Posted Sept. 5, 2015
While there is a lot of competition to get admitted into an LLM program of one’s choice in the right university, the race to secure an internship at a good law firm or relevant company during or after completing your LLM degree can be even more intense! Some LLM students do an internship while they are on the LLM program; while others may begin after submitting their final LLM dissertation. Internships are a perfect opportunity to kick-start your legal career – especially if you want to get practical knowledge of working in an organisation.
WHERE TO FIND INTERNSHIPS
LLM internships can usually be seen advertised in law firms, NGOs, government agencies, companies, etc. For example, Queen Mary University’s collaboration with the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) allows applications for up to five Queen Mary law students for an opportunity to undertake a summer placement with BIHR. On the other hand, research institutes such as the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) offer internship opportunities in public/private international law, investment or rule of law.
Examples of postgraduate law internships within the UK could include:
• An opportunity to shadow a judge at the High Court/Court of Appeal
• Postgraduate internships at the International Bar Association’s offices in London
• Internships at the International Maritime Organization in London
• Law firms such as Allen & Ovary have summer and winter internship programs
Internship opportunities at specialised law firms, for fields like insurance law, intellectual property law, maritime and so on are also a great place to start for students on specialised LLM programs. Internships in EU could include:
• A summer internship with the United Nations (UNCTAD) in Geneva
• An internship with ICC Court of Arbitration
• International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) internship opportunities
HOW TO BEGIN THE SEARCH
As a starting point, the law school where you do your LLM program would be the right place to get internship advice. Talk to your LLM program faculty, career consultants or alumni to know more about LLM internship opportunities. Attend networking events at university or law society sessions. These forums will usually advertise internships in law firms and companies. Staying updated.As an LLM student, you should be keeping your eyes out for internship opportunities. On way in doing this would be subscribing to emailing lists of websites that regularly advertise LLM internship opportunities. For example, blogs such as International Law Observer can be useful in getting regular updates for LLM internships. Although an internship won’t guarantee you a job in the organisation where you work, it can increase your future prospects within the same organisation or if you applied outside.
THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR LLM INTERNSHIPS IN UK
1. Intern while studying: Since there could be opportunities all year around to do an internship in law firms, NGOs and institutes, it’s a good idea to take advantage of any breaks during the study year or after submitting your dissertation.
2. Scholarships could cover internships:In addition to receiving a scholarship, applicants may also be eligible for internships. For example successful scholarship applicants for Queen Mary’s LLM in Energy and Natural Resources program for 2015-16 will be awarded a 2-week international internship at the offices of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
3. Internships through institution: Internships arranged via your own law school are ideal to apply for since you can get more information about these positions through the institution, its faculty and alumni.
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