Hell everyone! I'm a first year law student in the U.S. and, as is the case with most law students, I plan on getting an internship over the summer. However, I'm interested in fields of law that my school's counseling center has minimal experience with: video games. I would love the chance to work for a company like Valve, or an organization like MLG, or even with the groups that arrange conventions like QuakeCon or even just a tech company like Microsoft.
The problem is, with the exception of the last thing I listed (Microsoft), I'm really not sure to what extent these various organizations have their own internal legal counsel, and to what extent they hire interns if they do. I also am not entirely sure how I would go about applying for such a thing.
Basically, if any of you know anything about how to find out more, or know of particular companies/organizations that regularly hire legal interns, I would really appreciate it. Also, I'm not necessarily looking for a straight up legal internship, even positions that are J.D. preferred, or simply where a legal degree would be of use, are of interest to me. Thank you!
Bethesda seem to be suing everyone lately, maybe they need some fresh young talent who knows the industry.
To repeat something extra credits once said, playing video games is not a compelling reason to want to work in video games.
If you do want to work in that area, it seems from a cursory examination of recruitment pages that you probably need a slightly above-basic knowledge of how software works, at least knowing a programming language seems to be essential, so if you don't know that already maybe look for ways to learn (you might be able to combine your degree with some computer science courses, or even go joint honours - you're early enough in that you should be able to do that fairly easily).
Bear in mind, this is an incredibly hard time to find graduate jobs, so to some extent you need to work on the princple that any experience is good experience. I know Microsoft do have a formal internship programme and that may include their legal department, but it's very, very competitive and is extremely unlikely to end up landing you a job at Microsoft, you're probably looking at doing it just to pad your CV.
The other thing to bear in mind is that corporate tax or IP law or whatever these companies might need you for is extremely competative (because it tends to be extremely well paid). You need to enormously good, so the most important thing is that you work on that, even then it won't guarantee you a job but it's essential. I also imagine most smaller companies are going to be working through consulting firms and specialized solicitors rather than hiring a permanent in-house legal team, so dig into that.
For now, write to these companies and ask for internships (cold applications are acceptable, just write a CV and a covering letter and send them off) but make sure you have a backup plan even if it's doing something you don't really like the sound of.
A general specialization in the technology sector is not going to hurt you though. Not at all, just bear in mind you might need to do a lot of your own reading.