Suffolk Law School offers two dynamic and complementary programs for students seeking international legal practice experience: The International and Comparative Law and Legal Practice Fellowship Program, and The Summer Global Internship Program in International Private Practice. The former program is for second year JD student applicants and primarily those seeking international public interest experience, whereas the latter program is open to all law students and offers experiences in international private practice.
Summer Global Internship
International Private Legal Practice
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). Indeed, a dozen Suffolk students interned this past summer at local and international firms—from Argentina to Belgium to New Zealand—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. The Application deadline is Feb. 3.
Note: There will be an Information Session about the Summer Global Internship Program, on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 12 pm in Room 295. For more information about the Summer Global Internship Program, please review the below items; students may also download this information packet.
Students intern full time in a private law firm for generally 5-9 weeks. Internship placements are located in over 90 countries. Certain placements require language ability and some are more competitive than others.
For further information and feedback concerning the internship placements, students are encouraged to submit a Preliminary Inquiry (see below), prior to applying. Also, students may make an appointment to meet with Practitioner in Residence for International and Comparative Law, C. Bustany (firstname.lastname@example.org). Additionally, students may reach out to SULS students who participated in the internship program in previous years (see listings).
EligibilityThis program is open to first-year JD, second-year JD, and LLM student applicants. 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 the Clinical Director, Professor Ragini Shah.
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 mid-May (May 15th, 16th, 18th) for a three-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:
(i) 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. 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.
(ii) 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.
Application and Deadlines
Application for Summer Global Internship (SGI) deadlines and timeline:
- Applications for early decision are to be submitted by November 15, 2013. (Early decision applicants are expected to be placed by January 31, 2014).
- Applications for regular decision are to be submitted by February 3, 2014. (Regular Decision applicants are expected to be placed by April 18, 2014).
- 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.
Students who have a specific practice area focus or desired region for an internship may submit a Preliminary Inquiry via e-mail to learn what internship placements may be available, prior to completing the application (and submitting the application fee). There is no fee associated with this preliminary inquiry. To complete the preliminary inquiry, students should send their resume, as well as provide the following information: (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.
Once a student has decided to apply for an internship, the student must fully complete the application (see below for requirements). An application fee of $250 is due upon submission. Application fee payments are made 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 190.
SGI Application questions may be directed to Practitioner in Residence Christine Bustany at email@example.com.
SGI Application Package Requirements
Each application package must contain the following materials:
- Payment of Application fee of $250 (see below for payment details and instructions).
- Completed SGI application form (.doc).
- Curriculum vitae (résumé). Students are advised to take advantage of SULS's Professional & Career Development Office to have their resumes review/critiques prior to applying.
- Statement of interest (motivation letter), 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 (student copy 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)
- Legal writing sample
- As PDF documents (each document titled appropriately--student name and name of document (example: "John Smith CV"))
- 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, Suite 190, and can be submitted at the time of payment of the $250 application fee.
SGI Program Fees:
- There is a US $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 190. 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.
- There is a US $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, 2014 for ALL summer 2013 internships, regardless of your internship start date.
Financial Considerations and Support
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.
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, 2014.
Students not receiving academic credit for the internship are not eligible to receive financial aid.
Students may also apply for the Santander Scholarship to support their summer internship. There is an early application deadline for Santander Scholarships on January 22, 2014; and a regular application deadline for Santander Scholarships on March 19, 2014.
Former SULS international interns
Last summer, Suffolk students interned in law firms all over the globe. Below is the contact information for the Suffolk law students who have very kindly offered to answer questions about their experiences. While the Summer Global Internship Program has slightly changed since last year in that the coursework is somewhat different, the various internships in private law firms themselves have not changed, so it might be helpful to reach out to them.
- Melanie Rene Klibanoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) – interned in Belgium;
- Janet Hong Vo (email@example.com) – interned in the Philippines;
- Alexander H Zamenhof (firstname.lastname@example.org) interned in Belgium;
- David L Forney (email@example.com) – interned in Colombia;
- Jacquelyn A. Vadnais (firstname.lastname@example.org) – interned in Spain and Peru;
- Colette S Heefner (email@example.com) – interned in Belgium;
- Ryan J Correia (firstname.lastname@example.org) – interned in Brazil;
- Samuel S. Plimpton (email@example.com) – interned in New Zealand;
- Jeffri J. Uber (firstname.lastname@example.org) - interned in South Africa; and
- Alvaro Aguirre (email@example.com) – interned in Argentina.
Photos from internships
Photos taken by some of the students in the International Internship Program.
Suffolk Law School JD international intern, Katherine Traylor in Valencia, Spain, stands by the table where Parliament convenes to discuss the enactment of new laws.
John Kelly of New York Law School at his internship in Nairobi, Kenya
A view of the Louvre, sent to Suffolk Law by international intern Matthew Zimnick, who completed his internship at an IGO in Paris, France.
Suffolk Law School JD student Erica Gould (front left), sits here with her colleagues during her summer 2010 legal internship at a prestigious law firm in Bogotá, Colombia.
Street scene in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island sent to us by Kerri Schantz, JD international intern from the University of Miami School of Law.
John Falconi of Chapman Law School, California with his colleagues at a law firm in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
Lantau Island - Photograph taken by International Intern, Kerri Schantz of University of Miami Law School.
Lisa Keefer, Suffolk Law Intern, helping her local village at her internship in Patna, India
International and Comparative Law & Legal Practice Fellowship Program
Suffolk Law is launching a new fellowship program primarily geared for students pursuing public-interest-oriented international internships. While Suffolk students have long pursued internships in the public international law field, the International and Comparative Law and Legal Practice Fellowship will provide students with a specialized training to prepare and supplement their internship experience.
About the Fellowship Program
The Fellowship Program offers second-year JD students the opportunity to:
(i) complete a specialized training program in international and comparative law and legal practice, (ii) undertake a summer internship working for an organization engaged in public or private international law, and
(iii) complete a culminating project growing out of that work experience.
The third component is optional. All Program internships and associated courses are for academic credit.
Accepted students receive a $500 fellowship stipend in connection with their internship living and travel expenses and are also strongly encouraged to apply to the Santander Scholarship for additional funding.
The Fellowship Application deadline is November 15, 2013.
Students intern at a diverse range of placement sites for which they have applied and been selected. There are three categories of internship placements associated with this fellowship:
(1) International public-interest oriented internships with a select number of multilateral, governmental and nongovernmental organizations around the world which Suffolk Law School has developed relationships with, including, for example, in Jamaica, India, Mexico, and South Africa (see Fellowship Application for specific listing of internship organizations);
(2) Internships which students have secured independently and which have been approved as meeting the program requirements; and
(3) Internships generally in overseas private law firms secured with the assistance of Suffolk’s partner the Center of International Legal Studies. Note: there is an application and placement fee associated with this option (totaling $650), as well as additional application requirements.
Because the emphasis of the fellowship is public-interest oriented, preference is given to students applying for internships in the public sector.
Fellowship Program Components
(1) Pre-Internship Training (Required): Fellows are required to enroll in a two-credit course in the spring semester, Legal Practice in International and Comparative Law. This course introduces students to both the law and practice of international and comparative law and prepares students for the various aspects of their summer fieldwork. (This course begins the first week of March 2014.) In addition, during the spring semester, students participate in seminars on substantive international law issues that are relevant to their internships.
(2) Internship (Required): Fellows commit to working as an intern full time for generally eight to twelve weeks during the summer for the host organization for three academic credits. (All Fellowship internships are for academic credit). In addition, during the internship, students are required to complete work journals and assignments designed for three purposes:
(i) to help students process what they are learning and experiencing;
(ii) to motivate students to examine first impressions more critically and thoughtfully; and
(iii) to ascertain whether there are any questions that students might want to explore more fully after they return in the fall.
(3) Post-Internship Culminating Project (Optional): Following their internship experience, fellows have the option to enroll in a two-credit seminar Advanced Topics in International and Comparative Law and Legal Practice, where each student will produce a culminating project, such as a Note, fact-finding report, public presentation, or legislative proposal related to their summer internship. As part of the seminar, students will be encouraged to incorporate a comparative framework into their project, fitting into one of the two tracks of: Global to Local, or Private to Public.
- Global to Local Track: Students engage an issue with global dimensions from different vantages—through a comparative frame that puts the global in conversation with the local in an applied manner. What are the global/local manifestations, dimensions and tensions of a particular issue or area of law; what is the interplay between the global and local?
- Private to Public Track: Students examine what are the public dimensions of a particular issue or practice area of private international law. What overlap, conflicts and/or synergies exist between private and public international law and legal practice?
This seminar may be used to satisfy the Law School’s legal writing requirement.
Only second year JD students are eligible to apply to the fellowship program.
Fellowship Applications are due by Nov. 15, 2013. Download the Application (pdf). The 2013-14 Fellowship Application includes a description of the fellowship program, potential internship placements, and application requirements and procedures.
Prior to applying for the fellowship, students are encouraged to meet with Christine Bustany, Practitioner in Residence for International and Comparative Law, to discuss your areas of interest and internship options.
Fellowship Financial Support
Accepted students receive a $500 stipend and are also encouraged to apply to the Santander Scholarship for additional funding. The early application deadline for Santander Scholarships is January 22, 2014; and the regular application deadline for Santander Scholarships is March 19, 2014. Students are encouraged to apply early.
See Fellowship Application for further information. Students may also apply for Financial Aid to support their summer activities beginning January 1, 2014.