Dean Acheson Legal Stage

The Dean Acheson Legal Stage Program at the Court of Justice of the European Union (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. Fordham 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.


There are two possible Dean Acheson Legal Stage periods:

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 EU 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 in association with their referendaires (law clerks). The stagiaire is expected to assist the Judge and their referendaires as needed. The tasks are varied and include case law research, scholarly writings analysis, brief production and issue discussions. The cases mainly concern applications by legal or natural persons against EU actions or inactions. Strong French language skills are an advantage. 

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

Fordham Law applicants must submit their completed applications to the Law School's International and Non-J.D. Programs Office no later than Monday, March 7, 2022 at noon. Compliance 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 [email protected]. Please advise your two references that they may also submit their letters of reference by email to [email protected]. A committee 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 Fordham 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 [email protected].