Summer Abroad Highlight: Indian Internship Program

From the USF website.

Aug. 11, 2008 -- Nine USF School of Law students were immersed in the bustling city of Bangalore, home to India's high-tech industry, for five weeks this summer as part of the law school's new internship program in that city. The program was organized in conjunction with the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), the country's leading law school.

One week after finals, the students traveled to Bangalore and began an intensive study of the Indian legal system at NLSIU. After a week of study and field trips to Bangalore's historic courts and Parliament, students began their four-week work placements.

Students worked for different companies and organizations that matched their legal interests. Several worked for major international business firms, primarily focusing on business transactions or intellectual property. Schedules at the international law firms were hectic, with students working six days a week and often 11-plus hour days on various projects that included researching legislation and drafting resolutions and law memorandums. Three students worked for non-governmental organizations, focusing on human trafficking, police abuses, imprisonment of children, domestic violence, women's rights, and other human rights issues.

Donovan McKendrick 2L, who worked at the international firm AZB & Partners, said the internship taught him about global markets and the interdependence of nations. "The government and the people of India are working harder and faster than ever before. They understand their neighbor, China, is a powerful competitor, and India is intent on winning the global race."

McKendrick said that global competition was especially evident in Bangalore. "It is a bustling, buzzing city where major companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Infosys have setup shop to take advantage of India's incredible human capital and government support."

The internship allowed students to witness firsthand how the country is outpacing itself. "Infrastructure has not kept up with the boom, resulting in nightmarish traffic jams" McKendrick said. "It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least."

While studying abroad presents its challenges, McKendrick said that "every aspect of the program was amazing--from the depth and breadth of the Indian law courses taught at NLS(IU), to the level of distinction of our esteemed guest professors, to the variety of incredibly prestigious legal field trips we were taken on."

"I also got a great experience to put on my resume and met some wonderful people from India who I plan on working with in the future," he said.