The Mission's role is to represent the U.S. government in Geneva with the United Nations and other international agencies in Geneva, as well as with the more than 100 countries that also maintain permanent missions to the UN in Geneva.
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Diplomatic Mission to the United Nations | Mission to the World trade organization
As the Mission staff manages a heavy workload, externs will assume significant responsibility under the supervision of the three legal advisors. It is critical that selected externs possess excellent legal research and writing skills. Ideal applicants have a demonstrated interest in international trade law. The position is open only to U.S. citizens; the selected applicant will need to obtain a U.S. Government security clearance.
To learn more about the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Mission to the WTO, please visit
Nature of the Extern's Work and Supervision
The U.S. Mission Legal Office expects externs to prepare written legal research and analysis on a variety of international and U.S. law subjects, including human rights, armed conflict, refugees, intellectual property, labor, privileges and immunities, and the war on terror. In principle, legal issues may come up related to any of the more than 50 international organizations represented in Geneva which address a wide array of economic, scientific, environmental, and humanitarian matters. The U.S. Mission tries to expose interns to a variety of topics and assignments and involve them in the different aspects of multilateral negotiations, with the goal of providing a solid basis for them to understand the role of international law and diplomacy in international affairs.
Important Information for Students
The Diplomatic Mission to the UN will consider only 2L students. A course in international human rights law is required.
The externship of the student selected by the U.S. Mission will be dependent upon his or her receiving a security clearance from the U.S. Department of State, and will require the student to apply through the centralized U.S. State Department Internship Application process once selected by the University of Michigan selection panel, and given preliminary approval by the U.S. Mission Legal Office. The formal offer of an internship will not be made until after this entire process is completed, and the student may not receive this final offer until just before departure for the program. It is imperative that the student start this process immediately upon selection by the U.S. Mission.
To learn more about the U.S. Diplomatic Mission, please visit its
(PLEASE NOTE THAT THE USTR IS NOT PROCESSING SECURITY CLEARANCES FOR THIS PLACEMENT SITE AT THE MOMENT. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE WORK OF THIS MISSION, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT YOU CAN BE ASSIGNED SOME WORK THERE AS A PART OF OTHER US MISSION PLACMEENT TO THE UN. ACCORDINLY, PLEASE SELECT THE DIPLOMATIC MISSION TO THE UN AND MAKE A NOTE IN THE COMMENT FIELD TO THAT EFFECT.)
The United States Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), located in Geneva, Switzerland, offers an unparalleled opportunity for law students to work for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) abroad and observe first-hand the working of the WTO, an organization with over 150 members. We welcome law students with an interest in international trade law to apply for this position.
About the Legal Externship
The Mission is part of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and is headed by the Deputy United States Trade Representative holding the rank of Ambassador with a staff of approximately 15 professionals, including three legal advisors. Externs will assist Mission staff in working with other WTO members and the WTO Secretariat, as they formulate U.S. positions both in dispute settlement matters and international trade negotiations.
Externs conduct research related to ongoing disputes, historical information related to the WTO dispute settlement process, and negotiations on potential reforms to the rules governing dispute settlement in the WTO. Externs also assist USTR staff in preparing for meetings related to the panel selection and organizational processes. During the externship at the Mission, legal externs also will have the unique opportunity to attend hearings of dispute settlement panels, the Appellate Body, and arbitrators in particular WTO disputes. At present, many of these hearings are not public and only members of a government delegation may attend.
About the ApplicantAs the Mission staff manages a heavy workload, externs will assume significant responsibility under the supervision of the three legal advisors. It is critical that selected externs possess excellent legal research and writing skills. Ideal applicants have a demonstrated interest in international trade law. The position is open only to U.S. citizens; the selected applicant will need to obtain a U.S. Government security clearance.
To learn more about the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Mission to the WTO, please visit www.ustr.gov.