Is international law a good career

International Politics: Career Paths for Lawyers

A lawyer works as a diplomat, for the Federal Foreign Office, in development aid or at the United Nations. After studying law, many students seek a career in international politics as an alternative to a classic legal career.

The career opportunities for lawyers in international politics are diverse, although at first glance this field of work seems to have little in common with the skills imparted in German law. But many public institutions are explicitly looking for lawyers. For any career in the international political field, it is important to distinguish yourself in the relevant area as early as possible. With experience abroad and personal commitment, you will be able to enter international political professions as a lawyer.

Lawyers as applicants in international politics

In contrast to traditional legal careers, applicants not only compete with law graduates, but also with humanities scholars of all stripes, mostly from abroad. Nevertheless, various factors make lawyers particularly interesting for relevant employers. First of all, generalists are often sought who are equipped with the necessary expertise in in-house programs. So go z. B. the following institutions:

Lawyers deal with a wide variety of topics during their studies and are excellently trained in political structures through subjects such as constitutional law. In addition, specific legal knowledge is required in various fields of international politics: For example, international inheritance or visa law issues can only be dealt with by lawyers in the Foreign Office. In development cooperation, issues such as the establishment of a legal system, enforcement of human rights or the fight against corruption are regularly central goals. Lawyers have the necessary know-how for this. Often they have a clear advantage over other applicants because they can already demonstrate practical experience in central institutions of the German legal system as part of an internship or legal clerkship. Ultimately, the excellent reputation of German legal training, even in an international comparison, should not be underestimated: Lawyers are said to have an extraordinary ability to think in a solution-oriented, structured manner.

Early international-political orientation in the legal curriculum vitae

Lawyers therefore often qualify as applicants for professions in international politics. But what exactly is expected of law graduates apart from good grades in their studies? In general, it can be said that an international political orientation must be recognizable in the curriculum vitae:

  • Experience abroad: In addition to your language skills, international experience is a high priority for HR managers. There is a saying: “For a job at the United Nations, you either have to do an internship in every country in the world or you have to know someone. “Depending on the subject area, certain regions are advantageous. B. aspiring to a career in development cooperation should have spent a correspondingly large amount of time in developing countries.
  • Studies: Concentrate on economic and political courses, courses in economics or business administration or focus on European or international law. This conscious orientation of your law studies is weighted positively in applications.
  • Practical experience: Professional experience abroad or with international organizations are the be-all and end-all for a successful application. These can already be completed as compulsory internships during studies (e.g. AA, GTZ, EU) or as a legal clerkship. Internship programs such as the Carlo Schmid program or the ASA program can help with orientation and placement.

Anyone who has studied law is ideally equipped for a subsequent career in international politics. However, because of the German focus ‘of the course, it is important for those interested to gain international experience early on. Those who show their own initiative and help organize international political projects can always score points. Here z. For example, involvement in relevant student organizations such as Aiesec or an Amnesty university group would be an advantage.