January 22, 2024
Building with fountains in foreground
Buenos Aires, Argentina (photo by Shirley Castillo)

Thanks to summer internships offered through the Center for Transnational Law (CTL), Rutgers Law students interested in international law and human rights can hone their skills while living and working like a Latin American local. Now accepting applications for summer 2024, these unique internships place students in non-governmental organizations across Latin America where they’ll enrich their classroom education with global, hands-on work.

“Being exposed to foreign legal systems is an asset for any lawyer,” says Jorge Contesse, CTL founding director and member of the United Nations Committee Against Torture. “This summer internship program is an opportunity for Rutgers Law students to become better lawyers via exposure to legal work and advocacy in other parts of the world."

Applications for the summer 2024 internships are due on March 1, 2024, and placements are available in partner organizations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. One Rutgers Law intern spent last summer in Buenos Aires.

woman with glasses smiling
Shirley Castillo '24

Shirley Castillo is no stranger to international travel. As an undergraduate student, she studied abroad for a semester in Australia and, after graduation, joined the Peace Corps. “I wanted to be immersed in a different environment and gain real world experience before starting law school,” she says. “Once I arrived at Rutgers Law, I knew I wanted to go abroad again. I’ve discovered that I like to live and work in cultures different from my own.”

Castillo’s 2023 CTL summer internship placed her with the Civil Association for Equality and Justice in Buenos Aires (“It’s like the Argentinian version of the ACLU,” Castillo explains). Over the course of her month there, she supported the nonprofit’s work by researching various access-to-justice programs from around the world, hoping to discover elements that could be applied in Argentina. For someone who wants to work in international law after graduation, the experience was invaluable.

“I learned a lot about what humanitarian aid looks like and what information is available for governmental fiscal accountability,” she says. “If I decide to work in either of those fields after graduation, I now have the foundational knowledge I’ll need—and I gained it in the real world rather than from a textbook.”

Castillo’s advice for any student considering the internship? Apply for it! “Even compared to my previous experiences abroad, this internship was uniquely challenging because it was in a law office,” she says. “The subject matter is serious, the practice of law is completely different, and office culture is also different. It can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you. My advice is to be guided by your interests, instead of your fear of failure.”

Interested students can apply by contacting CTL.

Rutgers Law Media Contact:
Shanida Carter

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