International Summer Externships
USF’s international summer externships programs will help you develop an understanding of how to do business and pursue justice in today’s global society.
Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Vietnam is the world’s 13th-most-populous country and, since 2000, Vietnam’s economic growth rate has been among the highest in the world. Vietnam is a study in contrasts: a society at the crossroads between a traditional past and a rapidly modernizing economy that faces incredible wealth disparities, a legal system dominated by single-party government but trying to adapt to free trade and globalization, and the combination of thousands of years of Asian heritage modified by recent incursions from Europe and the US. There is much to challenge students in Vietnam, and much to make them feel welcome: warm people, delicious food, and a beautiful countryside.
One of USF’s longest-running international programs, the law school has a decade-long history of sending students to Vietnam. The program will begin with an orientation at Hanoi Law University from English-speaking Vietnamese law professors and lawyers on the legal system in Vietnam, including trips to legal and cultural institutions such as Ba Dinh Square, Duong Lam Ancient Village, and the Hoa Lo Prison.
The next seven weeks will be spent working in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City in international commercial law firms representing Vietnamese and overseas investors in contract, regulatory, intellectual property, trade, securities, and real property issues, and in NGOs or at the UN, working on strengthening the rule of law in Vietnam. English is used regularly in the workplace in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which makes navigating the country and work environments easier to manage.
Past placements have included Baker & McKenzie (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), UN Development Programme, UN Women and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (Hanoi), Duane Morris, Mayer Brown, YKVN Lawyers and LNT Partners.
Beijing, China: USF’s externship program in Beijing, China offers an exciting opportunity to gain real world legal experience at one of our premier law firm placements that are internationally recognized: Sheppard Mullin, Unitalen, and Morgan Lewis. The subject areas of the externship work may include managing anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy programs; regulatory enforcement; international, domestic, and cross-border corporate and securities transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing, private equity investments, and public offerings; management of intellectual property portfolios for multinational companies; intellectual property registration, prosecution, acquisition, maintenance, and licensing.
Obtaining experience in any of these subject areas at any of one of our placement firms will provide you with an opportunity to practice your lawyering skills; to learn about the Chinese legal system; and to make invaluable contacts at a prestigious law firm that will grow your network and serve you well when you search for your next job.
Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China and has been the nation’s political, cultural, and educational center for the past eight centuries. It is also one of the most populated cities in the world with almost 22 million people. Many parts of Beijing are ancient and historical, but there has been a modernization of Beijing that has accelerated the pace and scale of change. China, which practices a socialist market economy, has become the world's fastest growing major economy. To live and work in Beijing, China will be a life-changing experience!
Past placements have included Sheppard Mullin, Unitalen, Reed Smith, Morgan Lewis, Bingham McCutchen, King & Wood Law Firm and Wan Hui Da.
Orientation for both the Europe IP and the Czech Republic programs is held at Charles University, which was founded in 1348 and is ranked in the top 2% of universities worldwide. The law school is located on the bank of the Vltava (Moldau) River, a five-minute walk from Prague's spectacular Old Town Square. Virtually untouched by World War II, Prague is one of Europe's most beautiful cities and offers the visitor an inexhaustible variety of crooked streets, architectural surprises, tucked away pubs, and musical and theatrical events. In past summer programs, students have met with the Legislature, the High Court, the Czech Minister of Justice, the President of the Supreme Court, the U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and the Rector of Charles University and have enjoyed visits to the Czech countryside.
Europe Intellectual Property Program:
The Europe-IP program will begin with a one-week summer “intensive” seminar in Prague followed by an externship in Intellectual Property Law within a European law firm or business. The theme of the seminar will be cross border intellectual property enforcement issues, addressing such topics as the following:
- Anti-counterfeiting enforcement measures involving luxury goods
- Piracy of entertainment products and services
- Internet service provider secondary liability for file sharing, user-generated content, etc.
- The tension between trademarks and geographical indications
The program will feature guest presenters from European law firms and businesses who will host the externships in which students will participate after the seminar.
Past placements have included IKEA (Brussels), Armengaud Guerlain (Paris), Casalonga Avocats (Paris), De Gaulle (Paris), Trevisan & Cuonzo Avvocati (Milan), Hogan Lovells (Milan), Swarovski (Liechtenstein), Akran (Rome) Grunecker (Munich) and Boehmert & Boehmert (Berlin), Bomhard IP (Alicante, Spain) and Løje, Arnesen & Meedom (Copenhagen.)
Prague and Brno, Czech Republic: The Czech Republic program will begin with orientation at Charles University. The lectures will be given by English-speaking Czech law professors and lawyers on various aspects of the Czech legal system, European Union law and international business law.
Students will spend the next five weeks within the judicial systems of the Czech Republic or with a U.S. based corporate law firm. Externing in the Czech Republic provides exposure to business legal practices both under European Union and international law.
Past placements include Dentons, Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Legal, Havel-Holasek, PRK Partners, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Czech Constitutional Court. Both courts are located in Brno.
Latin American Externships
Mexico City, Mexico: The Mexico City program is an excellent program that offers placement opportunities with human rights programs or law firms. The program begins with an orientation under the guidance of law faculty at the Universidad Panamericana located in the heart of the city.
Orientation is specially designed to include presentations aimed at first- and second-year U.S. law students. The lecturers are law professors or experienced business lawyers. The program includes: Introduction to the Mexican Legal System, Introduction to Human Rights Law in Mexico, human rights abuses connected to the criminal justice system, how a global law firm works, and Aspects of Mexican Business Law Practice and Corporate Law. Orientation also includes a number of important legal site visits such as the Supreme Court, both houses of Parliament. Cámara de Diputados, and lunch with elected officials.
Possible law firm placements include Ernst & Young, Jones Day, Greenberg Traurig and Holland & Knight. Possible human rights NGO placements include Centro PRODH, La Comision National de Derechos Humanos (CNDH), a federal government human rights research and complaint-receiving agency, Comision Mexicana por la Defensa y Promocion de Derechos Humanos (CMDPDH), Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migracion (IMUMI), and Centro Nacional de Derechos Humanos (Cenadeh). Externships at the NGO placements require the ability to speak Spanish.