Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

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Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:39 pm

Lucky enough to have an offer to work in a firm that specializes in international arbitration. The offer is explicitly for international arbitration and the firm is well regarded in Chambers (Band 1, for whatever that's worth). Can anyone speak to pros and cons of the practice? How good is your ability to lateral to another firm doing the same work in this scenario after 2-3 years?

Really anecdotes or thoughts from those practicing, thought hard about practicing, or are knowledgeable about the area would be greatly appreciated. Please assume relevant background and passion in the area. I'm mainly interested in the day-to-day realities and ability to move to different market(s)/Internationally later on.

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Re: Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:28 am

bump!

LawIdiot86
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Re: Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby LawIdiot86 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:09 am

Interested as well. Could the anon op PM me the firm name if possible?

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Re: Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:04 pm

OP here. Would prefer not to PM, this is a pretty small world. The Chambers 1 ranking narrows it down to 3 of 4 firms and should be plenty specific for the thread.

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Re: Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:40 pm

can't tell you much about the specifics of the practice. But I worked for a firm this summer (outside of US) with a very good reputation for its international arbitration practice. I talked to some of the lawyers there. They are always quite busy and have a lot of interesting work to do. I feel they are the happiest bunch in the building (the most miserable were the corporate people....the group I worked for...LOLOL).

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Re: Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:43 pm

Did both the associates and partners seem happy? Can you comment at all on the nature of the work you saw? Thanks for the anecdote!

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Re: Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Did both the associates and partners seem happy? Can you comment at all on the nature of the work you saw? Thanks for the anecdote!


same guy above, I didn't really talk much with the partners but one of them was a really nice person, probably the nicest I met during the summer. He organized cooking and photography classes for associates and was always friendly.

I ate lunch with one of the associates a couple times. She told me that they were working on a case involving a pretty big country against a group of companies. That's all I heard.

Sorry I can't provide more details. I was not in the litigation group for the summer. But at least in my firm, the international arbitration people were well respected and liked for who they are and what they do. That's my general impression of this practice area.

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Re: Career in International Arbitration: Pros & Cons

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:40 pm

There are basically two broad types of international arbitration-- investment treaty disputes (think ICSID, UNCITRAL) featuring a country defendant versus investor claimants and international commercial arbitration usually featuring two private actors in dispute. Different firms will specialize in different types of clients, although most of the top firms generally represent clients on both sides of disputes. Matters can be less contentious than domestic litigation, as usually the parties have a long-standing working relationship that they would like to continue (although some investor-state arbitrations can be quite heated).

Most big cases will be document-intensive, including documents in a foreign language and/or those of a highly technical nature (although discovery isn't as broad as it is in the US). You won't be doing depositions or witness prep even as a mid-level or senior associate, but rather focusing on memo writing, document analysis, etc. Due to time-zone issues, you'll semi-regularly be required to have conference calls at strange hours, which can be unpleasant. The work itself is fairly interesting, and the very limited universe of caselaw (especially with ICSID) means you won't get many wild-goose-chase-type research assignments. There is more travel as you rise up in the ranks, which is both good and bad.




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