When should you consider starting a career in International Law?

4 min read

Career Trends: August 14, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS


There are several areas of interest within the parameters of this field of law, leaving the field quite open for you to find a domain that interests you.

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Whether you want to pursue your legal vocation in a private law firm representing clients in legal disputes or pursuing a different legal profession in government, international development, or diplomacy, international law opens up several opportunities. These varied career options are one of the reasons why many students decide on international law.

A career in international law opens doors in several areas, including trade, investments, human rights, refugee laws, environmental law, and diplomatic law.

When to consider International Law as a career?

An interest in law is a prerequisite to considering a career in international law. Furthermore, there are several areas of interest within the parameters of this field of law, leaving the field quite open for you to find a domain that interests you. Sometimes, the knowledge of a language or culture makes the choice of the field much easier.

Learning about the legal relations between countries, both during peace or war, provides a career with professional flexibility. A lawyer interested in international relations can concentrate their studies in several areas, including the economic and political aspects of the relationships between countries or regions.

Furthermore, students can enhance these studies by earning spoken languages from their regions of interest, opening doors for international internships abroad.

If these prospects sound exciting to you, you are the right candidate to consider a career in law.

Difference between public and private International Law:

  • There are two commonly known divisions in international law: public and private.
  • Public International law is the body of legal rules, which applied between Sovereign States and other International Personalities.
  • Private International Law is also called as ‘Conflict of Law’ deals with cases involving foreign element.
  • In case of dispute between an individual citizen or  state and foreign element, where there is need to contact with foreign system of law, the Private International Law will apply.
  • Private law has two systems, namely, common law and civil law.

International Law careers:

Depending on your interests, these are some international law careers that you can explore before deciding if it is the perfect legal career for you.

1. International Development

  • Developing and underdeveloped countries require assistance as they strive to improve their economies.
  • International development is one area of international law with exciting job prospects.
  • As an international lawyer, your work in international development could entail working through the government or an intergovernmental organisation (IGO).
  • You could specialise in exciting areas, including international financial aid, trade law, intellectual property law, and health law.

2. Negotiating on behalf of the government

  • Representing the government in other counties is another career option.
  • The tasks in this area of international law include advocating for nation’s interests, negotiating deals involving trade and aid, and arbitrating disputes.

3. Diplomacy Career

  • If you enjoy traveling and don’t mind doing it as part of your career, then diplomacy is another reason to consider international law.
  • Diplomacy does not always require experience in international law, but it is a bonus.
  • However, diplomacy requires that you speak the languages and understand the cultures of the region’s people where you will serve your government.


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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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