Curricular Practical Training (CPT) Certification

International Students

What is “Curricular Practical Training” (CPT)?

Foreign students holding an F-1 visa are not ordinarily permitted to take paid employment in the United States, but there is an exception for work/study that is an integral part of a course in the school’s curriculum. See United States Code of Federal Regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(f )(10)(i).

Eligibility to Engage in CPT at Seton Hall Law:

  1. You must be a degree candidate in good academic standing who has been in lawful F-1 visa status for at least one academic year.

  2. You must be enrolled in the Law Schools 1-credit course, “Law in Action,” which requires experience in legal practice plus a 12-page paper on a legal topic related to that experience. The course is Pass-Fail. Students who do not submit a paper will receive an F.

This site provides instructions and forms for the steps required for CPT authorization:

F1 Employment Opportunities for Law School Students

Types of Opportunities within the JD Program

CPT Opportunities (i.e. for course credit)

  1. Externship: unpaid, 2-credits, see requirements at Externship Guide for Students

  2. Summer Associate Position: paid, 1-credit. Typically done in summer two (2) after 2: year; - recommended work experience at any size firm, government organization, non-profit organization.

Pre-Graduation OPT Opportunities

  1. Internship: Paid/unpaid, non-credit.

  2. Fellowship: Stipend, non-credit.

No Work Authorization Needed

  1. On-campus: Research, teaching assistantship, student jobs - cannot exceed 20 hours per week.

  2. Volunteer Opportunities: Must be truly "volunteer".

Work after Graduation

  1. Post-graduation OPT*

    * Your I-20 end date will reflect the last day of final exams. You may begin OPT as early as the day after final exams and no later than 60 days after the last day of final exams. Since law school students will take the Bar exam in July, many choose to start OPT on the latest day possible. However, if you plan to work before the Bar exam, you must start OPT earlier.

1. Obtain an Employer Letter

You must have a letter from your employer. The letter must state the dates of the employment, the number of hours per week that you will work, and they type of work that you will be doing.

Sample Letter from CPT Employer (open)

2. Secure a Law School Faculty Supervisor

You must secure a Law School faculty member who agrees to supervise you for a one-credit paper; the faculty member may be full-time or adjunct. The work must be a scholarly paper on a topic related to legal issues encountered in your summer employment. The paper must consist of original work not submitted to your employer and should be of a length and scope comparable to half of that required by a two-credit seminar paper, e.g. 3,500 to 4,000 words.

The faculty member must sign the Law in Action JD Registration Form.

3. Register for Law in Action: WRTG9140 for the term in which you are employed

Register for the Course Law in Action with the Law School Registrar. Provide the Registrar with the Law in Action JD Registration Form signed by your faculty supervisor.

4. Submit your materials to the Office of International Programs

You must submit copies of the F-1 CPT Request Form and the Employer Letter (section 1 above) to the Office of International Programs (OIP) at least two weeks before your employment begins so that OIP has time to authorization for CPT. Your employment cannot start before you have authorization from OIP.

What Happens Next?

The Office of International Programs on the main campus will send you a new I-20 with CPT authorization. F-1 students must receive this I-20 before beginning a CPT experience and show this to your employer.

If you have questions or need more information, contact the Office of International Programs (OIP) on the main campus at:

[email protected]
Phone: 973-761-9072
Mon – Fri: 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.