Third-year University of Virginia School of Law student William “Billy” Phalen has landed a fall internship with the legal office of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany.

Phalen will conduct legal research and prepare memoranda and reports for the office from October through December. He will receive academic credit for the internship through the UVA Law Externships Program.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work directly with the tribunal tasked with interpreting the law of the sea and peacefully resolving contentious inter-state issues,” Phalen said. “The internship will perfectly complement the work I have done with the Center for Oceans Law and Policy during my time at UVA Law."

That work includes a paper Phalen co-authored and published with Myron Nordquist, associate director of the center, titled "Interpretation of UNCLOS Article 121 and Itu Aba (Taiping) in the South China Sea Arbitration Award."

The tribunal is an intergovernmental organization created by the mandate of the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea. It was established by the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982, and entered into force in 1994.

Notably, UVA Law professor John Norton Moore, who also directs the oceans law center, was chair of the National Security Council Interagency Task Force on the Law of the Sea, which did the preparatory work for what would become the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Last year, Phalen was selected to participate in the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program, which also focuses on international law.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.