International public interest employers look for, among other things, field experience, specialized knowledge of international law, language skills, and the ability to write for various audiences. Geographic flexibility is also helpful.
There are very few entry-level international jobs aside from fellowships, so this can be an extremely difficult field to break into. It is important for students to use their summers and time in law school strategically by completing internships and clinics, publishing a note on a timely human rights topic, or perfecting language skills, etc. Networking is also incredibly important in this field, and personal recommendations can be essential for getting a job. Employers are looking for candidates with experience.
Outside of fellowships, international organizations hire primarily when they have an opening and typically seek to hire someone who can start right away. Compared with other legal hiring, this can be late in the cycle and there is no guarantee that students will get a job before graduation or before the bar exam.
Through its Comparative and International Law Institute certificate program, CUA Law provides the opportunity for students to pursue a concentration of courses in the public and private areas of international law. Students interested in researching opportunities in international public interest law are also encouraged to visit International Career Employment Weekly (contact OCPD for login and password).
If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact OCPD at (202) 319-5132.