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School of Law

EMEA LSI Internship at Google and Baker McKenzie

Our LLB graduate, Markha Mezhieva, shares her experience and tips about applying to the EMEA Legal Summer Institute Internship.

Interns sitting on a terrace at the roof of Google Offices

I came across this internship opportunity in my university email inbox. An IP law professor, Jonathan Griffiths, shared this interesting opportunity in a forum post. This was quite different from all other times I had applied to something, since the opportunity wasn’t listed on any job board and there wasn’t a formal application page and a form to fill out. Jonathan Griffiths suggested that anyone who is interested should send an email with their CV to a Google representative.

I researched the Legal Summer Institute programme but couldn’t find any information on the EMEA programme since it was only the second year that Google ran it in Europe. I found some application advice for the same programme in the USA. This guidance helped me understand what would they like to see in this very free-form application, so I ended up attaching a CV and cover letter to the email.

Markha Mezhieva in an elevator

As per the application advice I found for the USA programme, I focused on answering the ‘how will LSI help you achieve your legal career goals?’, ‘Why are you a good fit for the programme?’, as well as grade transcripts to show your academic track record.

I heard back within a couple of weeks, and funnily enough, I received two different emails from two different recruiters from Google. The first email was a typical rejection email but the second email was an invitation to book an interview slot for the first stage of interviews. Needless to say, I replied to the second email. This experience really illustrates how much luck is implicated in application processes.

The interview with the Google recruiter was a free-form 30-minute chit-chat interview. The interview focused on discovering what my values and motivations are in my pursuit of a legal career. The relaxed setting of the interview was very comforting and I felt that the interview went well. A week later I received an email with an invitation to book a slot for the second stage of interviews, now with the team at Baker McKenzie. The internship had two parts, one week at a partner law firm and one week with Google's in-house law department.


The Baker McKenzie interview had similar questions, focusing mainly on why you are pursuing a career in law and what you’re looking to take away from this programme. After the second interview, I received an email with an invitation to join the programme and confirm my availability.

In the first week of the internship, I was assigned to Baker McKenzie, where I met the other two interns from the UK out of the total LSI EMEA intake of 25. We were all assigned to different departments for the week, but we had several meetups and workshops together, starting with a day of introductions and tech training, where we were all given a company laptop, headset and access to the server as well as our own Baker McKenzie email, Skype and Windows account.

I was allocated to the dispute resolution team and had an assigned Trainee Buddy and a Senior Associate as a supervisor. My desk was in the same office as my Buddy, which plays an important role in the training process of the firm. The office layout is broken down into office pods with around four desks, and as a rule, each pod should have people of different experience levels, so a trainee can always look up and ask for help from an associate, but also so the trainee learns by ‘osmosis’ or by just being in proximity to an associate that’s more senior and seeing them work and overhearing their calls. The Senior associate is also able to easily delegate work to the trainee and brief them in on what needs to be done.

During my week's stay at the firm, I have been asked to help several associates and produce a Dramatis Personae and look over a witness statement and evidence to produce a chronology of events. My supervisor sent out an email to the whole department informing them that there is an intern looking for work and people reached out to me and asked me to conduct research. By researching people’s questions I was able to familiarise myself with several topics like waiver of privilege, confidentiality, insolvency and recovery of pro bono fees.

Overall my experience at Baker McKenzie was very insightful, and I found the people were very open and welcoming. The culture of the firm is very friendly and it was the type of office where people would spark up a conversation in the elevator.

Photo from inside of Google Offices

The Google week started with an introduction by the Google Legal team, and to be honest, going into this internship I had a very vague idea of the type of legal issues the in-house Google team deals with. Over the week of workshops and presentations I was introduced to roles I didn’t know existed. For example, a product counsel is a type of lawyer that works with the product development team from the conception of the product to its launch and is responsible for advising the team of developers on the legal implications of product features. The Google legal team also gave us an insight into the legal issues related to internet usage like new legislation about third-party cookies and handling user data.

The Google week finished with a workshop on self-promotion, called ‘I Am Remarkable’. The workshop stressed the importance of talking about your achievements, especially for women and minority groups that are underrepresented in competitive corporate environments.

This brings me to the final point; if I had to give some advice to students looking for an internship, keep an eye out on your university emails, job boards, and newsletters for random opportunities like the one I described. When writing a cover letter as a student, tell the recruiters how this work experience will improve your career journey. And lastly, talk about your achievements because they will not speak for themselves.



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