Antonopoulos Awarded Orrick Fellowship to Clerk for World Court
Antonis Antonopoulos, a 2011 LL.M. candidate, has been awarded the Orrick International Law Fellowship and will begin a nine-month clerkship with the International Court of Justice in the fall.
He will be the seventh Virginia Law graduate in as many years chosen to clerk for the ICJ, which requires a highly competitive application process. The fellowship is sponsored by the international law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and includes an award of up to $50,000 to cover expenses while Antonopoulos works at the World Court in The Hague.
“I will be working as a clerk,” Antonopoulos said. “I’ll be helping the judge with research and maybe drafting some memos, basically helping with whatever is required.”
Antonopoulos, who is originally from Athens, Greece, has also been accepted into the Law School’s S.J.D. program, and plans to resume his studies at the conclusion of the fellowship. He said he has a deep interest in international law, and looks at his time in The Hague as a way to gain practical experience.
“You get to see international law in actual operation,” he said. “You are taught and learn theories, but it’s a rare opportunity to see them implemented in a court. So that should be really fun, interesting and educational.”
The International Court of Justice is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, and has been in operation since April 1946.
Its role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorized U.N. organs and specialized agencies.
Antonopoulos said the application process for the fellowship was straightforward, and that he has recently been discussing the position with two previous recipients, Annalise Nelson ’07 — the current Orrick Fellow — and Caitlin Stapleton ’09, who completed the fellowship the previous year.
He recommended that students interested in applying for the fellowship in the future demonstrate an interest in the international law field.
“Field work would help, and moot court experience — especially the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition — is very helpful,” Antonopoulos said.
After completing his S.J.D., Antonopoulos hopes to pursue a teaching position and a career in academia.