Full-Time Placements—Three Unique Opportunities.

The Semester-in-Practice Program is our full-time, full-semester externship program. Placements may be local or outside of Boston. The program is open to 3Ls (fall and spring semesters) and 2Ls (spring semester only).

The Semester-in-Practice Program encompasses three options. Students earn 12 credits: 10 ungraded credits for working full-time at the field placement, plus 2 graded credits for completing readings, writing a research paper, and for submitting weekly journals. The field placement requirement is 65 days of full-time work.

• International Human Rights Externship

Students may spend a semester working for an international human rights organization, domestic or abroad.  Our most popular placement is with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Geneva), although students have also worked at Reprieve (London) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (Berlin).  The program provides students with practical experience under the guidance of experienced international human rights attorneys and judges.  The educational objectives of this Externship are for students to develop their substantive and procedural knowledge of international treaties and norms governing human rights issues; develop the ability to interpret and apply treaties and norms in specific contexts; learn the day-to-day of international human rights practice in a range of United Nations, regional human rights mechanisms, and domestic jurisdictions; and develop problem-solving skills in human rights practice to successfully advocate for groups and individuals under international human rights norms.

10 credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. Through the Semester-in-Practice Program: International Human Rights course, students spend a semester working full-time for credit at an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) committed to the protection of human rights. Recent placements have included the UNHCR and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: International Human Rights Paper (JD 742).

FALL 2017: LAW JD 741 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 10
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 741 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 10 Susan M. Akram

2 credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. This is the companion academic component for students enrolled in the Semester-in-Practice: International Human Rights course. Students work with a faculty supervisor in designing their own reading list, writing a 15-20 page research paper, and submitting seven 4-6 page bi-weekly journals. NOTE: Students who enroll in this component of the externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement or the Upper-class writing requirement. It may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: International Human Rights (JD 741).

FALL 2017: LAW JD 742 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 2
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 742 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 2 Susan M. Akram

• Government Lawyering Externship

Students spend a semester working at a government office in Washington, DC. Examples include opportunities with the staff of a congressional committee or subcommittee, in the legal office of an administrative agency, or with a federal board/commission.

10 credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. Through the Semester-in-Practice: Government Lawyering -- Washington, D.C., students spend a semester working full-time for credit at an externship placement in D.C. Examples include, but are not limited to, opportunities with the staff of a Congressional committee or subcommittee, in the legal office of an administrative agency, or with a federal board/commission. Externships may be paid or unpaid. Students may secure their own placement or work with Professor Sean Kealy, instructor of the Program, for help in identifying and applying to suitable placements based on the student's career and academic interests. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: Government Lawyering Paper (JD 746).

FALL 2017: LAW JD 745 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 10 ROOM
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 745 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 10 Sean J. Kealy

Var credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. This is the companion academic component for students enrolled in the Semester-in-Practice: Government Lawyering -- Washington, D.C. course. Students work with a faculty supervisor in designing their own reading list, writing a 15-20 page research paper, and submitting seven 4-6 page bi-weekly journals. NOTE: Students who enroll in this component of the externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement or the Upper-class writing requirement. It may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: Government Lawyering - Washington, D.C. (JD 745).

FALL 2017: LAW JD 746 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD Var Sean J. Kealy ROOM
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 746 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD Var Sean J. Kealy

• Independent Proposal Externship

Students may develop their own proposal for a full-time externship.

10 credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. Through the Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal students develop their own proposal to spend a semester working full-time for credit at an externship placement, local or away from Boston. Qualifying placements include the legal departments of a non-profit, government agency, private company, or at a law firm (working on pro bono projects only). Externships may be paid or unpaid. NOTE: Students who enroll in this externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal Paper (JD 740).

FALL 2017: LAW JD 739 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 10 TBA ROOM
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 739 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD 10 TBA

Var credits

This CLASS IS RESTRICTED to students who have received permission from the Office of Experiential Education to enroll. This is the companion academic component for students enrolled in the Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal course. Students work with a faculty supervisor in designing their own reading list, writing a 15-20 page research paper, and submitting seven 4-6 page bi-weekly journals. NOTE: Students who enroll in this component of the externship may count the credits towards the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement or the Upper-class writing requirement. It may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement. COREQUISITE: Semester-in-Practice: Independent Proposal (JD 739).

FALL 2017: LAW JD 740 A1 , Sep 5th to Dec 7th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD Var Brian A. Wilson ROOM
SPRG 2018: LAW JD 740 A1 , Jan 16th to Apr 25th 2018
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
ARR TBD TBD Var Staff

Planning Your Semester Away

The Semester-in-Practice consumes both non-GPA credits and independent study credits, nor do the credits count towards the 64 in-class credits minimum. When planning your semester, be sure to pay close attention to the JD Degree Requirements Planning Grid in the Course Selection Guide, to make sure you have satisfied all credit requirements. When in doubt, please consult the Academic Regulations, the Registrar’s Office, and Associate Dean Gerry Muir, to make sure your academic plan meets all requirements. Please be aware you may not take any other classes during your semester away. Therefore, if you are planning to do the SiP Program your spring 3L semester, you must have fulfilled the Professional Responsibility requirement first. Students may not take professional responsibility during their externship semester.

Suggested Prerequisites

Although there are no formal prerequisites for the Semester-in-Practice Program, we recommend you take the following courses to prepare for the Program and to strengthen your application. In addition, you should check with any organizations in which you may be interested to see if they recommend—or require—taking specific classes in preparation for an externship.

Human Rights Externship

  • International Human Rights Clinic.
  • A public international law course that includes the UN system/machinery. Depending on what classes are being offered each year, look for classes covering: international (public) law; international human rights law; international (public) law and process; international human rights systems; international law and the UN.
  • Knowledge of French is strongly preferred.
  • In addition, an ideal candidate will have spent their summer(s) working for an NGO or IGO dealing with human rights—e.g., International Bridges to Justice, Legal Aid of Cambodia, UNIAP, or one of the International Criminal Tribunals.

Government Lawyering in Washington, DC

  • Administrative Law.
  • American Legislative Practice (Clinic or Internship option).
  • Elective(s) focusing on the substantive law you will be engaged in. For example, a student wishing to work for the EPA should take Environmental Law.

Independent Proposal Externship

  • For litigation-based placements, Evidence.
  • Elective(s) focusing on the substantive law you will be engaged in.