Getting experience in the legal sector can be the difference you need to really stand out in the workforce once you graduate. With a Victoria Law Foundation internship, not only will you feel good about working in an organisation that makes a difference, but you’ll expand your networks and get a behind-the-scenes look at a range of alternative legal careers too.
But don’t take just our word for it. We spoke with one of our past interns, Lizzy Tunnecliff, who told us what she got out of her Victoria Law Foundation internship last year.
Lizzy worked mostly in our grants area, looking at the best ways to evaluate the work our grants support, and making recommendations based on best-practice across the philanthropic sector.
So without further ado, here are Lizzy’s top five take-aways from our internship program.
1. Adapting skills for the workforce
The internship was fundamental in helping me make the transition from academic to professional writing. I gained a greater awareness of the importance of ensuring your writing meets your employer’s objectives, is reflective of resource limitations or public sector pressures, and incorporates your employer’s preferred style.
2. Getting to know who’s who in the legal sector
During my internship I spoke with a number of legal and philanthropic experts from a variety of organisations, including: Victoria Legal Aid, Public Interest Law Clearing House and Deakin University. I really valued their generosity in sharing their expertise and experience in project evaluation within the legal sector. Also, t
he foundation was great at connecting me with eminent members of the legal community. After completing my internship, I began volunteering at an environmental community legal centre which was another great development opportunity.
3. Bettering networking skills
My communication skills also developed during the internship. Whether it was attending meetings with potential grant recipients, assisting with the annual Legal Laneway Breakfast, or liaising with legal organisations, I now feel confident when engaging with stakeholders in my current role.
4. Dealing with organisational constraints
It was always challenging to hear so many excellent grant proposals from organisations, knowing that the foundation wouldn’t have financial capacity to fund all of the projects.
5. Insights into alternative legal careers
The internship program helped me see breadth of career opportunities available in the legal sector in government, not-for-profit and community organisations. After my internship, I was lucky enough to continue working at the foundation in a part time capacity. I had further exposure to the work of the foundation and its impact within metropolitan and rural Victoria. It helped me realise how much I enjoy making a tangible contribution to the community while making use of my legal skills.
So where is Lizzy now?
After her internship, Lizzy stayed on at the foundation in casual employment; and since finishing her degree she is now gainfully employed in the Australian Public Service graduate program in Canberra. With her experience at the foundation behind her, she’s now working across legislative compliance and interpretation, health and social policy development, as well as having a stint in a Ministerial Office in Parliament House.
How to intern with us
We are now taking applications from current Victorian law students who’d like to join our internship program for 2014/15. To apply, just visit our website or contact us today. Applications close Monday 10 February 2014.
Lizzy’s tips for applying
Aside from academic marks and analytical skills, remember to communicate other qualities such as energy, enthusiasm and an ability to work productively in a collaborative environment, which can be just as important.
To find out more, visit: www.victorialawfoundation.org.au