- On May 14, 2022
Summer is approaching fast! Do you have any interns joining? I like this engineering exec/angel investor’s top tips to be an effective intern. Here are some especially good ones for legal interns (and for anyone at a new job):
- Go to all meetings. Do homework beforehand, pay attention when there, take notes (that’s often expected for legal interns), and be on time! If it’s a remote meeting, keep the video on.
- Network. Join conversations and help your team. In fact, do more than expected! Yes, participate in the team building and game playing sessions. (Even if they feel cheesy to you, you CANNOT opt out.)
- Ask questions. I agree with the poster’s assertion that you should not be afraid of asking dumb questions. But I would add that you should also avoid interrupting the flow of an exec or top lawyer, for example, and save the questions for your mentor or after you’ve done your homework.
- Understand your company’s business model and why they are doing things. Go beyond your team (e.g., Legal or subgroup) to understand other teams’ roles. Other departments I recommend getting to know are IP, R&D, Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Compliance.
- Learn from others. I absolutely agree with this one: “learn by by mimicking – do not miss any opportunity to learn from others. If you find someone to look up to/admire, mimic their behaviour, practice and try to learn from it.” If you never get the chance to approach folks who are on their A game, you can at least think about what sets them apart and learn from your observations.
- Ask for feedback. Yes, lawyers generally aren’t trained as managers and may not tell you how to improve beyond redlining your work. But go ahead and ask for actionable feedback. And I agree you should “[l]earn how to take constructive criticism well early in your career.” (Easier said than done, I know, but really, this one is important.)