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.
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.
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.