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Timothy Peck
7 Internships

15 Law Internships for High School Students in 2023

What’s Covered:


If you’re hoping to enter a career in law, you can begin to pad your resume in high school. There are many summer activities you can do as a hopeful future lawyer, including a law internship. Law internships are a great way to get exposure to law careers and see if they are right for you. The experience is also helpful to add to your college applications to demonstrate your interest and prove your commitment to the legal profession.


15 Law Internships for High School Students


1. The DOI Pathways Program


Application Deadline: Varies 

Duration: Varies 


The U.S. Department of the Interior offers a paid internship for students from high school to the graduate level. Different hiring agencies within the DOI offer either part-time or full-time internships which are related to the intern’s academic field of study or desired career.  


This program will grant interns an inside look into public and environmental policy, and even offers the chance to eventually convert interns (if certain criteria are met) to a permanent job position or a temporary position for one to four years.


2. California Innocence Project Legal Internship


Application Deadline: 

  • Summer: March 1st
  • Fall: July 1st
  • Spring: November 1st

Duration: N/A  


For those interested in criminal law or post-conviction law, apply for The California Innocence Project Legal Internship. This program requires interns to work in person in their San Diego office. There are three different sessions (summer, fall, and spring) and you apply for the specific session you’d like to attend. The program has flexible hours but prefers interns to work 15 to 35 hours a week (as a high school student, this time commitment might only be feasible during the summer session). 


3. National Student Leadership Conference’s Law & Advocacy Program


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Nine days


High school students in grades 9-12 can attend the NSLC’s nine-day program to get a taste of what it is like to be a lawyer (this is more of an introductory program than an internship). The program is offered various weeks from June to early August at Georgetown University and Yale University. Throughout the nine days, students are able to simulate a criminal trial, visit a law school, and meet with trial, jury, forensic, and legal experts. 


Though this program has a hefty tuition, if you’re passionate about a career in law, the hands-on experience in a mock courtroom with practicing attorneys can be an invaluable addition to your resume. Also, you can always find external scholarships to help cover the cost.


4. Passport to Work Youth Employment Services Program


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A


The District of Columbia Courts invites D.C. high school students to partake in their Passport to Work Youth Employment Services Program, which is a paid internship designed to expose students to the inner workings of a career in law. The program consists of seminars to teach high schoolers the skills required of successful lawyers, like communication and time management. While students’ tasks may be more clerical, working in a legal environment allows them to observe the legislative process firsthand.


5. Internship with Congresswoman Lucy McBath


Application Deadline: Rolling 

Duration: N/A  


Interning under government officials is a great way to get first-hand law experience from those who are currently involved in public policy. You should reach out to people in government positions that reflect areas that you’re interested in or politicians whose platforms and policies intrigue you.


For example, Congresswoman Lucy McBath offers full-time and part-time internships in Washington, D.C., during Fall, Spring, and Summer. Interns will get an inside look into how a congressional office operates by attending hearings and briefs, researching and drafting written materials, and answering calls from constituents. Interns are given stipends for their work. 


6. National Youth Leadership Forum: Law & CSI


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: Six days  


The National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) offers students a program with a focus on either legal or criminal science investigation careers. The Law program allows high schoolers to observe proceedings and participate in a mock trial at a local courthouse. Also, law school professionals will help demystify the law school trajectory and introduce students to the various career paths in law. This is another opportunity that is more of an introductory program than an internship. There is also a cost to attend this program—tuition ranges between $3,045 and $3,245.  


7. NYU High School Law Institute


Application Deadline: N/A


  • Fall Semester: September through November 
  • Spring: January through February   


NYU encourages high school students to attend free classes taught on Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm by NYU Law and undergraduate students. Topics of study include constitutional law, criminal law, and moot court. Classes are discussion-based and are structured to reflect student interests. 


The institute includes a College Day and Graduation. College Day consists of a family workshop that introduces students to the college process. Graduation involves a mock trial and moot court competitions with students from Columbia’s program and ends with a formal ceremony. This opportunity is not an internship but it’s a program that will still help students learn more about the field. 


8. State Bar Association of North Dakota High School Mock Trial Program


Application Deadline: January 9 

Duration: N/A 


Another great place to look for law internships is at your state’s bar association. Many regions or counties also have bar associations that could offer internships to local high schoolers. Internships at bar associations can grant you an inside look at what lawyers and legal professionals do in their typical workday.


North Dakota’s State Bar Association has a Mock Trial Program for high schoolers. In this program, students are introduced to the American legal system and learn about the trial process while developing valuable critical thinking and reasoning skills. The program prepares students to compete in the National High School Mock Trial Championship, a competition that gathers students across the United States (and even some international teams) to conduct mock trials. 


9. Atlanta Bar Association Summer Law Internship Program (SLIP)


Application Deadline: May 5

Duration: Eight weeks (June through July)


In addition to state bar associations, regional bar associations also commonly offer internship opportunities to high schoolers. For example, the Atlanta Bar Association has provided internships to Atlanta-area high school students interested in learning more about the legal profession for more than three decades. By the end of this eight-week paid internship, participants will have gained valuable work experience, a better understanding of the law, and built a mentor relationship.


10. Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Expanding Horizons Institute


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: April through August 


For high school students who attend a Title I school and whose parents have not attended college, the Constitutional Rights Foundation has created the Expanding Horizons Institute. Along with preparing students for college via SAT prep and college admissions advice, this program provides civic engagement and exposure to professional career paths. You should take advantage of these types of internships, as they will offer invaluable networking opportunities and can help guide you toward a career in law.


 11. Senate Page Program 


Application Deadline: Varies


  • Fall: September through January 
  • Spring: January through June 
  • Summer: Two summer sessions ranging from three to four weeks depending on the legislative calendar 


The Senate Page Program is one of the most prestigious internships available to high schoolers. Senate pages date back to the early 19th century and were first staffed by relatives as young as nine years old. Today, however, pages are appointed and sponsored by a Senator and must be at least a high school junior, 16 years old, and enrolled in school. Pages are primarily responsible for the delivery of correspondence and legislative material within the Capitol complex—while doing so, they get an unrivaled view of the legislative branch of government. Page positions are filled through the offices of individual Senators. 


12. Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program


Application Deadline: Varies

Duration: April through August 


This internship prepares diverse New York City high schoolers for a career in law by pairing them with legal employers and providing them with opportunities such as career training, panels, and networking events. Job assignments vary, but intern duties typically include assisting paralegals, filing, record keeping, assisting library and back-office personnel, data entry, and document and exhibit organization.


13. The United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York Student Internship


Application Deadline: Rolling

Duration: N/A


The United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York offers a number of unpaid internships to students at their Brooklyn and Central Islip offices. Internships are available to everyone from high school to graduate- and professional-level students and present a great opportunity for students interested in studying pre-law, criminal justice, accounting, information technology, library management, human resources, or community crime prevention.


14. San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Undergrad/High School Internship 


Application Deadline: N/A

Duration: N/A


This unpaid internship allows high schoolers and undergraduates with an interest in criminal justice to get a firsthand look at the diverse opportunities offered by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Interns commonly assist with a variety of tasks, including organizing and preparing case files and contacting witnesses, along with managing subpoenas and records involving both pre-trial hearings and jury trials.


15. Law Office of the Public Defender, Broward County, Summer Justice Internship Program


Application Deadline: May 1

Duration: Two weeks 


This two-week internship for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who attend a high school located in Broward County introduces students to the inner workings of the criminal justice system, exposing them to things like criminal courts, law enforcement, the crime lab, and the medical examiner’s office. Interns shadow an attorney during the day, attend presentations, and meet a variety of personnel, including judges, bailiffs, and court reporters. The program concludes with a mock trial.


How Much Do Internships Impact Your College Chances?


You probably know that all extracurriculars don’t carry the same weight in the admissions process. Despite being similar categorically, the internships listed above have varying levels of commitment and prestige and will be viewed differently by admissions officers based on several factors.


But even with that knowledge, choosing and prioritizing your extracurriculars can be a convoluted process. Admissions officers break these activities into a four-tier system. The more impressive and rare the extracurricular, the higher the tier; a law internship would likely fall under Tier 3 or potentially Tier 2 if it is extremely selective or prestigious. Some legal internships—like the Senate Page Program—will even qualify as a Tier 1 extracurricular. 


By using CollegeVine’s free chancing engine, you can get a better sense of where your extracurriculars rank and how to boost your current involvement up a few tiers. You can also view your personalized chances of admission based on your profile and get tips for improving your chances.


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.