Law firms tend to focus on hiring new lawyers and paralegals. They ignore the value of bringing in law school interns to fill a variety of positions. Here are a few reasons why it pays to hire law student interns. We’ll also discuss how to leverage their addition to your team, either for the short term or long term, to the firm’s benefit.
You’re Gaining Staff Who Understand the Law
If you’re considering hiring a social media savvy intern to run your social media accounts, a law student intern will be much more aware of the legal problems a bad Tweet could cause than a marketing student would. A law student intern answering the phones or generating emails based on a template understands the legal repercussions of tossing in statements that could be construed as legal advice and are less likely to say such things.
You Can Turn This into a Marketing Opportunity
Newspapers love positive human-interest stories and leads on stories that are of interest to their readers. You can tell newspapers that you’re seeking interns so that you get a mention in the newspaper; a link on the newspaper’s website is a high authority backlink to your law firm explains Steven from Steinepreis Paganin, a Perth based corporate law firm. Then tell the paper about the interns that you hired since this is positive PR for your firm. Your interns may welcome such positive press themselves since it boosts their digital reputation.
You Gain a Fresh Perspective
What are the legal ramifications of social media background checks and what are the limits you should observe when you’re googling potential job hires? Law student interns are more likely to be familiar with the evolving legal opinions on this subject, as well as the practices younger new hires may use to hide details they don’t want seen.
You also gain a fresh set of eyes for reviewing your marketing, your digital footprint and company procedures. For example, are many people reviewing company correspondence via apps on their smart phones? Is this a violation of an obsolete procedure that forbids using private devices to review company information? Do you have a rule that forbids accessing social media at work and yet expect marketing to manage your social media accounts to drum up new clients? An intern may be able to give advice on practical solutions, though the final changes to formal procedures should be made by those in charge.
You’re Test-Driving Future Lawyers
Suppose you hire law student interns to enter billing information, generate client correspondence or perform other administrative tasks. They may not be as productive as full hires, and they don’t intend on doing this type of work long-term. Yet there is a value for bringing in law student interns for these tasks. You’re identifying the people who are willing to do the grunt work that is necessary to run a law firm. You’ll identify people who pay attention to detail, take care with their work, and know when to ask questions when they don’t know the answer instead of trying to do it all themselves. These are the people you’ll want to put on the short list to hire when they finish law school. And best of all, they’ll already be familiar with your organization’s work practices and know many of those in the office. They’re already a culture fit and primed to work for you.
By hiring law school interns, you’re filling support roles with people with a strong understanding of the law. It gives you the opportunity to test drive potential future full-time hires and generate positive mentions of the firm. You gain a fresh perspective in a variety of areas, including your advertising copy and internal training documents.