Working in London with no ties?

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Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:39 pm

Lower T10 1L .. how hard is it to secure a job with a big firm in London, like maybe Allen and Overy, or somewhere similar, if you don't have any substantial ties to the area? Does anyone know, first hand or anecdotally? I've heard with some big cities you don't really need to have ties?

I've spent a bit of time traveling, I've been to the UK, I've lived out of the country, and I love the culture, but I don't have any family overseas and I've never been to the city. Will this really hurt my chances?

I know grades are a big assumption at this point, but I'm just curious. Thanks guys..

bdubs
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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby bdubs » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lower T10 1L .. how hard is it to secure a job with a big firm in London, like maybe Allen and Overy, or somewhere similar, if you don't have any substantial ties to the area? Does anyone know, first hand or anecdotally? I've heard with some big cities you don't really need to have ties?

I've spent a bit of time traveling, I've been to the UK, I've lived out of the country, and I love the culture, but I don't have any family overseas and I've never been to the city. Will this really hurt my chances?

I know grades are a big assumption at this point, but I'm just curious. Thanks guys..


I met a GULC student who was an SA -> Associate at Allen & Overy. I don't think he had any substantial ties to the UK, just a strong desire to work internationally.

Corrected
Last edited by bdubs on Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

sophie316
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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby sophie316 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Lower T10 1L .. how hard is it to secure a job with a big firm in London, like maybe Allen and Overy, or somewhere similar, if you don't have any substantial ties to the area? Does anyone know, first hand or anecdotally? I've heard with some big cities you don't really need to have ties?

I've spent a bit of time traveling, I've been to the UK, I've lived out of the country, and I love the culture, but I don't have any family overseas and I've never been to the city. Will this really hurt my chances?

I know grades are a big assumption at this point, but I'm just curious. Thanks guys..


Straight out? Not easy. I know a lot of people that tried for London spots and got no callbacks at any of them. You'd be better off starting in the US and then after two years trying to transfer out there I would imagine. There are very few SA jobs in London, and I'm sure a lot of the people who apply for them will at least have spent time(ie studied abroad) in the UK. Also a LOT of people make the mistake of saying they're interested in litigation/arbitration in their screening interviews. London firms recruit pretty much exclusively for corporate work, and specific areas of corporate work at that. Unless you absolutely are ok with doing those few narrow areas, beware.

Out of curiosity why do you want to go to London if you say you've never even been to the city?

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby sophie316 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:58 pm

Sorry above was me and not meant to be anon.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:32 pm

OP here ..

reasons .. pretty vague and random, and maybe not that strong, but I've been to the UK to visit friends and I loved it, and I've grown up a huge soccer fan, so I've always read their magazines, watched their sports, etc... in a sense I just feel a connection to the area. I know London is a big city, so it might not have as much of this as the places I've been (or maybe it would have more), but I really like the history and the unique feel of the towns I have been to over there. It's very different from where I come from. I like the pub culture. The music. I like having relatively easy access to the rest of Europe. I dated a girl with English parents and have known a lot of English soccer players, all of whom strike me as really interesting people to be around. The accents are cool. Guinness is great (only half-kidding on the last two). But really, I can't peg it down too well, except to say that I really think I'd be happy there .. I guess that's about as good of a reason I have for wanting to work anywhere else. I haven't spent too much time in any of the major legal markets in the US, either. The novelty of it might wear off if I were to end up there, but I'm definitely not saying it's London or bust, I was just curious about the possibility of it.

Also, while I was in undergrad I focused on international studies and a foreign language, and I wrote a thesis on an international economic issue, so maybe I could spin that into showing that I'm interested in the work.

Bdub.. good call.. you're probably right, but I just think someone could possibly identify me from the information above and while I don't have anything to hide, I'd rather keep my username somewhat private. Thanks for the response though.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby bdubs » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:38 pm

The guy I met who worked @ A&O had pretty extensive knowledge of a relatively uncommon foreign language (not as a native speaker). I think he had spent substantial time abroad, but not in the UK.

I doubt you will get to experience much if any British culture while working as an associate in biglaw, so it seems like a kind of poor reason to target those firms with your bids. If you want to do international corporate work in any one of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East I think a lot of those projects are run out of London firms.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby sophie316 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here ..

reasons .. pretty vague and random, and maybe not that strong, but I've been to the UK to visit friends and I loved it, and I've grown up a huge soccer fan, so I've always read their magazines, watched their sports, etc... in a sense I just feel a connection to the area. I know London is a big city, so it might not have as much of this as the places I've been (or maybe it would have more), but I really like the history and the unique feel of the towns I have been to over there. It's very different from where I come from. I like the pub culture. The music. I like having relatively easy access to the rest of Europe. I dated a girl with English parents and have known a lot of English soccer players, all of whom strike me as really interesting people to be around. The accents are cool. Guinness is great (only half-kidding on the last two). But really, I can't peg it down too well, except to say that I really think I'd be happy there .. I guess that's about as good of a reason I have for wanting to work anywhere else. I haven't spent too much time in any of the major legal markets in the US, either. The novelty of it might wear off if I were to end up there, but I'm definitely not saying it's London or bust, I was just curious about the possibility of it.

Also, while I was in undergrad I focused on international studies and a foreign language, and I wrote a thesis on an international economic issue, so maybe I could spin that into showing that I'm interested in the work.

Bdub.. good call.. you're probably right, but I just think someone could possibly identify me from the information above and while I don't have anything to hide, I'd rather keep my username somewhat private. Thanks for the response though.


Yeah I think you would need more than this to get an SA position in London. They are not looking for someone who is wanting to try out England and see if they like it, they want people who at the very least are looking to be there for a while. I am from the UK and my family still lives there and I, while I eventually ended up deciding to stay in NY for now, I did do some screening interviews/received CBs from London offices. I was told specifically by one that were looking for people like me ie people with strong ties that would be sticking around.

The caveat to this is that I think if you have a lot of international experience and strong language skills ie fluency in one or more European languages then that could be enough. I think you would need to articulate a far more convincing reason for wanting to be there to have a shot, to be honest. If you haven't spent much time in any of the US legal markets my advice is to look mostly in NYC...it's pretty much the only market that doesn't care about ties. Look for firms who talk about the fact that they let summers do rotations abroad and target firms with big London offices. That is probably your best shot to try out London.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:58 pm

sophie316 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here ..

reasons .. pretty vague and random, and maybe not that strong, but I've been to the UK to visit friends and I loved it, and I've grown up a huge soccer fan, so I've always read their magazines, watched their sports, etc... in a sense I just feel a connection to the area. I know London is a big city, so it might not have as much of this as the places I've been (or maybe it would have more), but I really like the history and the unique feel of the towns I have been to over there. It's very different from where I come from. I like the pub culture. The music. I like having relatively easy access to the rest of Europe. I dated a girl with English parents and have known a lot of English soccer players, all of whom strike me as really interesting people to be around. The accents are cool. Guinness is great (only half-kidding on the last two). But really, I can't peg it down too well, except to say that I really think I'd be happy there .. I guess that's about as good of a reason I have for wanting to work anywhere else. I haven't spent too much time in any of the major legal markets in the US, either. The novelty of it might wear off if I were to end up there, but I'm definitely not saying it's London or bust, I was just curious about the possibility of it.

Also, while I was in undergrad I focused on international studies and a foreign language, and I wrote a thesis on an international economic issue, so maybe I could spin that into showing that I'm interested in the work.

Bdub.. good call.. you're probably right, but I just think someone could possibly identify me from the information above and while I don't have anything to hide, I'd rather keep my username somewhat private. Thanks for the response though.


Yeah I think you would need more than this to get an SA position in London. They are not looking for someone who is wanting to try out England and see if they like it, they want people who at the very least are looking to be there for a while. I am from the UK and my family still lives there and I, while I eventually ended up deciding to stay in NY for now, I did do some screening interviews/received CBs from London offices. I was told specifically by one that were looking for people like me ie people with strong ties that would be sticking around.

The caveat to this is that I think if you have a lot of international experience and strong language skills ie fluency in one or more European languages then that could be enough. I think you would need to articulate a far more convincing reason for wanting to be there to have a shot, to be honest. If you haven't spent much time in any of the US legal markets my advice is to look mostly in NYC...it's pretty much the only market that doesn't care about ties. Look for firms who talk about the fact that they let summers do rotations abroad and target firms with big London offices. That is probably your best shot to try out London.


That was kind what I expected. Thanks for the input.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:30 am

I am a summer at A+O NYC. I hear they send you on training over to London; you can also apply for a "secondment" which is like a 6 month stint abroad if they need you and you're willing to go. So my best guess is you can probably work at NYC branch of A+O/CC/Freshfields/etc. and just transfer over

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:32 am

Depending on which practice areas you want to rotate through, Linklaters lets you spend half your summer in London. Some are placed abroad afterward. (The firm will place you where you are needed -- it's not just up to you.) You should really know what practice area you want first though. You'll only be able to practice in certain transactional areas like capital markets abroad.

Also, while most of the people I know working for magic circle firms are bilingual, you really do not need to be fluent in a foreign language to work abroad.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby tome » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:27 pm

If anything, British biglaw is more formal than US biglaw, and so I think ties would be more important there.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby pandacot » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:41 pm

I talked with a hiring partner from Freshfields London a while ago, and he suggested that ties are not important. What he stressed was that he doesn't want to hear BS. A lot of students will tell him that they want to work in London because of some limp-dick XYZ reason instead of just saying they're unsure of London, but would like to have a shot. He stated he would always go with the person who is honest.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby bdubs » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:43 pm

pandacot wrote:I talked with a Freshfields London person a while ago, and he suggested that ties are not important. What he stressed was that he doesn't want to hear BS. A lot of students will tell him that they want to work in London because of some limp-dick XYZ reason instead of just saying they're unsure of London, but would like to have a shot. He stated he would always go with the person who is honest.


Yes, but they probably have a lot of applicants who can show dedicated interest in working in that region of the world (i.e. strong language skills, personal ties, etc...). They are going to choose the dedicated applicants first.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby pandacot » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:44 pm

bdubs wrote:
pandacot wrote:I talked with a Freshfields London person a while ago, and he suggested that ties are not important. What he stressed was that he doesn't want to hear BS. A lot of students will tell him that they want to work in London because of some limp-dick XYZ reason instead of just saying they're unsure of London, but would like to have a shot. He stated he would always go with the person who is honest.


Yes, but they probably have a lot of applicants who can show dedicated interest in working in that region of the world (i.e. strong language skills, personal ties, etc...). They are going to choose the dedicated applicants first.


Possibly. Just relaying the words that came from a person who hires.

Do strong language skills apply to England? Just wondering.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:53 pm

bdubs wrote:PS - I think this is a total abuse of anonymous posting. There is nothing personal in this post.

OP gave information that could be personally identifying, it was related to a legal employment question, and they weren't doing anything else wrong (like trolling or attacking other users). I don't perceive this as abuse.

Also, please do not make posts about use or regulation of the anonymous feature in an on-topic thread. See http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=130748 for details. If you wish to continue this discussion, that post also outlines appropriate ways to do so. Thank you for your cooperation.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:52 pm

pandacot wrote:
bdubs wrote:
pandacot wrote:I talked with a Freshfields London person a while ago, and he suggested that ties are not important. What he stressed was that he doesn't want to hear BS. A lot of students will tell him that they want to work in London because of some limp-dick XYZ reason instead of just saying they're unsure of London, but would like to have a shot. He stated he would always go with the person who is honest.


Yes, but they probably have a lot of applicants who can show dedicated interest in working in that region of the world (i.e. strong language skills, personal ties, etc...). They are going to choose the dedicated applicants first.


Possibly. Just relaying the words that came from a person who hires.

Do strong language skills apply to England? Just wondering.


I don't think foreign languages are used often in London. That said, everyone I know who is working for a magic circle firm next summer is bilingual. I think it's more about the culture of the magic circle firms, at least according to Chambers.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby bdubs » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:28 pm

Poster above from the UK noted that US law students in UK firms do a very specific set of international corporate transaction related law. I think that in a lot of instances those transactions involve non-UK based companies where languages skills are very valuable.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:55 pm

I'm not quite sure why the OP is so focused on working for a Magic Circle firm. Many of the NYC V10's have London offices and I've talked to several associates at several of the V10's who did a variety length of rotations in London. Rather than focus on the Magic Circle firms, I would cast a broader net and focus on NYC firms that have a fair presence in London.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 26, 2010 7:53 pm

vamedic03 wrote:I'm not quite sure why the OP is so focused on working for a Magic Circle firm. Many of the NYC V10's have London offices and I've talked to several associates at several of the V10's who did a variety length of rotations in London. Rather than focus on the Magic Circle firms, I would cast a broader net and focus on NYC firms that have a fair presence in London.


It's probably because it's comparatively easier to place into the relatively larger London offices of magic circle firms than the London offices of US based firms. While most vault firms have London offices, it seems that a lot of the US based firms are not hiring for their London offices. In contrast, magic circle firms have a greater demand for new associates in London.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I'm not quite sure why the OP is so focused on working for a Magic Circle firm. Many of the NYC V10's have London offices and I've talked to several associates at several of the V10's who did a variety length of rotations in London. Rather than focus on the Magic Circle firms, I would cast a broader net and focus on NYC firms that have a fair presence in London.


It's probably because it's comparatively easier to place into the relatively larger London offices of magic circle firms than the London offices of US based firms. While most vault firms have London offices, it seems that a lot of the US based firms are not hiring for their London offices. In contrast, magic circle firms have a greater demand for new associates in London.


Right, but you can get hired for the NYC office of a V10 and then do a rotation in London. That's probably a lot less risky for OP considering that he's never been to London. Also, why anonymous?

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby snowpeach06 » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:11 pm

I'd love nothing more than to get a job in London either over the summer or after I graduate. I don't think I want to live there for the rest of my life, but, I fell in love with the city after studying abroad. Plus a lot of the people I studied abroad with are back there, so I wouldn't have to be alone in a big city. Unfortunately for me, I'm not into Corporate, or International law.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:53 pm

you need better grades, too. a lot harder to get london biglaw than NY. I have ties and I'm still afraid splitting my summer might be begging to get non-offered.

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby FunkyJD » Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:20 pm

If you were to participate in a yearlong study in London program, but otherwise had no significant ties to the city, would that, in the minds of major London firms, be enough of a signal of interest that someone is serious about working there? Or would that offer you no discernible advantage, in terms of trying to work in London?

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby FunkyJD » Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Also, studying the biographies of some US attorneys who practice at firms in London, I notice that many of them are admitted to the bar back in the States, but don't seem to be admitted to the bar from a British jurisdiction. Is that typical -- do you not need a bar admission from a British jurisdiction to practice in London, if you are admitted to practice in an American state?

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Re: Working in London with no ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:42 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I'm not quite sure why the OP is so focused on working for a Magic Circle firm. Many of the NYC V10's have London offices and I've talked to several associates at several of the V10's who did a variety length of rotations in London. Rather than focus on the Magic Circle firms, I would cast a broader net and focus on NYC firms that have a fair presence in London.


It's probably because it's comparatively easier to place into the relatively larger London offices of magic circle firms than the London offices of US based firms. While most vault firms have London offices, it seems that a lot of the US based firms are not hiring for their London offices. In contrast, magic circle firms have a greater demand for new associates in London.


Right, but you can get hired for the NYC office of a V10 and then do a rotation in London. That's probably a lot less risky for OP considering that he's never been to London. Also, why anonymous?


Sure, my point was simply that you're more likely to be permanently placed into the much larger London offices of magic circle firms. I'd assume that the OP is mainly concerned with permanent placement. Also, magic circle firms are far less selective than v10s for US JDs so they are more reasonable goals. (For example, at my MVP, the average GPA of 2L summers for certain magic circle firms was clearly below median.)




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