Recognizing that effective legal practice often requires lawyers to understand how legal issues transcend borders, Notre Dame Law School offers many opportunities for students to study and work internationally.
In addition to the Notre Dame London Law Programme and other exchange programs, the Law School has two summer programs, the Dublin Honor Scholars Program and the Hamburg Honor Scholars Program, to provide students with a global perspective.
“These two programs — the Dublin Honor Scholars Program and the Hamburg Honor Scholars Program — provide Notre Dame Law students with unique, coveted opportunities to learn about international law, and to learn about the practice of law in international markets,” said Paul Miller, associate dean for international and graduate programs. “Both programs prepare our students for law and policy work and practice experience that is increasingly transnational, affording our students distinctive advantages over graduates of other American law schools.”
Through the Dublin Honor Scholars Program, rising second-year law students spend the summer working at an internship with a leading Irish law firm.
Christian Golden, a current second-year student, interned at Mason Hayes & Curran last summer. He worked with the commercial and corporate law teams, and assisted with a variety of projects for clients of the firm, mainly global technology companies.
“As the unofficial technology capital of Europe, Dublin provided an opportunity to work on legal matters that align with my interest in technology and corporate law, while also getting to live in a fun, historic city,” Golden said.
Second-year student Katie Collins also spent the summer in Dublin, where she had an internship at Philip Lee. She split her time between the law firm and one of the firm’s clients, the Irish Data Protection Commission. As an intern, she wrote articles about the upcoming European Union legislation and completed research projects for the commission.
“The opportunity to live and work in Dublin for a summer seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime chance. As the world becomes more globalized, the international experience will be invaluable to my legal practice,” Collins said.
Golden said that while the work was very valuable, some of his best experiences were traveling around Ireland seeing places like the Cliffs of Moher, hiking Ireland’s tallest mountain, and visiting the seaside town of Dingle.
Collins said she enjoyed getting to know all of the other interns at her firm at a weekly social gathering, having pints together after work.
Students can also apply for internships at the law firms of A&L Goodbody, Whitney Moore, and William Fry. In addition to an internship position, students can work as a research assistant for a law professor at Trinity College.
The program provides a stipend for the internship and for the students’ travel expenses.
The Hamburg Honor Scholars Program offers two options for rising second-year students during the summer.
Students can take one of three programming tracks at Bucerius Law School, a highly ranked private law school in Hamburg, Germany. The tracks — International Business Law, Legal Technology and Operations, and Licensing Transactions in Intellectual Property — are designed for students who may want to pursue a career in global legal practice.
Andrew Johnson took the Licensing Transactions in Intellectual Property track. Johnson is planning to pursue a career in patent law and was excited to have the chance to take a licensing course.
“Living in Hamburg, even if just for a few weeks, was an excellent opportunity to get a feel for life outside the United States. The fact that I could learn meaningfully in relation to my career goals was a great bonus. From an academic or career perspective it is nice to see the impact of the laws of different jurisdictions on the ways parties to IP agreements contract,” Johnson said.
He said the best single day of the summer was a day trip he took to Berlin to explore museums, and the history and culture of the city.
Students in the Hamburg program also have the opportunity to apply for a summer internship with the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) legal and compliance offices of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), an American multinational food processing and commodities trading corporation with offices in Hamburg.
George Santangelo was one of the students who participated in the ADM internship last summer. He said he wanted to do the ADM internship because he loved the idea of working in a foreign legal environment.
“Working in a foreign jurisdiction and working with lawyers from all over the world this summer prepared me to work internationally after law school,” Santangelo said.
Santangelo worked with several lawyers throughout the summer on projects such as reviewing contracts and offering comments and researching set-off rules for different European Union jurisdictions.
The program provides students with a tuition waiver, and a stipend for living expenses and travel costs.
Learn more about the Honor Scholars Programs here.