Staff of the War Crimes Research Office

Getting Involved at the WCRO

Dean's Fellows | Student Volunteers | International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Competitions | University of Ottawa Exchange | Other Opportunities

The WCRO supports numerous opportunities for students and other volunteers to work toward the successful development of public international law. Some opportunities require demonstrated interest or experience in issues of international justice; others present an excellent opportunity for people new to the field to become involved. Anyone interested in opportunities listed below should contact the WCRO Staff Assistant at To be kept updated about volunteer opportunities, follow this link to sign up for our announcements-only listserv.

Dean's Fellows

Each year, WCL makes available dozens of Dean’s Fellowships, which offer certain J.D. and LL.M students the opportunity to work with selected faculty members, administrative offices and programs. Every semester, the WCRO hires several Dean’s Fellows to assist with its projects, including legal research, jurisprudence collections, the summer program in The Hague and other scholarly initiatives.

ICT Research and Jurisprudence Collections Dean’s Fellows

International Criminal Law Research Dean’s Fellows will work on legal research projects prepared for WCRO client institutions involved in holding accountable perpetrators of serious international crimes. Gender Jurisprudence Dean’s Fellows will assist in updating the Gender Jurisprudence Collections and in identifying, keywording, and digesting documents in the Collections involving sexual and gender-based crimes. Both provide intensive writing opportunities, and are an excellent way to develop students’ knowledge and research skills in the field of international criminal law. As one recent Fellow has said:

"Working at the War Crimes Research Office (WCRO) has given me an opportunity to expound on the theoretical knowledge from my international law classes and turn it into work-product for real world clients. I was impressed by the work of the WCRO and its significance to organizations and tribunals worldwide. I would highly recommend a Dean’s Fellowship at the WCRO to any student that has a strong interest in international criminal justice.”

Summer Law Program in The Hague Dean's Fellow

The WCRO also has an opportunity for a Dean's Fellowship to provide administrative assistance to its Summer Law Program in The Hague. The fellow assists with marketing the program, undertaking administrative tasks, and helping to update course materials. We value attention to detail, strong organizational skills and familiarity with Microsoft Office programs. Experience or interest in international law, program management, and study abroad are all great assets. Please watch this page for open positions.

Eligibility & Requirements

JD (2L and 3L) and LL.M students are eligible for these positions. Interested students with a background in public international law, particularly international criminal/humanitarian/human rights law, are especially encouraged to apply, as are those with prior volunteer experience at the WCRO. Students with foreign language proficiency, particularly Spanish and French, are encouraged to apply. Dean’s Fellowships at the WCRO are paid, with a time commitment of 20 hours per week (we will also consider students interested in independent study credit). While we are currently hiring specifically for the Spring 2016 semester, many students who have performed well in the past have extended their positions into the spring semester as well.

How to Apply

*Applications for the Summer 2017 semester have closed. Please watch this page for future opportunities.*

To apply, please submit a résumé and cover letter highlighting relevant experience, along with a short writing sample and a transcript (unofficial is fine) to Susana SáCouto, Director, War Crimes Research Office, by email at Please indicate in the subject line if you are applying for the ICL Research Dean’s Fellow position, the Gender Jurisprudence Dean’s Fellow position, or the Summer Law Program in The Hague Dean’s Fellow position. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us or call 202-274-4067.

ICTY Status Updates team members


Student Volunteers

Volunteer positions at the WCRO offer students exposure to the field of international criminal justice and the opportunity to contribute to the WCRO's public work. Interested students are encouraged to contact the Staff Assistant with particular interests at the beginning of the semester. The WCRO maintains a database of all volunteers; for less regular assignments (e.g. temporary research assistance or spading), the WCRO will put out an e-mail notification to eligible volunteers.

Status Updates

The WCRO posts to its website regular chronologies of significant events and landmark decisions in international courts and tribunals. Status Updates teams of students are responsible for monitoring the activities of these tribunals, summarizing their findings and reporting them to the WCRO. Teams meet with the WCRO Assistant Director and Staff Assistant every other week to discuss developments in the field. Status Updates are monitored mostly on volunteers' own time, but benefit from collaboration and guidance, making this a good opportunity for 1Ls and others who want to learn more about international criminal justice. In recent years, teams monitored the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, International Criminal Court, Special Court for Sierra Leone, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Jurisprudence Collections

The WCRO maintains a database of jurisprudence from major international/ized courts and tribunals. This collection is the only one of its kind and is currently in the process of being converted to a searchable, web-based resource for researchers and practitioners of international law. Volunteers assist in maintaining this resource. This is a great opportunity to become familiar with the jurisprudence of these courts and tribunals, and to make a significant impact on the quality of research materials available in the field.

Research Volunteers

The WCRO maintains a list of law students interested in assisting our Dean's Fellows and Assistant Director with various types of research and spading help on an as-needed basis. Several times each semester, the Office needs the help of volunteers to check sources and citations for projects carried out on behalf of client institutions. Students who wish to assist in spading should be detail-oriented and have Blue Book knowledge, or at least previous experience in research or editing.

International Student Resource Panel

International students or those who have legal experience in countries other than the U.S. are encouraged to sign up for the WCRO's International Student Resource Panel. The WCRO maintains this list as a resource of people willing to contribute time to projects with a comparative law element.

International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Competitions

Students interested in the field of international justice might wish to take part in moot court competitions through the WCRO.

University of Ottawa Exchange Program

Each year one University of Ottawa law student is selected to spend the university’s January academic term in Washington, D.C., gaining practical experience in international criminal law by conducting, under WCRO supervision, intensive research and writing on legal research projects for WCRO client institutions. See here for more information.

Other Opportunities

The WCRO occasionally has consulting or pro bono legal research opportunities available. Please e-mail the WCRO Staff Assistant at with a resume or c.v. if interested.