Semester-in-Practice Externship Program

Full-Time Placements

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 a wide range of placement options and two seminar options. Students earn 12 credits: 10 ungraded credits for working full-time at the field placement, plus 2 graded credits for the seminar, which can be taken on campus (for students working in Boston) or remotely (for students working anywhere else). The field placement requirement is 65 days of full-time work.

• Semester in Practice: International Human Rights

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), as well as others.  The program provides students with practical experience under the guidance of experienced international human rights attorneys and judges.  The educational objectives of this program 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. This option is offered in the spring semester only.

Course Prerequisite: Students who have not done so already must take International Human Rights (S): LAW JD 771 prior to spending a semester in practice.

• Semester in Practice

Students spend a semester working at any qualified placement, domestic or abroad, including for-profit and nonprofit corporations, courts, governmental agencies, and law firms. The seminar focuses on general lawyering topics such as professional responsibility, professional development, access to justice, cross-cultural lawyering, and the changing role of the legal profession.


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.