After completing my LLM in public international law, I worked as a research intern on the Public International Law Programme at the Institute from October to December 2010. During my time at the Institute I worked on one substantive project. The Institute was commissioned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to conduct research on the duties and powers of British consular staff. I worked under the supervision of Jill Barrett, Senior Research Fellow for Public International Law, and former FCO Legal Counsellor, in carrying out this research alongside one other researcher. From day one I was made to feel like part of the team and attended and participated in internal discussions as well as meetings at the FCO with legal advisers and Consular Directorate.
The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) regularly offers opportunities for volunteers to assist in its research, events, training, publications and related activities at its offices in Russell Square, London. BIICL internships are volunteer roles that are flexible and usually undertaken on a short-term basis.
Interns will be able to contribute to a broadly based research, training, publications and events programme. In particular, interns will have opportunities to assist with:
•research on current projects or papers;
•research for the development of new projects;
•the organisation of events; and
•any administrative tasks associated with the above.
BIICL endeavours to offer interesting opportunities to interns that include training, experience and skills development. Further information about developmental opportunities during an internship is provided below.
When internships are offered and when to apply
Most BIICL internships are offered on a rolling basis and details of areas where interns are sought can be found on the webpages related to specific programme areas.
General selection criteria
- Knowledge: a well-rounded knowledge of the relevant legal area at national (in the UK or comparative context) and international levels.
- Level of education or experience: LLM or equivalent degree or relevant work experience in an NGO, international organisation, government department or private practice. Exceptional candidates with only a first degree in law may also be considered.
- Research and drafting skills: an ability to analyse and draw conclusions in a clear and precise manner; a strong ability to conduct research through electronic means and resources. Prior experience in research posts would be of benefit.
- Language skills: a very high level of proficiency in English.
Internships may also be available to assist in marketing, publications and development activities for applicants from a non-legal background.
The Institute has high academic standards and expects a serious level of commitment and professionalism from its interns. An intern is normally likely to be available for around three days per week for a period of 3-4 months, on days and times as suit the intern and the Institute. Flexibility is possible depending on individual circumstances. The more time that you are able to offer and the longer your period of availability, the more likely we will be able to make use of your skills in a way that is most rewarding both for you and for us.
Applications will be judged on the match of skills and ability of the applicant to the opportunities available at the time. If you reach the interview stage, you will then be invited to the Institute at a mutually convenient time. For candidates based overseas, we may be able to offer a telephone interview. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer everyone an interview and, as a result, some applications will be considered unsuccessful without progressing to the interview stage. We will however, inform all applicants of the outcome of their application.
Interns are welcome to attend both BIICL and Bingham Centre public events, free of charge, subject to availability. Interns share a room together, with no allocated desks, and will also be given access to the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) library for the duration of their internship.
Examples of opportunities that may arise for interns include:
- Assisting in drafting law reform submissions;
- Assisting in drafting pieces for publication;
- Assisting in developing research project proposals;
- Assisting in organising events;
- Assisting in preparing education and training materials;
- Attending meetings with external groups or partners, including government, legal profession & NGOs;
- Undertaking literature searches and drafting literature reviews for research projects;
- Assisting in the coordination and organisation of research activities;
- Seminars / instruction on a variety of topics, which may include: writing a literature review; writing press releases; using social media for law reform and legal research; and advanced legal research skills;
- Opportunities and assistance in developing research papers into publishable pieces;
- Opportunities to write for BIICL and Bingham Centre publications (including our newsletters) and websites, including news pieces, event summaries and book reviews.
How to apply
Applications are handled by email only. Further details on how to apply and other specific criteria can be found within the individual programme areas listed below.