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The Benefits of Having an Intern for Your Immigration Law Firm: Part 2 - How to Recruit a Legal Intern

This article, which follows our previous article looking at the benefits of having a legal intern in the first place, looks at what you as an immigration law firm should consider before hiring a legal intern, and then how to go about finding one.
The Benefits of Having an Intern for Your Immigration Law Firm: Part 2 - How to Recruit a Legal Intern
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Most law students will seek an internship at some point while earning their law degree to get practical experience in their field of choice. But not every law firm offers internships. 

That might be because hiring an intern who’s a good fit for your immigration law firm can be tough. Where do you find a good intern? What will you assign them? How will you make sure that they find their internship fulfilling? This article, which follows our previous article looking at the benefits of having a legal intern in the first place, looks at what you as an immigration law firm should consider before hiring a legal intern, and then how to go about finding one.

Let’s dive in.

Some considerations before hiring a legal intern for your immigration law firm

To attract high-quality interns, you should consider not just the help you’ll be getting from that intern but, perhaps even more importantly, the value the student will get out of the internship. It’s important to make every effort to provide a high-quality internship experience.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before moving forward with creating an internship and starting your search for an intern.

  • What will your intern gain, in terms of experience and exposure to legal practice, by interning at your firm?

  • What kind of feedback and mentorship can an intern expect through your internship program?

  • What kind of time commitment are you looking for from your interns? 

  • How will you compensate your interns for their time and effort?

Here are some steps you can follow to give your internship some shape: 

  • Create a format for the internship. What compensation will you offer, if any? And if you won’t or can’t pay, can the internship be for academic credit? What tasks will interns be assigned? Will the internship be in-person, remote, or hybrid?

  • Decide who will be responsible for the intern. If you’re a solo practitioner, this is self-explanatory, but at a firm with multiple associates or even partners, you should decide who will be responsible for the intern search, interviewing, hiring and training. Eventually, you will need to decide who will oversee the intern’s daily work, evaluate their performance, and provide. feedback.

  • Decide how many interns you will hire. Determining the number of interns your firm needs can help you figure out an internship budget, what work you will get help on, how many teams or staff members will get an intern, and so on. You would probably want to err on the side of too few interns rather than too many so you don’t spend more time managing and finding work for them than actually working on cases.

Once you’ve decided on the number of interns you’re looking for, whether and how much you can pay them, the expected time commitment, and the kind of work they will be doing, it’s time to put together a job posting and get it out there to actually start recruiting.

Where to recruit legal interns for your immigration law firm

Now that you have defined what a legal internship at your firm will look like, it’s time to think about how to get your internship position in front of the most, and the best, possible candidates. This may include traditional hiring methods as well as more out-of-the-box ones.

Here are five ways in which you can recruit legal interns for your immigration law firm.

1. Post internship opportunities at law schools through their career services office

Law schools often encourage students to look for internships through their career office or other similar center, and law students often look for internship opportunities here first. While the process likely differs from school to school, to post your internship opportunity at a specific law school, contact their career services office and ask for help on how to do that. Whether it’s the alma mater of an attorney at the firm or a simple Google search with the name of a local law school, most career services departments will be eager to talk to you and help.

Post internship opportunities on traditional job portals and websites

Online job boards almost always include internship opportunities in addition to full-time positions, so posting your internship on online job boards outside of the law school environment is critical to ensure you get in front of as many people as possible. This may include large job platforms like Indeed or LinkedIn, or even more locally focused listing websites like Craigslist.

Post internship opportunities on social media

You or someone at your law firm can share a link to your internship job application on social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., with some comments about the firm, the basic requirements of the internship and instructions on how to apply. While sharing an internship opportunity via your personal social media profiles may not necessarily reach large swaths of potential legal interns, it may lead someone you know personally to refer a law student to apply, which is a great supplement to the traditional job posting methods already discussed.

And if you’re not yet using social media to leverage your online presence to engage more directly with your current or prospective clients, or in this case prospective interns, by sharing knowledge and actionable advice and building connections, check out our tips on social media marketing to get started!

Post your internship openings on bar association or other specialized websites and listservs

Take advantage of specialized websites and listservs that law students and legal professionals use to search for jobs, such as the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, your state bar association, and of course the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Talk about internship opportunities at in-person events

We’ve discussed how in-person events are a great way to market your immigration law firm, and that also includes marketing internship opportunities. Law schools often have panels and Q&A sessions with lawyers in certain specialties, and there are conferences and events that students can attend. These are excellent opportunities to share what your firm does and how an internship at your firm can help law students interested in immigration law gain practical knowledge and experience. Make sure to leave some time to answer questions and provide a way for potential candidates to contact you to apply. 

Docketwise supports your law firm immigration case management

Having interns is a win-win. It’s a great way to educate and inspire the next generation of immigration lawyers while also helping your firm keep up with work, provide leadership opportunities for employees who want to manage interns, and potentially find future colleagues in those interns.

At Docketwise, we strive to build an immigration case management, forms management, and CRM platform that grows with you as your immigration law firm grows. We pride ourselves on our entrepreneurial spirit, our focus on building features for immigration law firms of all sizes, and our industry-first open API that connects Docketwise with other tools to help you optimize your work.

If you’re new to Docketwise and would like to try and see if it’s a good fit for your firm, schedule a demo on our website today.

If you’re an existing Docketwise client, thank you for preferring us for your immigration case management needs!

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Saja Raoof, Founder and Principal
Saja Raoof, Inc. Law Corporation
“Docketwise is the fourth immigration software I've used in my career. None come close. It's everything I'd wished for in an immigration forms software. Law offices would be well-served to at least give it a try. I've already enthusiastically recommended Docketwise to several colleagues.”
Shahzad Khan, Principal Attorney
Shahzad R, Khan Legal, PLLC
“This product has increased my law firms productivity ten fold. Before I used to do forms on my own from the USCIS website. Using Docketwise, has caused me to give up paper questionnaires and keeps me from inputting information directly into forms.”
Sandy Yeung - Yeung Law Office, LLC
Anna Ernest, Managing Attorney
Ernest Law Group, PLC
“I am extremely pleased with Docketwise. This software streamlined my Immigration practice and enabled me to process more cases in less time. Clients (and my staff) love how "user friendly" this software is. Definitely a great value for the money.”
Mohammed Ali Syed, Founder and Principal
Mohammed Ali Syed, Founder and Principal
Syed Law Firm, PLLC
“Hands down the best solution for a busy immigration practice. The interface is very user friendly and intuitive. There are lots of cool features that make handling a large volume of cases and ensuring accuracy a lot easier. The customer service is phenomenal.”
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