Virtual Internships – Are they worth it?

Happy Sunday everyone,

I hope that you are having the best weekend so far and taking some time to kick back and relax 😇

Today, I wanted to bring you something that is relatively new to me – Virtual Internships (VP). Since lockdown, I have completed two VP’s through the platform InsideSherpa and I am currently undertaking my third. Here is everything that I have learned so far and my thoughts on if they are worth it.

What are virtual internships?

I had no clue what an InsideSherpa virtual programme was pre lockdown. As a quick rundown, this is an internship designed by a specific company to enhance your skillset and increase your understanding of the company by undertaking specific tasks. All these tasks are completed remotely. Legally speaking, this generally relates to particular tasks that a trainee solicitor or paralegal would be delegated.

How?

Firstly, you read and/or listen to the instructions from a senior employee. Then, you draft your own answer via writing, audio etc. Upon submission, this unlocks a model answer to the issues at hand. You can compare and contrast this with your own answer to fill the voids that you may have missed out on. It is important for me to note that InsideSherpa is not only designed for legal professionals. There are so many different niches available such as investment banking and product management etc.

Which ones have I completed?

  1. Latham & Watkins Mergers & Acquisitions Virtual Experience Program

This was the first VP that I completed. I have an avid interest in M&A but haven’t had the opportunity to experience the field yet. Therefore, this was a way to gain a free yet valuable insight into the types of tasks that trainees may be allocated to. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but whatever it was, this programme surpassed all my expectations. Consisting of four tasks, this internship delved deep into NDA’s, the due diligence process, offering shareholder advice and lastly the preparation of a presentation summarising key earn out provisions. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every element of this internship and if anything, it has clarified that M&A remains my top seat choice. I particularly like the variation in line with preparing presentations, drafting emails and researching the law as it ensured you covered all areas.

2. Linklaters Virtual Experience Program

This was the second VP I undertook. Compare to the L&W one, this was a bit lengthier but equally as phenomenal. It consisted of seven individual tasks including business development, project management, firm teamwork, AI in law, legal research and communicating to clients. I learned an incredible amount from this internship. My favourite part of this program was the diversity and versatility in its contents. The tasks ranged from liaising with different departments effectively, leaving a voice message for a client, reviewing an NDA to identify drafting problems all the way to conducting legal research and summarising your findings for a partner. If you want to get an understanding of Linklaters and the quality of work that it expects from its employees, then this one is for you. For me, this clarified that Linklaters is most certainly a firm that I would love to train and work in, due to its innovative approach to providing trainees with a well-rounded training program within a supportive cohort.

3. White & Case Virtual Experience Program

After finishing the Linklaters VP, I knew I wanted to explore more finance and international related legal internships. I am halfway through this program as we speak, and I am hoping to finish it this coming week. So far, I comprised a structure chart for a complex cross border transaction and gave a short presentation on strategies to mitigate counterpart credit risk. So far, I have benefited immensely from both tasks. This internship greatly reflects White & Case’s true international spirit and exemplifies how trainees would assist the company in dealing with multi-jurisdictional transactions. I am enthused by the ability to get involved in novel and high-impact matters in real life and I am grateful that firms are providing such opportunities for growth.

Are they worth it?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

  • These programs have provided me with the confidence and skills that I will need to excel as a trainee solicitor.  
  • Flexibility – they are extremely flexible as they can be undertaken from the comfort of your own home.
  • Inexpensive – all of the internships I have completed are 100% free.
  • CV – when you finish each program, you are awarded a certificate that can be put on your cv, enhancing your professional growth.
  • Perspectives – conducting these internships broadened my international and cross-cultural perspectives.

Final thoughts:

What I will say is that you get as much out of this as you put in. I took my time understanding what I was being asked to do. I then invested the majority of my time drafting my answer. I compared this to the model answer and noted down the things I was missing and areas that I hadn’t considered. It’s important to do this to understand where you made mistakes and how to rectify them in the future.

Let me know your thoughts on VP’s and which ones you’d recommend I do.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed you can like this post below and be sure to share it with your friends/family or anyone with an interest in the legal community.

Thank you for all the recent love and support.

Until next time,

Evangeline.