I strongly urge all members of the Marin County Bar Association to consider creating internship opportunities for young law students or college students who are interested in a legal career. If you do not have the time or capacity to supervise an intern, another opportunity to connect with and inspire the future of our profession is by attending a local law school, college, or high school career day. Our Association is full of talented and impressive attorneys. The life and career experience of our membership is profound. Passing down our accumulated wisdom to the next generation of lawyers keeps it from being lost, improving not only the practice of law but our society as a whole.

Throughout the history and development of our society, lawyers have traditionally moved the law forward as both legislators drafting the law and as advocates molding the law through common law precedent. Lawyers have led the charge to protect our Constitution and to preserve and grow our civil rights. It is critical that young individuals from varied backgrounds and economic circumstances feel that there is a place for them in preserving the rule of law and in shaping it to serve their generation’s goals. Providing internship opportunities or even just allowing a young person to tag along for a day or a week may light the fire in that young person for a life of service in our profession.

Most of us have had some help from an older attorney along the way. Whether that was through a formal internship, mentorship, or just a lunch with an attorney whose field you were interested in, the effect was likely positive. Remembering the hands that helped us into the profession should inspire us to extend those opportunities to the next generation. And doing so is rewarding for both generations. Everyone benefits from the exchange of knowledge. The enthusiasm and interest of an intern can remind an attorney of the excitement they felt when they were drawn to a life in the law. It is refreshing to walk around the courthouse and see interns tagging along with their attorneys or externs diligently observing the proceedings in their judge’s courtroom.

The Bay Area has a large number of law schools. Finding an intern is as easy as reaching out to their career offices or if you are an alum of a local school, posting an internship opportunity on the alumni board. Most colleges now have similar internship placement boards for students who are interested in a legal career. If you have never had an intern, I urge you to try it at least once—you won’t regret it.