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Law Graduates Working at the IMF

by Minoas Vitalis
Reading Time: 5 minutes

For UK law graduates, working at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be a great way to gain international experience and perspective on the world of finance and economics.

Working at the IMF offers a chance to learn about macroeconomics and the global financial system, as well as hone one’s skills in policy analysis and negotiation. And with the current economic uncertainty around the world, there has never been a more interesting time to work there.

In this article,  we will explore what the IMF is, what it does, and in particular, in which roles law graduates can be employed there. We will also take a look at the selection process for positions at the IMF, and offer some advice on how to make your application stand out.

What is the IMF?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that works to promote global economic growth and financial stability. It does this by providing policy advice and financing to member countries. 

The IMF was founded in 1944 and currently has 190 member countries. Its headquarters are in Washington D.C., and it has staff from 150 countries. The current IMF Director is Kristalina Georgieva, who is from Bulgaria. It was established in the aftermath of the Great Depression and World War II, with the goal of preventing another global economic crisis.

What Does the IMF Do?

The IMF’s main activities can be divided into three areas:

1) advising member governments on economic policy;

2) lending money to countries with balance of payments difficulties. These loans are typically conditional on the country implementing certain economic policies. For example, a country may be required to reduce its budget deficit in order to receive a loan from the IMF; and

3) providing technical assistance and training to member countries.

In addition, the IMF also carries out economic research and publishes data and analysis on global economic trends. In general, the IMF is responsible for monitoring the global economy and providing early warning of financial crises. The IMF is often in the news due to its role in providing emergency loans to countries experiencing economic difficulties. For example, the IMF has recently provided loans to Greece, Ireland, and Ukraine.

Of course, it has been criticised for imposing harsh conditions on these loans, which can sometimes make the economic situation worse. Nevertheless, the IMF is an important organisation, and its work has a direct impact on the global economy.

What Roles Can Law Graduates Play at the IMF?

There are many different roles that law graduates can play at the IMF. The main one is working as a Lawyer in the Legal Department. As an International Monetary Fund Lawyer, you would be responsible for advising management, the Board staff, country member states on a wide range of legal issues, including the drafting of legislation within the principal mandate of the organisation. As a member of the legal team,  you would have the opportunity to become involved in all aspects of the IMF’s work, including giving advice on specific countries or IMF legal issues, reforms of national laws in member state countries, and other policy-related activities.

Applicants for legal roles at the International  Monetary Fund must have a recognised university and advanced degree in law and be qualified to practice law in one or more jurisdictions. In addition, fluency in English is required, and working knowledge of another major language is highly desirable.

Aside from lawyers, the IMF also employs economists, statisticians, accountants, and other professionals. While most positions at the IMF require a graduate degree, there are also a number of entry-level positions open to those that have only finished their undergraduate degree. 

The IMF is a great place to work if you are interested in international economic policy. It offers a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the global economy and to work with experts from all over the world.

The Selection Process for Positions at the IMF

The selection process for positions at the IMF is extremely competitive. In order to increase your chances of being selected, you should have a strong academic record, relevant work experience, and be proficient in English. In addition, it is also important to demonstrate your commitment to the IMF’s mission and values.

The first step in the process is usually to submit an online application, including a CV, cover letter, and transcripts. After your application has been reviewed, you may be invited to participate in an interview.

If you are successful at the interview stage, you will be invited for a panel interview. This is usually the final stage of the process, and if you are successful, you will be offered a position at the IMF. Additional exercises or steps may be required depending on the position you have applied for.  These can be online assessments, writing exercises, or group exercises.

So, what can you do to stand out?

First, highlight any relevant work experience you have in your application, whether it’s through internships or other jobs. The IMF is looking for candidates with a strong understanding of the global economy, so any experience you have in this area will be helpful.

Second, make sure to brush up on your economic theory. The IMF is interested in candidates who can think critically about economic issues and who have a strong foundation in economic theory. If not that, at least have a good idea about how the IMF works and what its goals are.

Third, update your language skills. The IMF is a global organization, and being able to communicate in multiple languages is a valuable skill. If you’re not already proficient in a second language, consider taking some courses or brushing up on your skills.

Fourth, be prepared for the interview process. The IMF is looking for candidates who are articulate and who can think on their feet. In your interview, you’ll likely be asked questions about your economic knowledge as well as your experience working in duties relevant to the role you have applied for. Be sure to have thoughtful answers prepared ahead of time.

Finally, be prepared to discuss your career aspirations during your interview. The IMF is looking for candidates who are committed to a career in public service and who have a clear vision for their future.

If you can demonstrate that you have the skills and qualifications that the IMF is looking for, you’ll be well on your way to landing a job at this prestigious institution. Good luck!


So there you have it, an analysis of the way you can acquire experience at the IMF. Of course, this is just a small slice of the pie – there are many other ways to end up working at this esteemed organisation. But if you’re a UK law graduate looking to make your mark on the world of international finance, the IMF could well be the place for you. Who knows, you might even find yourself in a position to save the world one day.

Minoas graduated with a Merit upon studying the full-time MPA Public Administration – International Development degree (MPA-ID) at the University of York. He is currently working as a freelance EU affairs consultant in Belgium.
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