If you’re a high school student interested in the law, you might be seeking ways to obtain practical legal experience while still in school. One option to consider is a high school law internship. Though most internships are for college or law students, there are certain programs designed expressly for ambitious high school students looking to gain a jump start on a legal career.
When considering law internships for high school students, seek employment that offers important responsibilities and insights into the legal sector. This article will present you with a list of internships at law firms for high school students designed specifically for high school students, each of which can serve as a springboard to a successful legal career.
The Importance of Law Internships for High School Students
For aspiring young lawyers, law programs for high school students present prime opportunities to gain firsthand exposure to the legal profession. Law internships generally involve directly shadowing and assisting professionals in legal settings – law firms, courthouses, corporate legal teams, public interest organizations, and more.
The hands-on practice and law opportunities for high school students can provide:
- Insight into different legal career tracks
- Strengthened writing, analysis, and communication abilities
- Exposure to legal procedures and environments
- Connections within the legal community
- Reinforcement of their passion for the law
- Valuable experience in law school and job applications
By evaluating different law-related opportunities, high school students can pinpoint where their legal interests truly lie.
List of High School Law Internships
Is law school hard? It certainly can be with the heavy course loads, challenging concepts, and high-stakes exams. That is why participating in a high school law internship could help you assess whether a career in law is a good fit for your abilities and interests.
Getting hands-on legal experience now allows you to test the waters before committing to the arduous path of law school and legal careers after graduation. When evaluating high school law internships near me or beyond, you can explore different specialties.
You could look at internships at law firms for high school students, summer internships, or internship programs run by legal organizations. In addition to internships, there are other important pre-law summer programs available.
For your convenience, we’ve listed our top 10 law internships for high school students.
NYU High School Law Institute
The NYU High School Law Institute (HSLI) offers an awesome opportunity right in New York City for high school students to get a sampling of legal education. Through the HSLI Saturday program that runs throughout the academic year, current NYU law students teach interactive courses focused on topics like constitutional law, commercial law, debate, and legal writing. As a high school student, you would attend weekly 3-hour classes in person and engage in activities like analytical writing assignments, and lively policy discussions with your peers.
The exposure goes beyond academic topics, you’ll start meeting legal professionals in various fields and specialties. These connections can be invaluable mentors and references as you advance in your future law journey.
ACLU Summer Advocacy Program
Another standout law opportunity is the ACLU Summer Advocacy Program based in Washington D.C. This is a one-week intensive program focused on civil rights and liberties activism. Students ages 15-18 attend seminars and lectures led by ACLU lawyers, lobbyists, and community organizers to study real-world policy advocacy.
Core activities include heated debates around current societal issues, drafting campaigns for legislative reform, attending congressional sessions, and even directly lobbying lawmakers right within the Capitol. The program costs $2,500, which includes food, accommodation, and activities in Washington, D.C. They also give scholarships. If you want hands-on law and social justice experience, this could be an incredible summer law internship for high school students!
Cornell University International Summer Debate Camp
Cornell University has this awesome 9-day International Summer Debate Camp where you go hang out on their campus in Ithaca, New York, and work with their professors to take your debate game to the next level. You’ll be talking about real-world issues that are important right now, practicing the top debate tactics, and making friends with students from all different countries.
You even get to test your new skills in a debate the cost is $3,500. Spend a week and a half strengthening how you speak and argue for causes you care about. Scholarships can help cut down the cost too!
The Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program
If you’re looking for something a little shorter but still want to work on speaking your mind, Wake Forest University has a 1-week Summer Immersion Program all about debate, persuasion, and being confident advocating for what you believe in.
For $2,800, you get to stay on campus, join in some awesome current events conversations, and keep developing those reasoning abilities. After completing this law summer internship for high school students, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion from Wake Forest University.
The NYLF Law & CSI Program
George Mason University’s National Youth Leadership Forum has a 6-day Law & CSI Program that sounds right up your alley. This six-day program allows students to gain hands-on experience with evidence processing through forensic simulations. In addition, forensic experts and eminent lecturers will be available to discuss the most recent high-tech applications employed in criminal investigations.
If you are interested in pursuing the general Law Pathway, you will get the opportunity to visit a courthouse. During this tour, you will actively engage in a simulated trial and gain an introduction to the path and curriculum of law school. For the $4,195 cost, lodging at a nearby hotel and transportation is included.
California Innocence Project
The California Innocence Project is a renowned non-profit seeking to overturn wrongful convictions, even for those on death row. Reviewing over 2,000 cases per year, the organization depends on interns to fuel their mission-driven work.
High school students can apply for unpaid 15-35 hour/week internships, getting hands-on experience with real criminal cases. You’ll learn evidentiary processes and how to build persuasive arguments – great insight into legal careers. With exclusive spots that are highly competitive, exceptional applications are a must.
National Student Leadership Conference Law & Advocacy Program
Similarly focused on advocacy, this hosts a 9-day summer Law & Advocacy Program on Duke, Yale, and Georgetown campuses. Students step into the shoes of trial attorneys in mock courtrooms, fully engaged in presenting evidence, prepping witnesses, researching precedents, constructing arguments, and ultimately presenting each side of a case.
Honing critical communication and analytical skills, participants gain first-hand experience with conflict resolution, negotiation, public speaking, research, and persuasion. For the $3,795-$3,895 registration cost, the program includes lodging, meals, materials, transportation for tours, and more.
Nashville Bar Association High School Intern Program
The Nashville Bar Association also opens its doors to aspiring legal professionals through exclusive 7-week summer internships. High-achieving high school students are placed within the city’s premier law firms, corporate legal teams, and government offices.
It’s a paid law internship for high school students to gain career experience, network with legal mentors, and evaluate law as a prospective career path. Competitive applicants must showcase standout academic records to secure one of these law school resume-building roles.
Envision Law Program
For aspiring attorneys looking to sharpen their legal skills before college, Stanford University’s Envision Law summer program delivers an unparalleled trial run. This 10-day pre-law immersion places high school students directly into mock courtrooms to learn from Stanford Law experts and professors themselves.
Step into the shoes of a lawyer-in-training as you master pivotal techniques like crafting forceful opening and closing statements, artfully examining witnesses, analyzing complex legal precedents, and more. Not only will you gain invaluable firsthand legal experience, but make connections with the elite Stanford law network.
Aside from a competitive law school GPA and LSAT score, having these high school law internships can help boost your law school application to Stanford Law School. To further boost communication abilities key to legal careers, Stanford’s National Forensic Institute also offers intensive summer programs focused on debate, speech writing, and public speaking mastery.
Summer Law Intern Program
Beyond university offerings, even the U.S. Department of Justice extends legal internships to high schoolers through their Summer Law Intern Program. This paid law internship for high school students places students within legal agencies and courts to assist with cases and research. The insider access and training could prove invaluable experience for future law school and job applications.
Advantages of Attending Law Internships for High School Students
Early Exposure to the Legal Profession
Nothing beats firsthand experience when it comes to exploring a future career, especially one as complex as law. Through a quality high school law internship, students gain invaluable exposure that simply can’t be replicated in a classroom.
Unlike exaggerated legal dramas on TV, an internship offers an authentic peek behind the real-life curtain. You’ll discover the rewarding aspects of legal work, like using expertise to defend the vulnerable. As well as the grittier truths, like the overwhelmed public defenders desperately juggling overflowing caseloads. The insights you’ll gain around the pros, cons, and real trade-offs of the profession are invaluable when considering law as a future career path.
Enhanced College Applications
The admissions committee loves to see students who pursue meaningful professional training outside the standard high school fare. When you highlight an internship with a criminal defense firm, non-profit legal clinic, or judge’s chambers, they instantly take note of that rare experience and initiative.
Additionally, law internships provide access to professional connections you likely can’t find elsewhere at this age. The lawyers you work alongside can become spectacular mentors as you advance in your legal journey after high school. They can offer insider guidance around niche practice areas, reputable law schools, skill-building opportunities, and more. Some may even provide references, referrals, or access to exclusive internships down the road.
It’s important to use tools such as an LSAT Predictor, which predicts your chances of admission to law school based on your GPA and LSAT score while applying. This will help you plan and prepare efficiently for the application process.
Potential for Internship and Job Opportunities
While the big law school questions may be “What to do after law school?”, and “How much do lawyers make out of law school?“, the path there involves major investments of your money, time, and sanity. Law school tuition can run over $60,000 per year at private programs – and that’s before living expenses!
Another question is can you work while in law school? The good news is many law schools do allow students to work flexible part-time jobs while taking classes to help defray costs. You can also offset law school costs through scholarships, grants, and fellowships.
This is where leveraging connections from law Internships for high school students can pay off. Impressed managing partners, judges, or other legal mentors make for eager recommenders when applying for law school funding awards – boosting your chances significantly.
Beyond financial assistance, relationships built during a law firm high school internships can also feed future opportunities while in law school itself. Post-law school when you officially join the legal workforce, you can smoothly transition into a junior associate or full-time role since you already know the legal landscape and expectations.
Preparing for Law School with LSAT Expert Guidance
Taking the Law School Admission Test is law schools’ version of the SAT or ACT for undergrads. Except it’s way more intense! The LSAT assessed analytical reasoning, logical thinking, and even psychological fortitude under immense pressure. We are talking about tackling complex logic games and arguments and identifying subtle flaws in reasoning – all against the ticking clock.
The stakes ride high as most law schools weigh LSAT scores extremely heavily in admission decisions right alongside undergrad GPA. Hitting that target LSAT score for your dream law school can clinch coveted acceptance.
Luckily, the LSAT is very learnable with consistent and strategic prep. That’s where Odyssey Test Prep customized programs come in!
LSAT Prep Course
Prepare for your legal journey by mastering the LSAT with our comprehensive course, laying a strong foundation for high school students aspiring to excel in law. Our elite LSAT Prep Courses feature 350 hours of instructor-led instruction, full-length practice exams, and proven test hacks tailored to your learning needs. We condition both the mental stamina and analytical frameworks to conquer LSAT arguments.
Receive personalized LSAT guidance tailored to your early aspirations in law, empowering high school students to navigate the road to legal success with confidence. For focused LSAT tutoring, our network of 98th+ percentile tutors identifies strengths versus problem areas in your test approach. Through personalized lessons, they build up lacking fundamentals while sharpening existing abilities.
Law School Admission Consulting
Chart your path from high school to law school with our expert consultants, offering tailored advice and strategies for ambitious students seeking impactful legal internships and a successful law career. We also offer end-to-end Law School Admissions Consulting covering every phase from personalized school recommendations to crafting standout essays and applications. Our experts help strategically position you as the ideal candidate for target programs.
One of the best things you can do is start gaining firsthand law experience early through law internships for high school students. Unlike textbook learning, legal internships provide insider access you just can’t replicate elsewhere: observing real courtroom drama, helping build current cases, and seeing the gritty realities of this demanding yet meaningful profession.
To help you prepare for law school, we offer LSAT Free Classes. Our experts demystify the actual LSAT exam while highlighting top study tips for acing such assessments. Getting comfortable with the test format now allows you to hit the ground running when formal prep begins. Explore the opportunity to obtain practical legal experience by participating in outstanding internships listed in this blog!