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Bringing Value to the Law Profession as a Legal Management Student Intern

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13 Feb 2012 Print This Post Print This Post

    CareerCamp for San Beda College Legal Management Students, 4 February 2011

    Lex Seminarium - CareerCampStudents of San Beda College Legal Management Program began preparing for their internship program by attending a CareerCamp organized by the Junior Bedan Law Circle (JBLC) and conducted by Bronze Age Media, Inc. Speakers were Carmina Esguerra, author, career counselor and President of Bronze Age Media, Inc.; Atty. EJ Baranda, a partner at the Molo Sia Velasco Tuazon & Ty Law Offices; and SBC Legal Management alum Jeff Datinggaling.

    Esguerra gave a talk on writing a resume and preparing for an OJT interview. She pointed out that “It is not your resume, but the interview, that gets you the job. But it’s your resume that gets you the interview.” She identified ten valuable steps that students should do so that hiring managers will look at their resumes, schedule them for an interview, and eventually offer them an internship.

    “Bring the best you to the table,” she emphasized, as she asked students to identify and build on their strengths as internship opportunities are limited. She noted that one of the CareerCamps she conducted helped place four participating students in a coveted internship program with a major international company, but there were around 250 all highly-qualified aspirants.

    Atty. EJ Baranda, a practicing lawyer and a graduate of the UP College of Law, talked about what to expect from the legal work environment. He discussed the different practices of law and pointed out that there are many career paths available to a legal management students. By doing an internship, legal management students can discover for themselves what kind of law practice they wish to engage in eventually. Atty. Baranda discussed the different kinds of law firms and their practice, with the major ones being corporation and special problems, litigation, and intellectual property, although there are many other areas of law requiring specialized skills such as land law, labor law, energy law, and others.

    Lex Seminarium - CareerCamp

    He pointed out that internship slots available for legal management students are highly competitive, as internships in law firms are usually reserved for law students who will soon be taking the bar, and assignments may not be as intensive as those given to students with more legal knowledge. Thus, in response to a question from the audience, he emphasized that grades do matter to the HR department, as it is usually the main basis for determining a student’s competence and aptitude for the legal profession. However, it is not the only factor and people skills, communication skills, analytical problem solving skills, and leadership skills also count for a lot.

    In addition, he emphasized the need to start applying for internships even before school ends, as hiring managers would want interns to start as soon as possible. It is possible to indicate in the application letter one’s date of availability. However, waiting until summer would delay the start of the internship as there is a lengthy process of identifying the right candidate for the job and processing the necessary documents before one can start.

    Among the tasks legal management students may be assigned during their internship may include preparing case digests, researching jurisprudence, and fact checking, although interns may also be asked to do other tasks.

    However, Atty. Baranda noted that even if the work assignment does not necessarily require a legal background, the output will still be used in a legal proceeding. Thus, it is important for legal management interns to do the job assigned to them as they can be crucial to the process.

    Lex Seminarium - CareerCamp

    Former San Beda College Department of Legal Management and School of Law alumni Jeff Datinggaling discussed the importance of legal practicum for students aiming to pursue law and his own bar experience. As an intern, he worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs, on its treaty digitization project.

    His advice to the students was, “Don’t treat management subjects as minor subjects.” Instead, management subjects will provide legal management students with valuable skills, giving them an important edge in their law studies and in their future careers. He also emphasized the importance of math subjects, as lawyers also need to deal with computations particularly in the practice of tax law, succession, real estate, and commercial law.

    Participants to CareerCamp also bought CareerCamp publications Notes from the Edge: Career and Job Hunting Advice for College Students (2011), Career Skills You Can Learn Now: Tips for students and young professionals (2011), and Getting the Career You Want: A guide for students and young professionals (2011). All are available for download from the Amazon Kindle store for only $2.99 each.



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    One Response to “Bringing Value to the Law Profession as a Legal Management Student Intern”

    1. Isa 13 February 2012 at 4:28 pm #

      I wish my school had the same program for us when we were doing our internship.


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