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Summer offers Harvard Law School students the opportunity to acquire full-time, hands-on experience in public or private sector work in countries all over the world.

For Chayes Fellows Jonathan Kaufman ’06 and Lillian Langford ’13, a 1L summer abroad set their careers in motion.  Read more on Harvard Law Today.

Summer work abroad can enable students to become immersed in a foreign legal culture under the supervision of practicing attorneys from other countries, enhancing students’ legal education and serving as valuable preparation for their careers.

In the summer of 2019, more than 100 HLS students traveled to countries all over the world, working with a wide range of organizations and law firms on a diverse array of projects. These are just a few examples of HLS students’ recent summer work experiences:

  • Preparing legal memoranda on prosecutorial discretion and admissibility of evidence at the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia
  • Conducting legal research on transactions involving international joint ventures and multinational corporations at a law firm in Brazil
  • Drafting a court complaint for the Human Rights Law Network in India against a state for not following the legal safeguards required for displacing peoples when planning construction of a new dam
  • Advising a foreign bank on the restructuring of its guarantee/counter-guarantee packages under the International Chamber of Commerce rules at a law firm in China
  • Working in France at the Council of Europe on a terrorism and human rights project
  • Writing memos summarizing the procedural posture and background of a tax fraud case for the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa

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Spotlight

The Chayes International Public Service Fellowships

These fellowships, administered by International Legal Studies, provide Harvard Law School students with the opportunity to spend eight weeks during the summer working with  governmental or non-governmental organizations concerned with issues of an international scope or relevant to countries in transition.  Learn about this program and meet some recent Chayes Fellows here.

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Finding a new approach to summer work abroad

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 International Public Service Fellows have re-examined their summer plans, considered alternatives, and found ways to still engage in substantive legal work with an international focus.

2019 Chayes Fellows

Global outreach

In 2019, 17 Chayes International Public Service Fellows tackled challenging issues in 13 countries, from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Kingdom.

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Resources for Students

Whether students are considering working as a summer associate in the foreign office of a large law firm, engaging in public service with a non- governmental organization in another country, or working with an international agency, HLS provides a wide range of resources to assist them in exploring the world of law.