may, at its discretion, give suitable funding based on need. LDF prefers to recruit second-year law students, although they consider first-year law students in certain circumstances. Interns are expected to clock in at least ten weeks throughout the summer. However, special circumstances could allow for alternate arrangements.
You have the most time to dedicate to extracurricular activities during your first year. Look into different kinds of first-year law student summer internships and expose yourself to the industry as much as you can. Doing this gives you a solid foundation for future employment prospects.