A requirement for both the associate and bachelor’s paralegal studies degree program at Globe University includes an unpaid internship. Internships offer the opportunity for the student, internship site, and Globe University to work closely together, and each receives benefits in some way.
Under our paralegal degree program curriculum, students have completed all of their legal courses and have a basic familiarity with the various areas of law. They are schooled in legal research, writing and up-to-date technology.
Win for Students
The student can benefit in several ways. Since our students bring the skills and knowledge they have learned in school, the internship gives the student the opportunity for hands-on experience in a legal setting to apply what they have learned in class before becoming employed in the legal field. Some of our previous interns at Globe University-Wausau have indicated that they were excited to apply information learned in class to their internship.
Globe University paralegal student Jason Schmidt is preparing to begin his internship in the Winter Quarter with the Law Offices of Ament, Wulf, Frokjer and Hersil in Merrill. Jason stated, “[I am] thrilled to start my externship because it will provide me with the real world experience that employers are seeking, as well as the opportunity to hone the skills that I learned at Globe while in a workplace setting.”
Another benefit to the student is that the internship could lead to employment. The student is able to showcase their skills and impress upon the employer their commitment to the legal profession.
Win for Internship Sites
Internship sites also benefit from the experience. Obviously, there are costs involved in hiring and training employees. These costs can be somewhat alleviated by having an intern, who is trained by the law firm, and then may become part of the organization. An employer has the opportunity to view the abilities of the intern throughout the internship without having to pay the intern.
Another benefit to the legal organization is that interns bring fresh perspectives and new developments. This is especially true in the area of technology, where one of our previous sites indicated that the intern actually taught the staff and attorney new technology that they were not familiar with.
Finally, by having an intern work for them, the internship site could eliminate the need for temporary help on smaller projects or in the event a staff member needs to take a leave of absence. Interns can complete simple projects and tasks that might tie up other professional staff, and instead, allow them the time to focus on more advanced projects.
“Interns are a great resource to the nonprofit community,” says Attorney Kimberly Haas of Wisconsin Judicare, which has hosted Globe University-Wausau interns for several quarters. “The paralegal interns are eager to learn and provide assistance in following up with clients, gathering documents and drafting letters and other correspondence. Interns assist in expanding services. After hosting a couple of interns, it doesn’t take a great deal of time to orient new interns.”
Win for Globe University
Internships are beneficial for Globe University in that they allow us to foster and maintain relationships with the legal community. They also increase our visibility in the community at large.
An additional benefit of working with the legal community in the internship is that Globe University is able to get feedback, both good and bad, which allows us to take under advisement possible curriculum changes to acquaint the student to the legal environment to which they will be exposed to upon graduation.
Since this is a Win-Win-Win situation for all parties involved, any legal organization interested in partnering with Globe University-Wausau to host an intern may contact us at 715-301-1300.
Written by Denise Harris, JD, paralegal program chair, Globe University-Wausau