Legal internships give students an edge in the workplace, says Patty Dietz-Selke, student outreach coordinator and vice president of the Georgia Association of Paralegals. According to the recent southuniversity.edu article, ''Legal Internships - Helping Students Become the Best Candidate for the Job'', Dietz-Selke, who's employed as a paralegal
, encourages students to become involved with their local paralegal association, as it's a resource for networking, pro-bono volunteer opportunities, and training, and as a means for finding legal internships.
In finding the best legal internship, students should research the companies they're interested in thoroughly, and determine priorities and goals. Not only are students being interviewed; they're interviewing the company to see if it will be a good fit.
Doris Rachles, online director of Legal Studies for South University - Savannah, was quoted as saying: ''At the end of this experience, most of my students feel the most important thing they learned was to have confidence in themselves.''
Dietz-Selke was quoted as saying: ''A legal internship can really be beneficial for those individuals that don't have any prior experience. They can make contacts and mix and mingle with working attorneys
and paralegals.'' And, an intern may have the opportunity to work one on one with attorneys, as well as perform receptionist work, and paralegal duties.
According to Rachles, finding a mentor is key to having the most rewarding experience. ''There has to be someone who is willing to take the student under his or her wing to give guidance and support. It is intimidating, at first, to step foot into a law office or legal setting. While internships run the gamut from legal departments at banks, to foreclosure defense to prosecuting criminals, and much more, the common thread is that if they do not have a site supervisor who will help them learn, they will not have the best possible experience.''
Since its formulation 35 years ago, the Georgia Association of Paralegals' goals have been to enhance the role of paralegals in the legal profession, to improve the working conditions of paralegals, and to maintain a continuing relationship with bar associations throughout the state, according to information at the GAP website.
South University maintains a century old reputation of excellence. South University Online enables students to pursue four year degree programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels in a wide variety of programs.
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