International Semester in Practice Program

The International 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.
Interested students should contact Externship Director Mary Sawicki for program details and requirements.

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 in law school.
  • Students are required to participate in a two-credit remote externship class. Enrolled students are required to submit weekly time logs and journals, be in regular contact with their faculty supervisor, and complete mid-semester and end-of-semester evaluations of the placement. Please contact Professor Sawicki for additional requirements of participating in an international semester in practice.
  • 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 externship.


Suffolk Law School has relationships with organizations and students may identify their own placement organization based on a particular practice area or region. Interested students should consult with externship professor Mary Sawicki to discuss potential externship opportunities. (All placements must be approved by Suffolk Law before a student applies):

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

Eligible students must:

  • Be in or entering their final year of law school
  • Minimum GPA of 3.2
  • Complete any prerequisite courses that the placement organization requires.
  • 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 Semester in Practice Program, a student will work with Professor Mary Sawicki to apply to the student’s placement organization of interest, and Professor Sawicki 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, Suffolk Law will liaise with the placement organization. In other cases, students apply directly to the organization. Please contact Professor Mary Sawicki with questions.

How to Apply

Students interested in the Semester in Practice Program must first apply to Suffolk Law to participate. Once students have been accepted into the Semester in Practice Program, then they apply to the organizations of interest.

The application package must include

  • Current resume
    • A resume detailing your professional and educational experience, if possible particularly in the area of the proposed externship, including previous internships/externships, travel, education, employment, extracurricular activities, honors, languages, etc.
    • Students are advised to take advantage of SULS’s Career Development Office to have their resumes reviewed/critiqued prior to applying.
  • Official or unofficial transcript (Registrar generated, not a self-produced grade sheet).
  • Two references (professors and/or professional supervisors). Provide their names, associated title, nature of relationship and full contact information.
  • Statement of interest The Statement of Interest is a short essay or cover letter explaining why you are applying for the program; the type of externship opportunity sought; and what you will bring to such an externship. Please do not simply repeat your resume/CV. More specifically, in the Statement of Interest, you should include:
    • The type of externship opportunity sought (if known, the particular organization(s) for which you would like to apply);
    • How the opportunity relates to your career goals;
    • The specific educational objectives you hope to achieve through the program;
    • Significant relevant academic and professional accomplishments;
    • Experience that may be relevant to the field or work of an externship organization, including, for example, study or work abroad or work in the United States involving international issues;
    • Undergraduate or graduate courses of study in areas involving international issues and/or area of law involving the externship; and
    • Foreign language abilities (please indicate, as precisely as you can, your level of competence).

Submit the required documents via email to Professor Mary Sawicki.

Applications are evaluated based on the qualifications of the student to complete the externship program, the quality of the opportunity, how well the opportunity supports the student’s career and academic plans; the student's demonstrated interest in international and comparative law, the student's overall academic and professional record, and any other factors deemed relevant.

Students will be notified of the decision made on their applications as soon as practicable.