A legal internship in Italy: observations on Italian and comparative Law

This summer, I decided to combine both my desire to travel and my desire to do an internship, so I figured a good compromise would be a legal internship in a foreign country. I had an opportunity to do an internship in an Italian Law firm in Italy, and speaking Italian was a real prerequisite.

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This experience was really rewarding linguistically and culturally speaking, but it is on the legal aspect that I would like to focus as a Comparative Law student from the “Grande Ecole du Droit”. Continue reading

My summer internship… in the US

 

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Tom, President of the AEGED, at an EY event © Christophe Rabinovici

As you probably know, the Grande Ecole du Droit program has two objectives: preparing students for an LL.M in their fourth year and also for their future arrival on the job market. Thus, our courses are very diverse: US Contract Law, Tort Law, American Constitutional Law, seminars on project management and public speaking… However, I quickly started asking myself: is our French and Anglo-American background really enough for us to study and work abroad? So I decided to apply for an internship in the United States.

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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

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My internship at Eversheds

On August 3rd I was entering the Eversheds LLP’s Parisian office to begin my internship. The opportunity of doing an internship in such a big firm was given to me thanks to one of the Principal Associates, one of my parents’ friend. As I am currently a third year law student, I was scared not to meet the expectations of Eversheds. Fortunately, as the days went on I was given the chance to discover a real insight of the every day routine of business lawyers.

Anne-Isabelle (second row, in the middle) enjoying her vacation with the GED in Lisbon (Portugal) before the internship - May 2015

Anne-Isabelle (second row, in the middle) enjoying her vacation with the GED in Lisbon (Portugal) before her internship – May 2015

I did my internship in the Corporate department of the firm. The first thought I had when I entered the offices was: “Well, Corporate department… Fine, but I have never really studied Corporate Law!” In fact, French law students only discover Corporate Law during their LLB. However no one but me seemed to worry about it.

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Pre-internship anxiety

As the end of the second year of my law studies was approaching, I knew that it was more than time to start looking for an internship to do during the summer or at least very early in the fall.

However, as I am not one of the most organized students, I was very late in my research compared to many of my friends. Hence, I got to benefit from their experiences and some were kind enough to tell me where it was worth applying and where it was not. It was one of those times that I truly acknowledged the benefits of being a « Grande Ecole du Droit » student, seeing how we were able to help and support one another in our research.

Eventually, after sending tons of applications to law firms specialized in business law, I ended up having an interview that led to me being hired: I had an internship for the whole month of September. As I had time during the summer, I was able to find a job and forget a little bit about the internship. But as the end of august was approaching I started to get more and more stressed about the idea of becoming a trainee in a law firm for the first time.

Baya Hariche at the Grande Ecole du Droit's integration day

Baya Hariche at the Grande Ecole du Droit’s integration day

 What was I so scared about?
Let me tell you.

But more importantly, let me tell you why all this anxiety was unnecessary.

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Top 5 of the reasons why you should make your first internship in a small law firm

Of course it is very important to have a prestigious law firm’s name on your resume. But before that, working in a small law firm could be a “plus” for your legal culture and your future legal practice. Therefore, here are the 5 main reasons why you should make your first internship in a small law firm:

Number 1: It is much easier to obtain an internship in a small law firm

Let’s speak the truth. When you are a second year student, no one trusts your legal skills. Instead, you may suggest making photocopies or legal secretary office for instance. Small law firms always need such services. As for me, at first, I had great difficulties to find a position in a law firm since I had no previous experience and no string pulling. As a consequence, I took my phone and rang all the lawyers in the phone book. After repeating at least 30 times the same introduction, a lawyer accepted to meet me for an interview. I was simply meant to be at legal secretary. But I did far more interesting things.

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Mandy Tinot surrounded by three other GED students at an EY event –  © Christophe Rabinovici

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