Law apprenticeship programs provide hands on training to students who are pursuing a legal degree. Students are not required to know what field of law they wish to pursue to take advantage of the benefits of an apprenticeship program. Law apprenticeships are offered to law students as well as those who are in their first year as a lawyer. Compensation is based on the employer's budget and is below industry standards.
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Benefits to the Apprentice
A law apprenticeship provides the benefit of being able to gain access to a firm that a student or first year lawyer may not have otherwise been able to work for until he has years of experience. Hands on training is beneficial as it allows the apprentice to apply what has been taught in law school to the actual field. It is also a wonderful opportunity to build one's resume and network with other's in law. The opportunities involved in an apprenticeship program are unlimited and differ from person to person.
Benefits to the Company
Firms and government agencies that offer an apprentice program have the benefit of offering services at a lower cost. This enables them to serve people with different income levels. The apprentice is paid according to the firm's budget which can save the firm money. The firm may receive high quality work from an understudy that has the education fresh in mind for a fraction of the cost. By reducing first year salaries, the firm benefits by seeing an increase in profitability.
Why Many Big Law Firms Do Not Offer the Program
Big law firms do not often offer apprenticeship programs as work done by apprentices do not generate as much funds. The larger firms are concerned with generating large earnings for each jobs performed and do not wish to be associated with lower waged salaries. The focus is placed on the potential downfalls of the program instead of the benefits to the firm. However, some large firms have decided to try the apprenticeship program such as Howrey LLP and Drinker Biddle.
Where to Go to Find a Law Apprenticeship Program
Law firms and other employers that participate in the program often develop relationships with career service staff members at law schools. The career service staff are the intermediaries between the apprentice and the firm. Visit the career service department to see if it offers the program. If the college does not offer the program volunteer to work with the college career service staff to develop a program. Another option is to contact small law firms and see if they are interested in the program. Be prepared to pursue them by emphasising the benefits to the firm.
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