For many of us, summer seems like a distant dream. (Was it really just six months ago that we were walking around in tank tops and flip-flops?) But for motivated college students, summer is squarely in their sites as organizations begin advertising summer internship opportunities.
For legal marketers, recruiting an intern comes with a number of benefits. After all, who doesn’t want an extra hand to help their department out? But recruiting an intern also requires preparation and an investment of your time. The overarching purpose of an internship is education, and if you aren’t identifying teachable moments for your intern, you might not only be wasting your intern’s time—you could be breaking the law.
Law Firm Internship Program Tips
So, how can you get the most out of a summer intern? Here are a few tips:
Define the role: Before you begin soliciting for a summer intern, know the qualifications, skill sets and responsibilities required of the position. Will the intern assist with social media, update the website or organize the marketing calendar? This will help you understand the purpose the intern will serve and better attract qualified candidates.
Identify a manager: Do not expect your intern to walk into your firm with an in-depth understanding of your organization. Someone is going to have to educate the intern on your department’s and your firm’s processes and business. This will require a time commitment, for which you should be properly prepared.
Provide a balanced workload: You don’t want to inundate your intern with menial tasks, but you also don’t want to delegate high-level projects to an individual who might be too green for the job. When considering recruiting an intern, take an inventory of your outstanding projects and try to develop a balance of low-level and high-level work that provides the critical real-world experience your intern craves as well as the substantive assistance you hope to gain.
Consult HR: Before you do any of the above, consult your HR department to ensure that you are able to meet all the legal criteria to take on an intern. The Department of Labor has issued a memo on unpaid internship programs and the Fair Labor Standards Act that is essential reading for anyone looking to recruit a summer intern.
Promote Your Call for Interns
Are you looking to recruit an intern for the summer? Let the Chicago City Chapter help you promote your opportunity. Send us an email at LMAMidwestChicago@gmail.com, and we’ll post your call for interns on the In the Loop website and on the Chicago City Chapter Facebook page, LinkedIn Group and the LMA Midwest Twitter feed.