Summer Business Intern Program

The Summer Business Intern Program is designed to provide you with exposure and participation in a business environment. Each year, the Center for Career Strategy and Advancement invites companies in Chicago and around the United States to partner with us in our Summer Business Intern Program, providing you with the opportunity to get first-hand work experience. Companies including Hyatt, General Dynamics, Exelon, OfficeMax, CDW, United Airlines, Nicor Gas, Reyes Holdings, Illinois Tool Works, and Cadogan Management have all hired at least one Northwestern Law student for an internship.

Through the Summer Business Intern Program, first- and second-year law students can gain practical experience within an active corporate legal environment. The company provides participants with a much better understanding of the client, helping to make them more effective legal advisors. The vast majority of Northwestern Law graduates start out in business-oriented law firms and many move on to corporate environments. Whether it is to provide business clients with better service or assume a business role themselves, it is increasingly important for you, as a future legal professional, to expand your experience in the business arena.

Northwestern offers two different internship programs, one for JD students and one for JD-MBA students:

Full-time Summer Business Internship

This program is designed for a company to engage a first-year JD student (or perhaps a second-year JD). The student participates in the program five days a week from mid-May through mid-August for up to twelve weeks. This student becomes an actively supervised member of the company’s legal department or other interested business unit and is capable of taking on extended projects/assignments. Although the primary benefit of the program to the student is experiential rather than monetary, we request a weekly commitment of $500 to cover basic living expenses.

Part-time Summer Corporate Counsel Practicum

This program is designed for JD-MBA students who continue to take classes in the summer, including the Corporate Counsel Practicum taught by adjunct professor Pete Wentz, a former general counsel. As part of the practicum, students work in corporate legal departments one day per week for eight weeks beginning the third week of June. These students can assist with short-term projects either in the legal department or a business unit. The goal of this program is for students to gain a fuller understanding of the role of the corporate counsel within a company. Since the course is taken for credit, compensation is not permitted.

Also, a JD-MBA student might be able to combine these programs by working full-time for the first six weeks of the summer and then part-time (without compensation) once the Corporate Counsel Practicum begins. At that point, they can continue one day a week for the duration of the Practicum.

A list of participating companies, including a link to each participating company’s web site, is available on our web site.

If you have questions about the Summer Business Intern Program, please contact David Diamond, assistant dean for Career Strategy, or Pete Wentz, who teaches the Corporate Counsel Practicum.

  • Summer Business Internship: David Diamond, assistant dean for Career Strategy, 312.503.0661
  • Corporate Counsel Internship: Pete Wentz, Corporate Counsel Practicum, 312.440.8686