Student Placement

The Leitner Internship Program provides stipends for students to participate in human rights internships over the summer and during the school year.

Over the summer, the Internship Program provides students with $5,000 grants to work with international human rights organizations full-time for ten weeks. Students wishing to intern during the fall or spring semester are encouraged to do so and receive $2,000 at the completion of 140 hours of supervised work.

Applicants complete a detailed proposal and select an organizational partner, such as a non-governmental organization or UN agency, with whom they will work. Upon their return, Leitner Interns file a report summarizing their experience and make a presentation as a Brown Bag lunch. Students awarded grants are also encouraged to develop their scholarly interest in the subject matter with an eye towards producing a note or other publication. To that end, the Center offers a human rights drafting course for Leitner Interns who wish to turn their summer experiences into a note for submission to the Fordham Law Review or International Law Journal. Summer Leitner Interns are also encouraged to take part in the Leitner Intern blog, which chronicles their summer experiences on the website. Since it began in 2004, the Program has sent students to countries all over the world including Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Korea, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The Internship Program also offers academic-term internships, through which participating students receive $2000 to work part-time for ten weeks during the academic year. Students are placed at the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the New York City Bar Association's Human Rights Committee or another human rights NGO.

The Leitner Center now has a binder / database of past summer Leitner internships broken down by region and year. The binder is available as a resource to aid students in their search for summer and termtime internships. Please visit the Center (2nd Fl, 33 West 60th St) to view the binder.

Katherine Hughes, Leitner Intern 2006, Zimbabwe

"Last summer I worked in Zimbabwe with the Legal Resources Foundation, which offers legal services to those who cannot afford to hire private attorneys. To say that it was life-changing would be an understatement. Not only were my eyes fully opened to the reality of the nation's poverty, HIV/AIDS crisis, and political misfortune, but I was also enlightened with regard to the incredible strength of the human spirit when faced with such odds. Upon my return, I published an article arguing for a stronger United Nations response to President Mugabe's recent mass slum-clearance program, which left an estimated 700,000 Zimbabweans destitute. I would not hesitate to recommend that students experience a 'Leitner' summer, for both the education it provides and the adventure."

Grace Pickering, Leitner Intern 2006, Costa Rica

"I spent the summer working on an immigration project in Costa Rica. My project was to predict and analyze the impact of new and extremely stringent immigration legislation on the human rights of women (of all nationalities) living in Costa Rica. This legislation has now been repealed. It was an incredible opportunity to do human rights work and really get to know another culture. I truly believe it has made me a better person and a better future lawyer by increasing my understanding of how important legal reform is in protecting the vulnerable, and also the kind of role I can play in enabling change."

Carolyn Houston, Leitner Intern 2006, India

"I traveled to Mumbai, India to work for the India Centre for Human Rights and Law. I worked primarily with the Women's Rights Division, which included sexual harassment, family law and lesbian rights divisions. It was humbling and inevitable that I would take away much more from the experience than I could ever bring to the people there. My co-workers and friends were leaders and fighters who passionately believed in human rights for all. The exposure to such a distinct and insular culture will have a lasting effect on my personal perspective and legal career."

Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
33 West 60th Street (2nd Floor)
New York, NY 10023

Telephone: 212.636.6862
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Fordham offers one of the most extensive human rights curricula of any law school in the United States

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Faculty and Staff
Martin Flaherty
Leitner Family Professor , Co-Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
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