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World Bank Legal Internship Programme

The World Bank Legal Internship Programme is a highly sought-after opportunity that allows law students and recent graduates to gain valuable experience and insight into the work of the World Bank and its Legal Vice Presidency. The programme aims to provide interns with exposure to the World Bank's mission and operations while enhancing their legal skills in a multicultural and professional environment.

Eligibility: To be eligible for the World Bank Legal Internship Programme, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Citizenship: Candidates must hold citizenship of any member state of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). This ensures that the programme is open to individuals from various countries.

  • Enrolment in a legal academic programme: Candidates must be currently enrolled in an LLB, JD, LLM, SJD, PhD, or an equivalent legal academic programme. The programme considers applicants who are pursuing their legal studies and recent graduates who have completed their studies within the last year.

  • Language proficiency: Candidates must have an excellent command of the English language, as it is the primary working language at the World Bank. Proficiency in a second language, particularly one of the working languages of the IBRD (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, or Spanish), is preferred and can be advantageous.

Programme structure: The World Bank Legal Internship Programme is offered three times a year and takes place at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C., as well as selected country offices. The internship periods typically last for 10 to 12 weeks, depending on the specific needs of the Legal Vice Presidency.

Application process: Interested candidates need to submit their applications during the designated application periods, which differ for each internship cycle. The application requires several documents, including a résumé, a statement of interest, proof of enrolment in a legal degree programme, academic transcripts, and a short essay responding to a research question provided by the Legal Vice Presidency.

Internship responsibilities: Selected interns work closely with experienced lawyers within the Legal Vice Presidency. They contribute to a range of legal tasks and research assignments, such as:

  • Legal assignments: Interns undertake various legal assignments under the guidance and supervision of their assigned lawyers. These assignments can involve legal analysis, drafting legal documents, and conducting legal research.

  • Research: Interns conduct research on specific legal issues using available law files and alternative sources, including computer-assisted searches and databases. They analyse information and summarise their findings.

  • Comparative legal analyses: Interns may perform comparative legal analyses on a variety of issues within a given area. This includes identifying legal and policy issues, researching relevant precedents, and proposing appropriate solutions.

  • Task/Project teams: Interns may participate in task or project teams led by supervising lawyers. This involvement allows interns to contribute their skills and perspectives to ongoing projects within the Legal Vice Presidency.

  • Conferences and meetings: Interns assist in the preparation and organisation of conferences and meetings, gaining exposure to high-profile events and interacting with professionals in the legal field.

  • Ad hoc assignments: Interns may be requested to perform ad hoc assignments as needed by their supervising lawyers, contributing to the diverse range of legal work within the Legal Vice Presidency.

Programme logistics and considerations: While participating in the World Bank Legal Internship Programme, there are several important logistical factors to consider:

  • Visa: Interns are responsible for obtaining valid student visa documents sponsored by their educational institutions. However, the World Bank may assist in exceptional cases.

  • Compensation: The World Bank does not provide monetary compensation to interns. However, each intern should be remunerated either through monetary fees/compensation paid by their university or sponsoring organisation, or through academic credit equivalent to the Bank's fee schedule.

  • Medical insurance: Interns are responsible for their own medical insurance coverage and any associated costs incurred during the internship period.

  • Selection process: The World Bank Legal Internship Programme follows a competitive selection process. The organisation is committed to equal opportunity employment.

  • Onboarding and performance evaluation: The World Bank's Legal Vice Presidency organises a brief onboarding session at the beginning of each internship cycle. However, the World Bank does not provide performance evaluations for interns.

It is important to note that participation in the World Bank Legal Internship Programme does not guarantee employment at the World Bank upon completion of the internship. For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the World Bank Legal Internship Programme, interested applicants should refer to the official World Bank website or directly contact the World Bank for further details and potential updates to the programme's application process and requirements.

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