Last week 10 law students completed a 10-week journey of professional development, knowledge overload and eye-opening experiences. This journey, also known as the Digital Risk Summer Legal Internship Program, offers interns the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of an in-house legal department at Digital Risk’s corporate headquarters in Maitland, Florida.
Every summer, scores of 2L and 3L law school students from all over the country apply for a spot in the program. And considering all of the benefits offered to those selected, there is no question as to why. Chief Legal Officer, Debbie Hoffman, created and drives the program keeping education and first-hand experience as top priorities.
Debbie notes that she modeled the program to a law firm summer internship experience. She states, “The legal internship program is a unique opportunity for law students to get exposure to practicing law in a corporate environment. Many law firms offer summer internship programs, but having a strong summer internship in-house program is extremely unique, and the experience that can be garnered by the students from this exposure invaluable to their careers.” Debbie further said that the summer internship program brings enthusiasm and cohesion to the Legal Department as a whole.
Throughout the internship program, interns gain direct exposure to contracts, employment law, intellectual property, licensing, risk and compliance by performing legal research, contract drafting, contract review, trademark applications, policy drafting, insurance review and various other tasks associated with all aspects of a corporate legal department. In addition, the internship has a rigorous educational component to the program consisting of several intern sessions per week taught by various company executives and industry experts.
“The Digital Risk Summer Internship Program was an experience that taught me something that I need to know to move forward in my professional career – be cognizant of blind-spots, but don’t let them blind you,” said Hope Collis, a 2013 Summer Legal Intern hailing from American University, Washington College of Law. She continued, “All those that I met at Digital Risk this summer, both in and out of the Legal Department, were a joy to not only work with, but to learn from. Being selected for this unique program was a wonderful opportunity, and I am grateful that I was a part of it.”
At the end of the experience, interns walk away with new professional connections and a tremendous amount of knowledge that will serve them for a lifetime. Digital Risk Legal Staff actually see the program as an opportunity for them to provide mentorship to law students.
“The Legal Internship Program provides an invaluable experience to law students. Corporate in-house counsel experiences are rare for these students, and our program allows them to gain tremendous exposure to the variety of legal issues that an in-house legal department deals with on a daily basis. Our program also provides a mentorship to the students. I personally enjoyed giving some advice and tips on law school and bar exam issues,” said Jr. Staff Attorney Burton Witman.
At the conclusion of each internship program, Debbie and her team host a Farewell Luncheon for the interns to meet one last time with the Legal Team and various company executives. During the event, interns even receive awards for their outstanding performance.
Digital Risk hosts Legal Internship programs during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters, with the Summer program being the largest and most encompassing of the three. Fall and Spring interns commit to a minimum of 10 hours per work week with flexible scheduling, while Summer interns commit to a full 40 hours per work week with somewhat flexible scheduling. Since many interns are not from the Orlando area, the Recruiting and Legal Teams assist them with finding housing and making accommodations.
The following are quotes from several 2013 Summer Legal Interns and pictures from the Farewell Luncheon. If you would like to learn more about the program, we encourage you to visit our careers site and even apply at http://careers.digitalrisk.com.
As a second year intern for Digital Risk, I have enjoyed the hands-on opportunity to learn about the mortgage industry, and corporate and regulatory compliance. The experience and knowledge I have acquired will aid me in my future legal career.
This was an incredibly beneficial and rewarding experience. The entire Legal Staff took their time to share their expertise and knowledge of the field. It was through these times that I grew the most in developing my skills over the course of the summer.
Digital Risk’s Legal Internship Program offers a program that provides mentorship and valuable experience.
Something I really appreciated about the Summer Legal Internship was that it never got monotonous. I enjoyed being in the corporate environment and having a variety of projects to work on. This internship was a great start to my legal career!
Digital Risk’s Legal Internship Program provided me with an excellent opportunity to apply knowledge I gained in the classroom to the business environment.
The exposure to various segments of modern corporate law including regulatory compliance, contracts, insurance, and employment law in one program was unique, informative, challenging and rewarding. More importantly, in the Corporate Legal Internship Program at Digital Risk you learn by doing. The ability to contribute, during a 10 week period, to an in-house counsel team is an invaluable part of my legal education.