Opportunities for legal internships for non-law students are few and far between as most legal internships are reserved for law students. While most law students do not obtain legal internships prior to law school, here are a few tips for landing a legal internship and obtaining exposure to the legal profession:
- Work with your college career office: If you are in college or if you’re a recent graduate, your school’s career office is a great place to start your search for a legal internship. These offices often have information on legal internships and externships during and after college.
- Expand your network: Join organizations and attend events that expose you to lawyers who may know about internship opportunities that would be right for you.
- Think outside of the box: Don’t just look for internships in law firms. Explore internship opportunities with company legal departments, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.
- Explore Law-Related Opportunities: Obtain exposure to the law through non-legal positions and internships. Consider opportunities in law-related fields like Human Resources, Environmental Protection, City and State Government, and Criminal Justice (e.g., probation, police, or public information offices).
- Volunteer: Look for volunteer opportunities with legal organizations that provide legal services to the community like Bay Area Legal Aid.
- Find a mentor: Find a lawyer to mentor you. Even if that lawyer can’t offer you an internship, she can expose you to her practice and life as a lawyer.
- Do your research: Research legal internship and volunteer opportunities online. Consider opportunities offered by companies that match undergraduates and recent graduates with companies that offer legal internships and other exposure to the legal profession. LinkedIn is also a great resource for legal internships.
- Participate in BWLNC’s Pre-Law Pipeline Program: Learn more HERE.
While BWLNC does not offer internships, we post opportunities to this page as we receive them. Check this page periodically for new opportunities.
Law-Related Internships Resources
- American Political Science Association’s Internship Resources
- Federal Legal Internships posted on Internships-usa.com
- Internship Opportunities in Government
- Alameda County Pre-Trial Services
- ASUC Renters’ Legal Assistance
- ASUC Student Legal Clinic
- California Justice Corps Program
- California State Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General
- Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program
- East Bay Community Law Center
- East Bay Sanctuary Covenant Refugee Rights Program
- Legal Services for Prisoners With Children
- Summer Research Diversity Fellowships in Law and Social Science for Undergraduate Students
- US Supreme Court
- The Center for Justice & Accountability Internships
- Federal Trade Commission Legal Internships
- Legal Momentum Legal Internships
- National Whistleblower Center Legal Internships
- Pro-Choice America Legal Internships
- Sierra Club Environmental Law Internships Program
- U.S. State Department Internships
Volunteer, Bar Association of San Francisco’s Justice & Diversity Center – San Francisco
If you are a college student or other professional who is interested in law, please consider volunteering as a legal interviewer with our Legal Advice and Referral Clinic (LARC) or our Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP). If you speak a second language, please also consider volunteering with the Legal Advice and Referral Clinic or our Interpreter Project. We also have student internships available each semester. We recruit for interns every August/September, January and April/May. We post internship announcements at Bay Area colleges and law schools during these times. Please do not send us unsolicited resumes. For more information on non attorney volunteer opportunities, visit our non attorney volunteer opportunities page.
Intern, Badger Maps – San Francisco, CA
Badger Maps is a fast-growing startup that builds software to make salespeople more effective. Badger shows salespeople which of their customers are nearby and connects to their calendar to translate travel routes to a daily schedule. The company is offering a paid ($500/month) 3-month internship focused on legal operations and business development. This opportunity is perfect for a pre-law or pre JD/MBA student or recent grad who wants to pursue a legal career focused on entrepreneurship, building companies, and playing a legal ops role in a rapidly growing business. Learn more and apply HERE.
Intern, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Program
SEO Career is a professional development and internship program targeting talented Black, Hispanic, and Native American undergrads and pre-law school candidates. We provide the Education, Development, Growth and Experience needed to gain a competitive advantage and launch your career. Participants receive free career prep resources, training, and coaching to land a paid summer internship and, ultimately, to secure a full-time job offer in business, technology, or law. Summer internships pay up to $1,300 per week. Learn more and apply for the program HERE. The application deadline is January 1, 2016.
The Alliance for Children’s Rights protects the rights of impoverished, abused and neglected children and youth. By providing free legal services and advocacy, the Alliance ensures children have safe, stable homes, healthcare and the education they need to thrive. The Alliance offers opportunities throughout the year for undergraduate, graduate, law school students and paralegals to intern/volunteer. Interns/volunteers work under the direction of staff attorneys on the following types of tasks: conducting client intake interviews; analyzing and assessing client needs; working with attorneys to determine legal assistance needed; conducting legal research and preparing legal documents; attending court proceedings; and developing resource and educational materials for clients.
To apply, email resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more HERE.
Criminal/Death Penalty Intern, LMR – San Francisco
Unique opportunity to work with experienced, dedicated attorneys specializing in death penalty appeals. Your work will have a direct and powerful impact on the lives of people on death row. No prior experience is necessary but, you must be a quick learner. Pay close attention to detail. Best candidates will be those who have a strong interest in law and social justice, and an interest in death penalty defense. In addition, you may have an opportunity to work with a computer forensic expert on certain civil and criminal matters.
Office is located in the Mission district of San Francisco. Hours are mostly flexible and project-based.
Learn more and apply HERE.
Student Assistant, Office of Attorney General – Sacramento
Under the direct supervision of the Supervising Program Technician II, the Student Assistant in the Criminal Record Update Section (CRUS) will assist with technical, research, and support functions.
In a learner capacity, the Student Assistant will review incoming electronic and manual source documents for accuracy and categorize based on the complexity of the document and prepare for entry into the Automated Criminal History System (ACHS). The Student Assistant will also be responsible for receiving and processing orders for JUS 8715 Forms from mandated reporting agencies and maintaining the CRUS Manual Disposition Form Ordering Database. The duties above will assist the Student Assistant in gaining a familiarity with California law and the criminal justice process.
Learn more and apply HERE.
Legal Intern, Varian Medical Systems, Inc. – Palo Alto
We are searching for a college intern to work in our corporate legal department. This individual will undertake assigned duties relating to compliance, contracts, patents/intellectual property, litigation and other legal disciplines. Will also assist in general support tasks which may include filing documents, working on website and legal process automation projects, participating/taking notes of meetings, document review and analysis, document compilation, and general administrative duties.
Applicants: This position is open to current college students.
Learn more and apply HERE.
Legal Intern (Fall), Wikimedia Foundation – San Francisco
If you’re a current law student or recent law school graduate passionate about free knowledge and open source issues, applying to our legal internship program can provide an immersive in-house experience with specific education and training in the areas of Internet law and free knowledge organizations. Interns selected would work full-time at the Foundation’s downtown San Francisco office (we will also consider applications for part-time work on a case-by-case basis for the Summer).
Applicants: This position is open to current college students and recent grads.
Learn more and apply HERE.
Legal Policy Intern, Twitter – San Francisco
Twitter’s Trust & Safety (T&S) department works to ensure user trust, protect user rights, and mitigate legal risk by crafting and enforcing policy. We are seeking a goal-oriented, highly-motivated team player to work on cutting-edge legal process operations, data privacy issues, and other related projects as a summer intern on our Legal Policy team. Legal Policy team members handle global legal requests from law enforcement officials, government agencies and private parties, and works closely with in-house counsel on a variety of related strategic issues. Legal Policy also publishes a biannual Transparency Report.
Applicants: This position is open to current graduate-level students. Learn more and apply HERE.
Interested in posting an internship opportunity for pre-law students and recent grads? Submit your information via our CONTACT US page.