International Law Internships, Externships and Study Abroad

Summer Externships Abroad

The Summer Externships Abroad program is Pace Law’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 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) Externships

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

Pace Law 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 Law Human Rights in Action program was born.

Pace Law 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 externs is highly competitive and begins early in the fall semester preceding the externship placement. Students submit a preliminary application for initial review by the Pace Law 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 Law HRIA Nominees” then complete their full applications with Committee guidance before submitting them to their chosen tribunal. Final selection and appointment of externs is made by the tribunals themselves.

Externships 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 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.

Upon arrival at the externship venue, each extern 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 externship 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 extern must complete one significant piece of legal writing during the externship, based on a research topic related to the work of the tribunal. Externs 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 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 HRIA program may be obtained from the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs.

International Trade Externships

The International Trade Externships program places Pace Law 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.

Study Abroad Programs

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has exchange relationships with some of the top law schools in Europe, Australia and South America. Under these agreements, Pace Law students may apply to study for a semester or even a full academic year at one of our partner schools. In many cases, classes at the host institutions are taught in English. Upon completion of the exchange semester or year, the credits earned may transfer back to Pace Law and count towards the JD degree. At the same time, our partner schools are sending their own students to take classes at Pace Law, thus increasing the diversity and richness of the classroom experience.

Students may choose from among the following institutions for their exchange semester or year:

University of Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide Law School is the second oldest law school in Australia. Located in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, the law school offers a wide variety of law courses for undergraduates, graduate students and qualified lawyers.

Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil
Since its founding in 2002, FGV Law has become one of the leading private law schools in Brazil. At its Rio de Janeiro campus, students are able to take courses in numerous areas of public and private law. The language of instruction in most courses is Portuguese, although an increasing number of FGV Law courses are taught in English.

Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain
Located in Madrid, Universidad Pontificia Comillas is a Jesuit university founded in the late 19th century. Its law and business school gives students the opportunity to choose semester-long classes in English or Spanish, or even to complete an LLM in International and European Business Law during a full academic year exchange.

Statement of Objectives

In accordance with Paragraph I.A.3 of the American Bar Association Criteria for Student Study at a Foreign Institution as amended March 2014, the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University issues the following statement of educational objectives that the law school seeks to achieve in allowing students to study abroad for credit towards the JD degree:

In order to compete in an increasingly globalized world, Pace Law students need opportunities to learn the laws of jurisdictions other than the United States. They also need opportunities to become familiar with other cultures and languages, and to understand how culture and language affect the practice of law, whether in a transnational environment or in a purely domestic practice. Finally, Pace Law students may wish to specialize in the law of a particular country or region, or to study a legal specialty that is not offered at the law school.

Given all of the foregoing objectives, the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University is committed to offering its students the opportunity for meaningful study abroad with a diverse range of partner schools around the world.

Eligibility for Exchange Programs

To be eligible for an exchange program, students must have completed their first year of law school and have a GPA of at least 2.8. It is strongly recommended that they complete the Pace Law required courses before going abroad, including Professional Responsibility, the Upper Class Writing Requirement and the Upper Class Skills Requirement. These requirements cannot generally be met with courses taken abroad.

All students considering an exchange program are expected to consult the Registrar’s Office beforehand to make sure that their proposed study abroad will allow them to fulfill all academic requirements for graduation.

Students interested in an exchange program start the process by submitting the Pace Law Study Abroad Application and supporting documents to the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs, Preston Hall 319. They should neither contact nor apply to the foreign institution until Pace Law has approved this internal application.

Approval and selection for study abroad will be dependent upon several criteria including an applicant's proposed plan of study and academic achievements.

How to Apply

The following documents must be submitted to the Office of International Affairs and Graduate Programs, Preston Hall 319. Application deadlines are February 15 for Fall Semester programs and September 15 for Spring Semester programs.

  • Application form
  • Resume
  • Law School Transcript (an unofficial copy is acceptable)
  • One letter of recommendation from a Pace Law faculty member
  • Evidence of proficiency in the language of instruction (if other than English)
  • Statement of Purpose or Study Plan. This document sets forth your interest in the program and explains how the proposed study abroad experience will complement your academic and professional objectives. It should be 3 to 5 double-spaced pages in length, and make reference to specific courses and defined objectives.
Transfer Credits

Pace Law JD students may earn a maximum of 30 credits for study abroad. The following rules apply in order to ensure correct transfer of academic credits earned abroad:

  • Before going abroad, applicants must submit a Course Description Approval form for approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Along with this form, the applicant must indicate all proposed course titles, descriptions and academic credits. When signed by the Associate Dean, this document will be filed by the Registrar’s Office for reference when the student returns from abroad.

    If you (i) do not obtain advance approval of your proposed courses, or (ii) obtain advance approval but then take courses different from those approved, you accept all risk that your study abroad credits might not be accepted by Pace Law.
  • Academic credits are calculated according to the ABA standard by (i) counting minutes spent in class for each course taken at the host institution and (ii) converting at the rate of 700 minutes = one credit.
  • To receive credit, students must earn a passing grade in each course taken abroad. Note that while credits may transfer, the grades themselves do not. Therefore, grades earned abroad do not appear on a student’s Pace Law transcripts, nor are they counted as part of a student’s GPA.
  • At the host institution, students must register for the equivalent of a full-time Pace Law course load, using the credit calculation above, in order to fulfill residency requirements.
  • Courses taken abroad must not duplicate coursework taken at Pace Law.
  • Under ABA rules, students may not receive credit for visits to legal and government institutions, except under limited circumstances. Nor may credit be granted for distance education courses or externship placements.

Financial Aid

Under the terms of our exchange agreements, students participating in an exchange program pay their full tuition to their home institution, and do not pay tuition to the host institution. Therefore, students must continue to pay their full tuition to Pace Law while on exchange.

All financial aid and scholarship awards will also apply for a study abroad exchange program as long as the applicable criteria for maintaining the financial aid or scholarship are met. Students may apply for financial aid to cover tuition as well as travel and living expenses for an approved semester abroad. For further information about financial aid, students should contact the Pace Law Financial Aid Office.

Travel and living expenses while on exchange are solely the student’s responsibility, and can vary considerably by destination, local economic conditions and currency exchange rates. Some examples of these expenses include airfare, ground transportation, passport and visa requirements, insurance, housing, meals, books, personal expenses and any medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Residency

In order to maintain residency requirements, students must enroll at the host institution for at least the equivalent of thirteen (13) credits. Host institutions generally do not operate on the same credit system as US law schools. As stated above, academic credits are calculated by (i) counting minutes spent in class for each course taken at the host institution and (ii) converting at the rate of 700 minutes = one credit.

Insurance

Students are required to maintain health insurance coverage for the duration of their overseas study and will be required to show proof of insurance prior to departure.

Students covered under the Pace University policy have coverage abroad. Should medical treatment abroad be necessary, students pay out-of-pocket for services, get an itemized bill in US currency, and submit a claim upon their return. Under the Pace University policy, students may also order up to a four month supply of their prescription medications prior to departure. This order must be placed at least two months in advance of their departure date. For further information, students may contact the Office of Student Services.

Students not covered by the Pace University health insurance policy are strongly advised to check with their insurer before departure, as not all US health insurance policies will cover students while they are abroad.

Students may also consider arranging for specific coverage from one of the many companies offering travel medical insurance. The following list of companies specialized in travel medical insurance for exchange students is compiled by NAFSA: Association of International Educators and is provided for information only. Pace University does not endorse any of these companies.

Wallach & Company, Inc.

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)

HTH Worldwide (formerly Hinchcliff International)

International Student Protection (ISP)

For more listings, see: US State DepartmentTravel Medical Insurance Providers

Travel Warnings or Advisories

Students are required to check the US State Department Alerts and Warnings Website and the US State Department Country Specific Information for any travel alerts or warnings that may exist for the country or region to which they intend to travel. They should familiarize themselves with any special circumstances that could impact their safety while participating in the study abroad program.

Please refer to the Alerts and Warnings Website well in advance of your departure and continue to check back regularly for updates until your return home.

It is also advisable to participate in the US State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program during your stay abroad. This new on-line program is a more convenient alternative to the former in-person consular registration system for US citizens living or studying abroad.

Disabilities

Please be aware that disability accommodations may be limited or unavailable outside the United States. Mobility International USA can assist students with information.

Passport and Visas

Plan ahead to be sure you have a valid passport for travel. At a minimum, your passport should be valid for the entire study abroad period plus six months. US citizens may find complete information on obtaining a passport from the US State Department Passport Website.

Students are responsible for determining whether they need a visa in addition to their passports, and if so, applying for a visa at the appropriate consulate of the host country.

Travel Waiver Form

Pace requires students to sign a Travel Waiver and Release Form prior to participating in a foreign exchange program.