Career prospects European Union Law

Career prospects European Union Law

The master in European Union Law qualifies students to pursue challenging careers in legal practice and/or advisory functions.

Potential career paths include posts within national and international law firms, national, European and international public administration, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the diplomatic service, European and international courts, multinational enterprises, and advocacy.

National and international governmental organizations

A range of governmental organizations offer job opportunities. First of all, these include the ministries and departments in your own country that are responsible for foreign policy, international relations, development aid, European integration, as well as specialized ministries that often have to deal with international and EU affairs, such as ministries/agencies dealing with agriculture, fisheries, environment, trade, competition, infrastructure etc. At all of these domestic government agencies there is a need for EU lawyers.

As the EU is an active actor at the global level, international organizations and regional level offer a huge job market for you. First of all, these include as the various European Institutions of the EU (Commission, Parliament, Court of Justice), as well as specialized EU agencies, such as the European Data Protection Supervisor or the European Aviation Safety Agency. There are dozens such organizations within the EU, located in different member states, that all welcome lawyers with a specialization in international and EU law.

International non-governmental organizations

On almost every topic on which governmental organizations are active, so are NGOs, ranging from those that work on behalf of businesses (in general, or for a specific branch of business) to NGOs working on behalf of refugees, the environment, or indigenous peoples. All of these work within the context of international and EU law on a daily basis, and usually employ their own lawyers. So if you want to work as a lawyer for Greenpeace or Amnesty International, this master will offer you the tools you need.

Judicial organizations

Both at the EU and the international level there are various judicial organizations that employ dozens if not hundreds of lawyers. Courts and tribunals like the European Court of Human Rights, the EU Court of Justice, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, and the institutions of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, are just a few of many more famous examples. Should you be interested in enforcement, then enforcement agencies, such as EUROPOL or the European anti-fraud office OLAF will offer interesting job opportunities for you.

Law firms

Many law firms specialize in EU law and have offices in New York, The Hague, Brussels etc. They represent clients involved in a lawsuit for one of the international or EU courts and tribunals mentioned above. Domestically oriented law firms also need expertise in international and EU law, since there is no field in law that is unaffected by EU law. An LLM in EU law therefore will give you an advantage, even if you are planning career in domestic law.

Erik Koster

Alumnus Erik Koster

Corporate litigator at Loyens & Loeff

"Complex international disputes are an interesting challenge."

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Gain full 'civil effect'

Dutch students who have followed the Bachelor in Law at Tilburg Law School and have completed the Bachelor's course 'Civil Procedure and Dispute Resolution' (burgerlijk procesrecht en geschiloplossing) have the full 'civil effect'.

Interested in becoming a researcher?

Are you interested in deepening your knowledge by pursuing a career research? In that case, the LLM of European Union law offers a good start. In our program we emphasize the connection between research and teaching. Uniquely, all our professors have established reputations in academia and will share their research with you in the classroom. 

Research skills are also desired by a range of international and European institutions and organizations, such as the European Ombudsman, at consultancy firms and at NGOs. Frequently, the European and International Law department or the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) offer research internships throughout the year for a short period.

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