The Short on Long-Term Planning. Good Intern? Nah! Amazing Intern.

As you think about whether law school is right for you—or even if you already know it is—what can you be doing now, in college or beyond, to improve your chances of getting in? In this series, “The Short on Long-Term Planning,” jdMission offers tips on how to make smart moves in the pre-application stage.

It’s July, and that means summer internships are in full swing. As you continue to adjust to wearing collars over flipflops and jeans, here are a few tips to make the most of your internship, setting yourself up for a stellar letter of recommendation or reference down the line.

1. Attack boring projects head on. So you arrive at the office on day one to be given a stack of hand scribbled numbers. “Put these in Excel,” you’re told. Great, you think, a summer of data entry. Instead of dragging the mindless project out miserably, do the opposite—finish it quickly, report in, and politely ask for something more substantive as your next project. But don’t say “something more substantive.” See number 2, below.

2. Ask for more responsibility in a proactive way. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard over the years, “My internship was boring. I didn’t get to do anything.” If these phrases sound familiar, I hate to break it to you, but you could probably benefit from a kick in the butt. The interns who get the good work tend to be those who ask for it.

Look around for what needs to be done that you think you could do well, and offer to start there. Many bosses of interns complain that interns create more work for them, because they can’t think of what to give you to do. Solve this problem on your own, and they’ll love you.

3. Be enthusiastic. If you are unhappy or bored, it’s likely apparent. Enthusiasm will get you as far as lack of it will leave a bitter aftertaste once you’ve gone back to school.

And have fun!

This is a guest post by jdMission, a professional law school admissions consulting firm, specializing in helping law school applicants identify and showcase the strongest aspects of their candidacy in their application.

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