Inver Hills Community College – Paralegal Internship Program is designed to provide the pre-service paralegal student with on-the-job experience in the paralegal profession. It is our goal to help
our students find an opportunity to apply what the student has learned in the classroom to today’s working world.
Although the internship must be flexible in order to meet the needs of the student intern and the special procedures of the supervising lawyer, the following are the broad objectives of the internship:
The student participates in 180 hours of nonpaying, or in some cases paying, work experience in a supervised legal environment for which the student receives two (2) credits. The student submits a cover letter and resume to the potential internship supervisor, and waits to be called for an interview. The work schedule is arranged between the supervisor and the student. At the completion of the internship, the supervisor evaluates the student and determines what grade the student earned based on his or her performance at the site. The final grade for the internship will be given by the Paralegal Program Director once the student completes the internship hours and assignments, and submits all required documents.
The internship should be devised and administered so as to provide the intern with eight broad opportunities:
1. Familiarity with law office procedures, including:
a. Competent and comprehensive note-taking
b. Filing organization and document management
c. Computerized calendaring including court deadlines, depositions, and scheduling orders
d. Conflict of interest checks
e. Time records and billing practices
f. Trust account procedures
2. Legal research on one or more matters that the lawyer is currently handling, and legal writing in the form of a memorandum or short brief as a result of the research.
3. Letter writing and/or email writing
4. Document drafting
5. Client contact, for example:
a. Conduct an initial phone contact
b. Participate in or assist the attorney in preparation for an interview of a client
c. Participate in or assist the attorney during an interview, meeting or deposition of a client
d. Sit in on an interview between attorney and client, take notes, and write a summary
This area might also include contact with and interviews of persons other than clients.
6. Familiarity with the functions and procedures of one or more courts, agencies or other organizations with which the supervising lawyer regularly engages. This might involve filing or e-filing or recording papers, obtaining information from court or agency files, dealing with clerks of court, attending court hearings, and the like. The emphasis should be on giving the intern an opportunity to become familiar with the court, agency or organization by actually using its facilities and procedures.
7. Encourage exposing the student intern to computer applications such as case management systems, word processing and spreadsheet applications, and presentation, billing and accounting software including e-filing and e-discovery processes.
8. To see at least one legal transaction from start to finish; for example, to participate in a real estate sale from the initial interview through the post closing procedures, or see case(s) or matter(s) at the beginning, middle and end to learn the entire process. If the internship will expire before the matter is completed, it is recommended that the lawyer explain to the intern the steps or procedures which will follow, or allow the student to stay on to see the conclusion.
It is understood that each legal internship site may have different opportunities for the student intern. Therefore, the Paralegal Program Director would like to confirm with the internship supervisor how the above opportunities will be met which may include the use of hypothetical assignments to accomplish the objective.
For more information contact the Paralegal Program Director.