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) is a registered charity which 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 flexible, volunteer roles and usually undertaken on a short-term basis.
BIICL interns are valued within the organisation. We endeavour to offer interesting opportunities to interns that include training, experience and skills development. In particular, interns will contribute to:
- research work on current projects, papers and preparing draft reports;
- research for the development of new projects and publications;
- assisting with the organisation of events and training; and
- any administrative tasks associated with the above.
On occasion internships are available for applicants from a non-legal background to assist the marketing, publications and development teams at the Institute.
Download the BIICL Intern Information Leaflet
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.
Interns typically volunteer for around 3-4 months on days and times that suit the intern and BIICL. Flexibility is possible depending on individual circumstances. We aim to offer all interns a rewarding experience which will make best use of their skills and interests, while also providing them with opportunities for further development.
The Institute has high academic standards and expects a serious level of commitment and professionalism from its interns. Applications will be judged on the match of skills and ability of the applicant to the opportunities available within the Institute at the time. If you reach the interview stage, you will be invited to the Institute at a mutually convenient time. For candidates based overseas, we may be able to offer a telephone interview. We very much regret that due to limited resources and the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to offer every applicant an interview. 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. Our events cover a wide range of contemporary issues and attract high profile speakers, many of whom are leaders in their field. Interns are provided with a shared office space, and also 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 and pieces for publication
- Assisting in developing research project proposals
- Assisting in the organisation of events
- Assisting in preparing education and training materials
- Attending meetings with external groups or partners, including government, legal profession and NGOs
- Undertaking literature searches and drafting literature reviews for research projects
- Assisting in the coordination and organisation of research activities
- Instruction on a variety of topics, which may include: writing a literature review; using social media for law reform and legal research; and advanced legal research skills
- Assisting in developing research papers into publishable pieces
- Writing for publications, including news pieces, event summaries and book reviews that will be published on the BIICL website.
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.
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