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Law clinic

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Putting what you learn in lectures into practice is the best way to develop your legal skills. In our Essex Law Clinic you'll work alongside practising lawyers to advise real clients on real issues.

Internships and work placements are an excellent way to gain vital professional experience while you study. By developing your skills and gaining insight into the world of legal practice or other employment sectors, internships help you to stand out when applying for jobs and other opportunities after you graduate.

We have strong links within the legal industry and support our students and graduates to find suitable work placements during your time at Essex. Our Human Rights Centre also has longstanding experience working with NGOs and other organisations around the world and can help students interested in gaining experience through internships in human rights.

Get experience, get paid

Our Essex Interns scheme helps you to find paid internships with local and national employers during your studies and after. The scheme is open to all current students as well as our alumni for up to three years after graduation.

Our Frontrunners work placement scheme also gives you the chance gain experience by working in a range of areas across the University, including with projects in the School of Law and our Human Rights Centre.

Working with the UNHCR

We are the first university in the UK to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). This creates internship and research opportunities for our postgraduate students and is based on our long-established expertise in international humanitarian law.

In this podcast, graduate Anna Magdalena Ruesch talks about her internship with the UNHCR in Geneva.

Profile: Marta Herrera De La Hoz, LLM Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Marta worked her placement at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. She shares her experiences and offers advice to other students considering a placement.

  • Read the interview with Marta

    What kind of work did you do with the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre?

    "I was part of the corporate legal accountability team so most of my tasks were focused on news related to this topic. Usually I did small translations from English to Spanish about cases pending in different Courts and about different news that we were publishing on the website.

    "On a weekly and bi-weekly basis I helped organise the Spanish mail that the Centre sends with updates, news, job opportunities and events. In addition, the Centre publishes a quarterly Corporate Legal Accountability Bulletin. I wrote part of it, and was involved in the production of the Bulletin. Then, I translated the English version of the Bulletin into Spanish. Another part of my position was the publication of news, from articles that other researchers sent to me, to my own researched items.

    "I took part in other research and helped in the production of a Mexican report for the UN and other platforms and projects. I also attended several meetings and conferences and was trained to use different computer software."

    What did you enjoy the most, and what skills do you think you have gained from the placement?

    "I especially enjoyed doing my own news research. But I also enjoyed reading the company responses to try to look for common behaviours and trends.

    "I enjoyed being a part of the production of the Mexican paper, although it was quite hard because of the time constraint. It was an amazing experience because I could apply all my human rights knowledge. What I enjoyed the most was being able to do so many different things. The diversity of work and the environment was the best.

    "I feel like I better understand how to do research and how careful we must be when dealing with possible human rights abuses. I learned legal language and gained a better understanding of the business world. I understood how to manage situations related to human rights and how to behave depending on the context. I also gained administrative skills like mail production, software related tasks, IT services, etc. Overall, I gained the general skills for working with NGOs."

    How do you believe the placement has helped you with regard to your future career?

    "The organisation was really helpful. I received some contacts and the resources to look for jobs in the business and human rights field. I feel more comfortable and confident from the experience. I have gained skills and knowledge that I can use for almost any position.

    "I think that NGOs will value the experience I have gained. The training I received and the application process I went through to get this role will show that I am knowledgeable in this field, I am passionate and that I understand the meaning of working for NGOs and for a business Centre."

    Do you have any particular experiences/tips you would like to share with students considering whether to do a placement?

    "I think that the best tip is don't try to find just any internship. It is more important to look specifically for the position that you want and try to keep focus on your area of interest.

    "Internships may not be your dream job, so it is important to be aware of the hard work and keep in mind that you are doing an internship to grow and develop skills.

    "Be sure that you can commit your time to the internship because employers will notice poor performance at work. An internship is like a job, and should be treated like one. So if you want great recommendations and to build a good network, be sure to give it your best shot."

Employability advice

Our Careers Centre

Our Employability and Careers Centre helps you develop the skills for a successful career. Our friendly staff and excellent resources help you to make informed career choices and to enter your chosen field.

frontrunners placements

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frontrunners is our original placement scheme that offers students paid work opportunities on campus. You'll get on-placement training and great experience to add to your CV.

Essex Interns

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Internships are an excellent way to earn money and develop a stand-out CV. Register with us for information on paid internship opportunities with local, national and even international employers.

Human rights clinic

two students at UNHCR

Our Human Rights Clinic gives you practical experience of working on real human rights issues alongside our experienced academics and allows you to take an active role in your own professional development.