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JurisCorp increases internship intake up to 50% by going virtual

A virtual intern, yesterday
A virtual intern, yesterday

Juris Corp has increased its intake of interns by taking its internship programme “virtual”, as the continuing Covid-19 pandemic has made physical internships all but impossible.

“Usually under normal circumstances, the firm on an average recruits 8-10 interns,” explained the firm’s human resources (HR) head Shashi Marda. “However, under the current ‘New Normal’ situation, the firm has recruited 12 interns.”

The virtual interns under the programme had started work on Monday, with interns (virtually) assigned to different offices as opposed to a “generic pool” of interns, with a person at the firm in charge to coordinate them.

“An internship is all about gaining hands-on experience, but due to the pandemic outbreak, it is getting difficult for students to find a good opportunity to learn,” added the Marda. “At a time when most institutions and universities of the country are finding it difficult to secure meaningful internships for law students’ in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Juris Corp has started virtual internships.”

The practicalities of going virtual in an internship have included onboarding via a “virtual orientation programme” and getting them acquainted with a new cloud-based “project management tool” the firm had created that all lawyers at the firm are now using for their workflow, according to Marda.

The tool includes information about each intern and their internship, which lawyers at the firm can access to share work with them directly.

Via the platform, lawyers can also provide feedback to the interns, which would be “recorded in a separate grid managed by the HR”, said Marda. Furthermore, “virtual training sessions” would be conducted weekly by the firm’s lawyers on “current legal issues / topics”, which the interns would have access to.

Much like in the former real world, interns would be expected to fill in timesheets.

“Through virtual internships, Juris Corp aims to offer law students, exposure to the practical application of law,” HR head Marda said in a statement. “The firm hopes, that amidst the current pandemic outbreak, this initiative of virtual internships shall provide law students with a flavour of what it really is like to experience working in a law firm.”

While it’s certainly not business as usual, some of the current measures and new ways of working are very likely to become usual business.

Virtual internships are therefore quite possibly a realistic approximation of the practice of law in 2020 and beyond.

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