You will have many opportunities to learn how to apply the knowledge you have acquired in the classroom to real legal matters, thanks to the IE Labs, Legal Clinic, Shadowing Program and practical courses available to all law students.
You will gain more than a year’s worth of professional experience, which is sure to help you stand out as you enter the job market and begin to establish yourself as a valued lawyer.
Our students have completed internships at Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, Cleary Gottlieb, Clifford Chance, Cuatrecasas, Dentons, DLA Piper, Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins, Linklaters, Pérez-Llorca and Rodrigo Uría among other companies.
Tell us about your internship. How was the recruiting process— steps, tests, interviews?
My internships took place at the end of my second year, and the recruiting processes were quite simple! Even though each firm has their own process, and sometimes these involve multiple phases, in my case it wasn’t that long.
The first firm I got in touch with was Dawson Cornwell, a London-based firm specialized in family law, and they only asked me to send my CV. Thankfully, I had taken part in multiple activities at IE University, and I was very proactive as well, which made a good first impression.
This made me realize the importance of getting involved in the extracurricular activities that are offered to you during your university years. The second selection process was in Gastão da Cunha Ferreira, an intellectual property law firm located in Lisbon. Here I had to send my CV as well, and write a cover letter explaining why I wanted the internship and what made me the most suitable candidate for the position.
What types of projects did you work on?
I had the opportunity to be involved in several projects. Usually, the number of tasks you are assigned, and their relevance, is directly related to how much they trust you. For that reason, it is quite important to demonstrate your capacities and reliability from day one. In London, I was attending daily hearings in the Family Division and in the High Court, where I had to take notes on everything going on inside and outside the courtroom, related to our clients.
I also had to attend meetings with clients and barristers, and draft legal documents, such as chronologies of cases, among other tasks. In Lisbon it was more of an office job, and I had to deal with trademarks, applications, and collecting evidence to support opposition proceedings, among other tasks.
What was one of the highlights?
One of the projects I enjoyed most while working in Lisbon was preparing a presentation for app developers to inform them about IP rights and how they’re an important intangible asset to protect their apps. This gave me a theoretical and practical knowledge of how to solve problems that knock on the door of IP law firms on a daily basis.
How do you think you benefited from this experience?
The experience was absolutely unique, as I learned what it’s like working in a city such as London, where everything moves very fast and you need to learn how to be efficient and organized in order to keep track of everything.
What are your future career aspirations?
After I do my Master’s Degree in ‘Acceso a la Abogacía’, I would like to work as a lawyer in a large firm. Although I’m still not completely sure which area I’d like to focus on, there are some specializations that appeal to me more than others, such as labor law, corporate law, and competition law. During my studies and internships, these areas were definitely some of my favorites!
What tips or advice would you give to other students applying for an internship?
I would recommend looking for internships where they get to be involved in areas of law that truly interest them. If you get the chance to be involved in an area where you can see yourself working in the future, the motivation will be higher throughout the process and it’ll show in your performance.
I’d also recommend doing several internships. Working in different environments definitely develops your adaptation skills, and enhances your knowledge of different cultures and companies.