How to Start a Career in International Law

November 9, 2022 - 7:37 am - 3 min read

International law is a fascinating field, and a career in this area can be both intellectually stimulating and personally rewarding. However, breaking into international law can be challenging, especially for those who are just starting out. In this article, we’ll explore some tips on how to start a career in international law.

Education and Training

Education is a crucial first step in developing a career in international law. Most positions in this field require a law degree, so aspiring international lawyers should consider attending law school. The coursework in law school is designed to help students develop essential legal skills and knowledge, including legal research, writing, and analysis.

Additionally, many law schools offer courses or programs in international law, allowing students to specialize in this area. Students can also participate in moot court competitions, which simulate trials and provide invaluable experience in oral advocacy.

After completing law school, aspiring international lawyers may wish to pursue additional education or training in their area of interest. For example, a lawyer interested in international trade law might obtain a graduate degree in international business.

Gain Experience

In addition to education and training, gaining practical experience in international law is essential. Law students can gain experience by participating in internships or clerkships with law firms, government agencies, or non-governmental organizations that specialize in international law.

For those who have already completed law school, it may be necessary to gain experience working in a different legal field before transitioning into international law. Lawyers can gain international experience by working in their home country on cases with an international component or by working on international cases as part of a team.


Networking with other professionals in the field is critical for developing a career in international law. Lawyers can join professional associations, attend conferences and seminars, or participate in online forums related to their areas of interest.

Networking provides opportunities to learn about new developments in the field, meet potential employers or clients, and find mentors who can provide guidance and support as you progress in your career.

Foreign Language Skills

International law often involves working with clients or colleagues who speak different languages, so foreign language skills can be valuable in this field. Lawyers may wish to learn a second language, particularly one that is common in areas where they hope to work.

Language skills can also open up opportunities to work with non-governmental organizations or other entities that provide legal services to underserved populations.


Finally, aspiring international lawyers should consider specializing in a particular area of international law. Specialization can be an effective way to develop expertise in a particular area, which can lead to greater opportunities and higher pay.

Areas of specialization in international law include international human rights law, international trade law, and international criminal law, among others. Lawyers can gain expertise by taking specialized courses or obtaining additional training in their area of interest.

In conclusion, starting a career in international law requires education, training, experience, networking, foreign language skills, and specialization. Aspiring international lawyers should pursue opportunities to gain experience and develop the skills necessary to succeed in this exciting and challenging field. With dedication and hard work, anyone can launch a successful career in international law.


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