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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

10 Legal Internships for High School Students

Why do internships in high school?


Before we jump into a long list of legal internships for high school students, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.


How to Find Legal Internships for High School Students


The best way to find legal internships for high school students to apply to is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships


However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a summer internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.


10 Legal Internships for High School Students


Most of the legal internships for high school students below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!



  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines


StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.



  • Ages: Freshman - Senior

  • Location: NYU Washington Square Park Campus

  • Timeline: Academic year

  • Deadline: Summer


The New York University High School Law Institute (HSLI) is a student-run organization that serves talented and motivated high school students throughout New York City. HSLI is a free program that offers courses in constitutional law, criminal law, and speech and debate. Classes are conducted on Saturdays, from 10 AM - 1 PM throughout the academic year. Courses are taught by teams of current NYU Law and undergraduate students who are trained and supported by NYU Law faculty. Students participate in discussion-based classes and complete assignments that are tailored to their interests. At HSLI, students are encouraged to think critically, advocate well, and work collaboratively; they are also taught to evaluate arguments based on analytical rigor and strength of evidence.



  • Ages: 16 or older

  • Location: Los Angeles, California

  • Timeline: Year-round

  • Deadline: Varies


Interns will work in the DA’s office helping handle day-to-day tasks and other legal tasks. Responsibilities may include: scanning, photocopying, and/or shredding of documents;answering telephones, typing, filing, delivering documents; assembling reports, documents or manuals; and other duties depending on education and skills.



  • Ages: Freshman - Senior

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

  • Timeline: August

  • Deadline: July 


While originally intended for recent law school graduates, the program has evolved into a week-long camp that exposes high school and college students to the legal profession.  The course takes place at Saper Law Offices and is taught by Daliah Saper and other Saper Law attorneys. The curriculum consists of negotiation and writing exercises, field trips, and mock legal proceedings. Since Saper Law practices heavily in the areas of social media and digital technology, a key component of the exercises will involve entertainment, business, and internet related legal case studies. 



  • Ages: Sophomore - Senior

  • Location: New York City

  • Timeline: July - August

  • Deadline: March


The Manhattan District Attorney’s High School Internship Program is a rigorous five-week internship that provides students with an insider’s view of the criminal justice system. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in workshops and discussions, participate in a mock trial program, develop professionalism in an office setting, and more. Interns will be paid minimum wage.



  • Ages: Rising Senior

  • Location: New York City

  • Timeline: July

  • Deadline: February


Students will intern with a state or federal judge located in one of the five New York City boroughs and attend educational and professional development workshops. In this way, students will gain the facilities to pursue careers in the law. 



  • Ages: 16 - 18

  • Location: Connecticut

  • Timeline: Year-round

  • Deadline: Varies


Internships are unpaid, volunteer positions open to graduate and law students, paralegal, undergraduate, and highly motivated high-school students. Accepted applicants may arrange externships with their schools for course credit for their work in the Office. Applicants should have an interest in the law, be able to communicate clearly, have strong research and writing skills and computer proficiency. Interns will be able to specialize in many different sections such as antitrust, general litigation, and child protection.



  • Ages: 16 - 18

  • Location: Houston, Texas

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: TBD


Provides an 8-week learning experience for CIS of Houston high school juniors and seniors to intern at Houston-area law firms, corporate legal departments, and public interest agencies. 



  • Ages: Junior or Senior

  • Location: New York City

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: TBD


This summer internship will enable students to be knowledgeable about different careers in the court system. Students will be able to work directly with judges, judicial chambers staff and other dedicated professionals in the non-judicial ranks of the Unified Court System and have access to professional development programs.  



  • Ages: Sophomore - Senior

  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Timeline: Spring

  • Deadline: None


This program offers students the opportunity to learn about and participate in the legislative process of North Carolina. It is an experience that allows high school students in tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade to observe firsthand how laws are made. It provides them the unique privilege of working on the Senate Chamber floor in the midst of legislative action. Senate Pages are important to the operation of the General Assembly as they assist the members and staff of the Senate during the legislative session. They participate in daily sessions, committee meetings, and perform other duties including, but not limited to, delivering messages and materials within the legislative complex, answering phones in senators’ offices, passing out documents and running errands.


Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 


If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding legal internships for high school students is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 


How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 


Use LinkedIn to find small companies where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. 


How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 


You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as washing beakers or running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.


How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 


For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile. 


Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 


If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 


Template for Finding an Internship


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Mr./Ms.____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


Sincerely, 


[Your name]


Template for Finding a Research Position


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Professor/Dr. ____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


Sincerely,


[Your name]



Legal Internships for High School Students
Legal Internships for High School Students


Conclusion


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for a legal high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey! 





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