You are here

International Law Internships and Externships

Summer Externships Abroad

The Summer Externships Abroad program is Pace Law School’s flagship experiential learning program for JD students interested in the practice of law in an international business context.  It is an 8-week program available to Pace Law School students during the summers after their first or second year in law school. Recent externship placements have specialized in areas such as international corporate law, cross-border transactional work, or international arbitration and dispute resolution.

The program begins with an intensive 2-week seminar hosted at the Manhattan office of a prestigious UK Magic Circle law firm. The subjects covered during the initial seminar prepare students for their subsequent 6-week externship placements in law firms around the world. Since the Summer Externships Program was created in 1994, Pace externs have worked with major law firms in countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia and Spain. Some placements require fluency in the host-country language while others do not. Placements are made by program faculty and staff, depending on students’ professional interests, language skills and choice of country.

Externships are scheduled during the months of June and July. Students receive six (6) academic credits upon completion of all program requirements, and are prohibited by ABA rules from receiving monetary compensation for their work. Student externs are responsible for their own travel, living and miscellaneous expenses. Financial aid is available for this summer program; interested students are asked to contact the Financial Aid Office for details, including government regulations on disbursement of funds.

Each extern is assigned at least one field supervisor within the firm, who provides the student with supervision and meaningful learning opportunities. An extern’s tasks might include legal research, the preparation of legal memoranda or documents, attendance at court or arbitral proceedings, meetings with clients and/or members of the profession, or other work that the supervisor considers significant.

Each extern must complete one significant piece of legal writing during the externship, based on the work assigned by the field supervisor. This work should not take the form of a separate research paper, but rather grow out of the work of the law firm during the externship. Externs are also required to complete a daily work journal. At the end of the program, the externship course grade is based on the field supervisor’s assessment of the extern’s performance and faculty assessment of the quality of the extern’s written submissions.

Further information on the Summer Externships Abroad program may be obtained from the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs.

Human Rights in Action (HRIA) Internships

The Pace Law School Human Rights in Action (HRIA) program places student interns in summer internships at international war crimes tribunals and at international human rights organizations. Since the program was founded in 2003, it has become Pace’s leading experiential program for students interested in public international law and international human rights. These internships are available to Pace Law School students during the summers after their first or second year in law school.

Pace Law School established the HRIA program to respond to the steady increase in students entering law school with a keen desire to make a difference in the world. These students wanted a curriculum enriched by courses in international human rights, environmental justice, asylum and refugee law, immigration law, international criminal law, and the prosecution of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. They also wanted the opportunity, while still in law school, to take their growing expertise into the field and actually work with persons or groups who might benefit from their assistance. Upon graduation, these students wanted to develop legal careers that would respond positively and effectively to these human rights needs. In effect, students wanted opportunities to pursue human rights in action; thus the Pace Human Rights in Action program was born.

Pace students have been placed at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SC-SL), the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN).

The selection process for HRIA interns is highly competitive and begins early in the fall semester preceding the internship placement. Students submit a preliminary application for initial review by the Pace HRIA Selection Committee. Following initial review, a selected group of applicants is invited to proceed to the next stage, consisting of a personal interview with the Committee. Students chosen as “Pace HRIA Nominees” then complete their full applications with Committee guidance before submitting them to their chosen tribunal. Final selection and appointment of interns is made by the tribunals themselves.

Internships are scheduled for approximately three (3) months during the summer. Students receive six (6) academic credits upon completion of all program requirements, and are prohibited by ABA rules from receiving monetary compensation for their work. Student interns are responsible for their own travel, living and miscellaneous expenses. Financial aid is available for this summer program; interested students are asked to contact the Financial Aid Office for details, including government regulations on disbursement of funds.

Upon arrival at the internship venue, each intern is assigned a field supervisor, who provides him or her with meaningful learning opportunities, which will vary depending on whether the placement is in the tribunal’s Registry, Chambers, Office of the Prosecution, Office of the Defense, or other department. Typical internship tasks may include legal research, the drafting of legal memoranda or documentation relating to trials, the summarizing of witness testimony, attendance at tribunal proceedings, meetings related to the business of the tribunal, and other significant work.

Each intern must complete one significant piece of legal writing during the internship, based on a research topic related to the work of the tribunal. Interns are also required to complete a daily work journal consistent with the rules of confidentiality of the relevant tribunal. At the end of the program, the internship course grade is based on the field supervisor’s assessment of the intern’s performance and faculty assessment of the quality of the intern’s written submissions.

Further information on the HRIA program may be obtained from the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs.

International Trade Externships

The International Trade Externships program places Pace students in externships with local law firms or corporate legal departments involved in international trade and international business transactions. Students may enroll in this externship program in the fall or spring semesters of their second or third years of law school. The externship program has two components: (i) a weekly 2-hour academic seminar taught on campus by a Pace Law School faculty member; and (ii) a 12-hour per week externship placement in a law firm or corporate legal department located in the New York City or Westchester regions.

Subjects covered in the weekly seminar include agency and distribution agreements under the common law and civil law systems; licensing and franchising; choice of business entity for foreign direct investment (under the laws of the United States, European Union and NAFTA); fundamentals of international taxation related to the selected business entity; NAFTA and the WTO; and legal aspects of political risk. Both the inbound and outbound perspectives are considered, to prepare students to represent both foreign entities in the US, and US entities that want to do business abroad. The weekly seminar may also include general discussion, subject to client confidentiality principles, of challenges that students have encountered in their externship placements.

Each extern is assigned a field supervisor, who provides him or her with meaningful learning opportunities, which will vary depending on the nature of the firm’s practice or the corporation’s business. Externs must complete one significant piece of legal writing during the externship, related to their work in the externship placement. Externs are also required to complete a daily work journal consistent with the rules of confidentiality of the relevant firm or corporation. Students receive a total of four (4) academic credits – three (3) clinical credits and one (1) academic credit - upon completion of all program requirements, and are prohibited by ABA rules from receiving monetary compensation for their work. Permission of the professor is required for enrollment in this program.

Further information on the International Trade Externship program may be obtained from the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs.