Orlando Law Students
This information is designed for students in F-1 temporary/non-immigrant status. This provides information on a type of employment opportunity, which is known as "curricular practical training". You must attend information sessions provided by International Multicultural Programs and it is mandatory that the IMP office be included on all correspondence, address updates, new/updated documentation and related activity.
Curricular Practical Training Definition
"Curricular Practical Training" (CPT) is an authorized period of PAID employment that is an integral or important part of a student's curriculum. At Barry University School of Law, there is one scenario through which international students may qualify for CPT:
- Practical internship/experience is not a requirement of the degree program to earn a JD but it is integral or important to the degree program. Off-campus paid employment may be obtained if the experience is an integral (directly related) part of the JD curriculum. Authorization may be granted to an international student for a specific employer and for a specific period of time. A corresponding CPT course (directed research) is required. The course must be taken during the same semester as, or during the semester immediately following, the employment period. Failure to enroll in and complete the class will result in immediate violation of your legal status. It is the student's responsibility to fulfill all requirements of CPT.
CPT Corresponding Course LAW 6004– Directed Research Description
Each F-1 student must provide documentary evidence of degree-related activity while on CPT. Students must demonstrate competence in legal writing and research on a topic related to the CPT. The CPT Directed Research course may be taken a maximum of three times at the law school . CPT is an option available for graduate students to enroll immediately. However, the ABA strongly discourages students to work during the first academic year of law school. This practicum requires a grade (credit/fail option is not permissible).
This course enables a student to receive one academic credit for completing a lengthy research paper and writing on a topic that arises out of a summer position experience in a public interest or private law office. With permission from the Directed Research Supervising Professor, the paper may be increased to meet the ULWR requirements and approved for 2 credits.
The student must work a minimum of eight (8) weeks during the semester, and use insights and experiences from that exposure to law practice to write a paper of at least 15 pages that provides an academic analysis of an aspect of the student's work in substantive area of law (exclusive of footnotes). Topics for the paper will be chosen in consultation with the instructor but may include: legal analysis, consistent with confidentiality obligations, of a legal question that arose in the course of the work experience. The final paper must be preceded by an outline and a draft.
Step 1: Prepare for the job search and application process.
Barry University International & Multicultural Programs will hold an informational session on the Orlando campus during your first semester of law school. A CPT Application Packet will be provided to you; read it carefully and in its entirety. It is suggested that you meet with Barry Law Career Services to begin resume/cover letter prep and discuss the job search process. Because it can be quite time consuming, it is suggested that you meet during the semester before you plan to search for a job (e.g., meet in December if you plan to search for a summer job during the spring semester).
Step 2: Obtain an Offer of Employment.
Employer must complete the CPT Employer Offer Form (or provide an employment letter) that explains the terms of offer. The CPT Application Packet contains the form and an explanation letter you can provide to the employer.
Step 3: Meet with Barry Law Directed Research Supervising Professor.
Meet with the Directed Research Supervising Professor who will serve as the advisor for your Directed Research course (you choose). Provide the professor a copy of the first page of this document, which includes the Directed Research Description. Also, take with you the CPT Application Packet, including the Directed Research Approval Form or the letter from the employer, as well as your completed Employer Offer Form or the letter from the employer. You must provide a completed Directed Research Approval Form to IMP even if you will not register for the Directed Research course until the semester following your work experience. Submitting a completed form to IMP is a prerequisite to gain CPT approval.
Step 4: Provide necessary documentation to International & Multicultural Programs office.
Follow the checklist on the front page of the CPT Application. Please allow at least ten business days prior to the first day of your intended employment for IMP to process a SEVIS CPT authorized I -20. Remember, submitting a completed form to IMP is a prerequisite to gain CPT approval even if you will not register for the Directed Research course until the semester following your work experience.
Step 5: Register for the related class.
Register for the Directed Research course as instructed by your Directed Research Supervising Professor.
Conditions and Guidelines
- The student must have and be maintaining valid F-1status .
- The graduate student is eligible to utilize CPT immediately upon beginning classes but the ABA strongly discourages students from working during the first academic year.
- The student must have a job offer with specific start and end dates before registering for the course. The employment must clearly relate to the student's field of study.
- CPT must be approved by the Barry Law Directed Research Supervising Professor, as well as the Law School Dean for Student Affairs. Authorization for CPT is granted through Barry University International & Multicultural Programs.
- CPT can either be part-time or full-time. Part-time employment may not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session. Full-time employment (more than 20 hours a week) during official school breaks is permitted. Students need separate endorsements for part-time and full-time employment even if the employment is in the same term or semester.
- Students may enroll in one CPT class per semester (to receive one unit of credit). However, with permission from the Directed Research Supervising Professor, the paper may be increased to meet the ULWR requirements and approved for 2 credits. The course must be taken during the same semester as, or during the semester immediately following, the employment period. Note that international students must be registered during the fall and spring semesters for at least 6 credits except for the final semester prior to graduation.
- Students must obtain a separate I-20 Form endorsement for each CPT employer.
- The student must work a minimum of eight (8) weeks with the CPT employer for each CPT approved.
- There is no limitation upon the length of time you may participate in CPT generally, but if you participate in twelve consecutive months of CPT you will end your eligibility for any type of optional practical training (including post-completion OPT). Maintain good communication with IMP to ensure you are not jeopardizing future OPT.
- Students who have already completed all course requirements for their degree are not eligible for CPT. CPT may not be used as a reason for delaying graduation.
- Students who have applied for Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training may not apply for CPT during the same period requested on their Pre-OPT application. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could interpret this sort of "double processing" as facilitating inappropriate employment and possibly illegal authorization of practical training.