How To Become An International Lawyer 2022

Although some people already see themselves flying around the world to client meetings and international conferences, a career in international law is more complex than that. In that case, what exactly is an international lawyer, and how can I become one?

How To Become An International Lawyer 2022. You’ve doubtless given it serious consideration, and you’re confident that it’s who you want to be.

But first, let me ask you: What does it precisely mean to you? After all, the phrase might signify several things to various individuals, if you give it some thought.

How Does International Law Work?

Public international law, another name for international law, is a branch of law that regulates interstate interactions.

It originated from the ancient Greek concept of “natural law,” which permitted peace agreements and alliances with other global powers.

International organizations and other entities with a legal personality are now governed by the laws in this area of law.

  • Trade and investment law
  • International environmental law
  • Human rights
  • International humanitarian law
  • Self-determination of states
  • Rights of migrants
  • Diplomatic and consular law

Should I Consider a Career in International Law? 

By advising and/or representing their clients in court, attorneys aid in the resolution of legal issues. The most typical duties of an attorney include creating legal documents, doing legal research, managing settlement talks, and defending clients in court.

An attorney who concentrates their practice on international conflicts is known as an international lawyer. These disagreements might involve criminal matters, economic conflicts, or international commerce.

Despite having lengthy schooling requirements, attorneys of all stripes can command high salaries once they are in practice. According to a May 2019 study from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for lawyers—which includes compensation for an international law degree—was $122,960.

People who work for private practices may earn more than those who work for governments or non-profit organizations.This job is expected to grow by about 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is about average for all jobs in the United States.

At least 40 hours a week of a lawyer’s work is spent in an office environment, while others spend much longer hours to build their clientele or prepare for a case, and some travel may be necessary.

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Why pursue a career as an international lawyer? 

We’ve already noted a few characteristics that define an international lawyer. Additionally, we might wish to consider our motivation and what we stand to gain by achieving our objective.

The dynamic nature of business is a significant contributor to this. The way law firms and attorneys do business and use their operating models has evolved as a result of corporate globalization.

The need for lawyers with international experience and knowledge of the tasks we described above is always increasing.

On the other hand, this has also contributed to a significant increase in the number of young attorneys globally.

Ambitious attorneys trying to get into the field must find a way to stand out from the competition. The greatest approach to doing this is through enhancing their reputation as international lawyers.

Career Requirements International Lawyer 2022

Degree LevelJuris Doctor (J.D.); Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree for international business
Degree Field(s)Pre-law or other majors (for bachelor’s); law school
License/CertificationMust pass state bar exam
ExperienceNone; must be licensed lawyer to apply to LL.M. program
Key SkillsCritical thinking, analytical reasoning, negotiation, research, and writing skills; thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office, project management, and accounting software, legal search engines, and other related software
Median Annual Salary (2019)*$122,960
Job Outlook (2019-2029)*4% growth
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Obtaining a Juris Doctor is required to work as an international lawyer (J.D.). The bar exam in your state must also be passed.

You’ll require analytical reasoning, negotiating, research, writing, and critical thinking abilities in addition to your academic education. Microsoft Office, project management and accounting software, legal search engines, and other relevant software are all things you need to be well-versed in.

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How To Become An International Lawyer 2022

Here are the measures to follow in order to become an international lawyer.

Complete an undergraduate degree program

Almost all law schools demand that candidates hold a bachelor’s degree. According to the BLS, no particular undergraduate topic of study is necessary to enter law school, and many of them have degrees in history, government, or economics.

A bachelor’s program in international studies may be advantageous for you. These programs can offer a foundation of knowledge about international concerns that may be useful for studying international law in law school.

Consider learning a foreign language as well. Fluency in a foreign language may be useful while communicating with coworkers abroad or visiting foreign nations. Learning about local traditions and culture is a common feature of language programs, and it may be useful when addressing legal topics.

Additionally, you should get ready for the LSAT. Law school applicants are required to provide their Law School Admission Test (LSAT) results with their applications. The LSAT is often taken by prospective attorneys during their junior year of undergraduate studies. Numerous educational institutions provide multi-week test preparation classes that educate students on the exam’s structure and test-taking strategies.

Pass the LSAT

The LSAT, a half-day test, emphasizes analytical reasoning, critical thinking, and reading abilities. Admission to law school is heavily influenced on a student’s LSAT results.

Attend and complete law school

Three years of full-time study are necessary for law school. First-year students finish a program of classes covering fundamental legal topics including contracts, property, torts, and constitutional law. In their second and third years, students finish optional courses and have the option to partake in clinical or judicial internships.

Some universities allow students to focus only on studying international law. These specializations cover topics including international sales and commerce, foreign politics, comparative law, comparative legal cultures, and multinational corporate law.

Regardless of whether you finish a specialty in international law, taking optional courses in the area can provide you a strong foundation in the subject. Advanced international corporate law, international dispute resolution, international legal research, and international children’s rights are a few examples of optional courses.

You will also need to be ready for the bar test while you are in law school. You cannot practice law in a state where you have failed the bar test.

The likelihood of passing the bar test on your first attempt rises with proper preparation. Private organizations provide multiple-week study programs that teach test-taking strategies and information about the areas covered on the exam.

Pass the bar exam

Each state needs attorneys to be licensed, according to the BLS. A bar test, the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, and admission to a state’s bar organization are often required for licensing.

The bar exam has a variety of formats, some of which include numerous days of testing. Questions frequently come in essay and multiple choice styles.

Practice law abroad

Attorneys are employed by both public and private organizations to practice international law. These companies frequently demand that attorneys practice not just international law but also other areas of the law.

Some businesses could favor hiring applicants with several years of experience or a transferable book of clients.

Take into Account Pursuing an LL.M.

Some law schools give practicing attorneys the chance to get Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. International law LL.M. programs sometimes concentrate on a particular area of the topic, such as public international law, international commerce, international human rights, or international human rights law.

These programs’ curricula offer in-depth training on the particular area of international law that has been chosen.

How to Become an International Public Lawyer 

You may increase your chances of succeeding in the cutthroat profession of public international law in a number of ways:

  • Obtain a Ph.D. or LLM with a focus on the subject. 
  • Find a specialty in public international law that interests you and research the law firms that handle the corresponding concerns. 
  • Find a volunteer job with international organizations or courts that deal with the issues you’re interested in. 
  • Enroll in international summer schools or other programs to get a sense of your passions. For instance, take a look at the summer sessions at the Hague Academy, for instance.
  • Participate in debates that are focused on the subject you wish to specialize in. 
  • Participate in writing contests on the subject. 
  • Attend academic law events on topics related to the area you want to specialize in. This will help you make the right connections. 
  • Keep up with industry news, especially in the fields you are interested in. 
  • Pick up a language. Learning English and French is no longer the most often used languages in international law, so learning other languages may be quite beneficial!


To sum up, there isn’t a specific definition of an international lawyer, but if there were, it would be someone who handles cases involving clients, deals, and conflicts that span many jurisdictions.

The need for lawyers with international experience is constantly increasing in this age of globalization. In contrast, a career in international law provides a means to stand out from the crowd in a field where there are so many attorneys.

So how can we accomplish that? It all begins with your passion; get engaged and contribute to the worldwide dialogue. I have two degrees, two certifications, and two states of mind. Your linguistic abilities are crucial, too. Even if English is your first language, studying a second one can help you advance in your job.

In the end, it refers to expanding your horizons and improving as a lawyer while keeping an eye on the more worldwide character of commerce and life in general. But make no mistake, it’s worthwhile.

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