Law students in Germany have thirteen weeks of internships to complete during the breaks. Since neither winter nor summer break is so long, we have to split them – in two, three or four blocks. I am kind of terrible at recommending myself or being assertive and pushy (in fact, I sort of abhor pushy people), so finding a place for the mandatory internship has always terrified me.
I could easily justify skipping the first two breaks during my first year; I only knew the basics of the legal areas, so I used the horror stories of first-year-students fetching coffee and filing for a month as a convenient excuse (to myself & others) to not even bother to think about it.
For the third break (the winter break between the 3rd and 4th semester), which I am *enjoying* right now, I could have found something, or at least I could have tried to find a place back in fall. Then somehow it all became nothing and in January I decided to go to Korea so that I positively can’t do any internship.
Now time has come for me to prepare for the next break. I’ve heard from a friend that the courts in the city are overloaded with so many law students applying for mandatory internships that one has to apply half a year in advance. So that sent me straight into a panic mode. I’d prefer an internship at a small law practice but I don’t even know if they accept any internships. So the day before yesterday, I kept searching frantically and was reduced to a puddle of panic and discouragement. I have, however, found some places that sound really intriguing and other places that might be a fallback option.
Do they accept internships? – Unknown
Mode of contact – e-mail
PROSPECT #2: Court
Do they accept internships? – Yes
Mode of contact – letter, including CV and student ID
Potential problem – inflexible start and end dates (which aren’t set yet)
Deadline – May 31st
PROSPECT #3: Law firm (size: middle)
Do they accept internships? – Very probable
Mode of initial contact – phone call
PROSPECTS #4 & more: law practices (size: small)
Do they accept internships? – Questionable, unknown
Mode of initial contact – e-mail/phone call
There are many many small practices out there and I’m interested in so many of them! The question is whether 1. they have enough work for me to learn anything and 2. they accept any interns since one of the two, three, or four partners has to play the mentor, which takes up time and energy. Whoop! First the paper, then the internship!
There are actually some law practices out there that sound like a good employer… and there are quite a few practices looking for lawyers. Surely, if I pass the exam (aka bar exam) I will find some employment? Even if I had to move a city or two. I’m kind of sick of my current city, anyway.