Study Abroad Opportunities

Pre-law students cannot ignore how important it is to have a solid understanding of human behavior and diverse cultures within the United States and abroad.  In fact, it is a wonderful, enriching experience for a pre-law student to study abroad!  Studying abroad may permit a student to gain proficiency in a foreign language, which may not only garner the attention of law school admissions committees, but can lead to greater marketability once licensed as an attorney.

Although any study abroad program would be a worthwhile experience, below are three (3) study abroad options a pre-law student can take advantage of at Hopkins: 1) programs with an EU/comparative law emphasis; 2) programs that offer law related internship opportunities abroad; and 3) direct matriculation programs that allow students to take first-year law school coursework abroad.  It should be noted, however, that if a pre-law student decides to study abroad, they should meet with their Pre-Law Advisor to discuss potential impacts on the law school application process and to ensure that they still put their strongest application forward.

1)    Programs with an EU/Comparative Law Emphasis

Many pre-law students have an interest in learning more about and pursuing international law.  Some even anticipate eventually practicing abroad.  By taking courses or enrolling in study abroad programs with a European Union and comparative law emphasis, pre-law students can learn first-hand about governments, laws and regulations they may work within in the future.  Many of these programs offer field trips to sites of note within the EU, such as Parliaments, The Hague, law firms, and court proceedings/hearings.

Below are some schools/programs that provide this opportunity:

IES Center – Amsterdam, Netherlands

One tremendous, entirely pre-law focused program: Law, Culture & Society, with an optional Pre-Law Certification Program.  Seminar Law & Legal Practice in an International & Comparative Perspective, where seminar leader is a U.S. citizen and former attorney in the States now licensed to practice overseas.  Program includes visits to various legal and law-related organizations in Amsterdam and The Hague, e.g., International Court of Justice, Dutch parliament, a Dutch law firm, a Dutch court hearing.

DIS – Copenhagen, Denmark

At least 5 programs of potential interest to a pre-law student:

1) European Culture & History; 2) European Politics & Society; 3) International Business:  4) Migration & Identity; 5) Sustainability in Europe; 6) Global Economics; and 7) Human Trafficking in Europe (Summer only).  Excellent course selection, field work & trip opportunities.

Syracuse University – throughout Europe

At least 4 programs of potential interest to a pre-law student (note these are all Summer programs):   1) “Human Rights & Conflict Resolution in Europe: Legal & Political Perspectives” (Strasbourg, France – the seat of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights); 2) “Comparative Health Policy & Law” (touring London, Amsterdam & Geneva); 3)  Law in London: Internships; and 4) Advocacy in Action: International NGO Practicum (London)

To learn more about programs with an EU/Comparative Law Emphasis, please visit the Office of Study Abroad.

2)    Programs that Offer Law Related Internship Opportunities Abroad

Today, work experience matters more than ever and can be a pivotal way to set a pre-law student apart as an applicant for internships/externships during one’s undergraduate — and law school! — career, as well as during the summer.  An internship may also direct a pre-law student toward a specific practice area in law and confirm whether law school and a career in law meets one’s expectations and is to their liking!

Below are some schools/programs that provide this opportunity: 

Butler University

Arcadia University – throughout the world

Focus on Parliamentary Internship Opportunities.  Locations in 1) London, England; 2) Dublin, Ireland (affiliated w/Institute of Public Administration (IPA) – Irish organization that focuses on public sector development; 3) *Edinburgh, Scotland (enacting its own laws for the first time since 1707); & 4) *Cape Town, South Africa (fall out of apartheid); & Canberra, Australia.  Arcadia also has Law/Legal Studies programs throughout the UK including at universities in Sussex & Glasgow where a JHU undergrad can take actual law school courses at the affiliate School of Law.

Boston University

To learn more about programs that Offer Law Related Internship Opportunities Broad, please visit the Office of Study Abroad.

3)    Direct Matriculation Programs/Programs that offer First Year Law School Coursework Abroad

Many law schools offer joint degree opportunities which permit a student to obtain a Juris Doctor from their U.S. law school, while concurrently obtaining the J.D. equivalent in another country.  In fact, these joint degree programs are expanding at a rapid rate.  Taking first year law school coursework abroad is an excellent way to determine whether a pre-law student should pursue such an academic course.  Additionally, this option provides great insight into the law school experience in another country.

Below are some schools/programs that provide this opportunity:

University of London

To learn more about Direct Matriculation Programs/Programs that offer First Year Law School Coursework Abroad, please visit the Office of Study Abroad.

Office of Study Abroad

Additionally, for further information on the above, contact:

Ana L. Droscoski, J.D.
Assistant Director
, Office of Pre-Professional Programs & Advising
The Johns Hopkins University
300 Garland Hall
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
410.516.4140
adrosco1@jhu.edu