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2013 Paralegal Internship
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Since 1979, the Paralegal Program has been providing Interns to local law firms, government agencies, corporations, and the court system within the Northwest Ohio area. The following is an explanation of the Internship.
What Is An Internship?
The Internship is a practical on-the-job experience for the paralegal student while at the same time providing free paralegal service to the attorney. The student is required to work a minimum of 180 hours during the 15-week semester. The manner in which these hours are structured is flexible to accommodate the supervising attorney's needs and the student's schedule (i.e. two days a week, all mornings, or all afternoons).
What Is The Profile Of The Student?
Because of the entrance requirements for the Paralegal Program, the paralegal assisting student is generally one of the top students in the college.
One thing these students all have in common is the completion of a difficult course of legal study in a highly-acclaimed ABA approved paralegal program. However, students will still need additional direction, training, and supervision throughout their Internship from the supervising attorney.
What Is The Procedure?
An attorney interested in the Internship Program should contact Associate Professor Kathleen Reed. While meeting the needs of the attorney, Professor Reed will make every effort to make a placement that most fully meets the desires of the student in regard to type of law practice, geographical location, and size of firm.
Once the appropriate student has been selected, the supervising attorney and the student will meet to coordinate a work schedule and discuss the student's responsibilities. At that time, a three-part agreement is signed (Professor Reed will have already signed the agreement), which lists the types of paralegal tasks that the student will do. In the agreement, the supervising attorney agrees that the student will do these tasks, that the student will be supervised, that the attorney will assume responsibility of the completed work, and that the attorney will evaluate the student. The student agrees to complete the tasks for the purpose of an evaluation, and to preserve case and client confidentiality. Professor Reed agrees to be available should any type of problem arise.
How Is Student Performance Evaluated?
During the term of the Internship, the supervising attorney will complete two evaluations, provided by Professor Reed. These evaluations consist of printed forms on which the attorney evaluates the student in several different areas. Several open-ended questions are asked. One evaluation is sent to the supervising attorney after seven weeks. This mid-term evaluation does not count toward the student's final grade. However, it is important that the student and supervising attorney sit down and discuss the student's performance up through that date. The final evaluation, sent in the fourteenth week, counts as one-third of the student's grade for the Internship. These evaluations are not only used for a grade in the Internship but they are also used when Professor Reed writes recommendations on individual students. Please see information on Internship Workplace Etiquette.
What Is The Cost To The Attorney?
The bottom line is that these are free Internships. However, most attorneys do pay the parking for the Intern; and should the Intern run errands around town, the gas mileage is paid. Additionally, some attorneys pay a small stipend to help with lunches and incidentals as most of the Interns function on a very "bare bones" budget.
How Can The Attorney Become Involved?
The attorney should contact Kathleen Reed at the University of Toledo (419-530-7746) in August to arrange for a Fall Intern, in November to arrange for a Spring Intern, and in April to arrange for a Summer Intern. Paralegal Intern Request Form