Are you considering law study abroad but have concerns about how potential employers will view it? Worried that you’ll fall behind your classmates? Or think it was something you should have done as an undergrad? Let’s examine three of the most common myths about law study abroad.

Myth #1: Law Study Abroad Will Ruin My Resume

It may seem like a long way away, but take a moment to think about interviewing for your first job as an attorney. You’ll have worked hard to earn good grades. Maybe you worked as a summer associate at a law firm, had a judicial clerkship, excelled as a member of your law school’s moot court team, or participated in a student organization or publication. You perfected your resume and received the coveted job interview.

What will you talk about in the interview? How will you set yourself apart from the competition?

When considering study abroad, you may be concerned that an employer will think your summer overseas was an excuse to have a good time, to take a break from your studies, and to enjoy a last hurrah before you enter the real world.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Students who participate in Santa Clara University School of Law’s Summer Abroad Program report that their experience overseas is one of the first things interviewers ask about. Law study abroad is a unique experience, which makes it an instant icebreaker that can quickly set you apart from your classmates and make a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Santa Clara Law Summer Abroad in Geneva - United Nations flags

Myth #2: I’ll Fall Behind My Classmates

If you’re considering a summer abroad program, you may be concerned that you’ll fall behind your classmates.

In fact, you’ll come out ahead. While your classmates are clerking for a judge or interning for a law firm, you’ll be earning credits towards graduation. The credits you earn during the summer will allow you to take fewer classes during your third year of law school. You can use this extra time to apply for jobs, go to interviews and study for the bar exam.

Students who participate in two summers of study abroad are sometimes able to graduate early in December, meaning they can save money on tuition and spend the entire spring semester focused on landing a job and studying for the bar exam.

Myth #3: Study Abroad Is for Undergrads

You may feel like study abroad was something you should have done as an undergrad. If you decide to participate in a Summer Abroad program, you’ll join thousands of law students who study abroad every year. This sets you apart from many other students and prepares you to practice law in a global marketplace. As the world becomes increasingly more interconnected, it’s important to have international experience from an externship or study abroad to draw upon.

Santa Clara Law Summer Abroad in Tokyo - Japanese Courtroom

Questions about Law Study Abroad?

If you’re considering law study abroad and have questions, contact a program advisor at Santa Clara University School of Law’s Center for Global Law & Policy.