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Summer Opportunities for Pre-Law Students: Building Your Portfolio

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Written By
By Munira Maricar
Travel Writer
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As a pre-law student, you might be wondering how to spend your summer to boost your future career in law. Summer breaks provide a fantastic opportunity to explore different aspects of the legal field, gain practical experience, and enhance your resume. Here’s how you can make the most of your summer to build a strong portfolio that will impress law schools and future employers.

Benefits of Summer Programs

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  1. Skills Development: Participating in summer programs allows students to acquire practical skills that are crucial in the legal field. These skills include critical thinking, legal writing, and public speaking, all of which are vital for a successful law career.

  2. Networking Opportunities: Summer programs often provide the chance to meet and interact with established professionals in the law field. These connections can be invaluable for future job placements and mentorship opportunities.

  3. Academic Enhancement: Many summer programs offer courses that can complement your pre-law studies. These courses are often taught by experienced law professors who can provide insights and knowledge not typically covered in undergraduate courses.

Types of Summer Opportunities

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Legal Internships Abroad

Internships are a great way to get a firsthand look at the legal profession. They offer practical experience and networking opportunities that can be invaluable for your future career. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect and where you can look for these opportunities:

Maximo Nivel 

Based in beautiful Latin America, Maximo Nivel’s Human Rights Internship program places interns in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru, where you can work directly with community organizations, NGOs, and government agencies. This internship prepares you for a future in law by giving you a firsthand look at social issues, all while earning academic credit

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As an intern, you’ll tackle real issues like discrimination, education, and indigenous rights. You’ll help out with community outreach, education, research, and fundraising. It’s not just about getting work experience; you also get to dive deep into the culture and learn how politics, religion, and social values impact human rights.

Maximo Nivel also offers Spanish classes to help you communicate better and make a bigger impact. Plus, you’ll stay with a host family, which means you get to live like a local, with meals included!

Intern HQ

Interning with Intern HQ is an excellent choice for pre-law students, offering a broad range of international placements in:

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These internships provide vital exposure to different legal systems and practices, allowing students to work alongside experienced professionals in law firms, government offices, and NGOs. Each internship is tailored to align with individual academic and career goals across various areas of law, including human rights, governance, and legal advocacy. This customization enriches educational and professional development, and students can choose between in-person or remote options to fit their needs.

The program supports interns comprehensively, including accommodation, meals, and language classes where necessary, facilitating a focus on learning and professional growth. For added flexibility, check out Intern HQ’s Remote law internships!

Projects Abroad

Law & Human Rights Internships with Projects Abroad offer a unique chance to work on real legal cases and human rights issues in the following countries:

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As an intern, you’ll work directly with experienced lawyers and human rights professionals, gaining insights that are impossible to find in a classroom. You’ll help provide legal aid to people who really need it, work in local law firms or with NGOs, and even have the chance to specialize in areas like corporate law or human rights law. 

Moreover, Projects Abroad tailors the internships to your experience level, whether you’re a high school student, an undergraduate, or a graduate, ensuring you receive the right amount of challenge and learning. 

African Impact

Interning with African Impact is an awesome way for pre-law students to dive into the world of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community development. Whether you’re helping with fundraising, running community workshops, or measuring the impact of social projects, every task helps you grow professionally and personally.

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You’ll work closely with the African Impact Foundation in Livingstone, Zambia, getting real-world experience in how small NGOs operate day-to-day. This includes everything from managing donations to engaging directly with the communities you’re helping. For those interested in gender equality, there’s also a specific internship focusing on empowering young girls and women through education, health, and safety initiatives.

Plus, all your basic needs, like housing and meals, are covered, so you can focus fully on making a difference and building your resume in an incredible setting.

Global Vision International (GVI) 

If you’re a pre-law student interested in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, interning with Global Vision International (GVI) in Ghana is a fantastic opportunity. Based in the coastal town of Kokrobite, you’ll work closely with GVI’s school partners to promote inclusivity in classrooms and participate in community projects that address local social justice issues.

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The program offers a deep dive into the socioeconomic and cultural context of the region, highlighting challenges like inequality and helping you develop strategies to address them through education and community engagement. Beyond gaining hands-on experience in the field, you’ll also receive mentorship and participate in workshops that enhance your understanding and skills in managing social justice initiatives.

During your internship, you’ll have the chance to lead projects, design educational programs, and directly impact the communities you work with. 

Study Abroad Programs

For those looking to expand their horizons, summer pre-law study abroad programs offer a chance to learn about international law and gain a broader perspective on global legal systems. Explore the following study abroad law programs!

25 Best Places to Study Abroad: 10 Countries and 25 Program Destinations

IES Abroad 

During summer, pre-law students can enhance their academic and professional experience by enrolling directly at University College London (UCL), one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The program, situated in the historically rich area of Bloomsbury, offers an immersive experience into the British legal system, particularly focusing on international commercial litigation. This is a fantastic chance to delve into complex legal principles that govern international business disputes and explore how these issues are handled in English courts.

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Students will learn from top academics in small classes, ensuring personalized attention and in-depth study. The coursework will provide a deep understanding of various jurisdictional issues and the application of different legal frameworks to international cases.

Beyond academics, students will live in centrally located student housing, making it easy to explore London’s rich architectural, historical, and cultural offerings. The program includes field trips and social events that allow students to connect with peers from over 150 countries, making this a truly international experience. This direct enrollment opportunity not only bolsters your legal knowledge but also enriches your understanding of global legal systems, making it an invaluable addition to any law-related career path.

CIS Abroad 

With CIS Abroad, pre-law students have a fantastic opportunity to study abroad during the summer at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The University of Newcastle is recognized globally, ranking among the top universities for sustainability and climate action. 

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Students can earn 3 U.S. credits by taking specialized courses which introduce core legal skills and theories. Other options include Commercial Disputes and Dispute Resolution, offering insights into handling legal conflicts in business and beyond. These courses are designed to enhance critical thinking, case analysis, and practical legal skills, making them ideal for pre-law students looking to get ahead.

Besides academics, the program offers a chance to experience Australia’s unique “winter,” with easy access to stunning beaches, rainforests, and cultural activities. Living in student housing in the heart of the city, students will be perfectly positioned to explore and immerse themselves in the Aussie way of life. 

Fellowships

A fellowship is like a special program where students get to work closely with professionals in their field of interest, learning directly from them. It’s a bit like an internship, but often more focused on learning and sometimes even includes a scholarship. 

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Summer fellowships are highly beneficial for pre-law students. They provide a firsthand look at the legal profession, enhance practical skills not typically covered in class—such as case arguing, legal writing, and data analysis—as well as help build valuable industry connections. These connections can offer guidance, job recommendations, and career support, giving students a competitive edge early on.

The Lex Fellowship is a great option. Tailored specifically for U.S. pre-law students, The Lex Fellowship stands out because it’s more than just shadowing; it’s an immersive experience that spans several countries including the US, UK, Spain, Italy, and France, integrating legal education with travel and cultural exploration. This makes it an ideal summer abroad option for aspiring lawyers looking to broaden their perspectives and sharpen their skills in the global legal landscape.

Reading and Research

Summer is also a good time to catch up on reading and enhance your understanding of the legal field. Reading books written by prominent lawyers and judges can provide insights into the profession and its challenges. Additionally, researching upcoming legal trends or historical landmark cases can give you a deeper understanding of the legal landscape.

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Networking

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Summer offers a more relaxed atmosphere for meeting professionals in the legal field. Attend legal forums, workshops, and public lectures. Every interaction is a potential door to new opportunities and insights.

Harness Your Legal Passion

Summer opportunities for pre-law students are not just beneficial; they are essential for building a strong foundation for a future career in law. We encourage you to explore these opportunities and choose one that aligns with your career goals.

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By engaging in these activities, you’ll not only enrich your knowledge and skills but also build a comprehensive portfolio that showcases your dedication and passion for law. Make the most of your summer and take steps toward a successful career in the legal profession.