Center for International & Comparative Law
International Law Fellowship for the International Court of Justice Judicial Fellows Program
The University of Virginia School of Law has successfully placed several candidates in the International Court of Justice’s Judicial Fellows Program. When a candidate is selected, the UVA Law International Law Fellowship provides a stipend of $40,000 to assist with travel, living expenses and health insurance. The program at the court’s seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, begins in early September 2021 and runs to June/July 2022. Fellows sometimes extend their stay to participate in The Hague Academy of International Law, or to work with the judges through private arrangement.
The fellows program provides a unique opportunity to participate in the work of the ICJ, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The court decides legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by the U.N. or its specialized agencies.
In past years, UVA alumni such as McCoy Pitt ’13, Florian Knerr LL.M. ’14, Gulardi Nurbintoro LL.M. '14, Subarkah Syafruddin LL.M. ’16, Karen Janssens LL.M. ’14, Antonios Antonopoulos LL.M. ’11, Caitlin Stapleton ’09 and Annalise Nelson ’07 have joined graduates from some of the top U.S. and European law schools chosen to serve in the ICJ’s Judicial Fellows Program.
The fellowship is open to current UVA Law third-year, LL.M. and S.J.D. students (Class of 2021), as well as UVA Law J.D., LL.M. and S.J.D. graduates of the classes of 2017-20. To be eligible, the ICJ requires candidates to be 31 years of age or younger at the time the program begins.
Applicants must be proficient in one of the ICJ’s official languages (French or English); 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 international law, with proven research and writing skills.
Fellows generally work directly for an individual judge. They can expect to attend the court’s public hearings, to research and write memoranda for the judge on legal questions or factual aspects of pending cases, and to have some other involvement in the work of the court, the particulars of which will depend on the court’s docket and the working methods of the particular judge. For more information about the International Court of Justice, see www.icj-cij.org/en.
UVA School of Law Internal Deadline: Friday, Feb. 5, 2021
Clerks are chosen through a highly competitive process. The court makes the final selection from the nominees of all the schools.
Eligible applicants must electronically submit the application documents in Word or PDF format in the following order to Billi Morningstar, email@example.com.
- Cover letter/statement of interest, including (a) a description of your academic and other experience in public international law; (b) your background and/or experience in international law, and (c) knowledge of additional languages (if any).
- Virginia ICJ Judicial Fellows Program Application for 2021-22, submitted in Word.
- Curriculum vitae.
- Official Law School transcript.
- Current course list, if a student (also identifying professors).
- At least two letters of reference, one of which should be from a member of the UVA School of Law faculty and one addressing your credentials in the field of international law (letters may be sent via email from referees directly to Billi Morningstar at firstname.lastname@example.org; scanned — i.e., signed — versions are helpful but not essential).
- 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 applicant’s responsibility to ensure his or her application is complete by the deadline. Because of the ICJ’s submission deadline, we are unable to extend our deadline or wait for incomplete applications. A Law School selection committee will choose the candidates to nominate to the ICJ by Thursday, Feb. 11. Those applicants will be notified prior to submitting their candidacy. The court’s deadline to receive nominations is Feb. 14, and they are expected to make the final selection decision within several months.
The ICJ does not have funding for the Judicial Fellows Program. One UVA Law graduate will receive a substantial stipend to assist with travel, living expenses and health insurance. The candidate will be responsible for the remainder of his or her expenses beyond the stipend amount. Practical arrangements such as travel, visa, accommodations, and health and other insurance are the responsibility of the candidate.
The court accepts no responsibility for medical insurance of participants or costs arising from accident or illness during the program. 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 participants during their time in the program.
Participants will be expected to observe all applicable rules, regulations and directions of the court. They 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 Camilo Sánchez at email@example.com.