Big Law International Opportunities

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Anonymous User
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Big Law International Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:40 am

0L going to 1L at CCN;

I am really interested in working at satellite office of a big law firm. After doing some research into V20-ish firms, seems like most of them have offices in Beijing, Shanghai, HK, or Singapore. More research into associates/partners at these office reveals, that indeed some are "recent" graduates from T14, and rest are Chinese nationals with US LLM.

My question is what do I need do to get into these offices. Is it realistic to target 2L SA positions (or if I did insanely good in 1L, 1L SA positions) directly at the Asian offices during interviews? What else should I be doing this summer, and next summer. I am fluent in Mandarin (actually fluent, writing and reading in both simplified and traditional; so I guess this also opens up Taiwan), basically no work experience, got in to LS directly after undergrad.

Thanks!

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:12 am

I'm a 2L summering at an asian satellite office of a V-10 firm.

It is realistic to target 2L and 1L SA positions even if you don't do insanely good. Firms in Asia consider your language abilities and your potential to handle substantive work, and if you do around median at CCN they'll be very interested in you. It would not be crazy to contact the asian offices directly (and might be best) saying that you have an interest and you were wondering if they had a summer program for 1Ls. Depending on which of CCN you will be attending, your school may have certain resources or connections with certain firms.

In anycase, this is too soon for a 0L to be really freaking out about. Focus on doing well in law school, and if you are fluent in mandarin, V20 firms will be all over you.

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:04 am

Does this apply for Japanese firms as well? I know it's not the hot spot right now, but I'm deadset on working there and very curious about 1L SA opportunities.

itimgtd
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby itimgtd » Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:20 am

thanks for asking this op, i'm in the exact same boat (ccn 0L, fluent, looking to work eventually in an asian branch biglaw). anonymous user, are you worried about not being able to return stateside if you get an offer and begin your legal career in asia? i heard it's better long term to start off in typical nyc biglaw even if your goal is asian biglaw so that you can come back to the states eventually... as in if you start off in asia youll get pegged and won't be wanted by nyc biglaw. your thoughts on this?

tipler4213
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby tipler4213 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:32 am

tag. I hope this info applies to French, North African, and UAE offices as well.

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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:32 am

OP here

2nd Anon: Thanks so much for the advice! I am going to email the satellite firms next year then for potential 1L SA jobs. I was also wondering, do you do much writing (in Chinese) during your SA? Although I am fluent, I don't consider my writing to be "really" good, I can type reasonably fast, but my writing probably sound like some middle school kid. Good idea to improve during the summer then?

itimgtd: I thought about this too, but it really comes down to your situation. My S.O's family lives in Beijing, and part of my extended family as well. I am basically considering moving back to China (Taiwan, or maybe Singapore) permanently. But I think you really need to consider it very carefully, living in China/or Asia longterm may not be for everyone. There is still significant difference with North America in terms of lifestyle and work environment (Even for US law firms I would think), I think you might need or make some "guanxi" to really make best of it.

Thanks!

BenJ
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby BenJ » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:52 am

Someone asked OCS about this at NYU. They basically said (and this was backed up by some 3Ls who knew people who had done this work) that, unless you are a native of the location to which you are applying or fluent in the language and have spent significant amounts of time there, you will not get an offer to work in any international office (except London). However, you are fluent, so you fulfill that criterion.

As there are relatively few people in that situation, grades are not so important. When they interview for a Hong Kong office at NYU, they plan to hire someone, and if there are only three students interested in Hong Kong who speak Mandarin or Cantonese, you're only competing with two other students.

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theturkeyisfat
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby theturkeyisfat » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:02 am

Tag

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worldtraveler
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:17 am

tipler4213 wrote:tag. I hope this info applies to French, North African, and UAE offices as well.


:?:

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theturkeyisfat
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby theturkeyisfat » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:42 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
tipler4213 wrote:tag. I hope this info applies to French, North African, and UAE offices as well.


:?:


Cairo

sven
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby sven » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:58 am

BenJ wrote:Someone asked OCS about this at NYU. They basically said (and this was backed up by some 3Ls who knew people who had done this work) that, unless you are a native of the location to which you are applying or fluent in the language and have spent significant amounts of time there, you will not get an offer to work in any international office (except London). However, you are fluent, so you fulfill that criterion.

As there are relatively few people in that situation, grades are not so important. When they interview for a Hong Kong office at NYU, they plan to hire someone, and if there are only three students interested in Hong Kong who speak Mandarin or Cantonese, you're only competing with two other students.


What are the requirements for SAing/getting hired at a London office? And is it easy to move to the firm's NY office after 3-4 years working there?

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:00 pm

2nd anon here...

this is (broadly) applicable to firms in asia (including tokyo). i can't speak to whether this applies to firms in france, cairo or the UAE.

anyway, before i launch into the details, the bottom line is that a firm could be flexible with language, moving around, and where you start, but you have to ask.

itimgtd, I am somewhat concerned about whether starting out in asia may make it harder to return stateside because of how specialized the work in asian satellite offices can be. BUT, how your firm will treat you--assuming you even stay at the same firm--once you return to nyc depends on the firm. also, you are not guaranteed to have a choice of where to start out (luckily my firm gives you that choice). I'm trying to balance being able to have flexibility in returning to the states, with certainty of being able to eventually spend a significant amount of time in asia. you'll need to ask each firm what their policy is. some firms don't let you start out in asia, others allow it for certain asian offices, some firms prefer to have bodies out in asia asap. how easy it is to move in between a firm's international offices also depends on the firm.

re: fluency in a language. it sure is helpful, but i would neither call it necessary nor sufficient to getting out to asia. it depends on the firm, what other language abilities they have in the office, and the type of expectations their clients have of them. in anycase, for most firms in asia, you will need to be able to demonstrate a legitimate interest in the geographic region. language is a pretty convincing signal that you have an interest, but i'm not sure absolute fluency is required. you definitely need more than simple daily conversation. i do not have to read or write legal documents that are not english, but if you can do it, it is a plus (and there is certainly work for you to do if you can).

Anonymous User
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:59 am

If you apply to the New York offices of many big firms, they may give you an offer to summer in NY and then ask you later if you want to rotate through part or all of the summer at an Asian office. My friend, who is working for a magic circle firm, is spending part of his summer at an Asian office. They don't usually ask American JDs to work in mainland China (Shanghai/Beijing). You don't need to be fluent in Singapore. And of course, as you know, you will be working in a transactional practice area, not litigation. So basically, you can interview for NY offices and still get a chance to spend part or all of the summer abroad.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Big Law International Opportunities

Postby TaipeiMort » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:04 am

Any CCN 0Ls with specific China-related questions can PM me, I may have some helpful info.




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