Public international law is a body of rules governing relations both between states and, increasingly, between a diverse set of actors, including individuals, civil society, international institutions, NGOs, and corporations. Lawyers are employed in NGOs throughout the world that engage with public international law. The U.S. government also hires lawyers to work on international issues in many of its agencies, as do intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and international tribunals and courts.
Interested in learning more about public international law work? The following resources can help you begin your exploration. As always we encourage you to make an individual advising appointment with OPIA advisers to discuss your specific skills and interests in public international law.
- The video of OPIA’s 1L International Job Search Strategy Session is designed to help 1L students navigate international summer employment options in the public sector.
- If you’re interested in applying for an internship at the United Nations, don’t miss Wasserstein Fellow and Advisor in the Office of the UN Secretary-General Naresh Perinpanayagam discuss how to identify opportunities and the mechanics of submitting an application on November 19 at 12:45 pm via Zoom.
- OPIA’s Legal Practice Settings: Public International Law videos of past events feature attorneys working for governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organizations providing advice on how students can pursue summer, entry-level, and lateral opportunities.
- OPIA’s website provides an overview of public international law, including practice settings, issue areas, and types of work most commonly found in international practice. It also discusses both summer internship opportunities and entry-level hiring. Review a comprehensive list of international resources at HLS.
- OPIA’s Career & Application Guides offer background information, day-in-the-life narratives, and general career advice from practicing attorneys. Check out OPIA’s International Development Guide and Insider’s Guide to United Nations Jobs and Internships. In addition, many of the issue-specific guides discuss relevant international opportunities and include narratives from practicing international lawyers.
- PSJD, the National Association for Law Placement’s public interest careers website, offers a list of international resources.
- Supplemental summer funding for international work, available through the Chayes international Public Service Fellowships and the Human Rights Program summer fellowships; information on other supplemental funding sources is available through Student Financial Services.