Finding an internship for the summer

Every year, “Grande Ecole du Droit” students do everything in their power to find an internship. Two of us are going to share our story.

An internship at the Cabinet Claire Bonnet

Finding an internship is maybe one of the hardest and most stressful tasks of a student life even for “Grande Ecole du Droit” students who are well prepared by Maître Stephan Baller.

When I started to think about finding an internship (in the beginning of September) I had two “strategies” in mind. I know, I’m a bit too organized…

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Manon Bourdin at an EY event © Christophe Rabinovici

My first idea was to start sending my documents (resume and letter of intent) as soon as possible so that my candidacy would not be embedded in the stack of resumes that firms receive. So I started in the beginning of December and I decided to send only a few very personalized letters of intent to law firms I wanted to do my internship in. In fact, the first one I targeted happened to be the good one. Yes, I was quite lucky!

However, even if my first strategy worked out, I still had a plan B in mind just in case.This was to send lots of applications to law firms even if I knew that the letters would not be such good quality.

On the 27th of December, I received an email announcing that I had been selected for an interview (I could not express how glad I was). After a long interview with one of the lawyers of the law firm, I was called in mid-January and was informed that I had won the internship. It was a big relief!

After a month spent in the law firm and hours of work and research on Tax law, Real Estate Company and Inheritance law, I can say that an internship is really the only way to see what real life as a lawyer looks like. One piece of advice I could give is to make every effort in finding an internship. My tip would be to start looking in advance and before everyone, so that you don’t get overwhelmed with stress at the last minute, and not regret it whatever happens.

An internship at Clifford Chance

When I was on my train after our last written exam before summer break, I received a call from the Human Resources Department, informing me that my resume had caught their attention: they wanted to know if I was still interested in doing an internship in their firm. As a matter of fact, I was already planning to do my internship in a company based in London, but it was in finance and unpaid.

Moreover, Clifford Chance is the opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t refuse! At the end of my second year, having an internship into such a firm is quite unbelievable. Indeed, internships are often available for students who already have a Masters in law.

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Flora Boillaut at an EY event © Christophe Rabinovici

Before sending my resume and letter of motivation, I had been researching for a long time which firms would fit my professional project in business law. Then, the long procedure of sending resumes and letters of motivation began (it is definitely not the best time of your life). Waiting for the answer – most of the firms refused or needed an internship longer than two months – was pretty discouraging at some points. Nevertheless, my patience paid off, and I was lucky enough to have gained my first target. My internship will last one month in July and will be paid.

Clifford Chance is a global law firm, practising in corporate, merger and acquisition, banking and finance. Furthermore, Clifford Chance is an English law firm, whose headquarter is based is London, where I will apply for my LLM. During this internship, in addition to my work for the lawyers, I will focus on the impact of « Le projet de loi relatif à la transparence, à la lutte contre la corruption et à la modernisation de la vie économique (Loi Sapin 2016) » on Clifford Chance’s clients and activities. This particular study will be the main part of my internship report, for my last semester of licence.

Overall, my main advice would be to never hesitate to apply, even if you believe it will never happen. At the moment, I am really looking forward to July and still cannot believe this opportunity.

Manon Bourdin & Flora Boillaut