International Externships

JD and JD-LLM in International Human Rights (JD-LLM IHR) students may earn academic credit through international externships with designated international and hybrid criminal tribunals, foreign courts, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The approved institutions include:

  • International Criminal Court (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (Arusha, Tanzania)
  • Special Court for Sierra Leone (Freetown, Sierra Leone, and The Hague, Netherlands)
  • Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
  • Special Tribunal for Lebanon (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • War Crimes and Organized Crimes Chambers of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Supreme Court of Israel (Jerusalem, Israel)
  • Supreme Court of India (New Delhi, India)
  • International Court of Justice (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San Jose, Costa Rica)
  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Washington, D.C.)
  • African Court on Human and People’s Rights (Arusha, Tanzania)
  • International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (Hamburg, Germany)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Geneva, Switzerland)
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) (New York, NY)
  • High Commissioner on National Minorities, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • Open Society Justice Initiative (New York, NY)
  • American Bar Association CEELI – Europe and Eurasia Program (Washington, D.C.)
  • U.S. Department of State Legal Adviser’s Office (Washington, D.C.)
  • United Nations Global Compact (New York)
  • Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations (New York)

JD students may earn a total of 12 credits (four graded, eight non-graded) for a four to six month fall or spring term externship during the third, fourth, or fifth term of schooling. Externships also require submission of a three-draft, 40-page research paper, a bi-weekly reflective journal, and faculty supervision. (JD-LLM IHR students can earn such credit during their third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh term of schooling). Full tuition of the relevant term is required.

JD students may earn a total of four credits (two graded, two non-graded) for a minimum 10-week summer externship during either of their law school summers (JD-LLM IHR students may also do this during their third law school summer). Summer externships require submission of a two-draft, 25-page paper, a bi-weekly reflective journal, and faculty supervision. No additional tuition is required for a summer term externship.

No JD student who is earning or has earned credit in a practicum, senior research project, or study abroad program may enroll for credit for a fall or spring term international externship, and no JD student who is earning or has earned credit in a fall or spring term international externship may enroll for credit in a practicum, senior research project, or study abroad program. However, the joint degree JD/LLM IHR students may enroll for credit in a practicum or senior research project (but not study abroad program) provided, as required for the joint degree, that they also enroll in the International Externship and take 20 credit hours of designated courses in the field of international human rights on campus during their four years of study.

Students must be accepted by the relevant institution before being considered for an international externship for credit, which will entail an evaluation of the student’s overall academic performance to date (including grade point average) and whether, in the judgment of the school, the student is well positioned to take advantage of the international externship and perform well both at the institution and in drafting the research paper.

The international externship program is supervised by Professor David Scheffer, director of CIHR. Any application for an international externship should be submitted to him after the student has been accepted for an internship by a designated institution. The application should be an email communication to Professor Scheffer confirming acceptance for an internship and seeking permission to apply for academic credit.

Professor Scheffer will then contact the student requesting a law school transcript and a copy of the student’s application to the relevant institution. He will arrange a date for an interview with the student to determine eligibility for academic credit and to discuss the requisite research for the credit. The student may then seek the permission of another professor as his or her supervising professor if the student does not select Professor Scheffer, who normally supervises each externship.

If you are receiving grant or fellowship money for your internship/externship, it is extremely important that you determine whether the Law School prohibits earning academic credit because of the terms of the grant or fellowship award (i.e., the Law School does not grant academic credit for essentially paid positions at these or any other institutions). Your grant or fellowship may constitute a form of compensation and thus disqualify you for academic credit. You need to confirm precisely what your options are under the grant or fellowship before you should assume that you are eligible to apply for academic credit and thus an externship.

Obtaining financial aid to cover your expenses, such as through the Law School’s Office of Financial Aid, is an entirely different matter and in general should not disqualify you for academic credit. The registrar can address questions regarding the relationship between academic credit and grants, fellowships, and financial aid.

Inquiries about applications to the designated institutions should be directed to Natalie Bautista, associate director, LLM International, Center for Career Strategy. Detailed memorandum about the application and academic requirements for the International Internship and Externship Program.