Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

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Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:50 am

Does anybody know of any non-U.S. law firms that are hiring U.S. 2Ls for the summer? I am a 2L at a lower T-14, still jerbless. I speak mandarin. I already maxed out all the Asia offices of U.S. law firms, and I've hit up about 20 or so UK firms. I've also, I think, maxed out UK firms with U.S. offices (Magic Circle, Herbert Smith, Ashurst), though I'm open to more suggestions if people know of any. Anybody have anything else to recommend? My main issue with the UK firms is that they all direct me towards their graduate trainee recruitment page. And a couple of have flat out said they won't take U.S. JDs.

I know this is all a long shot, but I've been told that this avenue can have promising results. Help? Suggestions? Further avenues to explore? I'm willing to work ANYWHERE.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:19 pm

Networking. Are you from Asia? Can your family pull some strings there? "Guan Xi" matters a lot in China.

Even the US firms that have SA program in their Asia office are not looking for that many people (like 2-4 in HK etc). Firms outside of the lists that you mentioned probably do not even hire first year JD associate not to mention 2L.

My suggestion is to focus your energy on getting a SA position in the US. If the Asia office hasn't straight out reject you, then just be patient and wait. It could come really really late.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:54 am

Magic Circle is probably your best bet in Hong Kong and Singapore. Forget Mainland China. Nobody hires entry-level over there, and the U.S. rarely hires entry-level attorneys in any overseas office. Also, don't forget that, as a foreigner, you can't practice law in China. You can only work as a sort of consultant in Western law (usually U.S. securities law/capital markets/tax) which means you have to know something before you're of any value over there. Korea? Forget it. Most foreign offices have around 1 person. No idea about Japan or Malaysia.

What's wrong with the graduate trainee programs? A JD is basically the same as an LLB in the UK (an undergraduate degree). U.S. lawyers just think they're super important, so they should be called "doctors" and get paid better than ibankers even though they know nothing. It's all bullshit. So if you want to live in Rome, do as the Romans do. Go get yourself a trainee solicitor's contract. In Hong Kong, you also have to take the Post Graduate Law Course for 9 months to practice, and in Singapore, you have to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Columbia, NYU or Chicago, or they won't let you practice law unless you go to either of the local law schools (NUS and SMU) for at least 2 years.

While the local pay is only like $50,000/year (at the TOP firms), if you really speak Mandarin that well, you probably have some connections over there and could probably get into some local Chinese firms with offices in Hong Kong or Singapore. Some of them love to have white faces around, although as an American, you'll have to overcome the presumption of stupidity; it's frankly much easier for a European to get hired over there.
Last edited by Perseus_I on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:04 am

Perseus_I wrote:So if you want to live in Rome, do as the Romans do. Go get yourself a trainee solicitor's contract. In Hong Kong, you also have to take the Post Graduate Law Course for 9 months to practice, and in Singapore, you have to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Columbia, NYU or Chicago, or they won't let you practice law unless you go to either of the local law schools (NUS and SMU) for at least 2 years.


US JDs can't apply for trainee contracts; that's for students who graduated from UK, HK, Australia, etc. US JDs have to apply for US associate positions in either US or UK firms overseas, specifically in the areas of capital market, M&A, fund formation, FCPA, etc.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:So if you want to live in Rome, do as the Romans do. Go get yourself a trainee solicitor's contract. In Hong Kong, you also have to take the Post Graduate Law Course for 9 months to practice, and in Singapore, you have to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Columbia, NYU or Chicago, or they won't let you practice law unless you go to either of the local law schools (NUS and SMU) for at least 2 years.


US JDs can't apply for trainee contracts; that's for students who graduated from UK, HK, Australia, etc. US JDs have to apply for US associate positions in either US or UK firms overseas, specifically in the areas of capital market, M&A, fund formation, FCPA, etc.



U.S. JD's have to take the Post Graduate Law Course in Hong Kong and then get a trainee contract for 1 year. In Singapore, it's the same, I believe. U.S. JD's are not special. Anywhere else, they won't take you because you can't practice local law, and you're of no use to them without stateside experience. Hong Kong and Singapore are options for new JD's only because they have common law legal systems, so U.S. JD's can practice law there with some additional hoops to jump through.

I've never heard of any special summer associate program in UK firms for U.S. law students who don't want to do a trainee contract. Some of them do hire experienced lawyers, though, even if they're not able to practice local law. To start straight out of law school, I'd recommend either graduating from HYS and asking a Magic Circle firm to make an exception to policy or getting licensed to practice in Hong Kong (I believe Singapore makes it more difficult for foreigners to practice law, even if you're from one of the schools on their "list").
Last edited by Perseus_I on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby jjpp » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:14 am

Perseus_I wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:So if you want to live in Rome, do as the Romans do. Go get yourself a trainee solicitor's contract. In Hong Kong, you also have to take the Post Graduate Law Course for 9 months to practice, and in Singapore, you have to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Columbia, NYU or Chicago, or they won't let you practice law unless you go to either of the local law schools (NUS and SMU) for at least 2 years.


US JDs can't apply for trainee contracts; that's for students who graduated from UK, HK, Australia, etc. US JDs have to apply for US associate positions in either US or UK firms overseas, specifically in the areas of capital market, M&A, fund formation, FCPA, etc.



I've never heard of any special summer associate program in UK firms for U.S. law students who don't want to do a trainee contract. Some of them do hire experienced lawyers, though, even if they're not able to practice local law.


Some UK firms routinely hire SAs for their US practice. For example, --LinkRemoved--
Last edited by jjpp on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:15 am

jjpp wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:So if you want to live in Rome, do as the Romans do. Go get yourself a trainee solicitor's contract. In Hong Kong, you also have to take the Post Graduate Law Course for 9 months to practice, and in Singapore, you have to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Columbia, NYU or Chicago, or they won't let you practice law unless you go to either of the local law schools (NUS and SMU) for at least 2 years.


US JDs can't apply for trainee contracts; that's for students who graduated from UK, HK, Australia, etc. US JDs have to apply for US associate positions in either US or UK firms overseas, specifically in the areas of capital market, M&A, fund formation, FCPA, etc.



I've never heard of any special summer associate program in UK firms for U.S. law students who don't want to do a trainee contract. Some of them do hire experienced lawyers, though, even if they're not able to practice local law.


UK firms routinely hire SAs for their US practice. For example, --LinkRemoved--


And Allen & Overy, too. You gave me a link to a firm that brings U.S. students to London. How many UK firms hire U.S. JD's straight out of law school for their ASIA practice?

Never mind: Re-read OP, and it sounds like OP is not just limiting himself to Asia. If so, then one of those London programs could work. In Asia, unlikely, unless s/he is willing to undertake additional studies to qualify for the Hong Kong bar.
Last edited by Perseus_I on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby jjpp » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:17 am

Perseus_I wrote:And Allen & Overy, too. You gave me a link to a firm that brings U.S. students to London. How many UK firms hire U.S. JD's straight out of law school for their ASIA practice?


Erp. Late night reading fail. Sorry, OP.

EDIT: Or maybe, not.
Last edited by jjpp on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:18 am

Perseus_I wrote:U.S. JD's have to take the Post Graduate Law Course in Hong Kong and then get a trainee contract for 1 year. In Singapore, it's the same, I believe. U.S. JD's are not special. Anywhere else, they won't take you because you can't practice local law, and you're of no use to them without stateside experience. Hong Kong and Singapore are options for new JD's only because they have common law legal systems, so U.S. JD's can practice law there with some additional hoops to jump through.


Not true at all. As long as they practice US laws (in reality, they tend to work collaboratively with locally qualified lawyers), they are fine. They don't need to go through trainee contract. In fact, they get paid market US salary. These positions are rare for entry-level US JDs but more common for laterals from the US market later on. But overall, this is a small employment market.

A good example is the US lawyers in UK:
http://abovethelaw.com/2012/01/letter-f ... d-society/

None of them initially had any local qualification. But US bar is enough if they join in the US practice in London.

Perseus_I wrote:I've never heard of any special summer associate program in UK firms for U.S. law students who don't want to do a trainee contract. Some of them do hire experienced lawyers, though, even if they're not able to practice local law.


Again, not true at all. This is one example of a summer program for US JDs, who will eventually join as US associate making US market salary:

http://www.freshfields.com/en/united_st ... w_students)

But such positions are very limited because US practice overseas in various firms is generally small.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:21 am

Perseus_I wrote:
And Allen & Overy, too. You gave me a link to a firm that brings U.S. students to London. How many UK firms hire U.S. JD's straight out of law school for their ASIA practice?

Never mind: Re-read OP, and it sounds like OP is not just limiting himself to Asia. If so, then one of those London programs could work. In Asia, unlikely, unless s/he is willing to undertake additional studies to qualify for the Hong Kong bar.


That is not true. In Hong Kong there are US practice positions for summers as well. They don't need to take trainee contracts. They can start out in HK right away, but often just several positions every year.

http://www.freshfields.com/en/united_st ... w_students)/
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.us.aograduate.com/Work-For-U ... try-Level/

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Perseus_I » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:U.S. JD's have to take the Post Graduate Law Course in Hong Kong and then get a trainee contract for 1 year. In Singapore, it's the same, I believe. U.S. JD's are not special. Anywhere else, they won't take you because you can't practice local law, and you're of no use to them without stateside experience. Hong Kong and Singapore are options for new JD's only because they have common law legal systems, so U.S. JD's can practice law there with some additional hoops to jump through.


Not true at all. As long as they practice US laws (in reality, they tend to work collaboratively with locally qualified lawyers), they are fine. They don't need to go through trainee contract. In fact, they get paid market US salary. These positions are rare for entry-level US JDs but more common for laterals from the US market later on. But overall, this is a small employment market.

A good example is the US lawyers in UK:
http://abovethelaw.com/2012/01/letter-f ... d-society/

None of them initially had any local qualification. But US bar is enough if they join in the US practice in London.

Perseus_I wrote:I've never heard of any special summer associate program in UK firms for U.S. law students who don't want to do a trainee contract. Some of them do hire experienced lawyers, though, even if they're not able to practice local law.


Again, not true at all. This is one example of a summer program for US JDs, who will eventually join as US associate making US market salary:

http://www.freshfields.com/en/united_st ... w_students)

But such positions are very limited because US practice overseas in various firms is generally small.


I think we're talking past each other because my reading of OP's post suggests he's focusing on Asia. My comments about entry level positions being unlikely was focused on UK firms in ASIA. Several people have linked to entry-level programs for U.S. JD's in the UK.

It is true that U.S. JD's can practice law in Asia without taking the local bar. However, to add any value to a practice, a U.S. JD must have experience at a U.S. firm in the U.S. But the OP struck out, so s/he is looking for an alternative. Sometimes, even the best strike out in this horrible economy, so my point is that, for a fresh JD who cannot secure such a position in the U.S., that person's best (and likely only) option to get a position at a Magic Circle firm in Asia straight out of law school would be to qualify to take the Hong Kong bar and practice local law. I have lived over there, and I'm pretty sure I know how it works. I am not sure what such a person's employment prospects would be, even with fluent Mandarin in a much better economy (there are plenty of local grads willing to work for less), but if they had previous experience in China and perhaps some business contacts, he or she might have a chance.

EDIT: I guess there are a few positions. With an emphasis on a few. I may actually apply to some myself.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:30 am

Perseus_I wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Perseus_I wrote:U.S. JD's have to take the Post Graduate Law Course in Hong Kong and then get a trainee contract for 1 year. In Singapore, it's the same, I believe. U.S. JD's are not special. Anywhere else, they won't take you because you can't practice local law, and you're of no use to them without stateside experience. Hong Kong and Singapore are options for new JD's only because they have common law legal systems, so U.S. JD's can practice law there with some additional hoops to jump through.


Not true at all. As long as they practice US laws (in reality, they tend to work collaboratively with locally qualified lawyers), they are fine. They don't need to go through trainee contract. In fact, they get paid market US salary. These positions are rare for entry-level US JDs but more common for laterals from the US market later on. But overall, this is a small employment market.

A good example is the US lawyers in UK:
http://abovethelaw.com/2012/01/letter-f ... d-society/

None of them initially had any local qualification. But US bar is enough if they join in the US practice in London.

Perseus_I wrote:I've never heard of any special summer associate program in UK firms for U.S. law students who don't want to do a trainee contract. Some of them do hire experienced lawyers, though, even if they're not able to practice local law.


Again, not true at all. This is one example of a summer program for US JDs, who will eventually join as US associate making US market salary:

http://www.freshfields.com/en/united_st ... w_students)

But such positions are very limited because US practice overseas in various firms is generally small.


I think we're talking past each other because my reading of OP's post suggests he's focusing on Asia. My comments about entry level positions being unlikely was focused on UK firms in ASIA. Several people have linked to entry-level programs for U.S. JD's in the UK.

It is true that U.S. JD's can practice law in Asia without taking the local bar. However, to add any value to a practice, a U.S. JD must have experience at a U.S. firm in the U.S. But the OP struck out, so s/he is looking for an alternative. Sometimes, even the best strike out in this horrible economy, so my point is that, for a fresh JD who cannot secure such a position in the U.S., that person's best (and likely only) option to get a position at a Magic Circle firm in Asia straight out of law school would be to qualify to take the Hong Kong bar and practice local law. I have lived over there, and I'm pretty sure I know how it works. I am not sure what such a person's employment prospects would be, even with fluent Mandarin in a much better economy (there are plenty of local grads willing to work for less), but if they had previous experience in China and perhaps some business contacts, he or she might have a chance.

EDIT: I guess there are a few positions. With an emphasis on a few. I may actually apply to some myself.


You are right. If OP wants to be a competitive US JD candidate in Hong Kong, he/she better get some nice US big law experience first. Entry-level US associate positions are possible but rare. Increasingly, these positions go to native Chinese-speaking JDs (understandable given most work in Hong Kong these days involve Chinese businesses).

But the pay is still awesome if you can get a job as a US associate. Imagine, 160k USD with low HK taxes plus a cost of living adjustment (depends on your experience) that might add another 30-40k USD.

EDIT: I rarely saw US JDs go through the HK bar and trainee contracts route. The reason is that you already paid through your US legal education; it is simply not cost-effective to compete with locally graduated law students for trainee contracts that pay much less (keep in mind local law students have much lower tuition rates).
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:32 am

Perseus_I wrote:Magic Circle is probably your best bet in Hong Kong and Singapore. Forget Mainland China. Nobody hires entry-level over there, and the U.S. rarely hires entry-level attorneys in any overseas office. Also, don't forget that, as a foreigner, you can't practice law in China. You can only work as a sort of consultant in Western law (usually U.S. securities law/capital markets/tax) which means you have to know something before you're of any value over there. Korea? Forget it. Most foreign offices have around 1 person. No idea about Japan or Malaysia.

What's wrong with the graduate trainee programs? A JD is basically the same as an LLB in the UK (an undergraduate degree). U.S. lawyers just think they're super important, so they should be called "doctors" and get paid better than ibankers even though they know nothing. It's all bullshit. So if you want to live in Rome, do as the Romans do. Go get yourself a trainee solicitor's contract. In Hong Kong, you also have to take the Post Graduate Law Course for 9 months to practice, and in Singapore, you have to have gone to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Michigan, Columbia, NYU or Chicago, or they won't let you practice law unless you go to either of the local law schools (NUS and SMU) for at least 2 years.

While the local pay is only like $50,000/year (at the TOP firms), if you really speak Mandarin that well, you probably have some connections over there and could probably get into some local Chinese firms with offices in Hong Kong or Singapore. Some of them love to have white faces around, although as an American, you'll have to overcome the presumption of stupidity; it's frankly much easier for a European to get hired over there.


OP Here. This post is geared towards Perseus.

I know i'm searching for help, but I see too much disinformation in this thread. First of all, I'm a 2L. That means i am searching for 2L Summer work. There is nothing wrong with a trainee contract except that i can't apply for it as a 2L Summer. It's not my "JD entitlement complex" - it's just not technically feasible for me to do RIGHT NOW. If I do decide to eventually do the trainee route, yes, I will go the whole 9 yards on the HK Solicitor Route. But that would be thinking 2 years in advance. I'm supposed to be looking for a SA or summer internship NOW.

With that really obvious point out of the way, there are in fact law firms that hire US JDs for SAs and then permanent positions in Asia. No, it's not a large hiring market, but it is existent. One U.S. firm came to our OCI hiring specifically for their Asia practice. They even made offers, and we are not HYP. They are looking for American JDs because a lot of out bound cap markets and m&a business has to comply with American law. I even received a CB with a US firm last week that was hiring primarily for its HK office. Still waiting to hear back, but that's confirmation of my point.

Anyways, I hope Perseus is Chinese or at least of Asian descent. As a Chinese native, it's pretty condescending for someone who clearly has HUGE gaps in his/her knowledge about the asian market to be lecturing about "guanxi". Hey, just because you learned the phrase in a Time Magazine article does not make you some expert on Chinese business relations.

Anyways, some of the other suggestions on this thread are very helpful, and I thank everyone else for contributing. I am not confining myself to Asia - i merely thought my background would be more conducive to an SA there. I'd be more than happy to be in London, or anywhere for that matter.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:35 am

Anonymous User wrote:They are looking for American JDs because a lot of out bound cap markets and m&a business has to comply with American law. I even received a CB with a US firm last week that was hiring primarily for its HK office. Still waiting to hear back, but that's confirmation of my point.

..

Anyways, some of the other suggestions on this thread are very helpful, and I thank everyone else for contributing. I am not confining myself to Asia - i merely thought my background would be more conducive to an SA there. I'd be more than happy to be in London, or anywhere for that matter.


Good luck my friend. But do keep in mind that cap market in HK is down right now, so is M&A. So firms might be conservative in hiring US summers.

Also, have you thought about Singapore? The market is very hot there. Another city that is busy for US lawyers is Beijing, though I am not sure if they hire summers there.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:37 am

OP here.

Sorry, I should have held my tongue. Didn't mean to lash out. Clearly Perseus knows his/her shit, he/she was just talking past my post.

Anyways, it's obvious that the ideal route is NYC 3-4 years -----> HK. It's also the most conventional route. But the entry level 2L SA ---> offer apparently exists, and can be done ie. Skadden HK.

My post asks whether anybody knows of other firms, especially non-U.S. firms, that do this for Asia, or for ANYWHERE ELSE (like London).

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:42 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Sorry, I should have held my tongue. Didn't mean to lash out. Clearly Perseus knows his/her shit, he/she was just talking past my post.

Anyways, it's obvious that the ideal route is NYC 3-4 years -----> HK. It's also the most conventional route. But the entry level 2L SA ---> offer apparently exists, and can be done ie. Skadden HK.

My post asks whether anybody knows of other firms, especially non-U.S. firms, that do this for Asia, or for ANYWHERE ELSE (like London).


I know classmates who summered exclusively in Hong Kong for Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:36 pm

Hey OP,

Ummmm I am the anonymous poster who talked about "guan xi". Sorry that I didn't learn that phrase from Time Magazine - I am a native Chinese as well. The only reason that I mentioned that is because I do have friends who obtain SA positions in Asia through that means. It seems like you have tried all the normal means (OCI, mass mailing), so I am just suggesting another possible nonconventional way of getting a job. Sorry if this hurts your pride in any way but Jesus it is not like here in the US guan xi doesn't matter. You have the credentials (T14), and guan xi (connections, for those of you that don't speak Mandarin) can at least get you CB for you to prove/convince the law firms.

FWIW, I m heading off to Asia this summer for SA at US firms. So I kinda did my research. Anyway, good luck.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:33 pm

OP here.

Sorry, I conflated your post and Perseus's post together. I understand guan xi can be enormously helpful. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here.

Sorry, I conflated your post and Perseus's post together. I understand guan xi can be enormously helpful. Thanks for the suggestion.


I know one instance where using guan xi, someone got a SA position in HK that was not advertised openly. Good luck!

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Re: Non-US Law Firms and/or International Offices Hiring U.S. JD

Postby Livingston » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:23 am

If you're just looking for names of places to cold email, you should get on Legal 500 or Chambers and just start at the top. The Legal 500 site for Singapore is nice because it breaks each practice area down by whether the firm is foreign (places you may have contacted already) or local firms (places you've never heard of but might take you): http://www.legal500.com/c/singapore/leg ... t-overview . If you can find an American partner or alumni from your school at whatever firm, I'd just contact them directly instead of going through a recruiting contact. In my experience, non-lawyer recruiting contacts generally don't care unless you're a lateral and expat American lawyers are pretty friendly and willing to help out students trying to make the same move they did once.

There are some non-Anglo-American foreign firms in the bigger Asian cities that you haven't contacted yet and that might be worth contacting, but they might be too specialized in something you aren't necessarily interested in, like shipping or projects.

I also saw something on the Chambers site that may be helpful for Hong Kong: --LinkRemoved--

It might be worth contacting one of those headhunters that specializes in placing American laterals in Asia. They might not be willing to help since they probably won't get paid for placing you as a SA, but they might give you some advice or information if they see it leading to a placement down the road.

Good luck.




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