Serious law firms are expected to take in interns from time to time. As a matter of fact, if you run a serious law firm, you are bound to get numerous applications from students of law who are keen on interning at your firm. If you never get applications from students who are keen on interning at your firm, then chances are that yours is not regarded as a ‘serious’ law firm. Generally, private firms are expected to complement the government as potential sources of internship opportunities. As a matter of fact, in the legal field, most of the internship opportunities are expected to come from the private firms.
Taking in the interns is the easy part. The difficulty tends to arise when we get to the part where you have to figure out some roles for them. The roles for the interns have to be complex enough for them to get a real feel of the law, and for them to gain useful experience. But then, the interns must not be given roles that are too sensitive. The right balance is hard to strike. Let’s assume that your law firm has been contracted by a certain Sunbiz corporation to do something on its behalf. It may be a case where your law firm has been contracted to file a Sunbiz annual report for a client’s company. What part can the interns play in the whole thing? In my view, the role of the interns may be restricted to collecting the required documents, and filing in the required Sunbiz report details (under the supervision of a partner or an associate). This way, the students get a chance to have a feel of the work that lawyers are involved in — but under close supervision.
In the final analysis, with a little imagination, it is possible to figure out suitable roles for the interns in a law firm.