Internship Programs for J.D. Students

The East Asian Legal Studies Center offers programs and opportunities each year to University of Wisconsin Law School J.D. students who are currently enrolled at the time of the program.  The two internship programs are listed below.  Internship applications generally open in the beginning of the Spring semester, but if you are interested in the programs or have any additional questions, please e-mail the East Asian Legal Studies Center at ealsc@law.wisc.edu.  

Summer Internship in Vietnam (Summer)

YKVN Lawyers, a widely respected Vietnamese law firm formerly the affiliate of White and Case in Vietnam, is recruiting spring and summer semester interns for both their Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices. There are also possibilities for fall semester interns.


The East Asian Legal Studies Center (EALSC) assists YKVN by collecting applications and interviewing applicants. Final decisions are made by YKVN Lawyers. Information about and assistance with housing, visas, and work assignments is given through YKVN Lawyers. The EALSC will provide a stipend to defray some of the costs of the internship, such as the international flight.

Candidates should have a basic familiarity and interest in contracts, finance, corporate law. No Vietnamese language skills required. 

Interns gain international legal experience, experience first hand one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, and work in areas such as contract litigation, securities, corporate and finance law, and international investment. The internships provide the potential opportunity to do international legal work for important Fortune 100 clients and to review documents as an English proof-reader. The internship also gives law students the chance to live in a quickly developing country in Asia and an unusual addition to your resume. Previous interns say that this is a good 'talking point' during job interviews.

Summers in Vietnam are hot and applicants should familiarize themselves with the climate so they know what to expect.

This internship is for 1L and 2L students in Vietnam at an international law firm in the summer for a total of 8 weeks.  If you want to contact one of the previous students for more information about their experience, please e-mail the Center at ealsc@law.wisc.edu and ask for the contact information.  For more information on YKVN Lawyers, see www.ykvn-law.com.

Applications will open up on in the Spring semester and a detailed explanation of the required application materials can be found here.

Summer Internship in Bangkok, Thailand (Summer)

This internship is for 1L and 2L students and is part of the Law School's cooperative agreement with Thammasat University Faculty of Law, in Bangkok, Thailand.  UW Law School students are given placements in international law firms in Bangkok lasting from July to mid-August. The EALSC will provide a stipend to defray the cost of travel.  Click here for details and application directions.

UW Law students Kexin Li, Kathilynne Grotelueschen, Michael Rud, and James Howard were selected to be interns in international law firms in Bangkok in summer 2010 as part of the UW Law School - Thammasat University Faculty of Law Summer Internship program.  The interns visited the Administrative Court in Bangkok and were featured on the Court's website.

Ms. Kyung Jin Lee was an intern in Bangkok during the summer of 2009.  An article about her experience appears on pages 22 and 23 of "Asia Law News," the newsletter of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law Asia/Pacific Committee.

From a Previous Intern:

The Bangkok internship program, coordinated between the Law School’s East Asian Legal StudiesCenter and Thammasat University in Bangkok, was, quite simply, the best way to spend my 1L summer.  I gained substantive legal experience in an established, full-service law firm and lived in a vibrant Southeast Asian city. 

I worked at International Legal Counsellors, Thailand, a corporate law firm located in Bangkok’s financial district.  Before starting work, I participated in a two-day orientation program coordinated by Thammasat, which included a thorough introduction to Thai business, trade and intellectual property law and tours of local courts. At the intellectual property court, we sat in on a cross-examination, with an English translator, and attended a de-briefing discussion session with one of the judges afterwards.  This provided an illuminating glimpse into Thai courtroom etiquette and legal culture.

My work at ILCT was concentrated in its transactional practice.  One of the firm’s major clients was implementing the security system at the new Bangkok airport, which involved companies of various nationalities.  I drafted several contracts, including subcontracts and sublease agreements.  I also assisted in the firm’s revision of its business law handbook, requiring research into Thai statutory law on foreign property ownership, expatriate labor issues and other cross-border legal matters.

The firm culture was open and friendly. I attended labor court, the trademark registration office and an international law symposium with the firm’s attorneys. Everybody, from the office administrator to the senior partners, was extremely helpful and gracious, making my initial adjustment to Bangkok life seamless.

Additionally, the professors at Thammasat were open and helpful.  One of my most memorable weekends in Thailand was spent at a professor’s home outside of Bangkok.  She coordinated a cultural tour of Ayutthaya, the ancient capital, and other natural and cultural sights, and invited us to spend the night at her home.  It was a great way to acquaint ourselves with each other and our Thai hosts.

Thailand deserves its reputation as one of the world’s premier travel destinations.  Besides its natural beauty and amazing cuisine, it boasts one of the world’s friendliest and most easy-going people.  

Applications will open up on in the Spring semester and a detailed explanation of the required application materials can be found here.

If you have questions about these programs, please contact the Center at ealsc@law.wisc.edu.

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