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10 Summer Law Internships for High School Students

If you’re a high schooler interested in law and looking to gain hands-on experience in the field, this blog is for you! Summer internships offer a unique opportunity to explore various aspects of the legal profession and apply classroom knowledge to real-world scenarios. A law internship will also help you gain firsthand insight into different areas of law, including criminal justice, civil litigation, and legal advocacy.

Early exposure to the legal field can significantly enhance your college applications, showcasing your proactive involvement, determination, passion, and genuine interest in pursuing a career in law. Participating in law internships during high school will allow you to develop critical skills, gain practical experience, and explore diverse careers in the field of law—attributes highly valued by college admissions committees. Internships can also act as a launchpad for future career prospects and establish the groundwork for a solid career in this industry.

Here’s our curated list of 10 summer law internships for high school students!

Location: New York City

Cost/Stipend:  No cost. Interns will be paid $15-21 per hour

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in January.

Dates: June 12 - August 14, 2024 (Mandatory attendance required on April 17, April 24 and May 1, 2024).

Eligibility: NYC public high school students are eligible to apply.

The Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program is an intensive program that aims to connect diverse NYC public high school students with legal employers for the summer. It also provides additional programming designed to help them prepare for a legal career. The employers include law firms, corporations, non-profit organizations, and government agencies. 

As an intern, you will be part of practical training, panel discussions, and networking events that will help you prepare for a career in law. Internship duties may include assisting paralegals, filing paperwork, maintaining records, and organizing documents. In addition to the on-the-job experience, you will also receive exposure to the legal profession through development programs offered by your legal employers as part of the internship program. For more details about the 2024 internship program, you can check here.

Location: Internships are available in several locations in California, Illinois, and Texas. In addition, they offer internships in the following cities: Phoenix, AZ; Washington, DC; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA (including Delaware and Camden, NJ); Salt Lake City, UT; and Seattle, WA. Students may indicate their geographic and legal preferences on their applications but may not indicate court.

Cost/Stipend: No cost; Interns are awarded $2000 for their work during the summer. 

Application Deadline:  Applications typically close in January.

Dates: Typically 6 weeks between May and June.

Eligibility: All high school students are eligible to apply.

The ABA's Judicial Intern Opportunity Program is an exceptional opportunity for high school students to intern with federal or state judges across the United States. This program aims to promote diversity and inclusivity in the legal profession by encouraging talented students from all backgrounds to explore careers in law. You will get hands-on experience in a court environment, observe trials, and engage in legal research. 

As an intern, you'll have the unique privilege of working directly with judges and their chambers, experiencing the judicial system from the inside. You'll have the opportunity to engage in legal research, writing, and observing court proceedings, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the legal process and invaluable practical skills. The JIOP is best for those who are genuinely committed to pursuing a career in law, specifically those interested in working within the judicial branch of government.

Location: Multiple law schools, NYC

Cost/Stipend: There is no cost to attend. Students will receive a monetary stipend upon successful completion of the program. 

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all the slots are full. 

Dates: First week of July 2024 - First week of August 2024 (Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM) 

Eligibility: Rising ninth-grade students from Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island are eligible.

The Summer Law Institute (SLI) is a five-week summer law program for students who have just completed their eighth-grade school year. As a part of this program, you will be exposed to positive and successful role models, involve them in professional activities, and get practical experience through simulations and field trips. You will study criminal justice topics taught by law students, interact daily with lawyers, go on field trips to legal institutions, and participate in a mock trial competition. The knowledge and skills developed through this program will enhance your performance as you enter high school. 

This program is hosted by seven law schools in New York City: Brooklyn Law School, Cardozo School of Law, Columbia Law School, CUNY School of Law, Fordham School of Law, NYU School of Law, and St. John’s School of Law. Once you complete the SLI, you will become eligible to apply to their 4-year College Bound program. This College Bound program, where students receive support, guidance, and training, is designed to help you get into the universities in the country. Thirty students are accepted for each of the seven law school sites. You can access the application here.

Location:  Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Cost: $1990 (Financial Aid Available)

Application Deadline: Deadlines vary depending on the cohort. The upcoming summer cohort deadline is June 26, 2024.

Dates: 8-week programs with multiple cohorts throughout the year, including spring, summer, fall, and winter. The upcoming summer cohort begins on July 15, 2024.

Eligibility: Students who can work for 10-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates, and gap year students!

The Ladder Internship program offers high school students the chance to work with nonprofits and startups worldwide, including those in legal tech. These organizations cover areas like media, technology, machine learning, finance, environmental science, business, marketing, and healthcare. You can explore all options on the application form.

Interns will tackle significant real-world projects and present their results at the end. They will collaborate closely with a startup manager and receive guidance from a Ladder Coach, who helps them navigate the startup environment. The program combines coaching with practical work experience and includes both individual and group training sessions focused on soft skills and professional development. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Cost/Stipend:  No cost. Students will receive a stipend of $2000.

Application Deadline:  Applications typically close in March.

Dates: May 29 - July 19, 2024

Eligibility: Current high school juniors and seniors studying in Atlanta high schools are eligible.

The Atlanta Bar Association Summer Law Internship Program (SLIP) is a paid, rigorous six-week internship program for high school students interested in the legal profession. This prestigious internship has run over three decades and will conduct its 32nd program in 2024. In this competitive internship with only 35 spots, you will be expected to be all-in and fully committed to the internship. During the weekly All Intern Meetings (AIMs), there will be regular Progress Tests to assess your knowledge of what you are learning.  Failure to be prepared for these AIMs and Progress Tests will subject you to being released from the Intern Program.

This program is designed to achieve four goals: to provide students with valuable work experience, to further their understanding of the law, to provide a mentor relationship for the students, and to increase diversity in the legal system. For further details about the internship program, you can check it out here.

Location: Dallas, TX

Cost/Stipend:  No cost; Stipend is provided but varies depending on the employer.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in April.

Dates: The internship takes place over 4 weeks (full-time) or 8 weeks (part-time) in June and July. 

Eligibility: High school juniors in Independent School Districts in Dallas are eligible 

The Summer Law Intern Program is a joint initiative between the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Independent School District. Once selected, students will be placed with a law firm, a non-profit organization, or in the legal department of a corporate law firm, to work with them for 4-8 weeks. As an intern, your work schedule will be decided by the employer you’re placed with – so you could work full-time (4 weeks) or part-time (8 weeks). 

Interns will also receive a Summer Learning curriculum that briefs them on what’s expected of them. It will also introduce them to the norms in law firms, and all interns are expected to complete it in its entirety. You will also get to participate in educational activities organized by the DBA, and an end-of-program reception. If you’re based in Dallas, this is a solid chance to gain some experience in law

The Memphis Bar Association in Tennessee also hosts a Summer Law Internship Program that you can consider.

Location: Boston, Worcester, and Springfield, MA 

Cost/Stipend: There is no cost to attend. Interns will receive a stipend of $15 per hour (25 hours per week). 

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in March.

Dates: July 8 - August 16, 2024 (six weeks)

Eligibility: Applicants must attend a high school in Boston, Worcester, or Springfield (depending on the location of the application). Students in grades 10, 11, and 12 are eligible to apply. 

The Judicial Youth Corps (JYC), sponsored by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, is a six-week educational summer internship that teaches students about the Massachusetts court system and the rule of law. The JYC is available in three locations in Massachusetts: Boston, Worcester, and Springfield. As an intern, you will work four days a week in one of the Suffolk County courts and spend one full day in law-related educational sessions. 

In this paid internship, you will be taught and mentored by judges, lawyers, clerks, probation officers, and other court personnel who volunteer their time in educational sessions or as work supervisors. Students also can opt to participate in a mock trial in federal court in August. For further details about the internship and the application links for the various locations, check here.

Location: Manhattan, NY

Cost/Stipend: There is no cost to attend. Interns will receive a stipend based on the minimum wage.

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in March.

Dates: July 8 - August 9, 2024 (Monday-Friday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm).

Eligibility: Current sophomores, juniors, or seniors living in or attending school in Manhattan are eligible. 

This rigorous five-week internship will allow you to experience the inner workings of the criminal justice system as a part of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. As an intern, you will engage in workshops and discussions related to topics of criminal justice, police brutality, civic engagement, and leadership. 

You will also have an opportunity to engage in a mock trial program, gaining practical experience in legal proceedings and courtroom dynamics. This hands-on experience will also help you develop professionalism in an office setting. The applicants must submit a one-page resume along with a 300-word essay discussing their interest in criminal justice when applying for the internship.

Location: Baltimore, MD

Cost/Stipend: There is no cost. Interns are paid $15 per hour. 

Application Deadline: Applications typically close in April.

Dates: June 24 - August 9, 2024

Eligibility: Baltimore City public high school juniors and seniors are eligible to apply.

Law Links is a 7-week, paid summer internship that places Baltimore City public high school juniors and seniors in law firms and law-related agencies. During the internship, you’ll get to work full-time, Monday through Friday, and are paid $15/hour. In addition to the on-site internship, you will also have an opportunity to participate in the Law & Leadership Institute - a 50-hour educational seminar that begins with a 2-1/2 day orientation and resumes each Wednesday morning. The Institute is held at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

The internship is much more than a summer job program: it is designed to effectively prepare high school students to work in a professional setting. MYLAW will help you develop leadership, life skills, understanding of the law and legal system, and preparation for college and career through unique, real-world learning opportunities that emphasize the importance of civic participation and responsibility. The internship offers a lot of interactive activities, discussions with legal professionals from law firms, city agencies, and the courts, and field trips to Citi Watch and the Baltimore FBI Bureau. You can access the application for the 2024 session here.

Location: San Diego, CA (California Western School of Law)

Cost/Stipend: None

Application Deadline: Summer – March 1 | Fall – July 1 | Spring – November 1

Dates: The program conducts summer, spring, and fall sessions. Interns may set their schedules as long as the requirements are met.

Eligibility: High school, college, law, and post-bar students are eligible.

This internship is ideal for students interested in criminal law or post-conviction law. The California Innocence Project is a law clinic where you will work alongside experienced post-conviction attorneys to seek the release of wrongfully convicted prisoners in the state of California. Their mission is to free the wrongly convicted from prison, work to reform the criminal justice system and train law students to become zealous advocates. This internship will give you an idea of the reality of the criminal justice system. 

The California Innocence Project hires a legal intern for their office every trimester, giving them an insight into the field while they work on the clinic’s projects. You would be expected to work 15-35 hours per week as an intern. The CIP provides in-house training for its interns. If selected, you will be briefed and receive an introduction to wrongful convictions, along with the specific responsibilities and work you will have to do as a part of their greater mission. As a legal intern, you will be required to help with legal research, copying, filing, client support, and/or whatever else CIP specifies. You can access the application here.

Location: Brooklyn and Central Islip, NYC

Cost/Stipend: No cost; Unpaid.

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Dates: Vary depending on the opportunity but are offered typically during the summer.

Eligibility: Rising seniors from accredited high schools are eligible.

The United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York Student Internship offers several unpaid internships to students interested in law. Some of the specialized placements within the internships offered are Automated Litigation Support, Library Legal Information and Resource Center, and Paralegal-Legal Studies. 

If you’re interested in studying pre-law, criminal justice, accounting, information technology, library management, human resources, or community crime prevention, then internships at the US Attorney’s Office are a great opportunity. If you’re applying to multiple areas, make certain to add each area you would like to be considered for. These internships can be a prestigious opportunity for high school students keen on a career in law.

Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you would like to participate in a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you should also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


1 Comment

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