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India Externship Information and Application Process 

Beginning in Winter 2015, Michigan Law piloted a semester-long externship opportunity with Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore, India. Integrating 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, environmental, and land rights law, as well as the constitution in general. Second and third year law students will work side-by-side with top-notch Indian lawyers on pressing legal matters and policy issues.

Externship programs are under the jurisdiction of the Curricular, Co-curricular, and Pedagogic Issues Committee. In deciding whether to approve an externship program, the members of the Committee may take into account the student's academic performance at the Law School.

Students are responsible for following the correct application procedures for their externship application/proposal.

A student may not engage in both the externship and study abroad program during his or her matriculation at the Law School.

A student may earn a maximum of 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.

Student Eligibility
The externship program is open to second- or third-year law students who are in good academic standing at the Law School. LAW 540, Intro to Constitutional Law, must be completed prior to the beginning of the externship semester.  Students must also fulfill the international/comparative law distribution requirement prior to the beginning of the externship semester. A student should be fully committed to completing an externship in India before submitting an application; once a student has applied to and is accepted by the organization, they will be expected to participate in the externship unless illness or other serious problem arises.

The Committee will more than likely not approve a proposal from a student who has two or more outstanding Incompletes on his or her transcript at the time the proposal is submitted. Students with two or more Incomplete grades who receive permission from the Committee to participate in the externship program will be required to resolve at least one of the Incompletes before the start of the externship term. Students are not permitted to engage in an externship with more than one Incomplete grade on their transcript at the time of their departure.

The deadline to submit a complete application package for the Winter 2020 India Externship is Monday, February 25, 2019. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that all parts of the externship application package have been received by the deadline.

Tuition and Living Expenses
Externs are eligible for financial aid for the externship semester. Students registered for full time externships are charged the full rate of tuition.

Application Process
Each student proposing an externship program must submit a complete India Externship Application Package. A complete package consists of both an online form and documents sent to in the Center for International and Comparative Law as email attachments.

The online externship application can be accessed here.

The electronic documents submitted by the student consist of an Essay of Interest, Preferred Placement Cover Letters, described below, and the student's resume. The student's Faculty Letter of Recommendation should also be sent to by the faculty member.

Once a student's application package is complete, they will be contacted to set up an application interview with Prof. Amy Sankaran, who oversees all externships at Michigan Law.

Essay of Interest
The essay provides an opportunity for the student to persuade the Law School that the externship will enable the student to fulfill educational objectives that cannot be achieved through Law School classes or in the ordinary course of professional opportunities available to the student. It also provides a way for the host site to evaluate and distinguish student applications, as well as develop a sense of the student's background, interest areas, and expertise. Students are advised to highlight their particular strengths, relevant experiences, and practice area interests. Students should also include how the externship builds on work he or she has done, or how it will contribute to the student's educational pursuits.

The Essay of Interest must be submitted as an e-mail attachment to Kellie Shirey, ( to be included as part of the application package.

Preferred Placement Cover Letter
A cover letter must be provided, stating the specific reasons why the student is interested in working at ALF. The Preferred Placement Cover Letter(s) must be submitted as an e-mail attachment to Kellie Shirey ( to be included as part of the application package.

Final Semester Externship
If a student is proposing an externship in what would be their final semester of law school, he or she must meet with the Law School's Registrar to complete a Registrar Checklist for submission and inclusion with the application package.

Application Interview
Each applicant will be required to participate in an interview with Prof. Sankaran as part of the application process. These interviews will take place soon after the application packages are due. The Center for International and Comparative Law will contact each applicant to schedule this interview.

overseas travel waiver
As a condition of enrolling for overseas externship credit, students 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. More...

See the Overseas Travel Requirements page for more complete information, and a link to the Overseas Travel Waiver.