About the Program
Throughout the year we offer internships which allow law students, law practitioners, professional legal training students and recent graduates with an interest in law reform, to gain insight into the work of the Commission. Our aim is to give you international experience in a law reform commission, and insight into how the unique Samoan system functions with its common law and customary law systems, based on the matai (village chief) structure.
Internships are unpaid and open to all nationalities. We accept applications from law students who have completed 3 years of their undergraduate legal studies, JD students, professional legal training students and recent graduates. Travel costs and living arrangements are the responsibility of the intern. We do however encourage interns to apply for grants from their universities and explore other available funding through initiatives similar to the New Colombo Plan available to Australian students.
Typically internships last for 4 weeks minimum, as agreed between the intern and the Commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
We currently accept applications at any time and take interns throughout the year. Applications are most competitive during university holiday periods. Details on the application process can be found below.
Yes, we do!
Yes, repeat applications are welcome. You are also welcome to propose a number of internship dates in your applications.
Typically internships last between 4 weeks minimum (1 month). The internship period is arranged between the prospective intern and the Commission as part of the application process. Prospective interns should propose their preferred internship duration and dates in their application.
Working hours at the Commission are Monday to Friday 9:00am-5:00pm.
Our internships are unpaid and are on a voluntary basis. We do not provide allowances for meals, transport, accommodation, travel insurance etc. We encourage you to explore funding options through your university or through government grants if you need financial assistance. For example, Australian students could apply to the New Colombo Plan.
The Commission will provide you with your own work space, desk, computer and landline phone. You will have access to internet, photocopying, printing, fax machine and a kitchen area with all its amenities. Furthermore, the Office van will pick you up from the Airport upon arrival and will drop you off again when you depart.
Accommodation is the responsibility of the intern. However, a list of suitable accommodation providers will be sent to successful applicants.
Check with the Samoa Immigration authorities for up to date information relevant to your individual circumstances. Here is a link to Samoa Immigration’s Website.
You can find a list of our current and past projects INSERT LINK.
The work given to interns varies depending on their experience and the Commission’s current projects. Typically, interns will be asked to:
- Research and analyse legislation and case law in comparable jurisdictions;
- Assist in reviewing issues papers and reports; and
- Assist in public consultations.
The commission has had interns who have gained credit towards their studies as a result of their internship. You should check with your university or practical legal training body to see if this is possible in your circumstances.
This depends on your university/provider and their applicable guidelines. Samoa is a common law jurisdiction and our work does involve considerable comparison with New Zealand and Australian laws.
Samoa has warm tropical weather and the weather is usually around 30 degrees Centigrade. The wet season is from November to April and the dry season from May to October. The office is air-conditioned.
How To Apply?
- Expression of interest (1 page maximum)
- Curriculum Vitae (2 page maximum)
- Academic Transcript
Interns will be selected on the basis of:
- Evidence of completion of at least three years (or JD equivalent) study in an undergraduate or postgraduate law degree
- Academic merit
- Demonstrated interest or experience in law reform, and/or the Commission’s current projects
- Strong communication skills
- Strong legal and analytical skills
- Either the student can contact us OR the University does. At the moment the university is contacting us.
- We talk to them and they submit what they want out of the internship along with dates (beginning to end of internship)
- We inform you if we accept or decline your application.
If we accept your application:
- Samoa Law Reform Commission staff prepares a work-plan for the intern
- Intern starts on the approved dates and is expected to carry out the work-plan prepared by the commission
- Interns are expected to Present their findings ONE WEEK before the completion date for internship
- Intern completes program and further discussion will be made with the commission