A career in international law opens several doors in several areas, including trade, investments, human rights, refugee laws, environmental law, and diplomatic law.
Whether you want to pursue your legal vocation in a private law firm representing clients in legal disputes or pursuing a different legal profession in government, international development, or diplomacy, international law opens up several opportunities. These varied career options are one of the reasons why many students decide on international law.
When to Consider International Law as a Career
Learning about the legal relations between countries, both during peace or war, provides a career with professional flexibility. A lawyer interested in international relations can concentrate their studies in several areas, including the economic and political aspects of the relationships between countries or regions.
Furthermore, students can enhance these studies by earning spoken languages from their regions of interest, opening doors for international internships abroad.
If these prospects sound exciting to you, you are the right candidate to consider a career in law.
Differences Between Public and Private International Law
There are two commonly known divisions in international law: public and private. Those interested in public international law deal with cases between countries based on international laws. In private international law, the lawyer uses international law to help settle disputes between individuals. Private law has two systems, namely, common law and civil law.
Public international law uses sources from treaties, conventions, general principles of law, customs, and judicial or scholarly views. On the other hand, private international law uses limited sources like major treaties and rulings from international bodies.
In cases where there is a law conflict between the national and international laws, the state’s national law usually prevails.
When Your Studies Indicate Your Interest in an International Law Career
A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for getting into law school. Even though there is no specific undergraduate field required for international law, if your degree includes government, history, economics, or international studies, your interest in these subjects indicates that you are a likely candidate for a career in international law.
Suppose you are studying a foreign language or are interested in learning one, including the values and traditions of a country or region. In that case, your curiosity can lead to an exciting career in the international legal field.
Once you complete and pass your LSAT exams and move to your three years of graduate studies, your first year will concentrate on a basic law curriculum. In your second and third years, you can choose elective courses. In addition, you can focus on various international law studies at some universities, including foreign policy, multinational business law, international legal research, dispute resolution, human rights, and more.
Whether you concentrate entirely on international law or take elective course work, if you enjoy the job and have a deeper understanding of it, consider the opportunities awaiting you in an international legal career. ‘
Once you have established that you like international law, there are several career paths available once completing your bar exam. For example, you can apply for a job at a government office or a private law firm offering a mix of law that includes international law. However, it is sometimes tough to get a job without experience, so if the opportunities aren’t forthcoming, consider completing a Master of Law degree(LL.M) with a specific focus on an area of international law that interests you the most.
International Law Careers
Depending on your interests, these are some international law careers that you can explore before deciding if it is the perfect legal career for you.
Developing and underdeveloped countries require assistance as they strive to improve their economies. International development is one area of international law with exciting job prospects. As an international lawyer, your work in international development could entail working through the government or an intergovernmental organization (IGO). You could specialize in exciting areas, including international financial aid, trade law, intellectual property law, and health law.
Negotiating on Behalf of the Government
Representing the government in other counties is another career option. The tasks in this area of international law include advocating for American interests, negotiating deals involving trade and aid, and arbitrating disputes.
If you enjoy traveling and don’t mind doing it as part of your career, then diplomacy is another reason to consider international law. Diplomacy does not always require experience in international law, but it is a bonus. However, diplomacy requires that you speak the languages and understand the cultures of the region’s people where you will serve your government.
An interest in law is a prerequisite to considering a career in international law. Furthermore, there are several areas of interest within the parameters of this field of law, leaving the field quite open for you to find a domain that interests you. Sometimes, the knowledge of a language or culture makes the choice of the field much easier, as it does to opening doors to a career in a specific region of the globe. Whatever your area of interest, an international law career isn’t dull.