Guidance on International Externships and Study Abroad

for J.D. Students and Faculty at UW School of Law

The following guidance is meant to inform students of the procedures necessary for securing an overseas externship or studying abroad as part of their J.D. program. Please remember that each student bears the responsibility to make sure that all policies and procedures are followed. Students are also advised to visit the University of Washington Office of International Programs and Exchanges, located in Schmitz Hall, for additional information about studying and traveling overseas.

In general, there are three separate sets of requirements that a UW Law School student must comply with in order to receive credit for externing or studying abroad: (1) American Bar Association standards, (2) the University of Washington School of Law (“UW Law School”) and (3) the University of Washington (“UW”).


International Externships

Students may engage in international externships with foreign courts, nonprofit organizations, or government agencies.

As with domestic externships, the student, faculty and field supervisors and the University of Washington School of Law must comply with ABA Standard 305 governing study outside of the classroom. The procedures outlined below are designed to meet the requirements set forth in Standard 305 and related interpretations.

UW Law School Requirements for International Externships

All externships must be pre-approved before a student may be enrolled. Students planning to participate in an international externship must submit a a completed International Externship Form and consult with the Director of the Externship Program and the Dean of Academic Services by the deadline published on the Externship Program website.

  1. Site Visit
    A site visit is required during the externship for externships of six (6) or more credits. If a site visit does not occur during the externship, the maximum number of credits a student may earn is five (5).
  2. Financial Aid
    Students should consult with the Financial Aid Office at the Law School concerning financial aid for an international externship. Students will need to require a revised financial aid request as part of the process if requesting additional assistance the summer placement.

UW Policies regarding International Externships

UW Enrollment Policy

The UW permits concurrent enrollment at the University of Washington and participation in foreign research abroad (which would include externships) when students have prior UWLS approval of at least ten credits for each quarter they are abroad. The student must first receive credit pre-approval from the Law School before commencing the externship as noted above. With respect to foreign externships, students are required to register for Foreign Study (FSTDY 300) via the International Programs & Exchanges Office (IP&E) and to pay the required quarterly fee. In order to obtain the relevant paperwork, students should visit the UW Office of international Programs and exchanges in Schmitz Hall.

Note: The current UWLS administration policy is to require UW students doing foreign externships to pay UW tuition even though the Regents permit the “waiver” described above. The Graduate and International Studies Committee voted (Feb. 2, 2004) to recommend to the law school faculty and administration that the Regents’ policy be applied at the LS to students doing foreign externships. The full faculty did not adopt the committee's recommendation.

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