Internships: Details & Eligibility
The internship program is designed for Pepperdine Law students passionate about pursuing careers in Global Justice. Students are placed in internships around the world.
- Internships last 8-10 weeks, depending on the needs of the government or organization;
- Students typically leave one week after finals in mid-May and return mid-July;
- The average program cost averages between $4500-$5500, including flights, rent, food, and excursions. The GJP works to provide at least two-thirds of that amount through scholarships;
- Applications are typically open for the month of November and selections are made in early February;
- Students are eligible to earn academic units toward graduation during the internships in addition to receiving the stipend from the GJP. Units do cost money, but if you enroll in at least three units over the summer, you can qualify for loans.
- 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.
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?
The number for internships in each location varies. In total, the GJP sends about 20-25 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 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.
What happens once I'm accepted?
The GJP 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 students who have been to your country and can help you better understand what to expect. While in your country, you will be required to contribute periodic posts to our GJP blog about your experiences.
If the GJP 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 GJP 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 November. They can be completed entirely online through Google Classroom. The code to complete the application can be found on our website, in the Surf Report, and on the Facebook page once the applications open for that year. 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.
I'm a 2L (or an LL.M student) – can I still apply for the Global Justice Program?
While most GJP interns are 1Ls, numerous 2Ls and LL.M students have participated in this program in the past. GJP alumni regularly tell us that their time working abroad often comes up in interviews and sets them apart from other candidates. Host organizations may find 2Ls and LL.M students more useful due to the additional legal training already completed. If 2Ls 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 GJP. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 organizations might have later summer start dates, so it's important to talk with the GJP staff to ensure your internship dates don't overlap.