Every day when I come into work, I am always surprised as to how much autonomy the attorneys give us. My experience so far has been that once the attorneys you work with trust you, they give you complete and total responsibility over certain projects. Whether it is doing more simple legal research and then preparing a memorandum or searching through thousands of pages of trial and appeal judgments looking for/identifying adjudicated facts, the attorneys treat me more as a fellow attorney rather than a legal intern. I was told by an attorney I work closely with that the work I am doing regularly is equivalent to what a P-2 attorney would be doing here full-time.
When I first got this position, I was not sure just how intensive it would be, and I was not sure how much they would actually utilize us. I have been pleasantly surprised, and I am learning so much about international law (and law in general). The OTP operates much like a law firm, so I feel that this position is preparing me in ways that will most certainly pay off in the future. In doing this work, my legal career aspirations are becoming more clear. I'm learning more and more what types of legal work I enjoy (and types I don't), and I am learning what it feels like to truly live abroad - rather than a quick trip. The project I am working on currently will continue to grow over the summer, so I am looking forward to diving into this subject matter head first.
Life in The Hague is very simple and very safe. Everything is just easy! I enjoy biking everywhere (while taking the occasional tram if it's raining), having everything fairly close by, and always having something to do with friends. My only complaint is that everything in the city (and I'm finding it to be true for many parts of Europe) closes around 6pm. Besides restaurants, any type of shop or store is usually closed by the time I leave work. This is definitely something I take for granted at home, when I can run to a shop/store at 8:30pm in case I need something! I like noticing these subtle differences when I travel and making comparisons about our different ways of life. I hope to continue this while I travel to other places over the summer.