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Orrick International Law Fellowship for the International Court of Justice Traineeship Programme Clerkship Application Process

OPEN TO: UVA School of Law JD and LLM graduates of the Classes of 2010-2014, current 3Ls and LLMs (Class of 2015)
$55,000 STIPEND
DEADLINE:  Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015
The University of Virginia School of Law is honored to be invited once again by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to participate in its University Traineeship Programme. This clerkship opportunity in The Hague, Netherlands will begin Sept. 1, 2015, and end June 30, 2016. Trainees sometimes extend their stay to participate in The Hague Academy of International Law, or through private arrangement to work with the judges.

Clerks are chosen through a highly competitive process in which a select group of academic institutions are invited to nominate students. The Court makes the final selection from the nominees of all the schools. UVA alumni Jamey Harris '05, Najwa Nabti '02, Pamela Bookman '06, Chad Farrell '07 Caitlin Stapleton '09, Annalise Nelson '07 and Antonios Antonopoulos LLM í11 have joined graduates from some of the top U.S. and European law schools chosen to serve in the ICJís University Traineeship Program.

Trainee Responsibilities

Trainees generally work directly for one or two individual judges. The primary duty of the trainees is to assist Members of the Court in their tasks, including carrying out research, preparing case files, and drafting various types of documents.For more information about the International Court of Justice, please see its website:


Applicants for UVA Law School candidacy must be final year students who will complete the JD or LLM requirements in May 2015, or JD or LLM graduates of the Law School within the past five years (classes of 2010-2014). Applicants must be proficient in one of the Courtís official languages (French or English); and a very good working knowledge of the other is an advantage. They must have an excellent overall academic record as well as an excellent record in public international law, with proven research and writing skills.
Application Process

Eligible applicants must submit the following materials electronically by Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 to: Mer McLernon at

  1. cover letter/statement of interest, including (a) a description of your academic and other experience in public international law; (b) level of proficiency in French (as relevant);  (c) your background and experience (if any) in speaking, writing and reading in French;
  2. official ICJ Trainee Application Form (6 pp) submitted in Word.  Also available in hard copy from Mer McLernon;
  3. resume that includes your (a) country of citizenship, and (b) age;
  4. official Law School transcript;
  5. current course list, if a student (also identifying professors);
  6. two letters of reference, at least one of which should be from a member of the UVA School of Law faculty and at least one addressing your credentials in the field of international law (letters may be sent via email from referees directly to Mer McLernon, scanned – i.e., signed –  versions are helpful but not essential);
  7. writing sample from each applicant of no more than 15 typewritten pages of work that has been submitted for publication or other work of publishable quality.
It is the applicantís responsibility to ensure his or her application is complete by Wednesday, Jan. 28. Because of the ICJís submission deadline, we are unable to extend our deadline or wait for incomplete applications. A Law School selection committee will decide on the candidates to nominate to the ICJ by Thursday, Feb. 5. Those applicants will be notified prior to our submission of their candidacy. The Courtís deadline to receive nominations is Feb. 15, and they are expected to make the final selection decision within several months.


The Court does not have funding for University Traineeships.  Thanks to a generous donation from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, one UVA graduate will receive a $55,000 stipend to assist with travel and living expenses.  The candidate will be responsible for the remainder of his or her expenses.  Practical arrangements such as travel, visa, accommodation, medical and other insurance, and living expenses, are the responsibility of the candidate.


The Court accepts no responsibility for medical insurance of trainees or costs arising from accident or illness during a traineeship.  Nor will the Court be liable for compensation claims by third parties in respect of any loss or damage to their property, or death or personal injury, caused by the action or omission of trainees during their traineeship.

Trainees will be expected to observe all applicable rules, regulations and directions of the Court.  Trainees will be bound by the obligation towards the Court of loyalty, discretion and confidentiality, and will be required to make a declaration to that effect.


Please direct questions to Professor John Norton Moore at (434) 924-4776.


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