Law internship in London
I did my internship in a law firm in London. The law firm has several offices in London and some other British cities. I have been working in the criminal law department.
Organisation of the internship
Some time ago I made inquiries about an internship in London which I wanted to do during my semester break. I got a very quick answer from studentsgoabroad.com with some information about the internship. When I finally decided to do the internship and signed up for it, the organisation went on. I got many clues from the staff of studentsgoabroad.com to my CV and my letter of motivation and there was always a quick answer - so that was not wasting time.
Once I finally had finished my application papers, these were forwarded to a partner organisation of studentsgoabroad in London where they tried to find a suitable internship at a law firm. They always kept me on the loop and when they finally arranged an interview appointment for me, they even gave me some helpful tips and advices. After this it took some time until the law firm came back to me but in the meanwhile the partner organisation always provided some information. At least I got the internship.
As I wanted to wait until I have set out in writing the internship, I was a little bit late with finding an accommodation. The partner organisation in London helped me to find a suitable accommodation through forwarding a form to an accommodation agency and they proposed me some host families. So the accommodation services proceeded relatively quickly and my internship could start.
About the internship
I did my internship in a law firm in London. The law firm has several offices in London and some other British cities. I have been working in the criminal law department. Although the family law department would have blended in to my studies much better, I saw and learned a lot in this firm and I had the chance to gather a lot of experiences.
At the beginning of my internship I was delegated with tasks like sorting and copying files.
But after two days I came into an office with four colleagues and I was allowed to write and send clients letters in which the clients were informed about the prosecution and the penalty. The task was not that easy. On the one hand I could catch hardly the notes and on the other hand I had no idea what I should write in the sub-items. But my colleagues were very supportive. When something wasn't quite clear they helped me right away and after some time the task became routine. My boss and an other lawyer took always great care to show me something new and to put variety into everyday life. They took me to court hearings and client interviews and I even was allowed to summarize some cases and I was surprised how different the statements of the clients were.
Once I attended a hearing at a higher court and I felt like in a TV show – the judges and the lawyers as well wore those black robes and white wigs.
This is London...
Besides working in the office there was also time to see a lot of the town. Sometimes I have been sent to the courts or to pick up evidence at the police station or just to bring some copies to an other law firm. At one point I was sent to Cardiff by train (about 2 hours away from London) to bring some copies to the university. After that I was delighted to stay the rest of the day in Cardiff.
To say goodbye to my colleagues was pretty hard for me as my colleagues were really nice. They were so interested into my studies, so helpful and motivated to give me an understanding for the British law system. Through my running errands I was able to improve my English.
The host family and my life in London
My host family consists of my host mom, her mother in law and her niece. Besides them there was another girl from Brazil. She was studying in London. My host family was really nice and they definitely made my start in London easier. As the other girl had arrived already two months before me, she helped me to organize some things like a prepaid card or to buy the oyster card for public transport.
On Sundays mostly the whole family of my host mum came for having lunch or dinner together (her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren). I got on very well with my host family – everybody treated me as a part of the family. As the family has Greek roots we often ate Greek food and so I had the chance to get in touch with two different cultures.
At the weekends I explored every attraction in London with the Brazilian girl. We visited the Windsor Castle, the bank of the Thames and the museum of Sherlock Holmes. Sometimes we just walked through the city what was fun as well.
It makes a difference whether to stay in London as a tourist or to live there. There were some activities of the partner organisation of studentsgoabroad as well. Sometimes the interns and the staff of the partner organisation met each other at a bar in the evening and I also did a 'Harry Potter-tour' through the Warner Bros. Studios or the 'Ghost Walk' with them. I liked these evenings because there were so many different stories and experiences.
I had a lamp in my throat when it was time to say goodbye because I really enjoyed the time with my host family and they really became dear to me. Thank god that London is not too far away so I'm sure that we will meet again.
All in all I just can say that my time in London was an incredible experience. I got to know a lot of nice people, learned a lot about the country and I became much more self-confident, especially in speaking English.
I would recommend it for absolutely everyone to do an internship abroad. If there is time - JUST DO IT. There is no such other possibility to get these experiences, manage some special tasks and meet interesting people always remembering with great pleasure.