Resource Review – Careers in International Law

Have you utilized our resource room materials?  Bring your laptop, grab a coffee, and come see if there is a resource that might interest and guide you – and of course – schedule a time to chat with us if you find a legal interest we can help you know how to research.  Just yesterday, Jamie helped a pre-law student take her interest in environmental policy and research to find a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy one-year program that tracks the interest through a program that doesn’t carry the debt-load or non-related studies time that a traditional law degree would mean for her!

Most of our materials are not intended to be checked out, so drop by when you’ve got an hour and we’ll make sure you have a comfy place to read!  Here’s a review of one of our recent purchases.

This fall we saw an increased interest from our pre-law students in pursuit of international law careers and the increased offerings from law schools of J.D. Dual Degree Programs (there are currently at least four that offer dual US (J.D). / Canada (L.L.B.) degrees).  So we invested in a great resource from the ABA Section of International Law, Salli A. Swartz, Editor, Careers in International Law (2008).  The book is in its third edition and is a best seller for law students interested in international law.   It includes authors from many creative and more traditional possibilities in both public and private sector international law.

What we like about the book is the wide variety of practice areas from the many contributing authors.  It reiterates many of the practical practice skills that serve students well in any practice area.  Many of the authors discuss their law school experience and the impact on their international careers – from perspectives where international law was their initial focus and those where international law was more of a career change or something that grew out of their law school experiences.  There are helpful appendixes of the websites and programs that are especially relevant to this area.  The only thing we could have done without is the continued commentary on the ABA and its value in this area – but after all it is an ABA publication, and Illinois is ranked in the top five states of attorneys that have designated themselves into the ABA Section of International Law (along with D.C., New York, California, and Texas).

Some other points for students to consider:

  • Can I further prepare through foreign language study?
  • What will obtaining a work visa be like?  (a NAFTA agreement allows lawyers to obtain work visas in Canada if they have a job offer as long as they properly comply with the procedures for application – BUT – consider possible difficulties in obtaining visas for European or Asian markets and the possible difficulties of obtaining a visa while on the job search.
  • What types of summer exchange programs could I take advantage of during undergrad to demonstrate my serious interest?
  • Do I already have the capability of establishing dual-citizenship?  (a rare but potentially valuable criteria – read the fine print and seek advice from those who have expertise in this area if you are eligible).
  • How can I make this interest apparent in my personal statement?

Come into our office to utilize this resource or the others that might guide you in your interest in a legal education.

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