« on: December 19, 2008, 12:55:00 PM »
good post, gilles. i just think it should be known that there is a pitfall with OPT, which is that there is a finite supply of OPT time - twelve months - which you can use while you're studying or after you graduate. so by opting for OPT during summer internships, you're reducing the amount of OPT time available after the end of your studies. this may not be a big problem for lawyers, given that it's not too hard to get work authorization through the HB or TN visa process, but it's an issue to be aware of. it might be useful if you can't land a regular job right after you get your degree, and you need to do temporary/contract work with employers who don't want the hassle of sponsoring a visa.
the alternative to OPT during law school summers is CPT (curricular practical training), which means your summer internship is part of your curriculum, like an internship. this involves a certain amount of paperwork, and in my case it involved paying for 1 summertime credit. some other schools make it a 0-credit internship, meaning no charge, and that's fine from the federal government's perspective. my international student office recommended CPT, even with the charge, over OPT.