Whether you are Appearing for CLAT 2021 or are currently enrolled in a law school and struggling, it is critical that you understand what it takes to become a lawyer and to practice law. The “real world” can hit you like a ton of bricks coming straight at you at 100mph if you have no practical experience in a firm and office. Law students’ internships are extremely important in their careers. It provides you with first-hand experience in the legal profession and provides a close look into what it is to be an advocate.
A student can either do a physical internship or a virtual internship. With the global spread of Covid- 19, the popularity of virtual internships has soared among the students. (see: Everything you need to know about Online Internships)
Both online and offline internships have their own set of pros and cons. Whether to go for an online or an offline internship depends on various factors that need to be considered. Some of these are:
One of the greatest benefits of a remote internship is its flexibility. There will be freedom to work at your own pace and one isn’t constrained to a 9 to 5 set up. So essentially, you never stop learning. A student can easily gain experience while managing their studies and other things side by side. You can work at any point of the time, day, or week depending on what has been agreed with your supervisor.
Whereas, these perks aren’t available when one is doing an offline internship as a student is required to work for a fixed time every day and has to meet deadlines within that time only. An offline internship can only be done during an internship break, unlike an online internship.
In an online internship, a student is not confined to choose an internship within his vicinity. For him, the world is his limit. A virtual internship is very beneficial for students from small cities and towns who are unable to travel to big cities like Delhi or Mumbai for interning in major law firms.
Meaning, you can participate in a remote internship virtually anywhere in the world. Whereas, offline internships are at a disadvantage when it comes to location as the student is required to travel to the office every day for a fixed time period. Thus, only the ones living nearby can avail such opportunities.
One of the disadvantages of an in-office internship is the added costs that come along with it, especially if it’s an unpaid internship. The expenses for both the intern as well as the employers increases whereas virtual internships are cost-effective for both the stakeholders.
The interns can save money in transportation, accommodation and personal expenses and the employers can save money as they don’t have to provide the intern with office space, a laptop/a desktop, internet connection and stationary.
Realtime office environment
This is a real problem when it comes to virtual internships. The students miss a chance to experience and learn the cultural norms of the office and they will never get a hang of what it feels like to work in an office when doing an online internship. But this isn’t the case with in-office internships as they have major advantages when it comes to real-time office experience.
By doing an offline internship, the intern gets a close look into how a company works in a corporate setup or how a lawyer handles cases. They get a chance to visit the courts and attend the proceedings which is an essential experience for a law student. Offline internships bring discipline and professionalism to a student which are very important skills that every law student must have.
The networking opportunities become very less when it comes to online internships. A student is usually only in contact with the person in charge of the project and not with his peers. That too through phone calls which further minimize actual interaction. In this day and age, networking is crucial in establishing future success, online internships can limit the people you come in contact with.
However, this is not the situation when it comes to offline internships as there are immense opportunities for you to expand your network. One of the best aspects of an in-office internship is the number of people you may meet, many of whom may be in your desired career area and will be able to introduce you to potential opportunities. Offline internships also provide an opportunity to learn from others in the office.
Overall, online internships are for sure a game-changer in today’s world. Online internships provide opportunities to those who would otherwise be unable to engage in an office-based internship due to financial or time constraints.
A virtual internship is a great way to gain valuable experience with flexibility but real-time work experience is essential for a law student which can be gained through offline experience only. So, before considering any type of internship, take into account both the pros and cons that come with it and then make an informed decision.
Well, we have acquainted you with all the necessary information that you need with respect to offline and online internships Now, comes the application part, need tips for Writing an Effective Internship Application? Click here.
About the Author: Kritika Singha is from Symbiosis Law School, Noida. Her areas of interest include Corporate Law and Public International Law.