December 28, 2010

Legal Interning Tip #3

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

Avoid saying no.

Depending on what your interning situation is, you may find yourself helping out more than one attorney in more than one department. If someone in the tax law department asks you to research something, accept the assignment enthusiastically. The point of your internship is to learn as much as possible, and who knows, maybe you'll find that you enjoy the topic just as much as any music-related topic. You want as many people on your side as possible when it comes to future recommendations and landing a job. Having a reputation as a hard worker goes a long way.

That said, DON'T say yes if getting all of your work done on time is a physical impossibility. There is no need for you to be pulling all-nighters in order to accept everything that comes your way. Be realistic and tell the attorney that you have a lot of work that is due soon, but if she doesn't need it right away, you think that you could get to it next week. You haven't said no, and this effectively puts the ball back in the attorney's court to either say that it's not that important or to find someone else to do it. The point is that you didn't waste her time by saying that you can complete something in time when you can't, you didn't have to pull all-nighters at the office to get everything done on time, and you have come off as professional and responsible to the attorney.

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