International Externship Programs

Overview | Previous Placements | Application Process | Eligibility | Requirements | FAQs |

International Summer Externships Program Overview

USF’s international summer externships programs will help you develop an understanding of how to do business and pursue justice in today’s global society. USF offers international summer externships in Asia, Europe, and Latin America .

Externships in Asia

Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam is the world’s 13th-most-populous country, and, since 2000, Vietnam’s economic growth rate has been among the highest in the world. Vietnam is a study in contrasts: a society at the crossroads between a traditional past and a rapidly modernizing economy that faces incredible wealth disparities, a legal system dominated by single-party government but trying to adapt to free trade and globalization, and the combination of thousands of years of Asian heritage modified by recent incursions from Europe and the US. There is much to challenge students in Vietnam, and much to make them feel welcome: warm people, delicious food, and a beautiful countryside.

One of USF’s longest-running international programs, the law school has a decade-long history of sending students to Vietnam. The program will begin with an orientation at Hanoi Law University from English-speaking Vietnamese law professors and lawyers on the legal system in Vietnam, including trips to legal and cultural institutions such as Ba Dinh Square, Duong Lam Ancient Village, and the Hoa Lo Prison.

The next seven weeks will be spent working in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City in international commercial law firms representing Vietnamese and overseas investors in contract, regulatory, intellectual property, trade, securities, and real property issues. English is used regularly in the workplace in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which makes navigating the country and work environments easier to manage.

Past placements have included Baker & McKenzie (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), Duane Morris, Mayer Brown, YKVN Lawyers and LNT Partners

Beijing, China

USF’s externship program in Beijing, China offers an exciting opportunity to gain real-world legal experience at one of our premier law firm placements that are internationally recognized. The subject areas of the externship work may include managing anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy programs; regulatory enforcement; international, domestic, and cross-border corporate and securities transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing, private equity investments, and public offerings; management of intellectual property portfolios for multinational companies; intellectual property registration, prosecution, acquisition, maintenance, and licensing.

Obtaining experience in any of these subject areas at any of one of our placement firms will provide you with an opportunity to practice your lawyering skills, to learn about the Chinese legal system, and to make invaluable contacts at a prestigious law firm that will grow your network and serve you well when you search for your next job.

Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and has been the nation’s political, cultural, and educational center for the past eight centuries. It is also one of the most populated cities in the world with almost 22 million people. Many parts of Beijing are ancient and historical, but there has been a modernization of Beijing that has accelerated the pace and scale of change. China, which practices a socialist market economy, has become the world's fastest growing major economy. To live and work in Beijing, China will be a life-changing experience!

Past placements have included Sheppard Mullin, Unitalen, Reed Smith, Morgan Lewis, Bingham McCutchen, King & Wood Law Firm and Wan Hui Da.

Externships in Europe

PRAGUE AND BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC

Orientation for the Czech Republic program is held at Charles University, which was founded in 1348 and is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide. The law school is located on the bank of the Vltava (Moldau) River, a five-minute walk from Prague's spectacular Old Town Square. Virtually untouched by World War II, Prague is one of Europe's most beautiful cities and offers the visitor an inexhaustible variety of crooked streets, architectural surprises, tucked away pubs, and musical and theatrical events. In past summer programs, students have met with the Legislature, the High Court, the Czech Minister of Justice, the President of the Supreme Court, the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and the Rector of Charles University and have enjoyed visits to the Czech countryside.

Orientation at Charles University includes lectures given by English-speaking Czech law professors and lawyers on various aspects of the Czech legal system, European Union law and international business law. Students may spend the next five weeks with a U.S. based or local corporate law firm, at the Czech Republic's largest NGO, or within the judicial systems of the Czech Republic. Externing in the Czech Republic provides exposure to business legal practices both under European Union and international law.

Past placements include People in Need, Dentons, Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Legal, Havel-Holasek, PRK Partners, Advokátní kancelář Kříž a partneři, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Czech Constitutional Court. 

Europe Intellectual Property Program

The Europe-IP program begins with a one-week summer intensive seminar in Milan followed by an externship in Intellectual Property Law within a European law firm or business. The theme of the seminar is cross border intellectual property enforcement issues, addressing such topics as the following:

  • Anti-counterfeiting enforcement measures involving luxury goods
  • Piracy of entertainment products and services
  • Internet service provider secondary liability for file sharing, user-generated content, etc.
  • The tension between trademarks and geographical indications

The program will feature guest presenters from European law firms and businesses who will also host the externships in which students will participate after the seminar. To learn more about the Europe-IP program, review this brochure [link to brochure, which is a PDF or is using a PDF a no-no].

Past placements have included DFMG Solicitors (Dublin), DeGaulle Fleurance and Associes (Paris), Grau & Angulo (Barcelona), Swarovski (Liechtenstein), Cleveland Scott York (London), AKRAN (Rome), Armengaud Guerlain (Paris), Grünecker (Munich), Trevisan & Cuonzo Avvocati (Milano), Curell Suñol SLP (Barcelona), Casalonga Avocats (Paris), Boehmert & Boehmert (Berlin), and Noerr LLP (Alicante).

Externships in Latin America

Mexico City, Mexico

The Mexico City program is an excellent program that offers placement opportunities with human rights programs or law firms. The program begins with an orientation under the guidance of law faculty at the Universidad Panamericana located in the heart of the city.

Orientation is specially designed to include presentations aimed at first- and second-year U.S. law students. The lecturers are law professors or experienced business lawyers. The program includes: introduction to the Mexican legal system, introduction to human rights law in Mexico, human rights abuses connected to the criminal justice system, how a global law firm works, and aspects of Mexican business law practice and corporate law. Orientation also includes a number of important legal site visits such as the Supreme Court, both houses of Parliament, Cámara de Diputados, and lunch with elected officials.

Possible law firm placements include Ernst & Young, Jones Day, Greenberg Traurig and Holland & Knight. Possible human rights NGO placements include Centro PRODH, La Comisión National de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), a federal government human rights research and complaint-receiving agency, Comisión Mexicana por la Defensa y Promoción de Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH), Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (IMUMI), and Centro Nacional de Derechos Humanos (Cenadeh).  Externships at  NGO placements may require the ability to speak Spanish.

Previous Externship Placements by Program

Below is a list of externship placements where students have externed in the past. However, there is no guarantee placements will be available in any given year. 

  • People in Need, Dentons
  • Deloitte
  • Price Waterhouse Legal
  • Havel-Holasek, PRK Partners
  • Advokátní kancelář Kříž a partneři, 
  • The Supreme Administrative Court 
  • Czech Constitutional Court
     
  • Perkins Coie
  • Unitalen
  • Reed Smith
  • Jones Day
  • DFMG Solicitors (Dublin)
  • DeGaulle Fleurance and Associes (Paris)
  • Grau & Angulo (Barcelona)
  • Swarovski (Liechtenstein)
  • Cleveland Scott York (London)
  • AKRAN (Rome)
  • Armengaud Guerlain (Paris)
  • Grünecker (Munich)
  • Trevisan & Cuonzo Avvocati (Milano)
  • Curell Suñol SLP (Barcelona)
  • Casalonga Avocats (Paris)
  • Boehmert & Boehmert (Berlin)
  • Noerr LLP (Alicante)
  • Ernst & Young
  • Jones Day
  • Greenberg Traurig
  • CENADEH
  • Comision Nacional de los Derechos Humanos- Mexico (CDNH)
  • Comision Mexicana por la Defensa y Promocion de Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH)
  • Centro PRODH
  • ProDESC
  • MUMI
  • Baker & McKenzie (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Duane Morris
  • Mayer Brown
  • YKVN Lawyers 
  • LNT Partners

Application Process

  1. Complete the International Externship Program Application by January 25.
  2. Faculty Directors will review applications, conduct interviews, and make final approval decision in early February. Students will receive an email regarding their acceptance into the program.
  3. Faculty Directors will place students with their field placements, based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to ability for placements to hire externs, student resumes, student preferences and amount of students per program. 

Application Timeline

  • January 25: Application Due
  • Early February: Interviews
  • March: $750 non-refundable deposit due
  • May 1: Tuition due; last day to drop program and receive tuition refund

Acceptance and Registration Process

  1. Students will be notified of their application status and required to sign commitment forms in order to participate in the program.
  2. Students will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit.
  3. Faculty Directors will place students with their field placements. 
  4. Upon the Externship Office’s receipt of student commitment forms, the Registrar’s Office will register student for a 4-unit externship. 

Student Eligibility

Semesters Completed

Students must:

  1. Have completed 28 law credits,
  2. Be in good academic standing at the time they apply to the program, and 
  3. Be in good academic standing at the time they begin their externship. 

Academic Units and Required Fieldwork

Students will receive 4 externship units for participating in the program. Students are required to complete a total of 180 hours during their externship.

Non-classroom credit hours

  • Students must complete a total of 87 units. 
  • Students must complete at least 65 units in regularly-scheduled law school classroom courses (non-classroom courses include Directed Research, Moot Court, clinical and externship courses or programs, and certain co-curricular programs for which academic credit is awarded, such as advocacy competitions, ASP Program Tutor, Maritime Law Journal, and USF Law Review). To be sure you are on-track for graduation, please reach out to the Registrar.

Health Insurance

Students are required to have health insurance in order to participate in the program. 

Orientations and Class Sessions

  • Spring Training: Students are required to attend Spring Training. Students will participate in a program orientation to receive information about coursework, international research, safety, professionalism, and appropriate comportment abroad.
  • Pre-departure Meeting: Students are required to meet with the Faculty Director and fellow students in their select program in order to prepare for their arrival, orientation, and time at their externships. 
  • In-County Orientations: Students begin their international experience with a welcome dinner followed by a 3- to 5-day orientation at their host university. After orientation, students begin work at their individual externship placements. 

Program Requirements

  • USF Orientations: Students must attend a spring training and pre-departure meeting before departing to their international externship. 
  • Deposit: Students must submit a non-refundable deposit in March.
  • Forms and Comportment: Students must sign various forms (including an enrollment commitment form) to participate and be registered in the program. Students pledge to behave professionally and comport themselves according to the Mission of USF and the Fogcutter Student Handbook. 
  • In-County Orientation: Upon arrival in-country, students attend an orientation with their Faculty Director at the host university. Students then begin their externships, which last 5 to 7 weeks. Students should plan their airfare and accommodations to arrive in time to participate in the welcome dinner, as it is a mandatory requirement for externship participation. 
  • Externship Class Assignments: During their externship, students submit weekly timesheets and assignments as directed in the course syllabus. Students who fail to do so risk receiving a grade of Credit Unsatisfactory (CU) or No Credit (NC).  
  • After the Externship: Upon return, students must attend a wrap-up session and complete an exit survey to provide the Externship Programs Office with feedback about their experience.

Grading

Grading for the Civil/Criminal Law Externship Program is awarded on a Credit (CR)/ Credit-Unsatisfactory (CU)/ No Credit (NC) basis. Grading is based on class attendance and submission of assignments, including—but not limited to—timesheets, reflections, and supervisor evaluations.

Financial Aid

  • The priority deadline to submit the Summer ITE Form is April 1
  • A full tuition payment is due May 1. 
  • Please email lawfinaid@usfca.edu or call (415) 422-6210 for more information. 
  • Students who elect to drop the externship class after May 1 will not be able to receive a tuition refund.

Withdrawal/Drop Deadline

Students may drop the externship on or before May 1. If students do not submit a drop request by 11:59 PM on May 1, students will be liable for the externship tuition.  

Students may withdraw from the externship program after May 1, through the last day of the program’s classes. Students must submit their request to withdraw to lawsummerabroad@usfca.edu from a USF email account.  The student will be responsible for the externship tuition and a “W” will appear on the student’s transcript for this course.

FAQs

An externship is an internship where you receive course credit. During an externship, you will complete an academic component, including class assignments and class attendance, in addition to the work you do at your placement. Please note: students are required to pay tuition for 4 units if they participate in the summer international externship program. Please email lawfinaid@usfca.edu for more information. 

See Student Eligibility section earlier on this page.

Yes. Once you submit your application and if you are approved, you will discuss with the Faculty Director of the program to which you are applying (1) your area of interest and (2) a specific placement where you are interested in externing. Please note: Faculty Directors cannot guarantee that students will be able to extern at their preferred placement. 

See Application Process section earlier on this page.

The application deadline is January 25, 2021, and no late applications will be accepted.

See Acceptance and Registration Process section earlier on the page.

All international summer externship students will receive 4 units for their externship.

Yes. Students will be required to pay for 4 academic credit units. Please email lawfinaid@usfca.edu for more information.

No. Students are required to pay for airfare, housing, food, and other travel arrangements during the summer. Students should conduct their own research regarding travel expenses, and are welcome to contact the Externship Programs Office (externships@usfca.edu) for rough estimates from previous summers. Students will be able to draw financial aid for living expenses during the summer. Please email lawfinaid@usfca.edu for more information.

Due to foreign visa requirements, students are NOT compensated. 

Students find their own in-country housing. Students will be provided helpful information regarding housing options from previous students. Students will be connected with other accepted students to arrange joint housing if desired.

First deposit ($750) deadline: March. The specific date will be provided upon acceptance. Remaining tuition deadline is May 1. Tuition will not be refunded after this date.

See Orientations above.

Please email lawfinaid@usfca.edu for more information. 

Students with visas should consult with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) regarding any off-campus work authorizations. 

Telephone: (415) 422-2654

Students interested in the program should attend one of our two information sessions, typically held in late November and early January. 

You can see the information session handout and/or email lawsummerabroad@usfca.edu for more information. 

Come to the information session to speak with students who have participated previously. 

Please call the Externship Programs Office at (415) 422-4467 or email us at lawsummerabroad@usfca.edu or stop by the Externship Programs Office in room 339 of Kendrick Hall.

Review the ISOS FAQ.