There are typically two paths within the field of international law. Public international law is about, for example, policy making and international agreements between governments and intergovernmental organizations. Private international law is more about international businesses and economic development of private organisations or non- profits.
Working at a private law firm, most of the times, means that you only solve part of the problem. Working as a government lawyer, your horizons are wider, you can really look into solving the whole problem. You will be protecting the safety of a nation. The world trade is increasingly connected at the moment, this means that the this world is getting more and more complicated. This also means that lawyers who are here to solve the problems of a more connected world, are of great importance. Countries all have different laws and regulations about what comes in and what goes out. Many international businesses therefore need special help in this area.
Becoming a lawyer for an international organisation like the United Nations is not easy, but it is an really interesting and important job. Lawyers for international organisations mostly work in a wide variety of areas related to international Law. Ofcourse the area of international law depends on which organisation you are working for. To become a lawyer for the United Nations you need a strong educational background in international law and experience working in intergovernmental organizations. Other international organisations also demand a real strong background. Therefore it is advisable for an attorney to begin their career in the private sector and then move into an international organization or non profit.
Firstly an international degree is ofcourse important. Also there are some skills your really need for an international career such as, foreign languages, the overseas experience, a strong interest in practicing law in an international setting and knowledge of the basic differences in the worlds’ legal systems as well as their political and cultural contexts. Experience abroad makes sure you are interested in foreign culture and helps developing an understanding for foreign countries, which is helpful for working in an international environment. For some extra credits, a summer position in an international law firm or working for an international law journal are helpful.