Working in the Developing World?

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TripleX
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Working in the Developing World?

Postby TripleX » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:23 pm

What are the options for an American or Canadian trained lawyer to work in the developing world? Is most of the work in developing countries just given to US firms or is there possibilities of being able to work in South America, India etc. I'd be looking more that the sem-periphery countries rather than the periphery.

Anyone here done this or know someone who did?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:16 pm

Doing what exactly? Do you want firm work or NGO?

TripleX
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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby TripleX » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:24 pm

worldtraveler wrote:Doing what exactly? Do you want firm work or NGO?


Basically anything. I'm just wondering if the opportunities are there for foreign trained lawyers or the the companies/organizations either use lawyers from the country in which they are operating or hire a US firm to do their work.

Ex: If a company in India wants requires a lawyer would they hire a Canadian lawyer because he has "better training" or would they just hire a lawyer from one of India's law schools or contact and US firm.

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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:34 pm

Just to use your example, India is very hostile to foreign lawyers. Doing a quick search of the Big Five South Africa firms I only found 1 associate who was primarily US qualified.

TripleX
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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby TripleX » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Just to use your example, India is very hostile to foreign lawyers. Doing a quick search of the Big Five South Africa firms I only found 1 associate who was primarily US qualified.


harveyspecter.jpg

See that's funny because...

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worldtraveler
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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby worldtraveler » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:52 pm

TripleX wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:Doing what exactly? Do you want firm work or NGO?


Basically anything. I'm just wondering if the opportunities are there for foreign trained lawyers or the the companies/organizations either use lawyers from the country in which they are operating or hire a US firm to do their work.

Ex: If a company in India wants requires a lawyer would they hire a Canadian lawyer because he has "better training" or would they just hire a lawyer from one of India's law schools or contact and US firm.


I don't really know about firms. For intergovernmental or non-governmental orgs, there are American attorneys on staff at some of them, although it's more common to see Europeans. It really varies by region as well. It would also be much easier to find a job somewhere on the common law system rather than the civil law, so that pretty much limits you to former British colonies. Occasionally foreign governments will hire attorneys from Europe and America as well, but this sometimes requires language ability and often requires renunciation of your citizenship. A lot of these attorneys are also married to citizens in the country where they work, or have some other kind of tie to the government there. Just as an example, the Ugandan representative for the International Criminal Court is a Dutch lawyer who gave up Dutch citizenship, married a Ugandan, and took an appointment in the government there.

You also won't really be working as a lawyer, but more like an advisor. You're more likely to do policy research or trainings on certain issues but you are limited as to client contact and actual trial court work.

TripleX
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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby TripleX » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:57 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
TripleX wrote:
worldtraveler wrote:Doing what exactly? Do you want firm work or NGO?


Basically anything. I'm just wondering if the opportunities are there for foreign trained lawyers or the the companies/organizations either use lawyers from the country in which they are operating or hire a US firm to do their work.

Ex: If a company in India wants requires a lawyer would they hire a Canadian lawyer because he has "better training" or would they just hire a lawyer from one of India's law schools or contact and US firm.


I don't really know about firms. For intergovernmental or non-governmental orgs, there are American attorneys on staff at some of them, although it's more common to see Europeans. It really varies by region as well. It would also be much easier to find a job somewhere on the common law system rather than the civil law, so that pretty much limits you to former British colonies. Occasionally foreign governments will hire attorneys from Europe and America as well, but this sometimes requires language ability and often requires renunciation of your citizenship. A lot of these attorneys are also married to citizens in the country where they work, or have some other kind of tie to the government there. Just as an example, the Ugandan representative for the International Criminal Court is a Dutch lawyer who gave up Dutch citizenship, married a Ugandan, and took an appointment in the government there.

You also won't really be working as a lawyer, but more like an advisor. You're more likely to do policy research or trainings on certain issues but you are limited as to client contact and actual trial court work.


ok thanks this was a great answer!

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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:43 pm

You gotta think this way. Is there any developing country that needs the expertise of US law (and thus lawyers trained in the US)?

The answer is yes but only in very limited situations. One big area is capital markets. Let's say an Indian government wants to privatize its state-owned company and sell part of the ownership to international investors on the open market. The investors happen to be banks/pension funds/whatever other institutional investors from the US. In this case, Indian government will need US legal advice regarding US securities law on this transaction (aside from other legal advice they need) because this transaction now needs to find an exemption (Reg S/144A) under the securities regulation or it will have to be registered with the SEC. That is where US lawyers come into the picture.

Same for transactions in M&A that might involve US corporate law. Another area is the FCPA or other US governmental investigations. When foreign companies get in trouble with the US government, they need US legal advice.

Most US lawyers overseas are based in financial centers because their work revolve largely around corporate deals that involve US laws. You can find them in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. Developing countries' companies/governments will usually look for US lawyers in these cities and US lawyers will travel to developing countries to do due diligence or other work if necessary.

Anonymous User
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Re: Working in the Developing World?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:43 pm

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