International Law

International Law

International Law

UVA Law World Court Fellowship for the International Court of Justice Traineeship Program

The University of Virginia School of Law has successfully placed several candidates in the International Court of Justice’s University Traineeship Program. When a candidate is selected, the UVA Law World Court Fellowship provides a stipend to assist with travel and living expenses. The traineeship program at the court’s seat at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, will begin on Sept. 1, 2018 and end on June 30, 2019. Trainees sometimes extend their stay to participate in The Hague Academy of International Law, or to work with the judges through private arrangement.

The traineeship 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 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 University Traineeship Program.


The fellowship is open to current UVA Law third-year, LL.M. and S.J.D. students (Class of 2018), as well as UVA Law J.D., LL.M. and S.J.D. graduates of the classes of 2013-17.

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.

Trainee Responsibilities

Trainees generally work directly for an individual judge. The primary duty of the trainees is to assist members of the court in their tasks, including carrying out research, preparing case files, and drafting various types of documents. For more information about the International Court of Justice, see

Application Process

Deadline: Feb. 1, 2018

Clerks are chosen through a highly competitive process. The court makes the final selection from the nominees of all the schools.
Eligible applicants must submit electronically the application documents in Word or PDF format in the following order to Mer McLernon at

  1. Cover letter/statement of interest, including (a) a description of your academic and other experience in public international law; (b) level of proficiency in French (as relevant); (c) your background and experience (if any) in speaking, writing and reading in French;
  2. Official ICJ Trainee Application Form (6 pp) submitted in Word. Also available in hard copy from Mer McLernon;
  3. Curriculum vitae;
  4. Official Law School transcript;
  5. Current course list, if a student (also identifying professors);
  6. 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 Mer McLernon; scanned — i.e., signed — versions are helpful but not essential);
  7. 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 decide on the candidates to nominate to the ICJ by Friday, Feb. 9. Those applicants will be notified prior to our submission of their candidacy. The court’s deadline to receive nominations is Feb. 15, and they are expected to make the final selection decision within several months.


The ICJ does not have funding for University Traineeships. One UVA Law graduate will receive a stipend to assist with travel and living expenses. The candidate will be responsible for the remainder of his or her expenses. Practical arrangements such as travel, visa, accommodation, medical and other insurance, and living expenses are the responsibility of the candidate.


The court accepts no responsibility for medical insurance of trainees or costs arising from accident or illness during a traineeship. 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 trainees during their traineeship.

Trainees will be expected to observe all applicable rules, regulations and directions of the court. Trainees 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 John Norton Moore at (434) 924-7441.

Florian Knerr