Externships & Clinics
General internship opportunities
Law students can find internship opportunities in many different types of organizations, both in Canada and around the world: international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), think tanks, businesses, governments, and charities are just a few examples.
Large international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) offer student internships, but many smaller organizations are also glad to hire students to assist them during the summer months. However, smaller organizations may not have the funding to widely advertise their positions. The Internet is likely your best source for finding information about potential internship opportunities.
Most law students seek internships for the summer months. However, you could also work as an intern after graduating and prior to articling if you’d like to gain more experience—or if you’re unsure of the career path you’d like to take. It’s important to search for internship opportunities well in advance of when you plan to start, as often you must complete several documents before you can begin your internship—particularly if you’re traveling internationally.
Funding for internships
Most internships are unpaid, or provide the intern with only a small stipend (money meant to cover travel expenses and to help you set up in a new city). While students are often happy to work without pay if they are gaining experience and contributing to a meaningful purpose, the reality for most students is that internships are financially impossible to pursue without some source of funding. You can seek funding for your internships by visiting the Schulich School of Law's Career Development Office (CDO). Here, you can also find additional resources on doing a law internship and information about “alternative,” or “public interest” careers in general.
Dalhousie Legal Aid Service
The Dalhousie Legal Aid Service has been in operation since 1970. It's the oldest clinical law program in Canada and the only community law clinic in Nova Scotia. Third-year law students can participate in an internship for credit at the Dal Legal Aid clinic, getting real-life experience with community outreach, education, organizing, lobbying, and test case litigation to combat injustices affecting persons with low incomes in Nova Scotia. Learn more about working with Dalhousie Legal Aid Service.
The Schulich School of Law, in cooperation with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, offers a voluntary Judge's Clerkship Programme for third-year students. This programme, which is in addition to regular classes and not for credit, allows qualified students to spend one week during the term with a Supreme Court Justice in Chambers, and offers a valuable and practical learning experience. Some students each year may also have the opportunity to act as student assistants, for credit, to the Nova Scotia Appeal Court, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court (Family Division) Placement and the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia Placement. Learn more about Clerkship opportunities.