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About Our Programs

Change The World With Your Law Degree


Overview

How it WorksChoosing a ProgramFinances

Your Impact

We are so excited to welcome you to the Global Justice Internship Program! Our goal is to provide you with life-changing opportunities to apply your legal education in a global context. Life-changing for both you and those you serve. When you participate in these programs you become advocates and you become world-changers.

Culture

Working abroad exposes students to different cultures and perspectives. You will have the opportunity to slow down and appreciate the incredible opportunity of learning a new culture and developing deep friendships around the world.

Community

In a few of our placements, we send anywhere from 4-12 students together. These are incredible opportunities to build tight-knit relationships with fellow classmates. This kind of community is hard to cultivate in our own culture, but there's something incredible about forming these friendships abroad. The memories and experiences are so different from anything encountered at home and are now shared with this special group of people.

Grit

We cannot rightfully say that you won't face challenges during this time abroad. But we can confidently say that we do everything we can to give the best expectations for the most incredible experience possible. We are confident that holding tight to the phrase "expect the unexpected" will lead to one of the best opportunities you could ever partake in. We wouldn't be hosting this program if we didn't believe that the grit developed through this internship would be valuable in your personal and professional life.

Career Opportunities

Many students who do not plan to pursue careers in human rights sometimes perceive that this opportunity would not benefit them. This is actually an inaccurate perception. We have had students participate in this program pursue all types of legal careers including big law, sports, government, and so many others. Every alumni of our program that we've asked to address this issue indicated that this opportunity on their resume helped them to stand out from other candidates during interviews and paved the way for meaningful conversations about their time abroad.

Autonomy

It's important to distinguish that this program is not a highly structured undergraduate program for students who just graduated from high school. We recognize that many of you have travel experience and are several years out of college. We want to respect that autonomy while also providing guidance and opportunities for a fulfilling summer.

Health

At Pepperdine, health and safety are a top priority. We strive to keep our students that travel abroad healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. Anyone with culture, safety, and/or health concerns should contact the Global Justice office before applying. Additional health information can be found on the "Preparing For An Internship" page and in the country-specific orientation handbooks.

 


How it Works

Application

Applications are usually open on our website during the month of November. Announcements will be made through a variety of channels surrounding the application timeline. The most updated information will always be here on our Community pages. We have a single application for all of our summer positions. Within the application, there is a space provided to mark top placement preferences.

Interviews

The Global Justice team will first interview all applicants and during the interview discuss placement preferences. Then, we will conduct a second round of interviews with the specific placement location. Once those two rounds of interviews are complete, we usually take a week or two to make decisions and alert students via email to that decision.

Direction

We like to say that you are never rejected, just redirected. If you don't happen to receive a position with the program, we believe you will find a summer position that fits much better for your future and goals. We always encourage students to pursue other avenues to engage with the program through our classes and spring break trips.

Acceptance

If accepted, we walk through an incredibly detailed process preparing students for the summer. To read more about how to prepare click here.

It is possible that we have a waitlist for positions. Not everyone who receives an offer for Global Justice commits to the program. If we believe you are a good fit, but we weren't able to give you an initial placement, we will let you know that you are on the waiting list for a position. When this occurs, we will be in regular communication with you regarding potential openings.

 


Choosing a Program

When applying for the program, we have students come to us interested in several of the placements or interested in one specifically. As we walk deeper through the interview process we help students navigate toward the best placement if there is interest in multiple locations. Below we break down the available positions and some of the core differences between them. 

Uganda

Overview

  • 8-12 placements available
  • 9 weeks
  • Depart two weeks after finals
  • Internship placement structure: TBD
  • Housing: All students live in a hotel called Mosa Courts Suites. It is in walking distance to several of the courts. They offer 2 or 3 bedroom apartment-style hotel rooms. Students provide their rooming preferences prior to departure and the program handles the room reservations and rooming placements.
  • Transportation: Students working in the courts are likely able to walk anywhere from 5-20 minutes to their internship. There might be an occasional court that requires an Uber or driver every morning.

Work Expectations

  • 40 hours/week
  • Business Professional attire
  • Placements - Supreme Court Clerk, Court of Appeals Clerk (serving several justices on the court you are placed)

Special Aspects

  • Prison project + safari: Students who participate in the Uganda program have the opportunity to join the prison project for one-week during their internship. This usually occurs in mid-June. We depart on a Sunday to a particular part of the country and spend 4-5 days in 1-4 different prisons. It is a week-long training intensive to model plea bargaining for local Ugandan attorneys, prosecutors, and judges. To read more about the Prison Project visit our webpage: https://law.pepperdine.edu/global-justice/prison-project/
  • Country Director Support: We have several big projects underway with the Ugandan government and our country director manages all of these big projects and relationships for us. They are also there to help our students! The country director will be able to meet with students prior to departure and conduct additional orientation sessions upon arrival. Their knowledge and wisdom of the local culture will set up our students for the best experience possible.

Uganda - Willow International

https://www.willowinternational.org/

Mission: "To end human trafficking starting at the source: Uganda. Through survivor care, government reform, and global partnerships, we can erase this plague and restore hope to the millions of victims across the globe."

Overview

  • 1-2 placements available
  • 9 weeks
  • Depart two weeks after finals
  • Housing: Willow interns live with the judicial interns in a place called Mosa Courts Suites. They offer 2 or 3 bedroom apartment-style hotel rooms. Students provide their rooming preferences prior to departure and the program handles the room reservations and rooming placements.
  • Transportation: Willow is a bit of a commute from Mosa, students will need to arrange their own transportation to and from this internship. The Country Director in Uganda can assist in making connections and giving ideas for this.

Work Expectations

  • Set by supervisor / 40 hours/week
  • Business casual / Business professional
  • Willow legal interns work with their legal team

Special Aspects

  • Students who participate in the Willow program also have the opportunity to join the Global Justice team for one-week during their internship to participate in a prison project. This usually occurs in mid-June. We depart on a Sunday to a particular part of the country and spend 4-5 days in 1-4 different prisons. It is a week-long training intensive to model plea bargaining for local Ugandan attorneys, prosecutors, and judges. To read more about the Prison Project visit our webpage: https://law.pepperdine.edu/global-justice/prison-project/
  • Country Director Support: We have several big projects underway with the Ugandan government and our country director manages all of these big projects and relationships for us. They are also there to help our students! The country director will be able to meet with students prior to departure and conduct additional orientation sessions upon arrival. Their knowledge and wisdom of the local culture will set up our students for the best experience possible.

Rwanda

Overview

  • 2-4 placements available
  • 9 weeks
  • Depart two weeks after finals
  • Housing: TBD
  • Transportation: TBD

Work Expectations

  • 40 hours/week
  • Business professional
  • Placements: Court of Appeals, Supreme Court

Special Aspects

  • Students who participate in the Rwanda program also have the opportunity to join the Global Justice team for one-week in Uganda to participate in a prison project. This usually occurs in mid-June. Rwanda students fly to Uganda on a Friday or Saturday night. We depart on Sunday morning to a particular part of the country and spend 4-5 days in 1-4 different prisons. It is a week-long training intensive to model plea bargaining for local Ugandan attorneys, prosecutors, and judges. To read more about the Prison Project visit our webpage: law.pepperdine.edu/global-justice/prison-project/
  • Country Director Support: Our Uganda country director is also responsible for our relationships and programs in Rwanda. They will be an excellent resource to help students navigate Rwanda and prepare for the internship.

Ghana

Overview

  • 2-4 placements available
  • 9 weeks
  • Depart two weeks after finals
  • Housing: Pepperdine Justice House - Pepperdine leases a home next door to the country director. Students live in this home together, each with their own bedroom.
  • Transportation: Students will likely have 3-4 days in the supreme court and 1-2 days at the justice clinic. They will need to arrange an Uber or other driver to get to and from the courts.

Work Expectations

  • 40 hours/week
  • Business professional
  • Placements: TBD

Special Aspects

  • Wide range of projects
  • Country director support: We have several big projects underway with the Ghanaian government and our country director manages all of these big projects and relationships for us. They are also there to help our students! The country director will be able to meet with students prior to departure and conduct additional orientation sessions upon arrival. Their knowledge and wisdom of the local culture will set up our students for the best experience possible!

International Justice Mission

https://www.ijm.org/

Mission: "IJM's mission is to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts."

Vision: "To rescue millions, protect half a billion and make justice unstoppable."

Overview

  • You will need to apply to both SGJI and IJM. IJM's application for legal internships can be found here. SGJI interviews all students hoping to apply to IJM and then makes recommendations to IJM in conjunction with students also walking through the traditional application process for IJM.
  • Dates are different from our other programs - internships are closer to 8 weeks and start a few weeks later
  • IJM is a Christian organization and applicants must sign a statement of faith to participate
  • Invitations to interview sometimes go to the spam folder - check your spam!

Work Expectations

  • 40 hours/week
  • Business casual / business professional (depends on office)
  • Placements
  • There are two ways to approach the application process: First - be available to go anywhere! Exhibit a passion for IJM's mission and go in open handed. Second - explain why you would love a specific placement. If you have a passion for child labor and want to help their team in Ghana prosecute traffickers, talk about that in your application and during the interview process.

Field Offices

  • Forced Labor Slavery: Ghana, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore in India, Cambodia, and Bangkok in Thailand
  • Sex Trafficking: Dominican Republic, Kolkata, Mumbai, India, and the Philippines, with the Philippines focused on the specific crime of online sexual exploitation of children.
  • Sexual Violence Against Children: Guatemala and Bolivia
  • Violence Against Women and Children + IPV: Uganda
  • Police Abuse of Power: Kenya (we do not send interns there currently)
  • Human Trafficking: Romania

Special Aspects

  • Taking part in the IJM community is a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to be mentored by amazing legal professionals. It is also a networking opportunity in the event that working for IJM is a career goal.
  • Working with an NGO provides a wholesome perspective as to what it takes to practice human rights work around the world. It can give students an understanding of what to expect if working for an NGO like IJM is something they are passionate about.

Peace and Hope International

https://peaceandhopeinternational.org/

Mission: "Peace and Hope is an organization that works in Latin America alongside individuals, families and communities in poverty, so that they can live with dignity, free from violence and injustice."

Overview

  • You will need to apply to both SGJI and PHI. PHI's application for legal internships can be found here. SGJI interviews all students hoping to apply to PHI and then makes recommendations to PHI in conjunction with students also walking through the traditional application process for PHI.
  • PHI will do most of the prep for this experience.
  • Dates vary depending on your supervisor. Internships are often 10-12 weeks long as opposed to our other programs remaining closer to 9 weeks.

Work Expectations

  • 40 hours/week
  • Business professional/business casual (depends on the office)
  • Placements
  • Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador

Special Aspects

  • Required: fluent in Spanish

*All types of work assignments are subject to change due to the nature of working with international partners

 


Finances

These are unpaid positions. Participants are responsible for paying for all costs. However, the SGJI works to provide at least two-thirds of the total estimated cost through stipends.

Estimated Total Costs: $4,500 - $5,500

This estimate includes all summer expenses including: flights, transportation, visas, rent, food, vaccinations, excursions, phone and internet, etc. All alumni report similar total costs for all programs.

SGJI estimated contribution toward the above costs: $2,500

We work hard to provide more than this number, but this is our baseline commitment. Our desire is that any student who qualifies to participate in this program is able to do so and any financial restrictions would be addressed with our team so we can help navigate those challenges.