Finding a job from abroad?

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Finding a job from abroad?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:14 am

Hello. I am a NY licensed attorney (foreigner) who doesn't have experience working the States. I have been working for about two years now at a large local firm in Asia consulting on US law/corporate work (big law firm with some int'l name recognition apparently). I recently married my husband and we are planning to relocate to the US (he's from Boston, but we'll prob end up in NY). I have two questions: (i) how does one go about finding a job in the States when you're abroad, and (ii) given my background, what are my chances of landing a legal job in the States? Although I would love a Big Law job, I am being very open to any possibilities so long as it would be enough for us to maintain a living (since we're both relatively early in our careers, not that much savings accumulated). Thank you!

2013

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Re: Finding a job from abroad?

Postby 2013 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:48 am

Do you have a US JD or LLM? If you only have an LLM, it may be difficult to land an offer. Biglaw isn’t out of the question, but it’s probably hard. To be completely honest, even US JDs have a difficult time breaking into biglaw in the US after spending time abroad after graduating because the type of work done abroad is very different.

I would recommend starting with the magic circle firms since they do have more foreign-trained attorneys. Then try firms that have offices in the country you are working in, since they might see you as a value-add.

I honestly think your biggest problem may be that you haven’t actually been “practicing” at all. I’d create some kind of narrative as to why you went back to your home country and took on a consulting role.

Also, NY>Boston.

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Re: Finding a job from abroad?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:00 am

2013 wrote:Do you have a US JD or LLM? If you only have an LLM, it may be difficult to land an offer. Biglaw isn’t out of the question, but it’s probably hard. To be completely honest, even US JDs have a difficult time breaking into biglaw in the US after spending time abroad after graduating because the type of work done abroad is very different.

I would recommend starting with the magic circle firms since they do have more foreign-trained attorneys. Then try firms that have offices in the country you are working in, since they might see you as a value-add.

I honestly think your biggest problem may be that you haven’t actually been “practicing” at all. I’d create some kind of narrative as to why you went back to your home country and took on a consulting role.

Also, NY>Boston.

OP here. Thank you for your quick response. I am a J.D. I moved back due to personal reasons (family issues + immigration-wise, didn't look like it was gonna pan out). Family issues have since been somewhat resolved and I've gained more certainty in my relationship with my boyfriend/now-husband, which is what brought me to this decision. Not sure how convincing a narrative that is, but 'tis the truth.

In terms of my use of the word "consulting", I guess it may be a bit misleading, but technically since I'm not barred in my home country (because I can't take the local bar as I don't have a law degree from this country), my title is that of a "consultant". I do legal work (writing memos, reviewing contracts/corporate agreements, DD reports, etc.) but technically, not a lawyer here. Would that change things a bit?

2013

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Re: Finding a job from abroad?

Postby 2013 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:57 am

Anonymous User wrote:
2013 wrote:Do you have a US JD or LLM? If you only have an LLM, it may be difficult to land an offer. Biglaw isn’t out of the question, but it’s probably hard. To be completely honest, even US JDs have a difficult time breaking into biglaw in the US after spending time abroad after graduating because the type of work done abroad is very different.

I would recommend starting with the magic circle firms since they do have more foreign-trained attorneys. Then try firms that have offices in the country you are working in, since they might see you as a value-add.

I honestly think your biggest problem may be that you haven’t actually been “practicing” at all. I’d create some kind of narrative as to why you went back to your home country and took on a consulting role.

Also, NY>Boston.

OP here. Thank you for your quick response. I am a J.D. I moved back due to personal reasons (family issues + immigration-wise, didn't look like it was gonna pan out). Family issues have since been somewhat resolved and I've gained more certainty in my relationship with my boyfriend/now-husband, which is what brought me to this decision. Not sure how convincing a narrative that is, but 'tis the truth.

In terms of my use of the word "consulting", I guess it may be a bit misleading, but technically since I'm not barred in my home country (because I can't take the local bar as I don't have a law degree from this country), my title is that of a "consultant". I do legal work (writing memos, reviewing contracts/corporate agreements, DD reports, etc.) but technically, not a lawyer here. Would that change things a bit?


I think having a JD helps immensely. I think the market is healthy enough that if you’re doing corporate work, you should have a decent shot at least getting interviews at biglaw firms.

I think that for your “consulting” work, it’ll depend on the structure. Is that a normal position within the firm where you received training from senior US-trained attorneys? Were you doing sophisticated enough work? Obviously these are questions you know the answer to. But if this was a formal setup and there is a regular channel of work and the work is sophisticated, it will look good.

I think moving back will be easier for you given that you have a JD. You should still focus on the more international firms, since they may be more apt to interview you

Npret

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Re: Finding a job from abroad?

Postby Npret » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hello. I am a NY licensed attorney (foreigner) who doesn't have experience working the States. I have been working for about two years now at a large local firm in Asia consulting on US law/corporate work (big law firm with some int'l name recognition apparently). I recently married my husband and we are planning to relocate to the US (he's from Boston, but we'll prob end up in NY). I have two questions: (i) how does one go about finding a job in the States when you're abroad, and (ii) given my background, what are my chances of landing a legal job in the States? Although I would love a Big Law job, I am being very open to any possibilities so long as it would be enough for us to maintain a living (since we're both relatively early in our careers, not that much savings accumulated). Thank you!

Where did you go to school and how did you do? Be vague if you want.
I think finding a job here without a local address or even knowing what city you will live in will be almost impossible.
At best you could work whatever contacts you might have and tell them you are returning.
As far as big law, it depends on your experience and probably willingness to go back a year or two in seniority. You should apply everywhere, but applying from overseas without knowing exact plans is probably a huge waste of time.

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Re: Finding a job from abroad?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2018 2:20 am

Npret wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hello. I am a NY licensed attorney (foreigner) who doesn't have experience working the States. I have been working for about two years now at a large local firm in Asia consulting on US law/corporate work (big law firm with some int'l name recognition apparently). I recently married my husband and we are planning to relocate to the US (he's from Boston, but we'll prob end up in NY). I have two questions: (i) how does one go about finding a job in the States when you're abroad, and (ii) given my background, what are my chances of landing a legal job in the States? Although I would love a Big Law job, I am being very open to any possibilities so long as it would be enough for us to maintain a living (since we're both relatively early in our careers, not that much savings accumulated). Thank you!

Where did you go to school and how did you do? Be vague if you want.
I think finding a job here without a local address or even knowing what city you will live in will be almost impossible.
At best you could work whatever contacts you might have and tell them you are returning.
As far as big law, it depends on your experience and probably willingness to go back a year or two in seniority. You should apply everywhere, but applying from overseas without knowing exact plans is probably a huge waste of time.

I went to law school in New York. I worked at a mid-size firm 2L summer, but due to the aforementioned personal circumstances, went back to Asia after graduating. As of now, I think we will end up in New York (my husband is really keen on being there; tbh, I am more concerned about his employment situation than mine, but that's a whole other story...). I'm not deadset on Big Law - it's a nice idea career-wise, and the money would DEFINITELY help, but my ultimate goal in life isn't to become partner at some big firm, so not obsessing about it. I'm trying to figure out career options that are available to me that would allow me and my husband to kinda start a life together (accumulate equity, save up and stuff). Thanks.

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Re: Finding a job from abroad?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:34 am

You shouldn't have a problem finding something in NY since you've been doing some sort of corporate work and went to school in NY. Some firms may even have a need for someone with your language skills. I would recommend first finding a place to live, once you have an address, put that on your resume. If you get interview requests and are still overseas then they'll accommodate by conducting a phone screener. I lived in California and most firms wanted to screen me over the phone (this was post-grad). The market is hot right now, I wouldn't stress too much.

Npret

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Re: Finding a job from abroad?

Postby Npret » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:You shouldn't have a problem finding something in NY since you've been doing some sort of corporate work and went to school in NY. Some firms may even have a need for someone with your language skills. I would recommend first finding a place to live, once you have an address, put that on your resume. If you get interview requests and are still overseas then they'll accommodate by conducting a phone screener. I lived in California and most firms wanted to screen me over the phone (this was post-grad). The market is hot right now, I wouldn't stress too much.

If they are moving in NYC there won’t be much time between getting a place and moving unless they want to piss away money on an empty apartment.

If you have a local address through your husbands family, then you can use that. Firms will do phone screeners as suggested but they aren’t going to really look at you without a US address, in my experience. It’s premature.

I agree the market is hot but you still need a decent school and grades if you can’t sell your overseas, non practicing experience. I think being open to starting as a first year can help you.

There isn’t much point in looking before January anyway. I doubt many firms hire in December.



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