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Law Internships for High School Students

May 23, 2024
6 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 5/22/24

It’s never too early to begin preparing for your career. If you’re a high school student hoping to become a lawyer, read on to learn more about the internships you can pursue to develop your legal skills.

During your undergrad, you’ll be expected to participate in diverse extracurriculars to hone your legal skills and boost your law school resume. But did you know you can begin preparing for law school well before your undergrad? 

While law schools won’t be concerned with your high school experiences or grades, joining a law internship during high school can still benefit you as an aspiring law student. These benefits and top law internships for high school students will be discussed further in this guide!

26 Law Internships for High Schoolers

There are several great internship options for high schoolers to choose from. For instance, you could pursue law firm internships, summer internships offered by law schools, or internship programs created by legal organizations. Along with internships, there are a ton of valuable pre-law summer programs out there. 

To give you a range of options to choose from, here are our top law internships geared towards high school students.

1. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Summer Law Intern Program

The justice department offers internships to students interested in learning more about the law. High school students are eligible for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Summer Law Intern Program, which allows them to work with legal agencies and explore federal careers.

This is a paid position, and successful students may be eligible for permanent job placement in civil service after their internship, which can prove useful on your law school resume.

Info Dates
Duration Summer
Application deadline September 3, 2024

2. The Wake Forest University Summer Immersion Program

Wake Forest University’s Summer Immersion Program focuses on debate and public advocacy to aid students in their communication and argument-building skills. 

In this week-long program, students will discuss current events and learn skills such as legal reasoning, persuasion, and how to confidently and passionately advocate for themselves and others. 

The cost to participate in this program is $2,800. It takes place on the university campus, where students will be provided boarding and meals. After completing this program, students will receive a Wake Forest University Certificate of Completion.

Info Dates
Duration July 7-12, 2024
July 14-19, 2024
Application deadline Rolling

3. The NYLF Law & CSI Program

Have you watched every true crime documentary on Netflix? Or, have you always had an interest in understanding the criminal mind? If you have, George Mason’s National Youth Leadership Forum’s (NYLF) Criminal Science Investigation Pathway Program may be the perfect internship for you! 

This six-day program gives students hands-on experience with evidence analysis through forensic simulations. You will also be able to discuss the latest high-tech applications used during criminal investigations with forensic scientists and distinguished faculty.

For students interested in the general Law Pathway instead, you’ll visit a courthouse where you’ll participate in a mock trial and receive an introduction to the law school path and curriculum. 

Regardless of the program you choose, you’ll have a chance to visit George Mason University to gain insight into the admissions process and experience their campus life. This program will cost $4,195, and you’ll be provided boarding at a nearby hotel and transportation to and from campus.

Info Dates
Duration 1 week; dates start as early as June 16, 2024
Application deadline Rolling

4. The ACLU High School Summer Internship

Summer law internships are popular because they don’t interfere with students’ busy schedules. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offers high school students a six-week internship program working with a civil rights and liberties organization.

Students will learn the ins and outs of what it takes to be a social justice advocate and run a non-profit organization. This is a paid position; students will work in New York two days a week for 20 hours per week. They will be paid $15 an hour and can expect to perform the following duties:

  • Assisting with administrative tasks like filing, data entry, and organizing documents
  • Shadowing staff and participating in meetings
  • Assisting with event planning 
  • Conducting relevant research and creating reports
  • Participating in team projects
  • Participating in workshops to gain new skills

Students must apply using a resume and cover letter, sharing their reasons for applying to ACLU and demonstrating their commitment to social justice.

Info Dates
Duration July 21-27, 2024
Application deadline Early Decision: March 3, 2024
Regular Decision: April 22, 2024

5. Cornell University International Summer Debate Camp

The Cornell International Debate Camp isn’t strictly a law internship, but it’s still very beneficial for high schoolers with aspirations in the law profession. Students receive lectures on relevant political topics and academic insights and will compete against peers from across the world in a debate tournament at the end of the program. 

Info Dates
Duration July 27 to August 5, 2024
Application deadline Rolling

6. The National Student Leadership Conference Law & Advocacy Program

The National Student Leadership Conference holds a summer Law and Advocacy Program at Yale and Georgetown, two prominent law schools. During this program, students enter mock courtrooms, assume the role of a trial attorney, and fight for justice.

Students will be involved in the entire court process, including examining evidence, preparing witnesses, researching, building a case, and presenting an argument to the court. The main skills you’ll hone through this program include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Negotiation
  • Public speaking
  • Intrapersonal communication
  • Research
  • persuasion

This nine-day program will cost $3,795 at the Georgetown campus and $3,895 at the Yale campus. This cost includes housing, on-campus meals, course materials, transportation for off-campus tours, and other activities.

Info Dates
Duration 9 days, starting as early as June 13, 2024
Application deadline Rolling

7. The Nashville Bar Association High School Intern Program

Many state bar associations offer high school intern programs. The Nashville Bar Association is currently offering a Diversity Committee Summer Intern Program where students will be placed in law firms, corporate legal departments, and government law offices in the heart of the state.

This paid, seven-week internship gives students direct access to the legal field and the opportunity to network to gain legal mentors. Nashville aims to hire only the best and brightest students for these positions, so you must demonstrate academic excellence on your resume. 

Info Dates
Duration June 7 to July 26, 2024
Application deadline March 29, 2024

8. International Internships in Law and Human Rights

This law internship for high school students is best for students interested in traveling and gaining global perspectives on law. Several international volunteer groups allow students to participate in law or human rights programs across the globe. 

Intern Abroad HQ is a trusted organization that offers diverse international internships for students hoping to develop their cultural intelligence and expand their network. If you’re interested in pursuing a particular area of law, these internships can allow you to gain direct hands-on experience!

Here are the global internships they currently offer high school students:

  • Human rights and legal advocacy in Arusha, Tanzania 
  • Human rights and NGO support in Rabat, Morocco
  • Human rights law in Cape Town, Africa
  • Law and governance in London, England
  • Legal practice (deals with laws involving business, family, immigration, domestic violence, asylum, court litigation, and more) in New York
  • Legal practice (covers a range of fields) in Valencia, Spain
  • NGO support in Valencia, Spain
  • Women’s Rights and Education in Rabat, Morocco

For students wishing to stay home but still participate in global organizations, Intern Abroad HQ also offers remote internships: 

  • Environmental law hosted out of Greece
  • Human rights and anti-racism hosted out of Israel
  • Human rights and NGO support hosted out of Italy
  • LGBT and minor rights hosted out of Morocco
  • Legal advocacy and rights education hosted out of Tanzania
  • Legal practice (in an area of your interest) hosting out of Spain and New York
  • Legal support for human rights advocacy hosted out of Tanzania
  • NGO human rights hosted out of Morocco
  • Refugee and migrant rights hosted out of Morocco

Students can choose how long they want to participate in these internships, from as little as two weeks to six months. The cost to attend these programs depends on the location and your duration of stay.

Info Dates
Duration Varies
Application deadline Varies

9. Atlanta Bar Association Summer Law Internship Program (SLIP)

The Atlanta Bar Association offers summer law internship positions to local high school students to expose them to the legal profession. The SLIP was founded in 1993 and aims to achieve four goals: 

  1. “To provide valuable work experience
  2. To further students’ understanding of the law
  3. To promote mentor relationships with the Atlanta legal community
  4. To increase diversity in the legal field.”
Info Dates
Duration May 29 to July 19, 2024
Application deadline March 21, 2024

10. Baltimore Law Links Internship

Law Links is a paid opportunity for Baltimore City public high school juniors and seniors to work in law firms and law-related agencies. Interns are paid $15 an hour and work Monday through Friday. The internship is designed to help young people learn how to work in a professional setting.  

Interns also participate in the Law & Leadership Institute, an educational seminar that occurs every Wednesday morning and teaches students about important law-related topics. 

Info Dates
Duration June 24 to August 9, 2024
Application deadline April 5, 2024

11. Communities in Schools of Houston Summer Legal Internship Program

If you’re a student who attends a school supported by CIS of Houston, you’re in luck! You’re eligible for the CIS Summer Legal Internship Program with the Houston Bar Association. 

This program is designed for high school students who are interested in the legal profession, many of whom are first-generation college students. This program matches interns with law firms, legal departments, and legal organizations to provide opportunities to young high schoolers interested in law.

Info Dates
Duration June 10 to August 2, 2024
Application deadline N/A

12. Dallas Bar Summer Law Intern Program

The Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas Independent School District have joined together to offer a Summer Law Intern Program that places high school students with law firms and legal organizations across Dallas. Dallas ISD high school juniors are eligible to participate and are placed based on their interests and availability.

Info Dates
Duration 4-8 weeks in June and July 2024
Application deadline April 3, 2024

13. Envision Law Program

Envision Law Program offers an Intensive Law & Trial program in collaboration with Stanford Law School! This immersive experience teaches students essential law skills through workshops, activities, and lectures and allows students to network with legal professionals and Stanford Law professors. 

Info Dates
Duration 10 days; dates starting on June 24, 2024
Application deadline N/A

14. Judicial Youth Corps Program

The Judicial Youth Corps (JYC) program engages high school students in the legal system of Massachusetts. Students get to be mentored by judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals and will participate in mock trials, field trips, and more. Students can also get paid internships in courts in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester. 

Info Dates
Duration July through August 2024
Application deadline March 28, 2024

15. Legal Outreach Summer Law Institute

The Summer Law Institute (SLI) is a program in New York City for rising ninth graders who are interested in law and the legal profession. This program encourages young students to engage in professional activities, exposes them to positive role models, and promotes them to follow their ambitions. 

SLI graduates can apply to Legal Outreach’s 4-year College Bound program. 

Info Dates
Duration 5 weeks, July through August 2024
Application deadline N/A

16. Louisiana State Bar Association Suit Up for the Future High School 

The Louisiana State Bar Association has partnered with the Louisiana Supreme Court, Just the Beginning, and Louisiana law schools to host Suit Up for the Future, an internship program for high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates. Students will tour law schools and courts, attend law school sessions, and participate in job shadowing at law offices and courts. 

Info Dates
Duration June 10-28, 2024
Application deadline May 13, 2024

17. Summer Legal Institute and Intern Program

Just the Beginning offers the Summer Legal Institute, which offers a five-day legal immersion program for high schoolers interested in law. The program operates in Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. 

Students will develop skillsets that are essential for the legal profession and will learn from attorney volunteers from corporations and law firms. 

Info Dates
Duration Varies; dates starting June 24, 2024
Application deadline April 5, 2024 or until capacity is reached

18. Manhattan District Attorney’s High School Internship Program

The Manhattan District Attorney’s High School Internship Program provides students with an inside look into the criminal justice system. This rigorous program allows students to participate in workshops, discussions, mock trials, and more. Interns will develop a sense of professionalism and will be paid minimum wage. 

Info Dates
Duration July 8 to August 9, 2024
Application deadline March 8, 2024

19. Miami-Dade State Attorney High School Volunteer Internship Program

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office offers the Internship and High School Volunteer Program to provide students with a well-rounded view of the criminal justice system. Interns and volunteers receive hands-on experience after training and may also receive school credits for their internship. 

This program offers opportunities in 3 units: 

  • Criminal Intake Unit
  • Domestic Violence Unit
  • Victim/Witness Unit
Info Dates
Duration 3 months minimum; 16-20 hours per week
Application deadline N/A

20. Senate Page Program

The United States Senate Page Program allows students from all different backgrounds to experience what work is like in the nation’s capital. While not a strictly legal program, this program still allows students to gain valuable experience about how the systems of the US work and develop skills that will assist them in a legal career. 

Info Dates
Duration Varies; dates beginning June 9, 2024
Application deadline N/A

21. Internship with Congressman Jim Himes

U.S. Congressman Jim Himes offers internships for high school students in both his district office and in Washington, D.C. office. Interns will be exposed to how the government operates, gain valuable political insight, and develop workplace, administrative, and legislative skills. 

Info Dates
Duration Varies
Application deadline August 9, 2024

22. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Pathways Program 

The U.S. DOI offers the Pathways Program, which allows students to pursue internships in a variety of areas, including legal internships. There are many different internships available depending on students’ interests. Upon completion of the internship program, interns may even be converted to a permanent position. 

Info Dates
Duration Varies
Application deadline Varies

23. State Bar Association of North Dakota (SBAND) High School Mock Trial Program

While not strictly an internship, the SBAND HSMT is a law-related education program that allows students to participate in mock trials and provides them with hands-on experience in life as an attorney. This program introduces students to the workings of the American legal system and allows them to work alongside lawyers and judges from across the state. 

Info Dates
Duration March 23, 2024
May 2-5. 2024
Application deadline February 16, 2024

24. Denton County High School Intern Program

Every year, the District Attorney’s office in Denton County selects 12-15 high school seniors to participate in their Pre-Law Internship Program. Students are mentored by Assistant District Attorneys and investigators and are exposed to all different facets of the criminal justice system. 

They may intern with various divisions of the office, including: 

  • Civil, Appellate and Investigation
  • Family Violence
  • Felony Trial
  • Intake/Grand Jury
  • Misdemeanor Trial 
Info Dates
Duration N/A
Application deadline N/A

25. Teach Democracy’s Expanding Horizons Institute

The Expanding Horizons Institute offers a variety of internships for first-generation college-bound students in the Los Angeles area. Students develop skills that prepare them for civic life as well as college and their future careers. 

Info Dates
Duration March 26 to July 11
Application deadline January 31, 2024

26. UPenn Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program (SMP)

The Provost’s Summer Mentorship Program is designed for students who are first-generation college-bound and underrepresented. Students engage in hands-on learning at the Carey Law School and develop crucial skills that will help them succeed in law school and beyond! 

Info Dates
Duration July 8 to August 2, 2024
Application deadline February 14, 2024

The Benefits of Law Internships for High School Students

Now that we’ve explored some of the best law internships, you may wonder if you should actually pursue one. To aid you in your decision, consider the following benefits of these internships.

Can Help Confirm Your Passion

For one, an internship can help confirm your decision to attend law school! Considering law school is a huge investment, both time-wise and money-wise, it’s essential you feel confident in your career choice. Your internship experience can help you gain perspective and insight into what it takes to be an attorney.

This is far better and more proactive than the alternative of only gaining legal experience in college and switching majors or in law school when you would have already spent thousands on your application and first-year tuition costs!

Ebehi, a current law student at Stanford Law School, provides some insight into how law internships can help prepare you well for law school in our pre-law webinar

“These opportunities are mostly important because they allow you to build connections. They allow you to build connections with supervisors, with advisors or professors; with people who can say really great things about you. These experiences are just valuable for that reason. They offer you exposure. And sometimes you might also participate in these experiences, especially when they're law-related, and you get to decide, “Oh, I think that this kind of law is really cool; maybe this is kind of law that I want to practice,” or, “Actually, I really hated that, and now I know that I might not really be interested in this kind of law.” So, it can give you that exposure in that regard, as well maybe allow you to just figure things out a little bit before you get to law school.” 

Can Help You Get Into College

Colleges will expect you to have a range of extracurriculars. A legal internship can help you stand out amongst other students, especially if the program is hosted by one of your top choices! 

Suppose you’re unsure of which colleges to apply to. In that case, many summer law programs hosted by colleges involve campus tours and admission discussion panels to tell you more about their school and all it can offer, which can help you create your list of top colleges.

Can Prove Your Dedication to the Field

Most law school resumes will only ask you to list your post-secondary experiences. However, you can still discuss your high school legal internship in your interview or personal statement. Doing so can prove your long-existing dedication to the field! 

Law schools also want to ensure you have a realistic understanding of how rigorous legal careers are. Participating in mock trials, being inside courtrooms, and working alongside distinguished lawyers, proves you’ve experienced some of this rigor and are still motivated to join the field. 

FAQs: Law Internships for High Schoolers

If you still have questions about law internships for high school students, check out these frequently asked questions.

1. What Internships Are Best for Law School?

While you can only discuss your high school law internship experience through your personal statement or interview, the best internship for law school will depend on your career goals. 

Choose an internship that aligns with your interests and eventual aspirations. For instance, to become a criminal lawyer, you may want to volunteer with the California Innocence Project because of its mission and prestige. 

On the other hand, if your dream law school offers an internship, you may want to participate to prove your dedication to the school and interest in its education.

2. What Are the Best Internships for Pre-Law Students?

High school students should consider participating in college internships to understand their post-secondary options better. Each college that offers law programs for high school students will also provide students with tours and more information on the admissions process, which can help them decide which school is right for them. 

3. Do Internships Matter for Law School?

Law schools will not ask you to share any of your extracurricular experience from high school directly. They are mainly concerned with your college experience, so you should pursue other relevant extracurriculars during your post-secondary studies.

However, you can still use your high school internship experience in other parts of your application to prove your interest in and passion for law. You can use this experience to back up claims about how long you’ve wanted to become a lawyer and how motivated you are to become one.

4. Is a Law Internship Hard?

Law internships will be challenging because they’re meant to give you a realistic glimpse of what it takes to be a lawyer! You can expect to conduct research, assist in writing motions, participate in mock trials, and create persuasive arguments in most positions.

5. How Do I Choose a Law Internship?

Consider your interests and goals when choosing a law internship. For instance, if you’re hoping to participate in a summer law internship for several weeks rather than just a few days, consider joining a paid internship like the one offered by the DOJ or ACLU. 

Suppose you have travel aspirations and also want to gain legal experience. In that case, your best bet will be to participate in an international internship offered by Intern Abroad HQ or a similar organization.

Ensure you also consider your budget. Seminar-based programs, such as those offered by universities, will cost several thousand to complete, whereas other programs will pay you to intern with them.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for your legal career early on has many benefits! It will confirm your passion for law and help you throughout college and law school. Consider getting your feet wet and gaining valuable law experience by joining any exceptional internships in this guide!

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