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How To Hire Your First Intern

Meet Julianne Simson - Cardozo Law Student + Blogger

I Planned On Working Alone

The truth is, I've always enjoyed working alone. I love helping others and working with my clients, but I never planned on hiring anyone for my law firm. It is small practice, so why would I need to? That sort of logic seemed rational but it was actually pretty limiting. As a business coach for entrepreneurs, I am constantly implementing tools for growth and breaking down the value of delegation.

You will always go farther with a little help! If you can increase your impact on the world - why not go for it? So that is what I did.

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Instagram Networking

Although I am finally juggling all of the various social media platforms, I spend most of my time on Instagram. So when I come across an interesting profile, I usually say hello. You never know when someone might be a great podcast guest, client, or maybe even your very first legal intern. Go figure! Instagram can be a great lead generator just like LinkedIn. It really just depends on how you decide to use the application.

So if you have not caught on, I met my intern on Instagram. I go into more detail on an upcoming podcast episode. Listen + Subscribe to The Boho Business Guide Podcast to learn more.

A Few Important Notes About Hiring

Before I dive into how great Julianne turned out to be, I'd like to share a few tips for my fellow law firm owners and other entrepreneurs looking to bring someone new to the team. Consider the following:

  1. Make sure you like the person. Resumes are great, but compatibility is key. The more you can enjoy working with someone the better the experience will be for both parties. 
  2. Employment Agreement. This would not be a proper legal blog if I did not bring up contracts. Make sure you and your new intern sign some sort of agreement outlining expectations, pay, and the duration of your working relationship. Decide if you are hiring an independent contractor vs. an employee and be sure that all parties  know the difference. 
  3. Mentoring Role. There is nothing worse than a lazy leader. There - I said it! For lawyers working with interns, you have to remember that your intern is learning. They are there to help you but you are there to guide, train, and inspire them!
  4. Be Fair. Research the market standard for compensation and treat your intern fairly. Internships do not need to mean volunteer work. 
  5. Follow The Law. Last but not least, abide by your state's ethical rules and standards. Check your intern's work and remember you are the firm owner not the intern. Ultimately, most liabilities will still fall on you.  

Meet Julianne

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Originally from Florida, Julianne has called Brooklyn home for 4 years, ever since she graduated with her Master's in Applied American Politics and Policy from Florida State University. Julianne also worked as a Governmental Affairs Consultant and Political Account Executive before moving to New York in 2016. She is entering her second year of law school this fall at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, where she will be serving as a Staff Editor for the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution and participating in the New York Attorney General's Social Justice Division Field Clinic. Outside of law school, Julianne is also the creator of @howtobebrokeinnewyork, New York’s leading on-a-budget blog. Through this platform, Julianne provides resources, deals, and events to help others live a great life on a budget, while also hosting live interviews with elected officials and experts to civic engagement, policies affecting affordability for New Yorkers, and systemic disenfranchisement!

What a resume! Connect with Julianne on LinkedIn and Instagram to learn more.

Reach out to learn more about starting your law firm and building that solid sense of support!

Written By: Attorney Michelle Imoukhuede