International Practica

To support two pillars of St. John’s University's strategic plan – Globalization and Student Engagement – in the fall of 2011, the Law School faculty approved the first International Practicum for St. John’s law students. With a curriculum designed to allow students to complete 13 hours of academic credit while working overseas full-time for a semester, International Practica open unique opportunities for in-depth experiential learning across the spectrum of international and transnational legal practice.

The inaugural offering, the NATO Practicum, is hosted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Allied Command Transformation (NATO ACT) in Mons, Belgium. Now in its fifth semester, the NATO Practicum allows students to work full time within the Office of Legal Education, the division of ACT responsible for legal support, continuing legal education, and legal interoperability for over 60 NATO legal offices around the world.

Beginning in the fall of 2014, St. John's students are able to work at UN agencies and international tribunals in Vienna, Geneva, and The Hague as part of the International Law Practicum. This semester length, full time, in-residence practicum exposes students to the daily practice of public international law, including international agreements; international, regional, and national law; the function of international organization staff legal counsel; legal support to UN member governments and other UN agencies; comparative law challenges; legal education programs; international administrative and criminal tribunals; and organizational policies, standards, and procedures.

For more information on the NATO Practicum and the International Law Practicum available at St. John's School of Law, please contact Jeanne Ardan, Associate Dean for Career Development and Externships.

Students interested in a semester length study abroad program are encouraged to participate in the Glasgow Academic Exchange.

Details

St. John's School of Law offers International Practica anchored by an engaging curriculum.

International Law Practicum (7 credits)
This course represents the core of the International Practicum curriculum, giving students the unique opportunity to spend a substantial period of time studying and working within an international organization, foreign office of a law firm, non-governmental organization or other organization, allowing engagement in the day-to-day practice of international law at a high level of responsibility. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with experienced international and transnational law practitioners through day-to-day contact, informal mentoring and regular tutorial sessions allowing students an opportunity to reflect on their work and research with mentors.   

International Law Directed Research (3 credits)   
This course will give students selected for participation in an International Practicum the opportunity both to satisfy the J.D. program’s Advanced Scholarly Writing Requirement (ASWR) and complete a substantial work of academic research of interest to themselves and their practicum hosting organization. 

International Law Advanced-Practice Writing Tutorial (3 credits)
This course will give International Practicum students the opportunity both to satisfy the J.D. program’s Advanced-Practice Writing Requirement (APWR) and compile a portfolio of professional writing in international law related matters for use in job interviews or other professional matters. Students may submit memoranda of law, client letters, aide-mémoires, formal meeting minutes, foreign law summaries, treaty commentaries, case analyses, reports of investigation, trip reports, staff summaries, background papers, regulatory drafts or other practice writing documents.

Contact us to learn more about the International Practica offerings at St. John's School of Law.

Hosted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Allied Command Transformation (NATO ACT) in Mons, Belgium, the Law School's NATO Practicum offers 2L and 3L students the opportunity to work full time within the Office of Legal Education, the division of ACT responsible for legal support, continuing legal education and legal interoperability for over 60 NATO legal offices around the world. 

This unique full-time, in-residence practicum provides carefully selected students the opportunity to gain practice experience in public international law and national security law. Students will be exposed to the daily practice of public international law, including:

  • International agreements
  • International, regional, and national law
  • The function of staff legal counsel
  • Legal support to defense forces
  • Comparative law challenges
  • Legal education program
  • International criminal tribunals
  • Organizational policies, standards, and procedures

To fulfill requirements set by the host organization, students will be required to spend 4.5 -5 months at NATO. We therefore anticipate the 3L fall semester selectee to arrive in Belgium the week after the Fourth of July and return to the U.S. the week before Christmas. The spring semester 2L selectee will arrive in Belgium the week after New Years and return the last week of May.

For more information on the NATO Practicum and other International Practica offerings at St. John's School of Law, please contact us.