Each year, Suffolk Law School in cooperation with the Center for International Legal Studies (CILS), Salzburg, Austria, offers students internship placements at private law firms in more than 90 countries as part of its Summer Global Internship Program (SGI). Suffolk students have interned at local and international firms—from Argentina to Belgium to Hong Kong—often tackling the most cutting edge legal issues that lawyers are facing in transnational settings. For example, one student interning in Latin America carried out a comparative law review of various countries’ internet privacy laws and presented his findings to the client corporation—all the while gaining rich cross-cultural experiences through his daily work.
As part of the SGI program, students intern full time in a private law firm for 5-10 weeks. While the program has relationships with firms in over 90 countries, certain internship placements require language ability and some are more competitive than others. Students are encouraged to reach out to previous participants in the programs to hear about their experience.
This program is open to first-year JD, second-year JD, and LLM students. Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 2.67 to participate in the program. Students not meeting the GPA requirement may submit a petition to Clinical Director Ragini Shah at email@example.com.
Interested students are strongly encouraged to submit a "Preliminary Inquiry" to learn more about their potential placements, as well as to contact Practitioner in Residence for International & Comparative Law Christine Bustany. Applications are due Feb. 26, 2016. Note: Letters of recommendation in support of a student's application may be submitted separately if referees prefer, but should be submitted as soon as possible. The SGI application for summer 2016 can be downloaded here.
Students applying to studying abroad in Lund, Sweden, may also investigate combining it with an SGI internship placement.
Academic Component and Requirements
Internships may be taken for academic credit, or not for credit. Students taking the internship for credit do so for three credits, in addition to the two credits associated with the required course International Legal Practice.
Requirement for all SGI students (whether pursuing the internship for credit or not for credit): Prior to starting their internship, students gather in May for a two-day mini course: Introduction to Global Internships. This intensive seminar helps prepare students (who have not done any associated coursework) for their international internship.
Additional Requirements for SGI students completing the internship for academic credit:
- During the internship (Summer): International Internship Contemporaneous Academic Components. Students work as an intern full time during the summer for the host organization for three credits (pass/fail). All students engaged in the internship for academic credit must complete a work log and journal throughout their placement stay, and a 5-10 page reflective paper about their experience.
- Post-internship: Course in International Legal Practice (2 credits with letter grade). The credits for the internship count towards the JD degree only upon completion of this course. This course is only offered in the fall and must be taken following the internship.
Preliminary Inquiry (prior to applying)
For students interested in working in a private firm internationally through the SGI Program, it is recommended that you complete a preliminary inquiry to see whether the countries that you’d be interested in pursuing are a possibility for next summer. While the SGI program has placements in over 50 countries, each placement has its own constraints (visa, languages, etc.), so it is good to find out beforehand what may be a possibility for you. Our placement director will provide feedback to you based on the information you provide. Below are the instructions for the preliminary inquiry.
Preliminary Inquiry for SGI Program:
(i.) Student's Name
(ii.) Law School/Graduation Year
(iii) Current GPA
(iv.) Nationality/Permanent Residence,
(v.) Three placement locations (jurisdictions/countries/regions either by geography or by language),
(vi.) Students' foreign languages skills (relevant to the above locations), and
(vii.) Time-frame for internship.
Christian Campbell of Center for International Legal Studies (CILS) who is responsible for internship placements will provide feedback to the preliminary inquiry generally within three days.
How to Apply
The complete SGI Application for summer 2016 can be downloaded here. Note: Letters of recommendation may be submitted separately if the referee prefers, but should be submitted as soon as possible.
Application for Summer Global Internship deadlines and timeline for Summer 2016:
Applications for early decision are to be submitted by November 17, 2015. (Early decision applicants are expected to be placed by January 30, 2016).
Applications for regular decision are to be submitted by February 10, 2016. (Regular Decision applicants who submit their application by Feb. 10 are expected to be placed by April 20, 2016).
Students should submit their applications as soon as possible so as to secure a timely placement. Students will be notified within 10 days of receiving the completed application (including application fee) if she/he has been admitted into the program. Admitted applicants will be notified by CILS and Suffolk Law School of an offer of placement within two months of the date of the receipt of the completed application package.
Each application package must contain the following materials:
- Payment of Application fee of $250 (see below for payment details and instructions).
- Completed two page SGI application form (here). The second page of the form must be signed and submitted to Joan Luke, Program Manager of Clinical Programs, Suite 150.
- Curriculum vitae (résumé). Students are advised to take advantage of SULS's Professional & Career Development Office to have their resumes review/critiqued prior to applying.
- Cover letter (statement of interest), in English and in any language in which the applicant claims proficiency (describe why you are seeking an internship and what you will bring to such an internship).
- Law School Transcript (unofficial transcript suffices).
- Letter of recommendation from a law professor or law-related work (e.g., paralegal, domestic internship) (letter may be addressed to Practitioner in Residence Christine Bustany). Note: Letters of recommendation may be submitted separately if the referee prefers.
- Legal writing sample.
Procedure for submitting applications:
Submit complete application package via e-mail to both Vivian Rosado (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Christine Bustany (email@example.com) in the following form:
- As PDF documents (each document titled appropriately--student name and name of document (example: "John Smith resume")) and
- In a single zip file
Incomplete applications will not be accepted—all required materials must be submitted simultaneously in a zip file as outlined above.
Apart from the above listed items, the second page of the SGI Application Form must be signed and submitted to Joan Luke, Program Manager, Clinical Programs, and can be submitted at the time of payment of the $250 application fee.
- $250 non-refundable Application Fee, which is due upon submission of the Application. This fee is payable by check and made payable to Suffolk University Law School. Please note in the memo portion of the check (i) the applicant's name and (ii) “SGI application fee.” Submit checks to Joan Luke, Program Manager, Clinical Programs Suite on the first floor. Note: If CILS fails to place an applicant in one of the three jurisdictions for which the student applied, the application fee will be refunded, but not if a student withdraws for any other reason.
- $400 Placement Fee due upon Acceptance of the Offer of an Internship from the Center for International Legal Studies (CILS), whether the Internship is for credit or not. The deposit is required 14 days following an offer and is Non-Refundable once the internship has been accepted. (Payments are made at the Suffolk University Student Accounts website. Click on “Admission and Housing Deposit Only,” under new student only section. Payment Type selected is “International LLM and Internship Fee.”)
- Students pursuing the internship for academic credit pay tuition in accordance with Suffolk Law School’s tuition rates. Tuition is due May 1, 2015 for ALL summer 2015 internships, regardless of your internship start date. Students pursuing the SGI Program for academic credit will receive a $500 Santander Scholarship (with possibility of further funding amounting to no more than $3500) to help pay for their tuition costs.
Expenses, Financial Aid and Scholarships
Students must carefully calculate their finances before applying and also before accepting a placement. Participants are responsible for travel costs to and from the internship and all other incidental expenses connected with their travel and living abroad.
A student cannot simultaneously get academic credit and compensation for an internship and SGI internships are not salaried positions. Interns may, however, be reimbursed for incidental out of pocket expenses and occasionally hosts offer a small stipend.
Housing is the applicant's responsibility. However, Suffolk Law and CILS will assist by providing contacts or by relying on the placement law firm for assistance. Usually the hosts are very helpful. The Internet is an important research tool. The earlier an applicant commits to a placement, the easier it is to arrange accommodation. Students are also encouraged to speak with SULS students who participated in the program the previous years to assist with such questions.
Tuition for the summer internship is at a per-credit cost in accordance with Suffolk Law School’s summer tuition rates. Students pursuing their SGI internship for academic credit will receive a $500 Santander Scholarship (with possibility of further funding from the Santander Scholarship amounting to no more than $3500) to partially support the tuition costs of their summer internship. Any outstanding tuition costs associated with the program are the responsibility of the student. Tuition is due May 1, 2016.
Note: Often pursuing academic credit in the summer may have particular financial benefits for some JD students (specifically, significant reductions in tuition costs by becoming a "part-time" student in their final semester of law school) if students plan ahead. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the Financial Aid Office and the Office of Academic Services (Dean Cove) to see if the potential financial benefits (i.e., reduced tuition costs) may be applicable to their circumstances and to learn further details.
U.S. citizens and permanent residents participating in an internship and enrolled at least half-time (receiving a minimum of 3 credits) may be eligible to receive Federal Loan funding. Visit the financial aid office for eligibility and application information. The Financial Aid application is available beginning January 1, 2016.
Students not receiving academic credit for the internship are not eligible to receive financial aid.
Students pursuing their SGI internship for academic credit will receive a $500 Santander Scholarship with possibility of further funding from the Santander Scholarship amounting to no more than $3500 to partially support the tuition costs of their summer internship.