Law School Among Few Nominating Clerks for International Court of Justice

Washington University School of Law is among a select number of schools internationally invited to nominate candidates for the 2011–12 Traineeship Program of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The principal judicial organ of the United Nations, the ICJ is seeking to attract outstanding law students and recent graduates who “have demonstrated exceptional interest and excellence in the field of Public International Law.” The trainees will serve nine-month terms as judicial clerks in The Hague.  

“Participation in the ICJ Traineeship Program is open only to a select group of universities around the world, and the invitation to our law school reflects the strength and reputation of our international law programs and training,” says Leila Nadya Sadat, the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute. “We are honored to be able to nominate our talented students. The opportunity to serve as a judicial clerk for this prestigious court would be an invaluable capstone to the legal training our students have received here.”

Trainees are selected through a highly competitive process in which participating law schools nominate candidates to the ICJ, and the ICJ makes the final selection of clerks from those nominations. Trainees are responsible for assisting ICJ members, including judges, by carrying out research, preparing case files, and drafting various types of documents.

The law school and Harris Institute support students in a number of other prestigious international opportunities. The Harris Institute has a long-standing arrangement with The Hague Academy of International Law, sending one student per year, and students visit the ICJ every year as part of the Summer Institute for Global Justice in the Netherlands.

Opportunities to study and intern abroad are also made possible through the law school's Public Interest Stipend program, Dagen-Legomsky Fellowships, and the African Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative. In recent years, students have worked at the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia; the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles in Brussels, Belgium. More than 100 law students have interned in Africa in the past nine years for the Legal Aid Board and Lawyers for Human Rights in Durban, South Africa; the Legal Resources Centre in Accra, Ghana; the Federation of Women Lawyers in Accra and Nairobi, Kenya; the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda; and the Special Court for Sierra Leone.