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The concurrent degree and summer externships provide a unique education in international democracy and the rule of law. Students admitted to the concurrent JD/LL.M. program will spend their two summers in law school working for international development and reform organizations. The objective of the externships is to allow students to acquire international and overseas professional experience in democratic governance and rule of law and develop contacts that will help them pursue their career goals upon graduation.
The externship following the first year in law school will be in the United States. The second externship will be with a foreign government or an international organization overseas. The externships shall be for six credit hours and require a minimum of eight 35-hour work weeks. In exceptional circumstances, students may be allowed to have their externship completed in six weeks while working 40 hours a week. Tuition for the externships will be based on the LL.M. tuition rate. While scholarships are not available for the externships, the University financial aid office will facilitate loans for the summer session. Students are responsible for their own travel and living expenses during the eight-week externships. Some externship partners provide housing and/or a modest living stipend, but this varies with the organization and cannot be guaranteed.
The LLM program will provide placement opportunities, although students are welcome to make their own arrangements or suggest organizations in which they would like to extern, subject to the approval of the director of the LL.M. program. The global contacts and experience of the LL.M. faculty, staff and alumni will help with placement opportunities that would be difficult to duplicate at any other law school.
Most of the domestic LL.M. externships have been with NGOs in the Washington, DC area. The subject areas of the externships have included human rights abuses (including trafficking), corruption, judicial reforms, compliance programs and legislative drafting. Because of the large number of externship programs in Washington during the summer, there are a wide range of conferences, seminars and presentations of which students can take advantage. LL.M. domestic placements have been with the following organizations:
- United Nations Development Programme (New York, NY)
- The World Bank’s Integrity Vice-Presidency (Washington, DC)
- U.S. Congress, Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio (Washington, DC)
- The Urban Institute’s Center on International Development and Governance (Washington, DC)
- CARE USA (Atlanta, GA)
- Transparency International – USA (Washington, DC)
- Save the Children – USA (Westport, CT)
- Free the Slaves (Washington, DC)
- TRACE International (Annapolis, MD.)
- International Relief and Development (Washington, DC)
- Common Cause (Detroit, MI)
- Development Professionals, Inc. (Washington, DC)
- U.S. Department of Defense Human Trafficking Office (Washington, DC)
LL.M. students have worked in a variety of countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe and a range of organizations in performing their externships. Placements have included ministries of justice and finance, national courts, global NGOs and United States Agency for International Development projects. The externships have provided opportunities for significant, substantive work with both foreign and American lawyers in often-challenging circumstances, ensuring a professional experience that can serve as an introduction to a career in the field.
- A human rights assessment project for the government of Finland in Vientiane, Laos
- A USAID-funded judicial administration and management project in Tbilisi, Georgia
- A USAID-funded legal institution reform project in Baghdad, Iraq
- An American Bar Association legal profession training project in Monrovia, Liberia
- USAID-funded legislative and regulatory-review and justice-strengthening projects at the Ministry of Justice in Kigali, Rwanda
- A clerkship with the chief justice of the Rwanda Supreme Court
- A legal compliance project for CARE in Dar es Salam, Tanzania
- A USAID-funded business environment reform project in Pristina, Kosovo
- Anti-corruption programs with Transparency International in Nairobi, Kenya
- An international legal cooperation project at the Kosovo Ministry of Justice in Pristina
- An anti-corruption project at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Reform in Kampala, Uganda
- A budget-monitoring project at the Uganda Ministry of Finance
The director, assistant director or a faculty member of the LL.M. Program will visit the externship sites to supervise students during the summer. Additionally, students are required to submit (1) weekly reports, (2) a mid-term report and (3) a final report documenting their activities at the host organizations. The field supervisor of the student at the partner organization also will provide both a mid-term and final evaluation of the student’s work during the externship.