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Suffolk students Bridget Villarreal and Clara Campoy interning with the UN Special Representative on Violence Against Children Marta Santos Pais.

The International Legal Practice Semester-In-Practice provides select students in their final year of law school with hands-on international practice experience working full time for a semester for a public interest organization while earning academic credit.

Complementing the fieldwork component, students engage in academic coursework relevant to their internship throughout the semester. The program is designed to enhance students' learning in international and comparative law, practice, and procedure; policy and practice; advocacy; professionalism; and reflective practice.

Interested students should review the information packet and application carefully (available here), as it provides details on the program as well as potential placements, and contact cbustany@suffolk.edu to discuss further. The application deadline for doing the program in the fall 2017 semester is Feb. 10, 2017. Students apply online.

Program Details

  • Students extern full time in a 10-credit ungraded field placement (the equivalent of 35 hours per week at the externship), with oversight from a faculty supervisor, during one semester of their final year at the law school.
  • Students concurrently enroll in a two-credit graded internship seminar taught by Practitioner in Residence Christine Bustany. Among other things, enrolled students are required to submit weekly time logs and journals, speak with his/her faculty advisor for one hour at least every other week, and complete mid-semester and end-of-semester evaluations of the placement.
  • Participating students may not be employed or volunteer at any other job (including pro bono service) for more than 20 hours per week while participating in the Semester in Practice Program, nor may students be engaged in employment, which may conflict with the internship.
  • Students may not receive monetary compensation for work at their for-credit internship, in accordance with American Bar Association standard 305 for field placements. However, interns may be reimbursed for reasonable out of pocket expenses related to the internship (in the rare cases where students may be offered a modest stipend).

Potential Externships

Suffolk Law School has relationships with the following organizations, or students may identify their own placement organization based on a particular practice area or region. (All placements must be approved by Suffolk Law before a student applies):

  • United Nations Office of the Special Representative for the Secretary General on Violence
    against Children (New York)
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Appeals Chamber (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg, France)
  • International Chamber of Commerce, Dispute Resolution Department, Policy Department
    (Paris, France)
  • Legal Resources Centre (Cape Town or Grahamstown, South Africa)
  • Centre for Law and Policy Research (Bangalore, India)
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Other placement organizations identified by a student and approved by the Law School.

Students are encouraged to meet with Practioner in Residence Christine Bustany to discuss potential internship opportunities. A helpful resource for researching international externship organizations, in particular, in the area of international human rights may be found here: http://leitnercenter.org/internshipguide/.

To qualify under the program, externships must consist of legal work under the direct supervision of an attorney at the host organization, and the placement organization must be pre-approved by the Law School. Once students have been accepted into the Semester-in-Practice Program, students then apply to the organization.

Program Requirements

Eligible students must:

  • Be in or entering their final year of law school
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Complete prerequisite courses prior to start of externship. Required courses vary per externship
  • Complete a competitive application process

Participating students may not exceed the total number of fieldwork credit hours, i.e., 12 credits, allotted per the law school’s policy concerning clinical and other nonclassroom activities (see Academic Standards, Section G). Students need to confirm with the Registrar’s Office that they have enough ungraded credits available to participate in the program, taking into consideration past semesters in addition to academic plans for remaining semesters at Suffolk Law.

Once a student is selected for the International Legal Practice Semester in Practice Program, he/she will work with Practitioner in Residence Bustany to apply to the student’s placement organization of interest, and Bustany will assist with the process of securing the externship. Note that participation in the program is contingent upon the approval of the student by the relevant externship placement organization. In the instances where SULS has a relationship with the organization (such as in the case of the fall placement at the UN office), Suffolk Law will liaise with the placement organization. In other cases, students apply directly to the organization.

Apply Online