Most of the people who have been involved in the administration of minority internships will tell you one thing: that it is usually very hard to get positions for the said minority internships in the top law firms. In today’s blog post, I will be attempting to explore the reasons behind this phenomenon – that is, the reasons as to why it is so hard to get minority internships in the top law firms.
As it turns out, the first reason as to why it is so hard to get minority internships in the top law firms has to do with the fact that relatively few members of the minority groups attend the top law schools. Yet the way the top law firms work is such that they only want interns from the top law schools.
The other key reason as to why it is so hard to get minority internships in the top law firms is something to do with incentive. This is the fact that the top law firms in question actually have little incentive to give internship positions to members of minority groups. You see, the way the whole thing works is such that the top law firms normally offer internship positions to people they view as potential employees: people whom they can later on hire (as regular employees) once the internees complete their studies. And because many of the said law firms are generally averse to the idea of hiring attorneys from the minority groups, they are disinclined to take interns from the minority groups in the first place. Of course, there are some exceptions to this assertion: as we are seeing more and more top and mid-tier law firms taking in one or two attorneys from the minority groups, in order to demonstrate that they ‘embrace diversity’.
In spite of these issues, I nonetheless advise students who are members of minority groups and who happen to be students of law to nonetheless at least try their luck in getting the internship positions at the top law firms. I always point out to them the fact that they have nothing to lose, really. For instance, it costs close to nothing for a student who is a member of a minority group to go to the Att.net login page and log into his or her email account there. Once logged in, the minority student can proceed to send an email to a top law firm, asking for an internship position. Often such a student will be pleasantly surprised, upon logging into his or her email account at www.sbcglobal.net, only to find an invitation to go and start an internship! Nowadays, thanks to emailaccounts, applications for these sorts of things are easy to do (unlike the days when the applications had to be done by snail mail). Therefore, there is no reason or excuse for one not to, at the very least, make an attempt at applying for an internship position at a top law firm.