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Careers in International Law
This blog offers commentary on current developments and scholarship in the field of international economic law and policy.
Morris Singer : Innovating the Business of Law (Blog)
Morris Singer is a Boston-area attorney with a passion for the business of law, technology, and innovation of the legal industry.
Getting an International Law Job - 10 Mistakes That Can Cost You a Legal Job Abroad
This article discusses common mistakes to avoid when applying for jobs in the international legal sector.
Researching Careers in International Law: Resources in Print and Electronic Format by Lyonette Louis-Jacques
This website has compiled several online resources for careers in international law.
International Law Career Links
The American Society of International Law provides numerous links with information on different internships, fellowships, research opportunities, mid-career grants, and Pro-Bono opportunities in the area of international law.
D'Amato, Anthony, "Public International Law as a Career," American University Journal of International Law and Policy 1 (1986): 5–16.
The author, a law teacher, discusses public international law as a career choice and shares his own experience in the field. According to the author, public international law is severely undervalued in legal education and practice, but the prospects are bright. He suggests several ways to start one's own international law career: work for a multinational corporation as legal counsel, seek employment with the Office of Legal Advisor to the U.S. State Department, join a large law firm with an international practice, write an article on an international law subject while practicing domestic law, or teach public international law at a law school.
Maxeiner, James R., "International Legal Careers: Paths and Directions," Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce 25 (1998): 21–44.
A thought-provoking piece that draws from existing literature, this article critically assesses career paths in international law. It makes a coherent argument that there is no acknowledged path to such a career and then considers the value of international credentials in general based on the foregoing claim. Finally, it addresses certain educational and employment decisions a person must make early in a career.
Wojcik, Mark E., "Practical Career Advice for Young International Lawyers: How to Build a Killer Résumé, Network Effectively, Create Your Own Opportunities, and Live Happily Ever After," ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law 5 (1999): 455–66.
A law professor with extensive experience in international law recounts his own successful career path and offers practical advice to aspiring young attorneys. The essay is witty and lively, and the advice is sound. Tips for law students include: write a strong résumé, join a student group, invite a prospective employer to speak, network, join a bar association committee, volunteer to teach English to foreign lawyers, and write for a publication.
Summer Associate Programs
Summer Associate Writing Tips
After registering, one can access tips on how to excel at writing as a summer associate.
Summer Associate Do's and Don'ts
This blog notes different techniques on how to be successful as a summer associate and outlines what kind of behavior to avoid.
Washington and Lee University School of Law Summer Associate Blog
Law students write about their experiences as summer associates at a variety of organizations. While the students represent only one law school, the blog still provides a look at the daily activities of a summer associate at many interesting placements.
Abrams, Lisa L. The Official Guide to Legal Specialties: An Insider's Guide to Every Major Practice Area. Orlando, Fla.: Harcourt Legal and ProfessionalPublications, 2000.
Thirty areas of practice, including international law, are described, based on the author's interviews with practitioners and experts in the selected specialties. Each practice area is defined by a set of issues, including: where attorneys in that practice area work, who the clients are, what types of cases are typical, what an average work day is like, how people generally enter the field, what skills are most important, what law school classes and training are recommended, and what is rewarding about that type of practice. The chapter on international law addresses these issues through the experiences of one corporate counsel and two firm attorneys.
ASIL's Careers in International Law: Your Indispensable Guide to Career Paths and Internships in International Law. 1999–2000 ed. Washington, D.C.:American Society of International Law, 1999.
This work offers an overview of international law practice areas, such as human rights, international trade, environment, telecommunications, finance and banking, international development, and dispute resolution. It also discusses career paths and employment trends and offers suggestions on career preparation. Practitioners share their experiences and offer advice in more than twenty Practice Area Summaries. This work is an invaluable resource for students seeking a career in international law.
Green, Jonathan C., et al., eds. ILSA Guide to Education and Career Development in International Law. Washington, D.C.: International Law StudentsAssociation, 1991.
Intended as a primer for those seeking careers in international law, this guide consists of three sections. The first contains five essays giving perspectives on how to enter the field and includes a survey of international law firms with regard to their opinions on desired qualifications. The second section offers lists of internships, summer study abroad programs, and graduate programs on international law studies. The last section supplies information on activities sponsored by the International Law Students Association. The Guide provides the reader with well-balanced, comprehensive information for planning a career in international law.
Harper, J. Ross, ed. Global Law in Practice. The Hague: Kluwer Law International and International Bar Association, 1997. Law Library Journal Vol. 93:3
This book offers a perspective on the globalization of law and examines the role of lawyers in various fields of transnational practice.
Janis, Mark W., ed. Careers in International Law. Washington, D.C.: Section of
International Law and Practice, American Bar Association, 1993.
This work consists of fifteen essays written by experienced lawyers and scholars. Each focuses on one aspect of international practice, such as corporate work, environment, arbitration, or maritime law. The writers provide background information plus analysis, and they share their stories of success and failure. The reader gets a helpful overview of international law practice.
Krannich, Ronald L., and Caryl R. Krannich. Jobs for People Who Love to Travel: Opportunities at Home and Abroad. Manassas Park, Va.: Impact Publications, 1999.
This book identifies numerous jobs and careers (some of which are related to international law) that enable people to travel both at home and abroad. Job descriptions and requirements of the potential employers are accompanied by the employers' names, addresses, and phone numbers. It also includes useful career-related Web sites.
Park, Stephen K., and Susan J. Feathers. Public Service and International Law: A Guide to Professional Opportunities in the United States and Abroad. 3ded. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Law School, 1998.
This collection of twelve short essays is written by attorneys and government officials who give personal experience or insights germane to career development in public international law. The narratives cover experiences in such organizations as agencies of the United Nations, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of State, Human Rights Watch, Center for International Environment Law, and International Rescue Committee.
Swartz, Salli Anne. Careers in International Law. 4th Edition.ABA Book Publishing, 2012.
Irrespective of your age, experience, nationality, residence, education or practice area, this new edition is a valuable guide for law students and lawyers interested in finding, maintaining, or moving into a career in international law. The book provides new insight into how to use your imagination, creativity, and savvy to find that elusive job in the field of international law including the scope of possibilities in specialties such as litigation, trade, corporate, transactional, banking, financial, and maritime law, as well as positions in teaching, going in-house, and pro bono work. Providing dynamic tips and strategies, as well as perspectives and methodology for success, the book includes guidance on:
- How to prepare for a career in international law;
- The road to an international in-house legal career;
- Going from solo practitioner to international lawyer;
- Using the Internet to develop a small-firm international law practice;
- Networking effectively;
- Creative strategies for launching and growing your international law practice; and
- Much more!
Associations & Institutions
ABA Young Lawyers Division
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division website is the online forum for the ABA's largest division of over 147,000 members. It provides online resources for Division members, including committee information, publications, ongoing projects and legal resources geared towards young lawyers.
ABA Law Student Division
The American Bar Association Law Student Division website provides law students with access to membership benefits, competitions, programming and other resources dedicated to the ABA's student members.
American Society of International Law
The American Society of International Law is a nonpartisan, educational organization promoting the establishment and maintenance of international relations on the basis of law and justice.
International Bar Association
The International Bar Association is the world's leading organization of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies.
International Law Institute
The ILI provides training and technical assistance to find practical solutions to the legal, economic and financial problems of developing countries.
International Law Students Association
The International Law Students Association (ISLA) is a non-profit association of students and young lawyers dedicated to the study and promotion of international law. ILSA is dedicated to supplementing the traditional domestic-focused approach to legal studies with opportunities for study, research and career networking that concentrates on international and transnational law.
International Courts & Tribunals
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
The ECCC is a mixed tribunal established by agreement between the United Nations and Cambodia to prosecute senior members of the Khmer Rouge for crimes against humanity, including genocide.
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of international concern, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice was established by the United Nations Charter. It hears claims between states on a variety of matters.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The ICTY was established by the United Nations Security Council to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity that occurred during the conflicts surrounding the break-up of the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an independent judicial body established by the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.
Permanent Court of Arbitration
The Permanent Court of Arbitration provides services for the resolution of disputes involving states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations and private parties.
Jobs website for the United Nations.
Sources of International Law
American Society of International Law, Electronic Information System for International Law
The American Society of International Law has developed the Electronic Information System for International Law (EISIL), one of the premier databases for research in international law. It contains primary materials, authoritative websites and helpful guides to researching international law.
Avalon Project at Yale Law School
The Avalon Project mounts digital documents relevant to the fields of Law, History, Economics, Politics, Diplomacy and Government. They have also linked to supporting documents expressly referred to in the body of the text. They have a tremendous number of important documents on their site, including those concerning the International Military Tribunal for Germany at Nuremberg.
Hein Online (account required)
Hein Online is one of the premier legal research databases, specializing in historical legal content not available elsewhere online.
Legal Information Institute: Global Resources
The LII at Cornell Law School maintains a collection legal materials and resources from around the globe, including constitutions, statutes, judicial opinions and related legal materials.
Law Library of Congress
The Law Library of Congress is the world's largest collection of primary and secondary legal documents.
Project on International Courts and Tribunals
The Project of International Courts and Tribunals provides a centralized source for scholars, practitioners and laypersons to the work of international courts and tribunals.
War Crimes Research Office
The War Crimes Research Office promotes the development and enforcement of international criminal and humanitarian law, primarily through the provision of specialized legal research assistance in the areas of international criminal and humanitarian law to international and internationalized criminal courts and tribunals.
World Legal Information Institute
The World Legal Information Institute provides free access to 873 legal databases from 123 countries.