Dean Acheson Legal Stage
(signed by hand, PDF scan preferred)
(using CLS Passport)
The United States Embassy in Luxembourg accepts applications nominations from Columbia Law School for the Dean Acheson Legal Stage (traineeship/internship) Program in Luxembourg at the Court of Justice of the European Union. These stage opportunities for periods of not more than three months are offered to a limited number of students or recent graduates from select U.S. law schools.
Applications from Columbia Law School students are managed through the Office of International Programs at Columbia Law School during the spring semester each year with a deadline of March 1.
Available Stage Periods at the European Court
There are two possible Dean Acheson Legal Stage periods each year:
Fall Term (mid-September to mid-December)
Spring Term (mid-February to mid-May)
Some flexibility regarding dates may be possible at the discretion of the Judge or Advocate General to whom the Dean Acheson stagiaire is attached. Exact dates will be determined by the calendar of the Court. The maximum stage period is three months due to Luxembourg visa requirements for non-E.U. citizens.
Categories of Dean Acheson Legal Stage
Three types of stage 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 Court of First Instance
The Dean Acheson stagiaire works in the Chambers of a Judge of the Court of First Instance (CFI), assisting him or her in connection with cases before the CFI. Candidates for this stage should have a strong background in antitrust/competition law. A reading knowledge of French is required.
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.
FIRST: Download and complete the Dean Acheson Legal Stage application form. The form must be signed by hand (a PDF scan is acceptable).
SECOND: Upload the following documents using CLS Passport:
- Application Form signed by hand (PDF scan)
- Curriculum Vitae
- Graduate and Undergraduate Transcripts
- Recommendation letter from a Columbia Law School faculty member
Application Deadline: March 1 of the academic year prior to the one during which the applicant proposes to participate in the stage
A committee led by the European Legal Studies Center will review the applications and forward Columbia’s nominations (a maximum of three) to the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg. The Embassy, after review, will forward approved applications materials to the Court of Justice for review and circulation among the Judges and Advocates General, according to the applicant’s stated preferences. Individual Judges and Advocates General will select Dean Acheson stagiaires from the lists submitted and the European Court of Justice will notify the Embassy and the applicants of their selection.
No U.S. Government funds are available to assist applicants chosen for Dean Acheson Legal stages. Dean Acheson stages are unpaid, and the European Court of Justice does not make any funds available to support Dean Acheson stagiaires.
No academic credit is given for the stage, which is an unpaid clerkship.
The application deadline each year is March 1for positions during the following academic year.
Questions concerning this program may be addressed to:
Public Affairs Office
U.S. Embassy Luxembourg
Tel. +352 46 01 23 27 (new number)