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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Summer Internships

The SGJI internship program is the only one of its kind. This is a service-focused internship, supporting our partners in their work to deliver justice, while also providing our students with a unique and robust international legal experience that sets them apart for future job opportunities.


 

Find the application here in November 2020. 

 


The Details

  • Internships are 9 weeks;
  • Students typically leave two weeks after finals in late-May and return late-July;
  • The program cost averages between $4500-$5500, including flights, rent, food, and excursions. The SGJI works to provide at least two-thirds of that amount through scholarships;
  • Applications are typically open for the month of November and interviews and selections are made in January and February;
  • Students are eligible to earn academic units toward graduation during the internships in addition to receiving the stipend from the SGJI. Units do cost money, but if you enroll in at least three units over the summer, you can qualify for loans.

 


Eligibility

  • Completed one-year of legal education at Pepperdine;
  • Passionate about Global Justice & Human Rights;
  • Able and willing to travel to the developing world;
  • International travel experience preferred, but not required.

 


Internship Positions

Kampala, Uganda

Judiciary Placements

  • Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution
  • Supreme Court
  • Court of Appeals
  • Various Divisions of the High Court
  • We generally place 8-12 students with the Ugandan Judiciary


Willow International

  • Willow is an anti-trafficking NGO based in Kampala, Uganda
  • They have the capacity to take on 1-2 students for various legal projects


Kigali, Rwanda

Judiciary Placements

  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
  • Court of Appeals
  • These placements take one student each for the summer internship
  • Students in Rwanda fly to Uganda for the weeklong prison project


Accra, Ghana

Placements

  • Supreme Court
  • Legal Aid
  • This partnership is new and as such placements are subject to change from year to year


International Justice Mission

  • 15-18 Field offices around the world (1-4 positions)
  • Students must apply separately to IJM's program, in addition to applying to the SGJI to ensure they obtain stipend money


Paz y Esperanza

  • Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador field offices
  • Fluent Spanish Required


Other

We are always looking to expand into opportunities we believe our students would be interested in. If there is a country or organization that's not on our list, but meets our criteria for a Global Justice Legal Internship, then we would love to make new connections and discuss the potential for partnership.

 


The Prison Project

Students have two opportunities to participate in the prison project. First, those students that are selected for internships in Uganda or Rwanda will break from their work for one week to participate in the June project. Hotels, transportation, and meals are all covered by the program during this week. Second, 2L and 3L students have the opportunity to join over spring break for the 10-day prison project trip. See the spring break page for more information. 

 


FAQ

  Can I do both the internship and Pepperdine's London Program?

Absolutely. Many students have done both, as our London Program begins in mid-August.

  How many positions are available?

Internship opportunities can vary from year to year. In total, the SGJI sends between 15-25 students abroad each summer.

  Is there a waitlist?

While we always have more applications than positions available, typically almost all students on the waitlist get placed into an internship.

  Do I need to know a foreign language?

Usually not. Most opportunities do not require foreign language proficiency. For interns placed in Rwanda, French language skills are helpful, but not required. A few of our partner organizations in South America do require fluent Spanish.

  My family is worried that I won't be safe, what can I tell them?

While we can never guarantee the safety of our students (even in Malibu), we work closely with Pepperdine's risk management team to maximize safety and security for our students. Pepperdine partners with a company called International SOS and all students traveling abroad are required to submit their travel information and locations to the company. This ensures that if anything does arise in the area where our students are, we have their assistance to take immediate action.

  What happens once I'm accepted?

The SGJI will schedule several pre-departure orientation sessions in the spring semester. Students are expected to attend all of these sessions. These sessions will include opportunities to connect with alumni of the program and can help you better understand what to expect.

  If the SGJI assists with about two-thirds of the cost, how can I cover the remaining amount?

If you have the financial capacity to pay for the remainder, you are set. For most students, the remaining amount is not insubstantial. The SGJI can provide fundraising letters for you to send out to friends and family. Many students have created GoFundMe sites and solicited family and/or faith communities to help cover the costs. We have never had a student unable to participate because of lack of funding.

  What is the application process?

Applications are typically available during the month of October or November. Every applicant has the opportunity to interview with the Director and Manager in January. First-round decisions are made in early February and those on the waitlist are notified as spaces become available.

  Should I apply for other opportunities?

We cannot guarantee you a spot in our summer internship program, so it's always wise to have back up plans. We want you to choose the best option for you this summer. So we will not push you to accept our program prior to hearing from other opportunities you are also interested in. But if you are offered a spot with SGJI, we are confident you won't regret it!

  I'm a 2L (or an LL.M student) – can I still apply for the internship program?

While most SGJI interns are rising 2Ls, numerous rising 3Ls and LL.M students have participated in this program in the past. SGJI alumni regularly tell us that their time working abroad always comes up in interviews and sets them apart from other candidates. Host organizations may find rising 3Ls and LL.M students more useful due to the additional legal training already completed. If rising 3Ls and LL.M students have more specialized interests, we may be able to better tailor a placement to fit those interests.

  I am a law student at another university, can I participate in this program?

We have a substantial number of students who enroll at Pepperdine because of the SGJI. Consequently, Pepperdine students are given first priority during the application process. We will, however, include law students from other institutions on our teams if space is available. If you are highly interested in this program, email global.justice@pepperdine.edu for the application and any additional details you might seek.

  I want to do OCI (on-campus interviews) in August, will I be back in time?

You will most likely be back in plenty of time, but you will want to make sure that the position you are taking allows you to begin and end early enough. Some placements with other nonprofit organizations might have later summer start dates, so it's important to talk with the SGJI staff to ensure your internship dates don't overlap if it's important to you to be back for OCI's.