Internships and summer jobs can be helpful as you discern your sense of calling to pursue a legal career and determine areas where you may be interested in practicing law.
Internships in the legal profession
Internships are typically unpaid and involve 8 to 10 hours of field work as you "shadow" or assist an attorney, along with several hours of class and course work. In some instances, your internship may qualify for an independent study with the assistance of the pre-law advisor, and in some departments, your internship experience can count for academic credit. Go to our Internships page for additional information about some recent openings.
The following organizations have previously had Calvin students working as interns:
- Varnum, Riddering, Schmidt & Howlett, L.L.P.
- Dispute Resolution Center
- Warner Norcross & Judd L.L.P.
- Kent County Victim Witness
- Disability Advocates of Kent County
- Brett N. Rodgers, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee
- Universal Forest Products, Inc.
- CALL Immigration Services
- Law Offices of Kelly G. Lambert III, P.C.
- West Michigan Legal Aid
- Brinks and Associates
- Stenger & Stenger, P.C.
- Justice for our Neighbors-United Methodist Committee on Relief
- United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan
- Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge Law Firm
Summer jobs in the legal profession
Summer jobs in law firms are difficult to obtain because firms tend to hire first, second and third-year law school students to fill those positions. However, you may be able to get a position as a legal assistant or a messenger at a firm. As Calvin is notified of open positions, links to more information are posted.
Current internship opportunities
For a listing of possible current internship openings in the general area around Calvin University, check out some internships at the bottom of this page. Additionally, internship openings may be available within Calvin’s Semester in Washington D.C. Program and through Calvin’s Career Development Office (check Calvin Career Center homepage and access Handshake).
Additional internship possibilities
The following postings were provided to the Calvin pre-law program by the sponsoring firm or organization. The openings may have been filled since posting, but Calvin pre-law students are encouraged to contact the company to determine current availability.
FBI Honors Internship
Discover an insider’s perspective on FBI operations while gaining unparalleled experience with the Honors Internship and Visiting Scientist Programs. You can also begin a career directly after graduation with our Collegiate Hiring Initiative. To learn more about these opportunities, explore the sections below.
The Honors Internship Program is a 10-week, paid internship for college undergraduate and graduate students. While exploring career options, students work side-by-side with FBI employees at the Washington, D.C.-area Headquarters or in Field Offices around the country. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens and attend a college/university full-time, with at least a 3.0 GPA. An extensive background check is required. Intern assignments are based on the current skills needed in the FBI.
The application period for the 2020 Honors Internship Program closes Sept. 15, 2019. Fill out the following forms, including signatures from the dean or registrar and attach them to your application. For more information, go to https://www.fbijobs.gov/students/undergrad
(Posted September, 2019)
U.S. District Court Internships
The U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan is searching for two interns.
The United States Probation & Pretrial Services Office for the Western District of Michigan is currently seeking qualified applicants for the temporary, part-time position of Information Systems Student Intern. position that will begin in January 2020 and last a minimum of 12 weeks, with the possibility of extension - not to exceed one academic school year. The student intern will work a WAE schedule (paid for hours when actually worked) based on the needs of office and school requirements (if applicable), generally
between 20-32 hours per week. There are no employee benefits associated with the position. This position will be part of the Information Technology Department that is located in the Grand Rapids main office. Under the supervision of an IT team member, the incumbent will focus primarily on providing personal computer end user support to probation office staff, and general administrative and project support to the IT team. Follow this link for additional information.
The United States Probation & Pretrial Services Office for the Western District of Michigan is currently seeking qualified applicants for the temporary, part-time position of Student Intern. This position will provide administrative, technical and clerical support to staff in a wide range of areas, including assisting probation officers with conducting investigations, compiling criminal histories, and coordinating information with collateral agencies. This internship opportunity is a temporary, part-time position that will begin in January 2020 and last a minimum of 12 weeks, with the possibility of extension - not to exceed one academic school year. The student intern will work a WAE schedule (paid for hours when actually worked) based on the needs of office and school requirements (if applicable), generally between 20-32 hours per week. There are no employee benefits associated with the position. Follow this link for additional information.
(Posted September 2019)
Internship/ Legal Assistant Position with Duba & Duba PLLC
Duba & Duba, PLLC is a business and real estate law firm located in downtown Grand Rapids.The firm has an established boutique practice serving sophisticated clients and needs a recent or upcoming graduate in the Legal Studies or a Paralegal program to serve as a full-time legal assistant to assist in the commercial real estate, business transaction and estate planning areas of the practice. This position would offer a full-time five days per week position supporting two attorneys and other staff. Experience is helpful, but a willingness to learn, exceptional discretion, friendly demeanor, high academic achievement and independent work ethic are characteristics that are crucial in the position. The small firm is comprised up of brothers Donald and Christopher Duba, with a pleasant office environment, serving up-scale clientele located in the Exhibitors Building wing of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Please see the website for further firm description and typical client projects (www.dubalaw.com). The candidate must be proficient in Word and Outlook with office experience. Submit an email of interest, along with a transcript, resume and references to Donald Duba at firstname.lastname@example.org. No telephone calls or personal deliveries. The position will remain posted until the role is filled.
(Posted September 2019)
Internship with Brinks Law Firm
The Brinks Law Firm in Kentwood, Michigan hires student interns, with job responsibilities including: learning to write a business letter; reviewing written materials on law and ethics; working on client matters and interacting directly with clients; practicing telephone skills in legal contexts, including analyzing the issues presented by callers, projecting professionalism, and problem solving; and reviewing and updating websites and social media. The interns are supervised by Sharon Brinks and her legal assistant.
For additional information, contact BrinksLawFirm@BrinksLawFirm.net. To apply, submit your resume via email to the same email address.
(This is an ongoing position)
Internship with Ottawa County
Douglas Van Essen, General Counsel for Ottawa County, is looking for a good intern (or possibly more than one). Ottawa County is one of the best managed counties in the United States. It has a AAA bond rating, its own insurance authority with $40 million in reserves and a Sheriff's Department which is larger than Kent County's even though Ottawa County has half the population (owing to a more dominant role within the County due to the lack of a large urban core), and an extremely well managed and designed Park system.
Van Essen would like a student intern with an interest in public sector law. Send your resume and cover letter to Mr. Van Essen at email@example.com. Be sure to mention in your cover letter and email that you are from Calvin University.
(Posted September, 2018)
Internship with Russell Law Firm
The Russell Law Firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan is searching for a legal intern who will contact clients and request completed tax returns, manage and track documents, review case files to determine the need for supporting documents, and occasionally serve as the telephone receptionist. The internship is unpaid and will require a commitment of 10 to 15 hours per week.
For additional information, contact at Brett@RussellGr.com. To apply, submit your resume via email to the same emaill.
(Posted December 2017)
Michigan Immigrant Rights Center
The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center has year-round internship openings at their office in Grand Rapids, Michigan; interns working during the school year receive academic credit, and summer internships are paid positions. The Center is a non-profit, public interest law firm focused on providing technical and co-counsel assistance and training to Michigan legal aid and pro bono attorneys handling immigration and immigrant rights matters. These matters include advocacy, legislative analysis, and coalition-building among assistance providers as well as providing direct services to clients.
The intern will work under the supervision of immigration law attorneys, providing support with cases and projects including client interviewing, case and project assistance, translation and job shadowing. Spanish fluency is required. Applications are accepted until the position is filled. Apply by email with a resume, three references and a cover letter indicating your foreign language competency to firstname.lastname@example.org -- note "GR MIRC Internship" in the subject line.
(Posted August 2017)
20th Judicial Circuit Court & Ottawa County Probate Court
Internships (15 to 20 hours per week) are available with the 20th Judicial Circuit Court and the Ottawa County Probate Court. Students must be at a junior or senior level, and be able to commit to a one-year internship. Job placements will involve caseworker duties, juvenile services administrative duties, investigation, research and additional responsibilities and positions as determined by the needs of the court. For more information or to fill out an application, visit the Michigan Ottawa county website.
(Posted August, 2017)
Volunteer Positions at the Legal Assistance Center
The Legal Assistance Center (a nonprofit legal self-help center) is seeking volunteers to work with a small, dedicated staff to provide information, forms, resources, referrals and assistance to the public on issues including family law, landlord/tenant, small claims, consumer collection, probate and other basic legal matters. The Center provides training for volunteers, who learn first-hand about the operations of the Michigan Circuit and District Courts, as well as becoming familiar with various types of law and learning the special skill of working with people facing legal challenges. Student volunteers must be willing to serve a minimum of one shift per week (morning or afternoon), for two academic terms. Legal experience is not required, and volunteers do not need to be currently studying law to volunteer.
(Posted August, 2017)
Internship with Ottawa County Legal Self-Help Center
The Legal Self-Help Center of Ottawa County has ongoing openings for volunteers to assist the public and answer questions regarding court policies and procedures. The volunteers will provide information about various legal matters and will also assist patrons in filling out forms in the Center's Grand Haven, West Olive, or Holland offices.
(Posted August, 2017)
Volunteer Positions with Justice For Our Neighbors
Justice For Our Neighbors Michigan is a faith-based ministry of service involving diverse individuals, cultures and faiths who come together through the United Methodist Church to welcome newcomers to U.S. communities. Former positions have been for a Legal Assistant who works for the Site Attorney performing general office operations and client management support in the Grand Rapids office. While internships may not always be available, JFON is frequently looking for volunteers to work at their Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Detroit locations. More information is available on their website.
(Posted February, 2021)
Internship with Allegan County Legal Assistance Center
The ACLAC offers internship opportunities assisting clients with legal matters in various areas, providing an excellent way to enhance practical knowledge about the civil courts and their different procedures. The Center is a grant and donation-funded intiative and a non-profit organization that serves Allegan County residents who need legal assistance but cannot afford an attorney. The ACLAC offers unpaid, part-time internships.
(Posted August, 2017)
Muskegon County Office of the Public Defender
The Muskegon Public Defender's Office has openings for student interns who will participate in their role to serve individuals from the community who are indigent or partially indigent, enforcing their constitutional guarantees, protecting them against the possibility of coerced confessions, double jeopardy, unreasonable searches, unfair treatment, unjust convictions and from being overwhelmed by the sheer weight that law enforcement and prosecution can bring. Student interns will be involved in many aspects of representation of clients, including investigation, research, direct interaction with clients and attendance at meetings and hearings. Highly skilled attorneys at the Public Defender's office will serve as supervisors and mentors for the student interns.
Financial assistance with costs to commute to the Muskegon Office may be available (contact Professor Joel Westra for additional information), and internship credit can potentially be arranged through the Political Science Department or other Calvin University departments.
Contact: Public Defender Internship Program
(Posted October, 2015)
Civil Liberties Fellowship with Michigan ACLU
One of Calvin's students recently completed a internship at the ACLU in their Grand Rapids office -- a part-time opportunity for the course of a school year -- and noted that the work correlated closely with a passion for social justice. The attorney in charge of the office is willing to work around student academic schedules. To find out more about summer and school year internships that may be available, go to the West Michigan ACLU's Career page for internships.
(Posted February, 2020)
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