Public Interest Summer Internships Abroad
The Michigan Law International Summer Public Interest Internship program (ISPII) offers students the opportunity to do public interest work around the world during the summer following their 1L or 2L year. Through this program, students obtain valuable work experience, gain a better understanding of foreign and international legal practice, and derive the benefits of cultural immersion. They may also be able to improve their second language skills and develop important personal and professional global networks.
The list of placements in this program is not exhaustive and entities are added regularly. ISPII is possible thanks primarily to Michigan Law professors who have personal and professional relationships worldwide.
Because of the diversity of organizations participating in ISPII, it is not possible to have a common deadline for the entire program. Each opportunity will appear in Symplicity and can be found by searching the employer name “UMLS International Summer Public Interest Internship Program.” Posting of opportunities usually begins in December and some deadlines are as early as mid-January.
The Center for International and Comparative Law provides some financial support to students participating in ISPII placements. This funding is competitive and all placements may not receive support. Historically, selected students receive grants from the Law School of $4,000 to $6,000 for their work.
AIRE Centre (London)
The AIRE Centre litigates before the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union on all aspects of individual rights in Europe under international law.
Immigration and asylum law, social assistance issues, family law, trafficking, domestic violence, and children’s rights are particular areas of expertise. The Centre hosts interns from only a handful of selected U.S. and European law schools.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London)
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is an international financial institution that uses investment as a way to build market economies in developing countries. It is owned by 69 countries and two European Union institutions.
Gender Research and Advocacy Project (Windhoek, Namibia)
Part of the Legal Assistance Centre, which is a non-governmental organization promoting human rights for all Namibians, the Gender Research and Advocacy Project promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women through legal research, law reform, and advocacy.
International Law Commission (Geneva)
The International Law Commission is an elected body of the United Nations whose purpose is to develop and codify international law. Michigan students are matched with particular ILC Members to assist with the research and drafting of legislation that will be recommended to the UN General Assembly.
Land Environment and Development Project (Windhoek, Namibia)
Part of the Legal Assistance Centre, which is a non-governmental organization promoting human rights for all Namibians, the Land Environment & Development Project promotes the right and responsibility of all Namibians to own and access land lawfully, to sustainably utilize Namibia’s natural resources, and to live in a healthy environment while participating in its development.
Law Reform and Development Commission (Windhoek, Namibia)
The Law Reform and Development Commission is a statutory body tasked with making legal reform recommendations to the Namibian government. Its goal is to review, reform, and develop Namibia’s legal landscape.
Legal Aid of Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)
Legal Aid of Cambodia provides free legal services to Cambodia’s indigent population in both criminal and civil matters. As an independent, non-governmental organization, it also works on law reform, capacity-building, education, and the promotion of civil society.