Law Internships Abroad

Back to Programs

A Guide to Law Internships Abroad

Law is an exceptionally competitive, diverse field, one in which adding an internship abroad with a respected organization – a law firm, NGO, or human rights group – to your resume will set you apart from the competition. Practical experience is an important addition to regular coursework, and it can help you make sure you’ve chosen the right area of law to pursue, or get you started in a specialty that you hadn’t considered. Law internships abroad range from learning the techniques of monitoring and analyzing courtroom sessions to researching human rights violations to exploring exploitation in the labor market, all of which will be vital knowledge for your future career.

Locations

The Hague. The Hague, the seat of government for the Netherlands, though not the nation’s capital, is the center of the universe in the legal world. The city’s population is just over a half-million and it is the home to more than 100 organizations that deal with international law and politics, including the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the European Patent Office, and The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a United Nations court of law dealing with war crimes.

South Africa. South Africa has been a case study in extremes in almost all areas of law -- but especially human rights -- since its brutal apartheid system gave way to a largely peaceful democratic transformation and the writing of new constitution in 1994. Though in many ways a success story, it’s still a country struggling in the areas of human rights, land ownership reforms, conservation issues, and women’s issues. NGOs, humanitarian organizations, and some law firms offer law internships in South Africa specializing in human rights or other top societal issues, mostly in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

England. If you’re looking to intern in law and gain a historical view -- at least from an American, Canadian, Australian, or Western European point of view -- begin your search for internships in England. The roots of democratic law -- the separation and the powers between three branches of government, the concept of an elected national assembly representing the will of the people, and standard criminal and civil court procedures have roots that trace back to English law. London was the center of that progression, so it is one of the best places to intern abroad and explore the history and continuing evolution of legal procedures.

Law Internships Abroad

An international internship in law can help enhance your knowledge of the workings of the finer points of preparing legislation in countries with different styles of government. Your work will absolutely provide a vital service to the communities or individuals you work with, and almost as absolutely will enhance your own life and broaden your outlook and career path possibilities.

Most legal internships abroad are designed for law students specifically, often those in their second year or study. But there are also programs for recent law graduates seeking experience and the chance to get a foot in the door of their chosen field, professionals taking a career breather, or law students taking a gap year. There are also internship opportunities for people considering law as a career, or those with some law knowledge, good communication skills, and an interest in service, combined with the desire to observe, help, and learn from people with other customs and cultures.

An area with some of the most options – and most potentially rewarding experiences are International Law and Human Rights Internships. These generally involve doing research and assisting lawyers at firms or NGOs who are providing free or low cost legal services victims of abuse or exploitation or are working campaigns to raise awareness of human rights issues. Most require no special expertise, though some local language knowledge is helpful. 

Many universities set up law internships abroad during breaks, especially over the summer, and many have fellowships or scholarships connected with them that help offset or take care of  travel and housing costs. Internship placement offices at universities are usually good at matching student’s interest with the right destinations. University run internship programs are often closely monitored and supervised, and are unpaid, but offer academic credit.

Law internships abroad at private sector law firms, especially those affiliated with universities, often pay a token stipend, but the real compensation is academic credit for a semester’s work, the opportunity to network and make contacts, and the possibility become a full-time employee at the end of the internship. These legal internship programs usually involve about 20 hours of work a week, usually under a supervisor at the firm, and an academic advisor at school. The work varies according to each firm’s philosophy, but generally involves office work and research, and sometimes help in trial preparation.

Salary & Visas

Most legal internships abroad are unpaid, or close to it, and some commercial and nonprofit organizations require interns to pay a placement fee, which includes some food, housing, visas, and other support services. International law internships set up by universities in private firms, NGOs, and government facilities may provide a small stipend, or may also be funded by a scholarship or fellowship program. In the end, law internships abroad are about the experience, travel, networking, and resume building. You’re unlikely to come away with a monetary profit, the benefit is in the educational experience.

Some companies work with volunteer organizations in order to put together intern/volunteer packages that include meals, housing, visas, airport transfers and a staff member to introduce you to your workplace and supervisor. The cost, depending on the country and the organization, ranges from about $2,000 for one to two week periods to up to $7,000 for a summer or semester period, and generally does not include airfare. These law internships abroad are mainly in the human rights area, and have no salary or stipend.

GoAbroad Insider Tips

Law students seeking legal internships abroad must have a strong desire to learn and be ready to embrace living and working in a new culture and working environment. Adaptability and flexibility are important, because the practice of law, and the legislation and governments that regulate it, varies widely from country to country. Law interns must be able to think independently, yet working seamlessly as part of a team, which can be tricky to balance in a new place.

Completing an international law internship will give you an edge in the job market by demonstrating you can adjust to diverse points of view and working conditions and that you possess both self-sufficiency and self-motivation. Also, any foreign language skills you have acquired or improved on while interning abroad will enhance your value to potential employers.

On a personal level, working abroad in any capacity broadens your perspective, and could lead to new interests and career paths you hadn’t considered before.

Read More

A Guide To
Law Internships Abroad

READ ARTICLE

 Find Law Internships Abroad Now

Save

This listing has been saved 5 times

The Lex Fellowship: Pre-law Study Abroad

If you plan to attend law school, and you want to study abroad, our program is for you. Our Fellows are serious future attorneys. Prospective Fellows should expect to gain a deeper understanding of day-to-day life in the legal field by meeting with firms and attorneys throughout the host city. They should also expect to acquire a deep appreciation for the host culture. We stand stand at ...

Save

This listing has been saved 16 times

Executive China Internship Program with CIP

China Internship Placements' award-winning Executive Internship in China program places young graduates into multinational organizations to contribute in expanding corporations and real projects. Participants will join industry experts in carrying out organizational mandates. What sets this program apart is that all interns are trained to understand how to lead a corporate agenda into the Chine...

Save

This listing has been saved 100 times

VACorps Professional Internship Programs in Cape Town

Have you considered what type of internship in South Africa would best suit you? We are connected with an extensive list of companies and organizations in Cape Town. We will place you in a working environment where you will make a constructive contribution to your selected organization while gaining the useful internship experience you desire.

Save

This listing has been saved 2 times

Legal Aid Project in Tanzania

The purpose of this project is to teach widows and orphans of men who have died from AIDS/HIV about their legal rights. These international human rights include the right to work, to an adequate standard of living, to participate in cultural and political life, to education and freedom of religion. The Legal aid clinics coach and empower clients with the necessary knowledge of legal and c...

Save

This listing has been saved 169 times

Professional Internships in New Zealand

Internships bring experience. Experience brings marketability. International experience shows imagination and self-confidence. All this can be yours interning in amazing New Zealand! You can be practical AND have a great adventure at the same time. If you’re serious about your future, we have some seriously great opportunities for you. Most fields are possible, so check with us. In New Zeal...

Save

This listing has been saved 4 times

BUAbroad: Belgium Brussels Internship (Summer)

This summer program in Belgium is a combination of one required course and one internship course, each carrying four Boston University credits. The academic component tackles “The European Union in the 21st Century: Challenges and Prospects”, while the practical component depends on your area of specialization - international organizations, comparative law, or business/economics. The placeme...

Save

This listing has been saved 64 times

Fashion Industry Internships - London

Fashion Week Internships is the only specialist fashion industry internship provider, delivering dynamic fashion-forward internship experiences in the birthplace of fashion - London! Working with over 2,000 industry leading brands, retailers, designers, labels and PR/events companies, our programs give motivated students and graduates the opportunity to experience the fashion industry up clo...

Save

This listing has been saved 102 times

Intern in Barcelona (Spain)

Get a sneak peek at your future career in the heart of one of Western Europe’s cultural and business hubs. On Intern in Barcelona, you’ll gain relevant, career-oriented skills while living in a playful, lively city that rarely sleeps. We’ll tailor your internship to match your goals and interests, giving you real-world experience in your chosen field. There’s more to love about spending four to...

Save

This listing has been saved 90 times

Affordable Internships That Work For You! From Just 2 weeks!

Intern Abroad HQ is here to make internships work for you! The Sister company of IVHQ - the world's most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization. Whether you're a student looking to fulfill study requirements, taking a gap year, or looking for short-term career enhancement. We have over 60 career-focused internship opportunities Our internship fields include: - Animal Care - B...

Save

This listing has been saved 15 times

Projects Abroad in South Africa

South Africa's position at the southern tip of Africa has created a diversity of lifestyles and a diversity of environments, from the lofty Drakensberg Mountain range to the Cape Vineyards. South Africa is leading the way in African politics and is seen as an inspiration to other countries. With eleven national languages and a variety of religions, South Africa truly is the 'Rainbow Nation' ...

Save

This listing has been saved 37 times

Best Competitive China Internship Program with GAC

Thinking of interning in China? let us help you gain work experience, sharpen your skills and get credit transfer all in the China Internship Program. Get such an experience by joining Go Abroad China’s Internship in China Program; we partner with 500+ companies inside China to arrange paid internships for college/university students and graduates. Go Abroad China is an international compan...