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Program for International Law and Development

The Law School's Program for International Law and Development provides financial and logistics support to students interested in public service internships in a developing country: either Cambodia or Namibia. The program is co-directed by Prof. Nick Rine (Cambodia) and Prof. Steve Gray (Namibia). A summer internship in either Cambodia or Namibia offers the opportunity to see and participate in the rebuilding of a society from the ground up. A number of organizations which are at work on various aspects of this building process are in a position to accept students to work with them as legal interns.

 

 


Namibia
With a relatively peaceful transition, Namibia gained independence from colonial South Africa in 1990, setting aside an oppressive apartheid system and replacing it with a constitutional democracy. Since then Namibia has seen steady and peaceful development of law, governance and society. Namibia is perfectly situated for a short-term summer internship with stable government, well developed infrastructure, diverse cultures and English as the official language. Namibia also has one of the most diverse and breathtaking landscapes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Friday's court appearance and Diaz Point 019 (1).jpgCurrently, we have arranged for 3 unique types of placements with Namibian lawyers in legal aid organizations and government in the capital city (Windhoek):

  1. Gender Equity Internship - working with the director of the Gender Research and Advocacy Project at the Legal Assistance Centre of Namibia in Windhoek
  2. Land, Environment and Development Internship - working with the project coordinator of the Land, Environment And Development (Lead) Project at the Legal Assistance Centre of Namibia in Windhoek
  3. Law Reform Internship - working with the chairperson of the Namibian government’s Law Reform and Development Commission in Windhoek

For more information on the Namibia program, contact Prof. Steve Gray at grange@umich.edu

Cambodia
With the final demise of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla movement and a stable (if not fully democratic) government, the country is enjoying real peace for the first time in three decades. The first-of-its-kind court bringing together Cambodian and international judges has begun trials of the leadership of that Khmer Rouge regime. But while Cambodia needs to come to grips with its past, it is also straining to establish a foundation for a stable future. Its recent history left the country with a largely dysfunctional legal and social infrastructure.

Prof Rine.jpg

Placements in Cambodia will be arranged individually with Professor Rine depending on the student’s experience and interests. Over the past 15 years, dozens of Michigan Law students have worked on a number of aspects of the stabilizing process in a wide variety of organizations in Cambodia. These include legal services organizations, health organizations, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, UNDP, ILO, World Bank, UNICEF, Cambodian government agencies and private human rights and other non-governmental organizations—both local and international—with a wide variety of concerns like women's justice issues, juvenile law, land rights, health care access and economic development. The program has also periodically taken on legal research projects which are carried out by students in the U.S.

In addition to offering opportunities to American JD students, the program has also brought a number of Cambodian law graduates to Michigan as research scholars. As a result, Michigan now has a large group of friends in the Cambodian legal world.

For more information on the Cambodia program or to inquire about placement possibilities, contact Prof. Nick Rine at nickrine@umich.edu.


Companion Course in Law and Development
Professors Rine and Gray co-teach a two-three credit course in Law and Development that dovetails nicely with these summer internships. Law and Development 777-778 is not required for the internship but it will enhance the internship learning experience.


Applying for a Summer Internship
Applicants must submit a complete brief application package. A complete package consists of this online form, through which students will also be asked to submit a statement of interest and a resume. 

Applications are due January 16, 2018 by 5pm. Applicants will be notified of internship decisions during the week of January 29th.

Prior to applying, it is recommended that students read the placement site descriptions to help guide their decision on preferred placements. In the case of Cambodia, students should have already discussed placement sites with Professor Rine. 

Once a student's application is complete, he or she will be contacted to set up a short application interview with Professors Gray and/or Rine.


Brief Statement of Interest
The statement provides an opportunity for the student to persuade the Law School that the internship will enable the student to fulfill educational and/or career objectives. It also allows us to 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 internship might build on work he or she has done, or how it will contribute to the student's educational or career pursuits. The statement should also include a ranking of the student’s internship preferences with a short description of the ranking rationale. The statement should be no longer than 2,000 words.


Application Interview
Each applicant will be required to participate in an interview with Professors Gray and/or Rine as part of the application process. These interviews will take place soon after the application packages are due. Each applicant will be contacted to schedule this interview.

As part of the application process, the applicant's former professors may be contacted by Professors Gray and/or Rine.


International Travel Release
A Student International Travel Release is required 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. See the Overseas Travel Requirements page for more complete information.​​​​​

Orientation Meeting
Students approved for an internship in Namibia will be required to participate in a 3 hour orientation meeting in February.

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