November 30, 2010

Legal Interning Tip #2

Legal interning is generally not very different from any other kind of interning. Here's the second of many tips I will be posting that are especially helpful when you are working in a legal office (read the first here):

Don't be afraid to ask questions or find your own answers.

Whenever you are given an assignment, ask any questions that come to mind right away to make sure you know exactly what you are being asked to do. As I am working, I like to write down any questions that pop up on my legal pad. Often, as you continue to research, you will find yourself answering your own questions. Although doing a little extra research in order to answer your own questions may cause you to take longer to complete the assignment, I find it is often worth it in the long run. Answering your own questions means that you are not constantly bothering your attorney for easily found information, and you are more likely to remember the answers later when you figure them out for yourself.

Once you have narrowed down your questions to essentials that you cannot answer yourself (either at all or within a reasonable amount of time), quickly stop by your attorney's office, - don't forget your legal pad! - ask if he has a minute, and clear up any confusion or doubts that you may be having. You can now complete the assignment with confidence, and your attorney will be impressed when you hand him exactly what was asked for.

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