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Partnerships with Local Firms Abroad Expand Summer Internship Opportunities at MLaw

By Jenny Whalen
Dec. 3, 2014

The jet lag had barely worn off when Hana Damore arrived from China for Michigan Law orientation, but already the 1L was planning her return to Asia.

Having spent the previous two years teaching English in China, Damore knew she wanted to spend her 1L summer at a local firm abroad. Persistence, Internet research, and an extensive international alumni community ultimately led her to a nine-week internship at DFDL Legal and Tax Services in Thailand.

Hana Damore, 2L, in Thailand during the summer of 2014.

The experience proved so incredible that Damore (pictured right) has been working with the Center for International and Comparative Law​, Office of Career Planning, and Office of Development and Alumni Relations to make similar opportunities available for other 1L and 2L students.

"Internships overseas are difficult to establish," Damore said. "It's a different system of law and, depending on the country, there are different explanations for what an internship actually is. In my search, I was relying on the fact that there was a partner out there able to understand what I was asking for and make the idea work."

Michigan Law's International Summer Firm Internship (ISFI) program intends to streamline this process by partnering with local law firms abroad and establishing the internship criteria in advance. The program, which is open to 1L and 2L students, will be offered for the first time during the summer of 2015.

"The International Summer Firm Internship has been an amazing collaborative effort," said Assistant Dean for International Affairs Roopal Shah​. "When Hana Damore presented the idea at the end of her 1L year, we were moved by her willingness to use her own experience to identify and create more international summer job opportunities for other Michigan Law students."

Shah added that she and other program organizers are particularly grateful to the Michigan Law alumni and friends who have made the program's first year of summer internships possible at their firms abroad. One of these is Schinders Law in China, where 2002 Michigan Law graduate Henry Liao serves as managing partner.

"Henry is very grateful for the education he obtained at Michigan Law and is pleased to contribute in return to the development of other Michigan Law graduates," Schinders Law said in a statement. "Michigan Law is one of the best schools in the United States. We believe the candidates for this program will be very skillful, diligent, and reliable, and will surely add value to our firm, too."

Other local firms participating in the 2015 program include Advocacia Ferreira Neto, Brazil; DFDL Legal and Tax Services, Thailand; Guerrero Olivos, Chile; Maciel, Norman & Asociados, Argentina; and Samvad Partners, India. For more on this year's firm partners and internship descriptions, visit the ISFI program website.

The ISFI program is one of many opportunities available at Michigan Law for students looking to work abroad. For additional international internship and career postings, visit the Office of Career Planning and Symplicity.

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