Question about questions about working abroad

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Question about questions about working abroad

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 10, 2012 12:24 pm

If I were interested in working in a foreign office of my firm at some point as an associate, would it be wise to bring that up during the summer? I stumbled upon the bio of someone at my SA this summer whose career mirrors one of the trajectories I'd like to take. She worked overseas for a couple of years as a midlevel, then came back to the US with no apparent harm to her career since she is now a partner. Would it be OK to ask this person out to lunch and ask about how to go to a foreign office as a midlevel (what skill sets to develop, what practice areas, etc.)? Or does that betray lack of commitment to this office, or even the market?

Beyond the commitment issues, I feel like it would be presumptuous to ask about assignments overseas as a summer. Maybe because I want one so badly, I assume they are hard to get, and maybe thus one shouldn't go around openly asking about them. Maybe I am supposed to put my head down and "pay my dues" before manifesting this sort of interest or ambition (that's what I don't know, whether a desire to work in a foreign office is considered to be merely an interest, or an ambition). I have been in the real world long enough to know that any workplace is fraught with unspoken rules. I have broken my share of them in the past, and that's not something I am eager to repeat.

TL;DR: is it OK to ask a partner at my SA about working abroad at some point, or otherwise openly manifest this desire?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu May 10, 2012 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu May 10, 2012 12:30 pm

No, it's not ok to mention it or give any indication of your desire to work in an office other then the one you are in for the summer. Don't ask about it, hint at it, or otherwise indicate an interest in it. Until you have an offer in hand, you are 100% committed for your entire professional career to working in your summer office because it is their feedback that will decide if you get an offer. If they're sure you're going to jump ship to an international office and leave them short-handed or think that you just want to jet-set and see the world, they are less likely to endorse you for an offer.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 10, 2012 12:40 pm

Are you talking about working in the overseas office of the firm in question? And do they staff it with people from the US offices who rotate over there for a couple of years? If so, I don't see why asking about that would be a problem, presuming you are interested in going into the practice groups from which they usually draw people to go overseas.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 10, 2012 4:52 pm

Op here. Foreign offices of the same firm.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu May 10, 2012 5:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Are you talking about working in the overseas office of the firm in question? And do they staff it with people from the US offices who rotate over there for a couple of years? If so, I don't see why asking about that would be a problem, presuming you are interested in going into the practice groups from which they usually draw people to go overseas.


You would ask this AFTER you have an offer, when you are considering if you will accept or shop it around. Even if they staff it with US people or have a rotation program, a partner may not like losing people or an associate might not like the competition for the rotation slot. Also, they may think you view law as a fun way to see the world and aren't committed to paying your dues. Just keep your head down and get an offer and then worry about asking these questions.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273582
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 10, 2012 7:46 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are you talking about working in the overseas office of the firm in question? And do they staff it with people from the US offices who rotate over there for a couple of years? If so, I don't see why asking about that would be a problem, presuming you are interested in going into the practice groups from which they usually draw people to go overseas.


You would ask this AFTER you have an offer, when you are considering if you will accept or shop it around. Even if they staff it with US people or have a rotation program, a partner may not like losing people or an associate might not like the competition for the rotation slot. Also, they may think you view law as a fun way to see the world and aren't committed to paying your dues. Just keep your head down and get an offer and then worry about asking these questions.


Ok I think this is very firm specific. This was absolutely not true where I did my SA last summer. They actively encouraged us to ask about overseas offices, sent people abroad etc, sent us to lunches w people who had worked in the offices we might be interested in...I accept that other firms are different but saying DO NOT SPEAK OF SUCH THINGS seems a little extreme.

User avatar
Detrox
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby Detrox » Thu May 10, 2012 7:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are you talking about working in the overseas office of the firm in question? And do they staff it with people from the US offices who rotate over there for a couple of years? If so, I don't see why asking about that would be a problem, presuming you are interested in going into the practice groups from which they usually draw people to go overseas.


You would ask this AFTER you have an offer, when you are considering if you will accept or shop it around. Even if they staff it with US people or have a rotation program, a partner may not like losing people or an associate might not like the competition for the rotation slot. Also, they may think you view law as a fun way to see the world and aren't committed to paying your dues. Just keep your head down and get an offer and then worry about asking these questions.


Ok I think this is very firm specific. This was absolutely not true where I did my SA last summer. They actively encouraged us to ask about overseas offices, sent people abroad etc, sent us to lunches w people who had worked in the offices we might be interested in...I accept that other firms are different but saying DO NOT SPEAK OF SUCH THINGS seems a little extreme.


This is definitely more accurate from what I've heard. Many firms ask you upfront if you want overseas offices so they can try to arrange for you to spend part of your summer there. That being said, spending your entire time at the NYC office asking how things are going in London or whether they'll have space to get in you in in Hong Kong after you graduate is not a great idea. It's ok to be inquisitive, but not to the extent that it seems like you are not excited to be working in the domestic location.

cpdc2013
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:29 am

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby cpdc2013 » Fri May 11, 2012 12:19 am

it's also possible to ask this partner about her career path without being overly eager about working overseas. you could ask her out to lunch and ask her questions about other aspects of her career as well.

LawIdiot86
Posts: 1159
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 pm

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby LawIdiot86 » Fri May 11, 2012 3:54 pm

Detrox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LawIdiot86 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Are you talking about working in the overseas office of the firm in question? And do they staff it with people from the US offices who rotate over there for a couple of years? If so, I don't see why asking about that would be a problem, presuming you are interested in going into the practice groups from which they usually draw people to go overseas.


You would ask this AFTER you have an offer, when you are considering if you will accept or shop it around. Even if they staff it with US people or have a rotation program, a partner may not like losing people or an associate might not like the competition for the rotation slot. Also, they may think you view law as a fun way to see the world and aren't committed to paying your dues. Just keep your head down and get an offer and then worry about asking these questions.


Ok I think this is very firm specific. This was absolutely not true where I did my SA last summer. They actively encouraged us to ask about overseas offices, sent people abroad etc, sent us to lunches w people who had worked in the offices we might be interested in...I accept that other firms are different but saying DO NOT SPEAK OF SUCH THINGS seems a little extreme.


This is definitely more accurate from what I've heard. Many firms ask you upfront if you want overseas offices so they can try to arrange for you to spend part of your summer there. That being said, spending your entire time at the NYC office asking how things are going in London or whether they'll have space to get in you in in Hong Kong after you graduate is not a great idea. It's ok to be inquisitive, but not to the extent that it seems like you are not excited to be working in the domestic location.


I was told during the callback that it was viewed negatively by the offer-makers in my practice group to express interest in another practice group in the same office, let alone another office.

User avatar
Detrox
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: Question about questions about working abroad

Postby Detrox » Fri May 11, 2012 4:15 pm

Again that doesn't change the views expressed above in my post and what I quoted: it's firm specific.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.