The Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program at the Court of Justice of the European Union is organized through the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg and offers stage (clerkship) positions at the Court of Justice and at the General Court to a limited number of students from select U.S. law schools. Michigan Law is honored to be one of these select schools and has sent nine stagaires to the Court since 2002.
The Court’s mission is to interpret European Union law to ensure it is applied equally in all EU countries and to settle disputes arising between national governments and EU institutions.
Dean Acheson Legal Stage periods are typically offered twice per year, Fall Term (mid-September to mid-December) and Spring Term (mid-February to mid-May). Exact dates will be determined by the Court’s calendar each year. The maximum stage period is three months.
Application Deadline for 2024-2025 Program: March 1, 2024 (at 11:59pm)
Three types of stage placements 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 assists the judge and his or her referendaires as required, while gaining unparalleled insight into the unique judicial process of the European Court. Strong French language skills are essential and a high degree of intellectual teamwork is required.
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. Therefore, the stagiaire must have language skills appropriate to the Advocate General who selects him or her. A reading knowledge of French is also 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 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.
Dean Acheson Legal Stage positions are open to American citizens and legal permanent residents only. Michigan Law students and alumni are eligible to apply, but priority is given to applicants who have completed three years of law school.
Competitive applicants have taken Michigan Law courses in European Union Law or otherwise have a strong background in the area.
Some knowledge of French is required, varying with the type of stage. Knowledge of EU languages other than French and English is an advantage and is generally necessary for a stage with an Advocate General.
Michigan Law’s Bates Fellowship funding is available to any selected applicant who will have completed at least two years at the Law School before beginning the stage. To request Bates funding, simply include a detailed budget in your application packet. A full Bates application is not required.
Completed applications include the application packet described below plus letters of recommendation. All materials should be submitted by email to Center for International and Comparative Law staff at email@example.com by 11:59pm on March 1, 2024.
Complete and timely submissions will be reviewed by a Michigan Law School selection committee for nomination to the Court. The Court then undertakes its own selection process from among all US law school nominees.
Application packet requirements:
- Application form with original signature
- Official copies of law school and undergraduate transcripts
- Description of French proficiency, including background and experience in reading, writing, and speaking
- Description of proficiency in languages other than French and English
- Budget with amount of fellowship requested, if seeking Bates Fellowship support from Michigan Law
Letters of recommendation:
- One letter from a Michigan Law professor
- One additional letter from a Michigan Law professor or anyone else appropriate
- At least one of the letters should be from someone with experience in European Community Law
- Letters should be sent directly from the recommenders to Center for International and Comparative Law staff at firstname.lastname@example.org