STEP Student Trainee Exchange Programme
The European Law Students Association (ELSA) is a non-political, independent, non-profit making association. It aims to promote, establish and develop mutual understanding, co-operation and personal contacts between law students and young lawyers from different states and legal systems. It also provides opportunities for law students and young lawyers to learn about other cultures and legal systems in a spirit of critical dialogue and scientific co-operation.
The Student Trainee Exchange Programme (STEP) of ELSA, makes it possible for law students and young lawyers to gain working experience abroad. Each year ELSA offers around 450 traineeship opportunities all over Europe and occasionally in other parts of the world.
STEP is a trainee exchange programme that enables law students and young lawyers to gain first hand experience of the substantive and procedural law as well as the culture of another country. The traineeships are between 2 weeks and 24 months and can take place in any law related area; law firms, courts, public institutions, banks, in-house legal departments, consulting firms and international organisations.
Before and during the traineeship, ELSA provides assistance with finding accommodation, applying for visas, when necessary, and organising social events to involve the trainee in the daily life of the local community.
The procedure for applying online for a traineeship can be divided in three steps:
1. Register in ELSA ONLINE. (http://www.elsa.org/traineeships/howtoapply.html)
2. Present the appropriate certificates and attestations to the local ELSA group. ELSA will thereafter activate the application form, which the applicant can access with a chosen password and user name. Once activated the applicants have access to ELSA ONLINE for one year.
3. Search and apply online for the traineeship of your choice. The applicant will be automatically matched to the traineeships available in the database and the traineeships that he/she qualify for will be listed on the screen. This list is being updated regularly as the pool of available traineeships changes. It is only possible to apply for one traineeship at a time.
ELSA currently has members and observers in: Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Macedonia, Malta, Republic of Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
Furthermore, ELSA co-operates with other student organisations across the world, for instance ILSA in North America, ALSA in Japan, ALSA in Australia, ALSA in South Africa and AEJCI in Ivory Coast.
See the deadlines for traineeships in law in different European countries here.