The Financial Services Internship, which is available to both US- and internationally trained students, is structured as a one-credit course to meet international student visa requirements. Students have the opportunity to spend 10 to 20 hours per week with a financial institution, law firm, government agency, or non-profit business entity, providing a practical financial services experience to supplement the academic coursework of the Graduate Program. The Internship is supervised by a member of the faculty, Carolina Trujillo, who helps to place students with internship providers and who receives and evaluates the reports and final short paper from the student.
BU Law’s LLM programs have responded to employer comments on US law school training by placing more emphasis on so-called “soft skills” training. This training involves providing our students with the skills needed to work as part of a legal team, to interact effectively at meetings, to meet deadlines, to act professionally, to deal well with clients, and to be at ease in professional social settings. It is precisely these attributes of a successful lawyer that the Internship is designed to address, in the context of financial services legal work. The Internship can provide each participant with a supervisor who can attest to the student’s ability to effectively contribute in a US corporate/legal environment. Additionally, internationally-trained students can gain a recommendation on their written and oral English language skills from a US employer. Historically, the internship has been useful to internationally trained students seeking an employment opportunity during their Optional Practical Training year.
An effective US internship opportunity requires a supervisor who will take the time to find interesting work and to instruct and mentor student participants. The Graduate Program has learned that such supervisors are often found in small to mid-size law firms, financial institutions, and non-profit entities, where there is a real need for the work the intern will perform. Accordingly, the internships provided are generally with smaller institutions with a need for one or two legal interns. In addition, there are sometimes governments, such as the City of Boston, or government agencies, such as the Massachusetts Division of Banks, with a need for legal interns.
The Internship is available to the student who has completed one semester in the Graduate Program and has a grade point average of 3.2 or greater. The Internship demands at least 10 hours per week and most students’ complete the internship while enrolled in six additional two-credit courses. Participating students receive one academic credit without a formal grade, if the student completes the weekly reports of hours and duties and composes a short paper evaluating his or her internship at its completion. The Internship must be completed during a single semester. The record of the Internship appears on the student’s transcript.
Our goal is to provide an internship opportunity for every member of the Program who wishes to participate, which is usually about 25% to 40% of each class. Generally, students with less employment experience in their background benefit most from this opportunity. Students may also find their own internships and make such internships part of the course.