This summer, 41 high school students worked as Law Links interns in local law firms and law-related agencies, taking advantage of MSBA’s student/law firm summer internship. Every summer, MSBA presents this public service program to prepare young people for college and the professional business world and engage them in a comprehensive educational and professional experience. Students worked as interns in law firms and law-related agencies in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County and on the Eastern Shore.
Through Law Links, the law firms and agencies pay the students for seven weeks of summer employment and give them time off with pay every week to attend the Law and Leadership Institute, the educational component of the internship. This unique internship supplements the interns’ professional work experience with education and training. Thus, the students are paid for their employment, gaining work experience in a business setting and developing professional skills for their future careers.
Since its inception in 1994, Law Links has welcomed 632 high schools students as summer interns. Many have gone on to college, and several have now graduated from law school, respectively, Harvard, Georgetown University and George Mason University. Regardless of the interns’ career path, they find this program beneficial and rewarding.
The Citizenship Law-Related Education Program (CLREP), MSBA’s educational arm in the schools, presents the Institute and serves as Law Links’ administrator. The Institute focuses on everything from workplace issues, career goals and cultural diversity to communication skills and business etiquette. CLREP’s staff guides and mentors the interns, sponsors field trips and invites prominent judges, attorneys and other officials to address the interns. Essentially, it introduces students to the professional world of work.
Over the years, many interns have excelled in their work and continued their employment with their law firm well beyond the internship, at the firm’s invitation. In fact, several now work full-time at their law firm. There has always been a tremendous amount of support for Law Links from the participating law firms.
“Law Links is a great program for the high school students who accept the challenge to become interns for the law firms and agencies that chose to participate and for the community,” states CLREP Executive Director Ellery “Rick” Miller, Jr. “These young people just want a chance to learn and excel, and Law Links gives them that opportunity. The firms are getting the satisfaction of providing a workplace for an energetic young person who may become one of our community leaders of tomorrow. The number of alumni who contact us and attribute their later success to what they learned in Law Links is truly rewarding.”