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Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program: European Court of Justice Clerkships

The Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program at the Court of Justice of the European Communities (European Court of Justice), organized through the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg, offers stage (traineeship/internship) opportunities at the Court of Justice and the General Court to a limited number of students from select U.S. law schools. Students are nominated to the Court by their law schools, and the Court makes the final selection decision. Michigan Law students and alumni are eligible to apply for these stage opportunities, which last no more than three months and enable them to work in the chambers of a judge or advocate general of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The work environment is collegial, as clerks of all chambers spend a good deal of time together within and outside the Court of Justice. Seven Michigan Law graduates have been selected as stagiaires at the European Court of Justice between 2006 and 2013.  The 2013 stagiaire's report of her experience at the Court may be found here.

AVAILABLE STAGE PERIODS AT THE EUROPEAN COURT of justice

There are two possible Dean Acheson Legal Stage periods for 2014-2015:

Fall Term (mid-September to mid-December 2014)
Spring Term (mid-February to mid-May 2015)

Some flexibility regarding dates may be possible at the discretion of the judge or advocate general to whom the Dean Acheson stagiaire is attached, but the maximum stage period is three months due to Luxembourg visa requirements for non-E.U. citizens.

CATEGORIES OF DEAN ACHESON LEGAL STAGE Program

Three types of stage opportunities are available:

With a Judge of the Court of Justice
The Dean Acheson stagiaire works in the chambers of a judge of the Court of Justice in association with his or her referendaires (law clerks). The stagiaire is expected to assist the judge and his or her referendaires as required. This experience offers an unparalleled opportunity to gain insight into a judicial process characteristic of the European Court, but very different from the American approach, involving a high degree of intellectual teamwork. Strong French language skills are essential.

With an Advocate General of the Court of Justice
The Dean Acheson stagiaire works in the chambers of an advocate general of the Court of Justice in association with his or her referendaires. The stagiaire takes part in the research and writing of the advocate general's opinions, an experience most akin to a traditional U.S. judicial clerking experience. Advocates general prepare their opinions in their native language. The stagiaire, therefore, needs to have the language skills appropriate to the advocate general who selects him or her. A reading knowledge of French is required.

With a Judge of the General Court
The Dean Acheson stagiaire works in the chambers of a judge of the General Court, assisting him or her in connection with cases before the General Court. Candidates for this stage should have a strong background in antitrust/competition law. A reading knowledge of French is required.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

The purpose of the Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program is to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and the European Union in the context of the legal profession. It is, therefore, open to American citizens and legal permanent residents only. Priority will be given to applicants who have completed three years of law school and who have a strong knowledge of Community Law. As noted above, some knowledge of French is required, varying with the type of stage. Knowledge of an E.U. language other than French and English is an advantage, and generally necessary for a stage with an advocate general.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Michigan applicants must submit their completed applications to the Law School's Center for International and Comparative Law no later than Monday, March 3, 2014Compliance with the deadline is essential. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that his or her application (including letters of reference and transcript) is complete by the deadline. Please submit your application electronically to Barbara Glispin at glispin@umich.edu. Please advise your two references that they may also submit their letters of reference by email to glispin@umich.edu or by fax to 734-763-9182. A committee of Michigan Law faculty will decide which applications to nominate to the Court.

The application packet must include:

1)  Completed application form

2)  Two letters of reference (We strongly encourage that at least one letter of reference be from a Michigan Law faculty member and one from an individual with experience in European Community Law. The latter could, of course, be a law professor.)

3)  Official copies of your Law School and undergraduate transcripts

4)  Current term course list

5)  Resume

6)  Description of your proficiency, background and experience in one or more foreign languages

Please direct questions to Roopal Shah, Assistant Dean for International Affairs, at roopal@umich.edu.
 
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