Since 2015, Michigan Law offers students the opportunity to participate in a semester-long externship in India during the winter term each year with leading nongovernmental (NGO) and governmental institutions. Second- and third- year law students will work side by side with top-notch Indian lawyers on pressing legal matters and policy issues.
Externs participate in a contemporaneous seminar intended to provide them substantive context for their externships.
The India Externship Program is managed by Amy Sankaran, director of externships and pro bono programs.
Information for Students
Each student who plans to pursue an externship in India must submit a complete India Externship Application Package by Friday, April 1, 2022. A complete package consists of both an online form and documents sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as email attachments.
Documents sent to email@example.com must include:
- Essay of Interest (there are no requirements as to length of your Essay, though most are around 3 to 5 pages, double-spaced)
- Preferred Placement Cover Letter (A cover letter must be provided for your top choice placement identified by the student. The letter should state the specific reasons why the student is interested in working at that particular site. It can simply be addressed to “To Whom It May Concern.”)
- If you are doing a last semester externship, a Registrar Checklist.
The application will be live soon.
Are You Eligible?
The externship program is open to second- or third-year law students who are in good academic standing at the Law School.
Students are not permitted to participate in an externship with more than one incomplete grade on their transcript at the time of their departure.
You must submit a complete application by Friday, April 1, 2022. It is your responsibility to make sure that all parts of the externship application package have been received by the deadline.
After you apply, Professor Sankaran will schedule a meeting within a couple of weeks to further explore your application, your interest in the Program, and your desired placements.
You may submit an application without being fully committed to the India Program. However, once we agree on a placement and send student materials, you must be fully committed to completing an externship in India if accepted by the organization.
You may earn a maximum of 12 to 13 credits for an approved externship program in a regular academic term. Students who propose a final semester externship must also include in their application packet a completed Registrar Checklist showing that at the end of the externship all requirements for their degree will have been met.
You are expected to be at the placement site during the agency's regular working hours, receiving 11 credits for their fieldwork, which are pass/fail. Externs also participate in a one-credit seminar as a companion to their externship, which is graded.
This seminar is intended to supplement your field work by providing an environment for you to share your work experiences and reflect on the varying approaches to international problem-solving of the agency where you are placed.
The faculty member will document his or her impressions in a written report and submit it to the Center for International and Comparative Law for inclusion in your externship file.
Tuition and Living Expenses
Externs pay their regular tuition, and their regular aid package (loans and scholarships) applies.
Evaluation Requirements During Your Externship
Supervising Attorney Evaluations
Your supervising attorney at the host organization must submit two formal written evaluations for inclusion in your externship file; one at the midterm point in the externship and again at the conclusion. These evaluations should detail the work the extern has done and the supervisor's evaluation of your performance during the time period covered. The evaluations should be submitted via the Submit button on the form.
It is your responsibility to ensure these evaluations are submitted.
Overseas Travel Waiver
As a condition of enrolling for overseas externship credit, you must complete an Overseas Travel Waiver. This requirement applies whether or not the U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert or travel warning for the country to which you plan to travel.
See the Overseas Travel Requirements for more complete information.
Past India Placement Sites
Alternative Law Forum
The Alternative Law Forum (ALF) is a collective of lawyers in Bengaluru, India. ALF integrates alternative lawyering with critical research, alternative dispute resolution, pedagogic interventions, and more generally maintaining sustained legal interventions in various social issues.
ALF engages with cutting-edge issues in intellectual property, gender and sexuality law, media and culture, labor, environment, land rights, and the constitution in general. Second and third year law students will work alongside top-notch Indian lawyers on pressing legal matters and policy issues.
Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access
Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), located in Bengaluru, India, identifies underprivileged students and provides them resources to fulfill their mission of producing "leading lawyers and community advocates who are creative, holistic, altruistic and maverick problem solvers."
Law students are involved in all the day-to-day work of these passionate attorneys, including drafting and reviewing contracts, creating organizational policies, and ensuring compliance with local labor laws.
As a newer organization, they have a start-up culture, which leads to an exciting and fast-paced work environment.
Majlis Legal Centre
Majlis Legal Centre, in Mumbai, India, is a women's rights organization committed to empowering and educating women using law. They conduct legal rights trainings, engage in policy advocacy, educate women and conduct litigation to advance women's rights in India and help women access justice. Law students are able to get involved in all aspects of their work.
Other Available Sites
Beyond the above, India has a rich culture of legal aid organizations, courts, and government agencies that would be fantastic learning experiences for our students. We are more than happy to speak with you about your interest in India and help you find a great fit for your interests.
Please reach out to Amy Sankaran either via email or Symplicity to explore the various possibilities.