Best Law School Study Abroad Externships


Study abroad isn’t all about studying and traveling. Many schools offer programs that give students real-world experience through internships and externships. These may be in law firms, at nonprofit agencies or with courts. Be sure to check application deadline dates, as some externships require earlier applications.

Santa Clara University School of Law dominates the externship study-abroad landscape, with five programs making our list of the best. The school has structured its programs around real-world experience and law and business in the host countries.

For example, the school’s Law and Business in the European Union program includes four weeks of coursework in Vienna, Austria, focused on legal and political issues facing the EU. Following that, students may complete an externship in Vienna or nearby Budapest, Hungary.

Santa Clara Law’s study-abroad programs are followed by optional four- to six-week externships, and they might not be in the same cities where the academic courses were held. 


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For instance, one program in Geneva, Switzerland, is focused on public international law, refugee law and human rights law. Students see some of the international organizations headquartered in Geneva, but then the five-week program can be extended with an externship elsewhere in Europe – London, Paris or Ireland – or in Africa – Ghana or Johannesburg, South Africa.

If you fancy traveling Down Under, the school offers a Human Rights program in Sydney, Australia. It focuses on two issues of global importance: forced migration and international environmental law. Externship opportunities are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Fiji.

Two of the school’s programs in Asia offer externships across the continent. The Doing Business in China program is located in Shanghai, with optional externships in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei. The Doing Business in Southeast Asia and Human Rights program is based in Singapore and offers externships in Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and India.

Another study of Chinese law is offered by University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law. The curriculum features lectures and discussions coupled with field trips to legal institutions and tours of cultural and historical sites. Some participants do a three-week externship in Beijing. 

Seven programs in Europe make our list.

The International Trade and Business Program through Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law takes students to Cracow, Poland. There, they live, study and spend time alongside English-speaking law students from Polish universities. Students may work as externs with branches of American, European and Polish law firms, and the school has contacts with more than 20 offices.

If you’re interested in coastal Italy, check out University of Denver Sturm College of Law’s summer session in Sorrento, Italy. It’s a six-credit intensive study in international and comparative law, with a focus on Italian jurisprudence. Students can apply for an externship with a law firm in Naples.

Or spend the summer in the British Isles, where at least four schools offer programs. The University of Tulsa College of Law’s program in Dublin includes four weeks of half-day internships with government and nonprofit agencies, barristers and solicitors. The University of Missouri - KC School of Law program on Law of the European Union in Ireland and Wales offers two seats for externships in the Dublin Supreme Court and two seats with Chester, England, solicitors.

During eight weeks in the summer, students can be placed in legal internships through Syracuse University College of Law. They’ll gain international exposure to clients, partner with professionals for mentoring, and of course, participate in international law seminars and coursework.

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law offers the only program in the Americas to make our list. It has a two-week program in Panama with courses in maritime law, commercial arbitration, criminal law and immigration/human rights law. Externships at law firms in Panama City are available after the program.


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Best Study Abroad Programs

Best Study Abroad Excursions

Most Unusual Study Abroad Programs


Interested in sudying abroad? Explore law school study abroad programs from around the world here.