Summer School and Internships
The School of Law does not offer a summer session. However, students may take courses offered in the summer sessions at other accredited law schools to earn up to six credit hours toward their degrees. In order to receive credit for courses taken in the summer sessions at other law schools, a student must obtain advance approval from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the School of Law and submit to the Law Records Office, no later than the end of the grading period for the following semester, a transcript evidencing satisfactory completion of the summer work. Satisfactory completion of a summer school course means fulfillment of the course requirements established by the law school where the course is taken, with a grade equivalent to C or higher.
The following requirements and procedures apply:
- The summer school program must be ABA-accredited. No more than six credits earned through such a program may be applied toward your W&L degree. For a list of ABA accredited study abroad programs, go to http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/aba_approved_law_schools.html.
- Both your participation in the program and the specific courses you intend to take must be approved in writing by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in advance. Failure to obtain advance permission may result in denial of credit.
- The summer program must be one that gives grades. You will receive W&L credit for each course you successfully complete with a grade equivalent at least to our "C".
- In order to receive credit, you must furnish Mr. Sean Marshall, Assistant Registrar with an official transcript from the summer program no later than the end of the grading period for the semester following the summer school program (January 3, 2022 for Summer 2021).
- We will record successfully completed summer school courses on your transcript, but transfer credit or "TR" credit will be indicated in place of a grade; your W&L grade point average will not reflect grades earned in summer school programs.
- Some summer school programs will require a "letter of good standing" from us as part of your application. Mr. Marshall can supply such a letter.
Non-Graded Academic Credit for Internships, Summer 2021
US Citizens: Non-graded academic credit is available to a United States citizen who works in a full-time unpaid summer internship with a for-profit entity (such as a law firm or corporate counsel's office), a not-for-profit entity, governmental organization, NGO, trade organization, court or other legal practice setting. Academic credit is optional for US citizens (though some employers require that credit be received). The application process is detailed in Part I, below.
International (F-1 Visa) Students: In order for a US summer internship to qualify for Curricular Practical Training, international students must arrange for academic credit as described in Part II.
Cost and Timing of Award: There is no additional tuition charged for academic credit obtained under this policy.
I. US Citizens:
Qualifying Internships. A full-time unpaid internship with a term of at least four weeks is eligible for one-half credit; a full-time unpaid internship with a term of eight weeks or longer is eligible for a full credit. You must be supervised by an attorney.
o Qualifying internships for which you receive financial support through OCS' Natkin Fund or other award funds, PILSA, SBA, the Transnational Law Institute, federal work study or any other source, are eligible for academic credit only if the entirety of the financial support received was used to defray out-of-pocket expenses related to the internship. You must submit itemized receipts for such expenses; see the Certification attached for a description of qualifying expenses.
o You may earn a maximum of two ungraded credits for unpaid summer work over the course of your academic career.
Credit Application Requirements and Procedures:
o After the internship concludes and no later than noon on Friday, September 3, upload a completed Certification (with Attachment A, if required) using the online portal linked in the SCORE Resource Library's OCS Policies > Academic Credit folder.
o No later than noon on Friday, September 24, submit a satisfactory memorandum summarizing the work performed and reflecting on the experience. Guidelines for the memorandum and instructions for submission are attached. Memo submission instructions will be provided after the Certification submission deadline has passed.
II. F-1 Visa Students: If you want a US summer position to qualify as Curricular Practical Training, you must arrange for academic credit. The method through which you make those arrangements depends on whether or not you will be paid by your summer employer. The Center for International Education Information has prepared a summary of practical training options; a link to the summary is provided in the SCORE Resource Library's OCS Policies > Academic Credit folder.
First, whether you'll be paid or not, email the following information about your internship to me (HiltonA@wlu.edu) as soon as you have accepted a position:
o the name and street address of the organization where you'll be an intern,
o the name, telephone number and email address for your supervisor at that organization,
o the start and end dates for your internship, and
o whether your position will be paid or unpaid.
Second, complete the Student and Employer sections of the Curricular Practical Training Authorization Form found in the SCORE Resource Library's OCS Policies > Academic Credit folder and email the completed form to me. I will shepherd it through the Law School's internal approval process, and provide it to the Center for International Education where your CPT paperwork will be processed.
Important notes on timing: If you have a paid position, your paperwork can not be processed by the Center for International Education until you've received approval for your independent research and writing project - see below for details. You may not begin a paid or unpaid internship before your CPT paperwork is in place.
Third, proceed under either the Unpaid Position or Paid Position policy outlined below.
A: Unpaid Summer Position.
If you are engaged in an unpaid summer position in the US, complete the Student and Employer sections of the Curricular Practical Training Authorization Form found in the SCORE Resource Library's OCS Policies > Academic Credit folder and email the completed form to me (HiltonA@wlu.edu). I will shepherd it through the Law School's internal approval process, and provide it to the Center for International Education staff responsible for processing CPT paperwork.
At the conclusion of your internship, obtain credit for your experience under the policy for US Citizens outlined in Part I of this memo. If you receive funds from OCS, PILSA, SBA, the Transnational Law Institute or any other source other than your summer employer, you must submit receipts for out-of-pocket expenses related to your position in at least the amount of the funds received. See the Certification attached for a description of qualifying expenses; be sure to retain detailed receipts for your expenses throughout the course of the summer.
B: Paid Summer Position.
If you are engaged in a paid summer position in the US, you must undertake a one or two credit summer independent research and writing project (Law 310: Independent Research Projects or Tutorials, description available in the online course catalog) under the direct supervision of a member of the faculty. The project may not duplicate research or writing conducted in the course of your summer employment, but must generally relate to the subject matter of your summer employment.
Develop a research project with a member of the faculty. Then submit the following documents by email (HiltonA@wlu.edu) no later than Monday, April 12:
o a detailed independent research project proposal using the form provided by Office of Law School Records, (available in the SCORE Resource Library's OCS Policies > Academic Credit folder) and
o the Curricular Practical Training Authorization Form (available in the SCORE Resource Library's OCS Policies > Academic Credit folder) with the Student and Employer sections completed.
I will submit your proposal to the Independent Research Committee for approval; once approval has been received, I will provide the CPT Authorization Form to the Center for International Education.
Your independent research and writing project should be completed by Friday, September 23. If you need additional time, consult your supervising faculty member.
III. Statement to an Employer regarding Availability of Academic Credit: Some summer employers request an advance assurance that an internship is eligible for academic credit. You may find the paragraph below helpful. If a formal letter regarding credit eligibility is required, I am happy to provide one for you.
Washington and Lee will award ungraded academic credit for an attorney-supervised unpaid, full time summer internship of at least four weeks duration. The administrative obligations of the attorney supervising an intern are minimal; a certification regarding the terms of the internship and confirmation of successful completion are all that are required. Supervisors are provided with an opportunity to review an intern's work, but submission of a review is not required. Andrea Hilton, the Law School's Associate Director for Professional Development, coordinates this process, and you may direct any questions to her at HiltonA@wlu.edu or 540.458.8022.
If you have questions about any aspect of this policy, make an appointment using Calendly or email me at HiltonA@wlu.edu.