Career prospects after LLM in International Law
Government organisations, private as well as multinational companies are looking for young dynamic lawyers, attorneys and advisors who hold specialized knowledge in international law
The United Nation Convention on International Trade Law from 1985 has been emphasizing on development of international law for the smooth flow of international trade and handling of transnational insolvency. This gives an advantage of living in a globalized world where businesses cross borders, and transnational interactions are the norm. This globalized connected world has also created the need for lawyers, attorneys and advisors; who are well versed with transnational laws and the evolving global dynamics to contribute significantly in free flow of trade commerce.
The demand for lawyers, attorneys and advisors specializing in transnational laws is gradually increasing both in India and abroad. In the current decade, government organisations, private as well as multinational companies are looking for young dynamic lawyers, attorneys and advisors who hold specialized lawyering skills in international law. The demand for young lawyers in international arena is gaining prominence, as the organisations need lawyers and attorneys to think out of box and guide organizations with a solution-centric and a not problem-centric approach. No doubt, the basic degree of law course provides a broad overview both from theoretical as well as clinical point of view. However, when we take a step forward, we find that the LLM degree in International law offers niche learning across the current domains such as corporate law and business Law (national and international) and international trade law, among others. After completing degree in International Law, one can choose from a wide range of career options and pursue an international legal career too.
International lawyers are responsible for drafting international contracts, public-private partnership contract, trade agreements and loan agreement from IMF, World Bank etc. They negotiate on behalf of private companies, MNCs or governments to arrive at most advantageous terms and conditions of concluded contracts. During COVAD-19, most nations and MNCs are looking for good lawyering skills to arrive at terms of licensing agreement as just, fair and reasonable. As an international lawyer, it is expected to be proficient with the laws and policies of different countries including the Double Tax Avoidance Treaty for smooth flow of international trade and business. The Role of International Lawyers demand the best practices and alternatives available with a thorough knowledge of intricacies in litigation involving multinational jurisdictions.
Most multinational companies or organizations need legal advisors. Their core responsibility is to provide legal advice and support to all departments of the organization . They need to be skilled in drafting contracts and supervising client contracts, to avoid any delay or extra claim, change order or liquidated damages. Therefore, it is the primary duty of a Legal advisor to understand a transaction, analyse and interpret all contracts of the organization .
A degree in International law prepares students to advice on the Policy issues to the politicians and ambassadors on national and international policies. As a part of the job profile, their key role is to conduct thorough research, write and present reports to the concerned government. Policy advisors collaborate with political analysts to ensure the implementation of better policies and lawmaking. They also analyze policy documents and evaluate any potential risks.
Corporate lawyers are required to undertake and supervise business transactions or acquisitions. Corporate lawyers can be hired directly by companies or by law firms representing businesses. They are responsible for commercial negotiations and legal representation of the company.
A degree in international law provides global exposure and allows students to apply for jobs in international organizations such as the United Nations, European Court of Human Rights, World Intellectual Property Organisation and International Court of Justice, UN Peace Keeping Mission.
These are some of the top career paths that a student with LLM in International law can pursue. However, there are several other options to explore like research scholar, teaching, working as experts on international law in the field of intellectual property law, including media law and public health, among others. Pursuing doctoral programs in some of the emerging areas of Space Law, Cross boarder insolvency, optimal use of energy resources can also be another option for students with LLM in International Law. Government of India provides various research fellowship program with Joint collaboration with other countries and United Nation Bodies.
One thing is for sure that with the rising complexities of international affairs and global expansion of businesses, the demand for skilled lawyers in international law will be in a harmonic progression. And there will be a variety of job opportunities that will enable you to chart a career in international law that is both exciting and satisfying.
(The writer is a Professor at the UPES School of Law)