Going through high school is not the only thing a student should consider. If you are an academically inclined student who has ambitions for what they are going to do in college and beyond, then it’s a good idea to get yourself established now instead of sorting through everything when it’s too late. For law students especially, it would be optimal to get a law internship.
“But what is a law internship?” you may ask. “What are the best law internships for high school students like me?” This article will explain just what you need to make the best choice, and we’ll throw in a few choices of our own for good measure.
What is the Purpose of Law Internships for High Schoolers?
For high schoolers considering pursuing a major and career in law in the future, a law scholarship is an excellent way to get their career started. Law is a difficult practice and will require years and years of study and entering more schools than the average student. Getting ahead with a law internship in high school means that you will make entering college and passing law school that much easier. Law scholarships are often one-to-one, allowing you to gain a personal rapport with a lawyer or politician.
But what kind of law internships should you pursue? And more importantly, which are the best internships suited for high school students? We have a list of eleven internships that will make you turn your head.
Top 11 Law Internships for High School Students
We have eleven interesting, available, and worthwhile law internships that any high school student should look into if they want to be part of some of the best internships.
California Innocence Project Legal Internship
First up is the California Innocence Project. The California Innocent Project is a law school clinic providing pro-bono legal services to those who maintain their innocence of a crime they’ve been accused of. You get to work in person at their San Diego office, but with flexible hours from 15 to 35 hours a week. Still, for high school students, this is an internship more suited for summer than fall or spring. Thankfully, they provide an internship for every semester.
Passport to Work Youth Employment Services Program
Washington D.C.’s courts allow high school students of the state to join the Passport to Work Youth Employment Services Program, a unique paid internship that presents to the interns how a career in law functions. This internship is for students very interested in law, public administration, and social service, giving them hands-on experience. They also have special projects for anyone who would volunteer to do so.
NYU High School Law Institute
New York University offers internships for high school students interested in eventually joining its campus to study law. The High School Law Institute is a student-led organization at NYU for students who want students who recognize the importance of the legal system, wish to learn precisely how it impacts society, and ultimately become involved in law and politics themselves. The internships are run by students, for students, and there is a significant benefit in learning from and with people not too far off from where you are as if you are looking into the future.
Senate Sage Program
The United States Senate has always employed young people to help with senators in the Senate Chamber. To attend the program, you must be at least a high school junior, or 16 years old. When you assist a senator, you become a senate page who works in Washington, D.C. and take a program at the United States Senate Page School. What? More school work? In this case, it would be incredibly beneficial to become a senate page, as you get to rub elbows with incredibly important politicians and catch a glimpse of what it is like to work in Congress if that’s the kind of law you are interested in!
United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York Student Internship
The United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York (what a mouthful!) is another agency that offers law internships for high school students in or around their Brooklyn or Central Islip, New York offices. This is a great for students interested in what it’s like to work at an attorney’s office in a very law-busy city. Students would learn pre-law, criminal justice, accounting, information technology, and human resource in this successful attorney’s district.
Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program
Named in honor of the famous and late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, his New York City internship program gathers diverse students to work with legal agents and lawyers over the summer break. As an intern, a student will be doing a lot of cataloging and collecting data, such as record keeping and data entry, as well as assisting paralegals. Students in New York City would not want to miss out on this opportunity.
DOI Pathways Program
The United States Department of Interior is an executive department, addressing only the United States President himself, that serves to protect America’s resources, cultures, and energy supply. In terms of law, this department handles the management and conservation of federal lands, including Indian reservations. Under their Pathways Program, high school students can take an internship with the department, gaining an idea of how the government goes about protecting America’s most important lands and what laws are used to govern them, building up credit and rapport for a future career in the world of federal law.
ACLU National Advocacy Institute
The American Civil Liberties Union is a unique nonprofit organization that aims to defend and protect the rights and liberties of every citizen of the country. As an intern of the ACLU, you can engage with issues grappling with the country’s most important civil liberties, gain experience by working in one of their lucrative departments and undergo mentorship by learning from the ACLU’s employees to receive training and hands-on experience. You’ll earn a healthy stipend for your full-time ten weeks of work! At the ACLU, you can get involved in building a better future for America.
District Attorney’s Justice Academy (DAJA)
You can take the chance of a lifetime in Alameda County, California. The District Attorney’s Justice Academy (DAJA) is giving a six-month learning and working experience for nearby high school students want to participate in various seminars, present an oral argument, and work with a government agency, nonprofit organization, or a private law office. The DAJA offers a paid internship, so there is little reason not to join this program.
National Student Leadership Conference on Law and Advocacy
The National Student Leadership Conference is a country-wide event for students to explore their interests, discover their potential, and develop into future leaders for the country. Their branch of Law and Advocacy invites high school students to a summer law program where they assume the role of trial attorneys in mock trials. They learn how to examine evidence and build their case. The High School Summer Law Program is an innovative and fun way to know what being an attorney is like.
National Youth Leadership Forum: Law & CSI
Taking an internship at the National Youth Leadership Forum (the NYLF) amounts to a comparatively short time of six days, but what these six days offer is quite valuable. In this law program, high schoolers observe proceedings through mock trials at a local courthouse. The student will hear from experts on various subject matters and gain hands-on experience. The NYLF also has different types of internships, or panels, depending on whether you focus on law or CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). The NYLF advertises itself as the most valuable opportunity a high school student will receive, and it’s honestly hard to argue with them!
3 Things to Consider When Looking for a Law Internship
To find yourself the best law internship suited for you and your means, consider these three major tips:
Not every internship will simply allow a student to waltz in and be in charge of some essential procedures. There are some requirements before a student can join an internship. The obvious and most common requirement is residence within the relevant state, as many of these law internships require that the student is in person. But there are also other academic requirements, such as maintaining a high enough grade point average and being in a later year of high school to join. There is also one more cost that you should consider when looking for a law internship.
Cost of an Internship
Unlike internships in most other fields, many agencies, groups, and organizations will require that a student pays to become an intern. These costs can run up to thousands of dollars for even a small internship session. However, these are typically the most lucrative internships in terms of gaining experience and working on making connections with other legal aides. Still, if you are not in a position to be paying for an internship, look for internships with no additional costs.
Paid or Unpaid Internships
A law internship may cost you money, so look for internships that pay back. In law, an internship that pays is relatively rare, but that only makes it more valuable to take one. Getting paid is always a good thing and will put you closer to how an actual legal job works—once you are in the business, you’ll be rolling in the dough, so it would be amazing to consider what it would be like to get a taste.
Wrapping Things Up: 11 Law Internships for High School Students
If you want to secure a lucrative future for your career, then it would be in your best interest to take up an internship. For future law students, we listed eleven of our favorite law internships for high school students, but there are many more opportunities for students to take! Regardless of the high qualifications, cost, or lack of pay, finding the time and effort to obtain an internship is always a benefit!