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Funded Externships

This part of the website refers to “externships” because all of the opportunities described below are consistent with that categorization at MSU Law. However, the institutions and organizations listed below refer to these same opportunities as “internships.”

There are diverse institutions and organizations devoted to international human rights law and humanitarian law protections, and many of them provide externship opportunities for qualified law students.

The nature of these externships vary a great deal. The best way to ascertain the responsibilities, benefits, and experiences that a particular externship will entail is to go to the website address, given below, for each institution and organization.

  1. Institutions and Organizations Providing Externships

    The Talsky Center funds externships for eligible MSU Law students at the following institutions and organizations:

    1. Free the Slaves

      Type of externship that will be funded: only policy externships

      Location of externships: Washington, D.C.

      Organization’s website: http://www.freetheslaves.net (Click on "Jobs/Internships" under "About Us.")

    2. International Service for Human Rights

      Type of externship that will be funded: only UN monitoring team externships

      Location of externships: Geneva, Switzerland

      Organization’s website: http://ictj.org (Type the word "internships" in the space provided to research the site.)

    3. International Human Rights Law Group

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: Mostly Washington, D.C.

      Organization's website: http://www.hrlawgroup.org/ (Click on "Work With Us" and then on "Internships.")

    4. Amnesty International USA

      Type of externship that will be funded: only in Amnesty’s Washington, D.C. and New York City offices

      Organization's website: http://www.amnestyusa.org/ (Click on "Work With Us" and scroll down to "Internships at Amnesty. . . "; click on "Learn More.")

    5. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: Washington, D.C.

      Institution's website: http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/ (At the bottom of the page, click on "Internships.")

    6. Inter-American Court of Human Rights

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: San José, Costa Rica

      Institution's website: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/pasantias.cfm (You need to translate the page from Spanish to English.)

      Special prerequisite: Fluency (oral and written) in English and Spanish.

    7. United Nations Office of Legal Affairs

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: New York City

      Institution's website: http://untreaty.un.org/ola/employ.aspx

    8. Center for Justice and International Law

      Type of externship that will be funded: only legal externships

      Locations of externships: Washington, D.C.; San José, Costa Rica; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

      Organization’s website: http://cejil.org/en/internships-cejil/legal

      Special prerequisites: Fluency in oral and written Spanish (fluency in oral and written Portuguese for externships in the Brazil office is also required.)

    9. UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Locations of externships: New York City or Regional Offices in other countries

      Organization’s website: http://www.unifem.org/about/internships.php (Click on "Internship Conditions.")

    10. International Bar Association Human Rights Institute

      Type of externship that will be funded: only legal externships

      Location of externships: London, England (The Talsky Center will pay BUNAC fees.)

      Organization’s website: http://www.ibanet.org/IBAHRI.aspx (Type the word "internships" in the space provided to research the site.)

      Special feature: Pursuant to its partnership with the Talsky Center, the IBA will each year reserve an externship opportunity in London, to occur during the spring semester, for an MSU Law student who meets the eligibility criteria of both the Talsky Center and the IBA.

    11. International Criminal Court

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: The Hague, The Netherlands

      Institution’s website: http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/Recruitment/Internships+and+Visiting+professionals/
      Eligibility+Requirements/Eligibility+Requirements.htm

    12. Human Rights Watch

      Type of externship that will be funded: externships only for graduate students and only in HRW's Legal & Policy Office

      Locations of externships: various countries

      Organizations's website: http://www.hrw.org/about/volunteering

    13. UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: Geneva, Switzerland

      Institution's website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/InternshipProgramme.aspx

      Special prerequisites: must have a good command of at least 2 of the six official languages of the UN, i.e., English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

    14. International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: The Hague, The Netherlands

      Institution's website: http://www.icty.org

    15. International Bar Association's International Criminal Court (ICC) Programme

      Type of externship that will be funded: any

      Location of externships: The Hague, The Netherlands

      Institution's website: http://www.ibanet.org/Education_and_Internships
      /Legal_Internship_Programme.aspx

  2. Eligibility to Apply
    1. Determination of Student Eligibility to Apply


      Eligibility will be jointly determined by the decision of the dean of the Law College, the director of the Talsky Center, and the assistant dean for career services at the Law College.

    2. Criteria for Determining Student Eligibility to Apply

      1. Only MSU Law students are eligible to apply;
      2. MSU Law students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher as of the date of application;
      3. MSU Law students must have earned a grade of B or higher in a course in either international human rights or public international law at MSU College of Law or another accredited law school; these students may be enrolled in the course at the time of application, but must successfully complete the requirement prior to the externship; those who fail to complete the requirement will have their application withdrawn or invalidated; and
      4. Eligible externship participants will be selected from the list of eligible applicants based on the following factors: commitment to furthering international human rights, academic achievement, and personal qualities consistent with the student's ability to serve as an outstanding representative of the Talsky Center and MSU College of Law.

    3. Effect of a Determination of Student Eligibility to Apply


      If a student is determined to be eligible to apply, as described above, that does not mean that the student has been awarded an externship. Rather, such a determination of eligibility is a prerequisite to directly filing an application for an externship at the selected institution or organization.

      Note that the final determination as to whether an MSU Law student is awarded an externship is the decision of such institution or organization.

  3. Benefits and Responsibilities of Externships


    Externships for eligible MSU Law students involve the following benefits and responsibilities:

    1. Externships held by MSU Law students will be funded by the Talsky Center as follows:
      1. A student awarded an externship that takes place outside North America will be granted up to $5,000 if the externship is at least as long in duration as a full spring or fall semester at MSU Law; if said externship is of substantially less duration, a student awarded such externship will be granted up to $4,000.
      2. A student awarded an externship that takes place within North America will be granted up to $4,000 if the externship is at least as long in duration as a full spring or fall semester at MSU Law; if said externship is of substantially less duration, a student awarded such externship will be granted up to $3,000.
    2. Academic credit will be available to MSU Law students receiving Talsky Center externships in accordance with the following standards:
      1. Each externship will be held to the same requirements as MSU College of Law currently imposes on all other externships, except as otherwise provided below.
      2. Each externship requires the externing student to work at least 40 hours per week at the site.
      3. Each externship requires that the student and a supervising professor communicate regularly for the duration of the externship. The frequency, duration, mode, and content of said communication to be determined by the supervising professor. (The supervising professor must be knowledgeable about the areas of law that the student is pursuing in the externship.)
      4. The 9-credit option:
        1. A student will earn 9 credits by successfully completing a Talsky Center externship.
        2. A student who earns 9 credits in accordance with the paragraph III.2.d.1. above, may also enroll in a 3-credit externship (not at the same institution or organization) during a summer or regular semester, and count the total of 12 credits toward graduation.
      5. The 12-credit option:
        1. A student may earn 12 credits both by successfully completing a Talsky Center externship (worth 9 credits) and by writing an academic paper (worth 3 more credits) that conforms to the requirements set forth in paragraph III.2.e.2. below.
        2. The subject matter of the paper must be related to the legal work that the student is doing as a Talsky Center extern, and the paper must be deemed acceptable by the supervising professor.
  4. Application Procedures for Externships


    In order to initiate the application process for an externship, students must first contact the MSU Law Career Services Office. The student should speak to a career services advisor at 517-432-6830 or career@law.msu.edu. (Students should also feel free to contact the Director of the Talsky Center, Professor Susan H. Bitensky, for any needed supplemental assistance in initiating the application process.)

    Please note: A student seeking a Talsky Center externship must not directly file any externship applications or related paperwork with the institution or organization offering such externships until the student’s eligibility is first determined in accordance with the provisions described above, under Eligibility to Apply.


    Note: ICTY applications are considered on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible; however, certain time periods are optimal for initiating the application process:

    1. For fall semester externships, the optimal time for applying is between December 30 and February 1.
    2. For spring semester externships, the optimal time for applying is between April 30 and June 1.
    3. For summer semester externships, the optimal time for applying is between September 30 and November 1.
  5. Information Regarding Interrelationship of Student Financial Aid and Funding of Talsky Center Externships


    The funding amounts for Talsky Center externships, as spelled out in paragraph III above, cannot be reduced. Typically a student who both receives financial aid and takes a Talsky Center externship will not have his or her aid reduced either.

    This notice is being provided because, generally speaking, grants or awards to students do result in a commensurate reduction (called “an offset”) to the student’s financial aid under the financial aid guidelines governing the Law College. However, this reduction will not typically apply to students who both get financial aid and take a Talsky Center externship, due to the fact that there are additional costs of attendance involved in taking advantage of the externships.

    Nevertheless, in each case, a student receiving financial aid and who is considering a Talsky Center externship should discuss the financial details with the Director of Financial Aid, John Garcia, and thereafter advise the Director of the Talsky Center, Professor Susan H. Bitensky, of the outcome.


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