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
"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
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
"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
"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."
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 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.
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
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.