Frequently Asked Questions | Nootbaar Institute | School of Law | Pepperdine University

Frequently Asked Questions

Pepperdine Law Global Justice Program

These are some of the questions we hear most frequently. Logistical questions concerning international travel and living in-country will be addressed in detail after student placements are confirmed in the spring semester.

How many positions are available?

There are typically 15-20 positions available each summer, depending on requests from partner organizations.

What placements are available?

This may vary from year to year. Descriptions of available placements are updated each year and included as part of the application document. Download the document from our website to see the available placements for this year.

How long do placements run and when do they start?

We, and our host organizations, ask that students are available for 8-10 weeks over the summer. Start and end dates vary by placement; some start dates are firm, due to host organization needs. Some organizations may ask students to commit to a longer time period. Approximate start and end dates are made known to students if and when they are offered a position.

How are participants selected and what are you looking for in a candidate?

Eligible students must be enrolled in the Pepperdine University School of Law and in good academic standing. A committee reviews the applications and looks for students who have demonstrated a commitment to global justice work. Past international work/travel experience in developing nations, as well as relevant language skills, are beneficial, but not mandatory.

Do I need to know a foreign language?

Placements in Latin America typically require a background in Spanish. Other placements do not require foreign language skills, but it does help, as an example, to know some French if you want to work in Rwanda. Most office environments at our host organizations are primarily in English (outside of Latin America).

How do I apply?

For application information, please contact us at: global.justice@pepperdine.edu 

What do I have to do after I am accepted?

The Global Justice Program schedules several pre-departure orientation sessions in the spring semester. Accepted students are expected to attend. Students are expected to contribute regularly to the global justice blog during their time abroad. For most placements, students are also expected to take a proactive role in working out the details of their placement with the host organization, including arranging travel and preparing for assigned work tasks.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes. After the first round of selections, however, there is often movement off the waiting list. Spots open up due to scheduling conflicts, change of circumstances, or even host organizations requesting more students. If you are placed on the waitlist, we advise you to continuing pursing other opportunities, but know we may contact you with an opening.

How much does it cost?

This varies by placement and the cost of international airfare. Eight weeks at one placement typically costs between $4500 and $5500 (including international airfare). In the past, students have received stipends to help cover part or all of this cost. Stipends are available through the Nootbaar Institute, the Association of Public Interest Law (APIL), and a few other sources that we will notify students of once they are accepted into the program. Information on applying for these stipends will be disseminated to accepted students in the spring semester. Students are strongly encouraged to self-fund if they have access to such resources.

How do I get to my placement?

Students make their own arrangements for international travel. Some host organizations help coordinate airport pick up and ground transportation; some require students to arrive independently. This varies with each host organization and students are expected to take an active role in determining this information.

Where do I live during my placement?

Housing arrangements vary by placement and organization; some organizations work with students and provide lodging and meals as part of a program fee, and some students arrange their own housing. Housing arrangements vary from guest houses to rented apartments to homestays. Check the list of programs for the year to see what each placement offers.

Is it safe?

The Global Justice Program seeks partnerships with reputable organizations in relatively stable countries. University policy does not allow university-sponsored travel to countries on the State Department's Watch List. University staff monitors international conditions. When abroad, we strongly encourage students to take standard safety precautions, including obtaining any recommended medicines or vaccines prior to departure.

Can I do this and the summer London program?

Yes! Most organizations will end internships in mid-July or early August. Students typically leave for London in mid-August.

I'm a 2L and I've been told I should spend next summer at a law firm that I would want to work for after I graduate. Should I apply for the Global Justice Program?

2Ls have participated in this program before and successfully found employment for after graduation. Program alumni tell us that their time working abroad our frequently comes up in job interviews and sets them apart from other candidates. As a 2L, you'll have more specialized interests; we may be able to better tailor a placement to your interests, and host organizations may find you more useful. If you want to work abroad next summer, and you're a 2L, consider the program.