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Find out how to get the most out of your paralegal internship

Paralegal Internships

Those interested in gaining a paralegal education should strongly consider the benefits of participating in an internship experience. Although not a curriculum requirement for every program, an internship makes for a valuable tool in preparing for the future. The experience of applying one’s classroom education within an actual working environment helps to strengthen skills and prepare for a prospective career.csulb paralegal internship

Paralegal internships can be conducted within various legal environments, including government, corporate, non-profit, real estate, and legal firms. Students should intern within the area of law which they would like to pursue post-certification. This allows for actual, hands-on experience, fine-tuning not only their skills, but their resume, as well. An internship usually lasts for three to four months; generally equal to one semester of paralegal education. Students with less cumulative knowledge might seek to intern for two semesters in order to gain more valuable on-the-the job experience. In some cases and depending upon the office, an internship might last for the length of an entire case. Regardless of the time span, the host will work with the student’s schedule so that they might glean as much experience and knowledge as possible.

Typical paralegal internships are unpaid, however, some will compensate for up to $10 to $12 hourly, perhaps offering a stipend or fuel cost assistance, as well. Ultimately, the reward is real-world paralegal experience and an applicable skills set outside of the classroom. Interns are expected to assist the legal team within the capacity of an actual paralegal. They are required to operate as if they were real employees, exhibiting a professional work ethic, researching and communicating effectively, all with an proficient aptitude. Working alongside paralegals and other legal staff within an actual legal environment allows for mentoring and networking. This further bulks up the intern’s work experience and opportunities that he or she might seek upon their paralegal certification. Having experienced references and contacts can make the difference when seeking employment upon graduation.

To complete a paralegal internship is to gain perhaps the most valuable education of all – that of real-life learning. Paralegal interns are able to get a preemptive peek at their future careers and steer themselves more assuredly towards professional success owing in part to that insight. To apply one’s classroom learning within that of an actual legal environment while working closely as part of a team and amidst typical office politics is invaluable; paid or not.csulb paralegal program


Amy P'Pool is currently a student at California State University at Long Beach. Studying journalism, aspiring to be a professional writer someday. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, jogging thru the parks and along the beaches of California, some consider her to be true....

Posted in Paralegal, Team Members