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International Court of Justice Traineeship Programme Clerkship Application Process

OPEN TO: Classes of 2001-2005; current 3Ls and LL.M. students
DEADLINE:  Friday, February 17, 2006
Each year a select group of law schools from the United States and abroad, including the University of Virginia, are invited to apply for the International Court of Justice (ICJ or World Court) University Traineeship Program. This clerkship opportunity, beginning in September, lasts nine months, although trainees sometimes extend their stay to participate in the Hague Academy of International Law, or through private arrangement with the judges. The Court chooses 10 clerks through a highly competitive process in which the invited academic institutions nominate students to the program.

Trainee Responsibilities

Trainees generally work directly for one or two individual judges. They assist Members of the Court by researching, preparing case files, and drafting various types of documents.

For more information:


Applicants must be final-year J.D. students or LL.M. students who will complete their degree requirements in May, or J.D. or LL.M. graduates from the classes of 2001-2005. Applicants must be proficient in one of the Court’s official languages (French or English) and have a very good knowledge of the other. They must have an excellent overall academic record as well as an excellent academic record in public international law, with proven research and writing skills.
Application Process

Eligible applicants must submit the following materials:

  1. A statement of interest, including a description of your level of proficiency in French and your background and experience in speaking, writing, and reading in French,
  2. a resume,
  3. an official Law School transcript,
  4. a current study list (document that lists your current courses),
  5. two letters of reference, at least one of which should be from a member of the UVA Law School faculty, and
  6. a writing sample

Send these materials to:           
Human Rights Program
University of Virginia School of Law
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738

Also send your statement of interest, resume, and writing sample electronically to Cindy Derrick at Your faculty recommender may send his or her letter to Ms. Derrick by e-mail.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that his or her application is complete by February 17, 2006.  A Law School selection committee will decide on the candidates to nominate to the Court.  The Court is expected to make the final selection decision in March.


The Court does not have funding for traineeships. The Dean has agreed to provide, through private funding, a $40,000 stipend to one UVA graduate selected by the Court to assist with the trainee’s 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 will be the responsibility of the candidate.


The Court accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance of trainees or costs arising from accident or illness during a traineeship. Nor will the Court be liable in the event of 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 Deena Hurwitz,, (434) 924-4776.


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