Law Internships Abroad

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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.


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.

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Intern abroad in Ireland. As a legal intern in Ireland you can focus on: * Business law * Family law * Probate & wills * Property law You will work alongside lawyers, legal clerks, and judges to learn more about Ireland's Common Law System. You will assist with research and writing, in addition to performing paralegal and clerical functions. Interns may also be invited to attend court ...


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Intern for a semester, summer, or anywhere in between in Cape Town, South Africa! There is a wide variety of internship placements available, so you will be able to find something that complements your professional and personal interests. You will be living in the beautiful city of Cape Town, and will get to experience the South African culture through both your internship and your own explor...


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Spend ten weeks interning and studying in one of the most important capital cities in the world through Boston University's Washington, DC Summer Internship Program. More than just the capital city of American politics, Washington, DC also plays an important role in the sciences, law, business, the arts, and media both nationally and internationally. Program participants enroll in one course an...


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Connect-123 offers a wide range of Law placements abroad. Interns all over the world can work in Spain, Ireland, and South Africa for a semester. Program includes accommodations, 24/7 emergency support, and cultural immersion activities.


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Madrid is Adelante's most developed International Internship Program with over 250 participating companies. Placements are available in nearly every field and sector including medical, business, psychology, marketing, international education, broadcasting, social work, sports, graphic design, tourism, and much more. To date, Adelante Abroad has placed 100 percent of its interns in sectors that ...


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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...


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Twice the size of Texas, 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. Thought to be the birthplace of mankind, this land historically attracted Europeans as a gateway to Africa. At the start of the 21st century, South Africa is leading the way in Af...


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Boost your resumé by working abroad through The Intern Group. The organization offers career development programs in several destinations around the world. Interns benefit from the cost-effective, innovative, and culturally sensitive internship placements.


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IES Internships, a unit of IES Abroad, offers hands-on, professional internships in some of the world's most exciting cities. You’ll be guaranteed a placement at a local business or organization. If you’re studying Law, will work with you to help find the closest match for your professional goals and interests.


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Are you ready to take your resumé and work experience to the next level? How about living in a beautiful, diverse city and country full of history? Then Global Experiences Internship Program in Dublin, Ireland is the program for you. They offer placements in a variety of fields ranging from marketing, graphic design, and event planning, to accounting and IT. Global Experiences gives you the...


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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...


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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.


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Calling all students and graduates: we know how difficult it can be to make your resume stand out to potential employers, and we know that competition is tougher than ever. That's why we’ve been working hard to make it easier for you to achieve your future career goals. Combine an incredible overseas traveling experience with a career-building opportunity in beautiful New Zealand. We have a...


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Hong Kong is known worldwide for being the place where the West and the East meet. This and the fact that a big part of the Asian economy relies on their financial market made Hong Kong a popular destination to do internships. Doing an internship in Hong Kong will boost your career and professional development and putting you in contact with a multi-cultural environment that offers both the w...


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Intern in your field of study with World Internships. Law students can participate in customized internships while enjoying cross-country travel. Participants return from the program with invaluable work experience and an extensive professional network.