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Amsterdam European Law Clinic

Amsterdam Law Clinics

The Amsterdam European Law Clinic offers graduate students the unique possibility to combine theory and practice of European law. Clinic students will be directly involved in providing legal advice in areas such as EU legal remedies, EU constitutional law, and various substantive areas of law relating to public health, the protection of the environment, asylum and refugee protection, and consumer protection.

The Amsterdam European Law Clinic encourages students’ critical thinking about the functions of law in society and its possibility to make positive changes and contributions our social world. It offers pro bono services to private individuals, non-governmental organizations, and international governmental organizations, that are dealing with complex legal issues that require extra research, if the client does not have adequate means for extra legal research, or when a public interest is pursued.

EU building

A hands-on approach

Clinical legal education is the study of law and lawyering in context. Working with real clients with real problems allows law students to begin the lifelong process of becoming thoughtful, responsible, and reflective lawyers. Therefore, students receive intensive, hands-on, guidance from clinical educators and staff from the Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance (ACELG) on how to conduct legal research, and how to write a legal opinion for external clients on issues of European law. Emphasis is placed on professionalism, high quality work, teamwork, and respect for confidentiality. Students work closely with other students and members of staff at the University of Amsterdam. 

Clinical work

Clinical work consists of projects undertaken for clients that apply for assistance from the AELC. For instance, a lawyer representing a public health organisation may request the help from the AELC in preparing submissions in a preliminary reference case before the Court of Justice on the validity of the EU’s tobacco rules. Under the supervision of academic staff, students regularly meet with the client and work in teams to support the client by doing legal research, drafting memo’s, and providing legal advice. 

Doireann McCarthy (AELC Fall ’19) Master International and Transnational Criminal Law
Copyright: FdR
By working with real clients on actual cases and pertinent legal issues within the field, you are given the opportunity to apply your academic research skills in a professional context. This process not only teaches you how to successfully work in a team to produce an end product in which all members are accurately represented, but also reveals how to effectively communicate with both colleagues and clients. Doireann McCarthy, Amsterdam European Law Clinic, 2019/2020

Future projects

Next semester, from February 2022 onwards, the AELC envisages working on two projects. One project concerns the transfer of personal data to a third country under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and one project concerns EU transparency law in relation to competition law. These projects are still subject to final confirmation.

Current and prior projects and publications

Contact us

For any questions regarding the Amsterdam European Law Clinic, please email us at or contact:

Dr. L.J. (Laurens) Ankersmit

Faculty of Law

European Public Law

Requirements and eligibility

Contact former clinic students

If you're interested in more hands-on information about the clinic and experiences from former Amsterdam European Law Clinic students, you can contact any of the following former students. Send an e-mail to and we will provide you with the relevant contact information.

2019-2020 2020-2021
Dylan Julian Aziz Florian Huber
Abdul Mohamed Maria Bilwin
Anja Siobhan Doolan Julia Gieseck
Laura Bante Umali Buanagracia