University of Technology Sydney

76098 International Legal Internship

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2022 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Law
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 70617 Administrative Law
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 94680 Entering Professional Life (6cp) AND 94681 Entering Professional Life (8cp)


To apply, complete an application in CareerHub by Friday 26 April 2019 for Spring 2019 placements and Friday 30 August 2019 for Summer 2019 placements. Students must apply, receive approval and enrol in the internship subject prior to travel. Students applying for the ACICIS Indonesia Practicum should apply to ACICIS directly and complete the application form in CareerHub.


Internship subjects enable students to apply their academic learning to a professional context and in so doing, produce better equipped legal graduates. Internships undertaken overseas have the additional benefit of exposing students to legal practice in a global context. This subject provides students with an opportunity to gain international and practical legal experience so as to develop professional skills through 'real-world' legal work. The subject teaches students to reflect on their practical learning and its relationship to their academic education and legal skills. An internship is an invaluable workplace supplement to a student's academic program and can help to enrich and enliven the classroom experience. The international experience promotes crosscultural awareness, adaptability and resourcefulness and encourages students to think of themselves as future global professionals.

This subject is taught at master's level. Students achieve the advanced subject learning outcomes of self-management, critical reflection and professional responsibility through their participation in the internship and pre-departure preparations, their critical reflection and their debriefing presentation. The subject requires a placement with an international host organisation that can be arranged in two ways. Either, the Faculty provides placements over July (Spring session) or December/January/February (Summer session), ordinarily for four weeks. Alternatively, students can apply to have a project they have organised independently approved by the Faculty. Students can view the available placements and the application form on the Faculty website. The website and application form explain what is required for application and how students are selected for placements or self-arranged internships.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Apply legal knowledge and research skills to practical projects in an international, professional context in order to understand the relationship between legal theory and practice.
2. Exercise ethical judgment and responsibility as a legal professional in an international organisation.
3. Manage themselves as self-directed, reflective and resilient professionals able to develop their skills while ensuring their own well-being.
4. Critically reflect on their learning experiences and evaluate the implications for their future professional pathways.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes which reflect the course intended learning outcomes:

  • Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    A capacity to value and promote honesty, integrity, accountability, public service and ethical standards including:
    a. An understanding of approaches to ethical decision making and professional responsibility;
    b. An ability to recognise, reflect upon and respond to ethical issues likely to arise in professional contexts in ways that evidence professional judgment, promote justice and serve the community; and
    c. An ability to reflect on and engage constructively with diversity in practice. (LAW.2.1)
  • Self management
    The ability to implement appropriate self-management and lifelong learning strategies including:
    a. An ability to undertake and initiate self-directed work and learning;
    b. Well-developed judgment and responsibility as a legal professional in a broader social context;
    c. The ability to support personal and professional development by:
    (i). Reflecting on and assessing their own capabilities, wellbeing and performance;
    (ii). Making use of feedback as appropriate;
    (iii). Identifying and accessing appropriate resources and assistance; and
    (iv). Making use of resources and support in developing resilience; and
    d. A capacity to adapt to and embrace change and a commitment to ongoing learning. (LAW.8.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

Strategy 1 - Preparation for the Internship:

Students participate in a preparatory workshop in the session preceding the internship to consider the expectations of the host organisation, the University and Faculty and what students aim to learn in the subject. Students are

expected to go through the subject documents provided by the subject coordinator prior to the workshop and prepare a list of questions that they may have about the subject. The workshop prepares students with an understanding of their professional obligations and responsibilities. It considers the aims of the subject and of the individual placements and prepares students for different types of placements within the context of the overall experience of an international internship. Students also attend a compulsory University-arranged information session concerning issues such as insurance and safety where they are briefed on University travel services and given instructions on how to sign up for insurance. Students make initial contact with the host organisations and discuss their areas of interest for their work on placements. Students make their own arrangements for travel but can discuss logistical issues with the subject coordinator. This preparation requires students to develop their self-management skills and refine their understanding of professional responsibility supported by their discussions with the coordinator and the rest of the student group.

Strategy 2 - Participation in the Internship:

The placement is aimed at providing students with a full-time legal work experience in an overseas, professional organisation. Students participate in an internship (ordinarily for 4 weeks). This enables students to apply their academic knowledge and skills such as research and legal writing to activities provided by the host organisation. Students learn about legal practice in an international setting through participant observation which involves actively monitoring and analysing the way in which professional staff fulfil their functions and how the legal practice operates. They also learn through active practice-based learning by completing assigned tasks. Internship projects require students to draw on their self-management skills, resourcefulness and professionalism in unfamiliar environments. The internship involves full-time work by the student at the host organisation as an intern under the instruction of the relevant members of the host organisation, in compliance with their rules and expectations. Students are provided with projects and tasks by the host organisation which require students to draw on and develop their research and communication skills. Students also have to develop time frames for completion of these projects and tasks and need to meet the various demands made on them in demonstrating their capacity for self-management. The professional setting will require students to apply their academic knowledge of ethical practice in a real-world setting. The host organisation supervises student work and provides ‘on the job’ feedback in relation to the tasks set for students. The organisation also provides an appraisal of the student at the end of the internship on a detailed form provided by UTS. The organisation evaluates the student’s performance in relation to: Work quality including well-researched, appropriate and well-communicated outputs; Planning and organisation, including ability to meet deadlines; Professional conduct, including responding to feedback, punctuality and reliability; Adaptability to new requirements and problem solving; and Interpersonal skills (team work, communication, listening skills, negotiation, decision-making and assertiveness). It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the organisation completes the appraisal form in time to be handed to the subject coordinator by the date of the debrief presentation (Assessment task 2). This is the feedback from the host organisation to the student and to the Faculty and is essential for completion of the subject.

Strategy 3 - Critical Reflection and Feedback:

Each week students submit a critical reflection involving evaluations of their developing knowledge, skills and behaviours that enables them to develop strategies for the week ahead to improve their workplace contributions. This enables the student and subject coordinator to keep in regular contact and is a mechanism for students to reflect on their developing self-management skills and professional competence during the internship. The subject coordinator provides speedy feedback in response to these critical reflections so as to help students refine and improve their professional and self-management skills. The subject coordinator is also available via email, throughout the internship, to assist students with any issues affecting their well-being that may arise in relation to the placement.

Strategy 4 - Final debrief and reporting on placement experiences:

Students consolidate and build on learning in their placements by presenting orally on the experience of and lessons learned from the placement. This enables students to deepen their reflections on the internship experience as a whole, to assess the professional and personal skills gained and to identify the areas that each student needs to develop for their future professional and academic work. The subject coordinator provides feedback on the presentation focusing on the student’s development as a future global legal professional and self-aware practitioner.

Subject Delivery:

Two 3-hour Workshops (briefing and debriefing) and the International Placement (usually 4 weeks).

Content (topics)

  1. UTS pre-departure compliance requirements
  2. Academic, professional and logistical preparation for an International Internship placement
  3. Critical Reflection in professional settings
  4. Debrief


Assessment task 1: Critical Reflection


This task gives students an opportunity to critically reflect on their internship experience while they are on their placement and receive rapid feedback and targeted support.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.2.1 and LAW.8.1

Weight: 50%

4 x 800 words (3200 words)

  1. Describes key aspects of each week of the internship experience; discusses challenges, feelings and approaches;
  2. Clearly relates new knowledge and understanding to previous knowledge and understanding;
  3. Provides insights into the theory and application of law and options for future practice and a growing awareness of translating academic research skills into professional practice;
  4. Identifies and discusses the significance of contextual factors, including the specific country and practice context, to the practical operation of law;
  5. Displays resilience and resourcefulness and the capacity to solve problems and contribute to solutions with maturity and professionalism;
  6. Demonstrates strong written communication skills, including clarity, structure, coherence, grammar and syntax.

Assessment task 2: Project debrief


This task provides students with the opportunity to report back on their internship in the form of an oral presentation. It is intended to further develop critical reflection skills.


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2, 3 and 4

This task contributes specifically to the development of the following graduate attributes:

LAW.2.1 and LAW.8.1

Weight: 50%

2,000 words equivalent

  1. Clear, effective and well-structured presentation that responds to the presentation brief;
  2. Analytical and insightful approach to the issues you worked on and the experience as a whole that demonstrates the development of your professional skills applied to a real world context as well as the development of your capacity for self-management;
  3. Interesting and thoughtful presentation with reflections on what you learned about yourself and how this has informed the rest of your studies and your future career.

Minimum requirements

Students are required to participate in an international legal internship as agreed with the subject coordinator. Students will provide evidence of satisfactory participation by submitting an appraisal form completed by the host organisation to the subject coordinator by the date of the debrief presentation. Students who do not provide evidence of satisfactory participation in their internship will not be able to complete the subject.

Students must also participate in the mandatory preparation and debrief workshops (see Program) and communicate weekly with the subject coordinator in the form of their critical reflections (see Assessment Task 1).

Required texts

A list of references will be provided to students at the pre-departure workshop and will be posted on Canvas.