International firms/practices

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gbullock19
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International firms/practices

Postby gbullock19 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:11 pm

I read an interesting article yesterday (sorry, I'm at work and can't search for the link) about a woman who moved to Germany and worked at a German firm. She discovered that she would never make partner so decided to start her own practice. Mainly, she realized she was dealing with the same types of law that she handled in the US (transactional, immigration, family law & government).

I'm interested in hearing anyone's experience in practicing law in another country. I'd love to one day to work in the UK or other country where most people speak English (Netherlands, UK, Canada). Interested in hearing about people's experience whether their own practice or at an international firm with offices in other countries. Thanks for your input.

By the way, I'm a 0L starting school in August so this is all speculative. :wink: :D

cavalier1138
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:50 pm

Still in school, but I know a person or two who is practicing abroad. It generally requires biglaw, because those are the only firms with offices overseas. But it's extremely rare to then actually begin practicing in that country the way that woman did (you need to get licensed in the new jurisdiction, build up a client base, etc.). I've heard of it happening, but only in very unique circumstances.

But looking at your post history, it seems like you're going to Stetson. So I would not focus on the possibility of practicing internationally. Focus on the local opportunities you might have, because you're going to have to fight for those.

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UVA2B
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby UVA2B » Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:57 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Still in school, but I know a person or two who is practicing abroad. It generally requires biglaw, because those are the only firms with offices overseas. But it's extremely rare to then actually begin practicing in that country the way that woman did (you need to get licensed in the new jurisdiction, build up a client base, etc.). I've heard of it happening, but only in very unique circumstances.

But looking at your post history, it seems like you're going to Stetson. So I would not focus on the possibility of practicing internationally. Focus on the local opportunities you might have, because you're going to have to fight for those.


It obviously depends, but if OP is interested in opening up a solo shop in London to handle simple matters like wills and estates and family law, it's equally achievable from Stetson as anywhere else with the same challenges and likely the same possibility of failure. Theoretically they could become a small firm attorney for awhile to train up on basic stuff like wills and estates and family law, then uproot their entire life to get license to practice in that jurisdiction (which can also require additional education depending on the jurisdiction), and possibly make it work. It seems like a hugely risky and ill-advised plan, but the type of move the OP seems to be talking about wouldn't necessarily require Biglaw training to do. Just a ton of work combined with luck and entrepreneurial savvy.

gbullock19
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby gbullock19 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:25 pm

[quote=.

But looking at your post history, it seems like you're going to Stetson. So I would not focus on the possibility of practicing internationally. Focus on the local opportunities you might have, because you're going to have to fight for those.[/quote]

It obviously depends, but if OP is interested in opening up a solo shop in London to handle simple matters like wills and estates and family law, it's equally achievable from Stetson as anywhere else with the same challenges and likely the same possibility of failure. Theoretically they could become a small firm attorney for awhile to train up on basic stuff like wills and estates and family law, then uproot their entire life to get license to practice in that jurisdiction (which can also require additional education depending on the jurisdiction), and possibly make it work. It seems like a hugely risky and ill-advised plan, but the type of move the OP seems to be talking about wouldn't necessarily require Biglaw training to do. Just a ton of work combined with luck and entrepreneurial savvy.[/quote]

[b]Thank you both for your input. Actually, still undecided where I'm going. I'm definitely doing study in abroad in Europe -possibly in the Netherlands. I'm actually still undecided. I may be going to Georgia State now. I'm concerned with being stuck in FL when my home base is Atlanta.


UVA2b, I've been living in various cities around the country, new city every 5 months for the last four years, traveling for work. I'm a great networker :wink:[/b] [/b]

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UVA2B
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby UVA2B » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:50 pm

I'm sure you're as smarmy as the next chap, but if you think that's all it will take to become a globe trotting attorney practicing worldwide, I genuinely believe you're going to be disappointed. For instance, the only way you're practicing in Canada is if you go to a Canadian law school and complete an articling (their word for basically an apprenticeship). In England, it'll be more possible because you only need to pass a qualifying test after getting your JD and practicing in common law for two years. I don't feel like looking up the Netherlands right now, but I'm sure there are special education/accreditation standards to be allowed to practice there. The point is, you should be much more concerned with getting a job here out of schools like Georgia State and Stetson than figuring out a way to parlay your education here into popping on a barristers wig.

cavalier1138
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:58 pm

gbullock19 wrote:Thank you both for your input. Actually, still undecided where I'm going. I'm definitely doing study in abroad in Europe -possibly in the Netherlands. I'm actually still undecided. I may be going to Georgia State now. I'm concerned with being stuck in FL when my home base is Atlanta.

UVA2b, I've been living in various cities around the country, new city every 5 months for the last four years, traveling for work. I'm a great networker :wink:


This... this is not how it works. As UVA pointed out, if your goal is just to move to a new country and start a solo practice with no prior ties, you don't need biglaw to do that, but it's still a terrible plan.

gbullock19
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby gbullock19 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:30 pm

This... this is not how it works. As UVA pointed out, if your goal is just to move to a new country and start a solo practice with no prior ties, you don't need biglaw to do that, but it's still a terrible plan.[/quote]

Someone needs a nap or snack! I can't decide which...hmm, not sure why you're jumping to conclusions recklessly. You have no idea what I currently do or what I've done so far. I'm not a 22yr old first of all...But aah, such is the nature of TLS forums *giggles*

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UVA2B
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby UVA2B » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:36 pm

gbullock19 wrote:This... this is not how it works. As UVA pointed out, if your goal is just to move to a new country and start a solo practice with no prior ties, you don't need biglaw to do that, but it's still a terrible plan.


Someone needs a nap or snack! I can't decide which...hmm, not sure why you're jumping to conclusions recklessly. You have no idea what I currently do or what I've done so far. I'm not a 22yr old first of all...But aah, such is the nature of TLS forums *giggles*
[/quote]

Umm...huh?

gbullock19
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby gbullock19 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:55 pm

UVA2B wrote:
gbullock19 wrote:This... this is not how it works. As UVA pointed out, if your goal is just to move to a new country and start a solo practice with no prior ties, you don't need biglaw to do that, but it's still a terrible plan.


Someone needs a nap or snack! I can't decide which...hmm, not sure why you're jumping to conclusions recklessly. You have no idea what I currently do or what I've done so far. I'm not a 22yr old first of all...But aah, such is the nature of TLS forums *giggles*


Umm...huh?[/quote]

That was directed to other post and his/her rudeness. Carry on!

cavalier1138
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:32 pm

gbullock19 wrote:Someone needs a nap or snack! I can't decide which...hmm, not sure why you're jumping to conclusions recklessly. You have no idea what I currently do or what I've done so far. I'm not a 22yr old first of all...But aah, such is the nature of TLS forums *giggles*


The fact that you flaunt your age before signing off with "*giggles*" is something else. But anyway, I'm not jumping to conclusions. It doesn't matter what you've done previously (hint: teaching overseas does not set you up for practicing law there). What matters is that you aren't looking at schools that set you up for practicing at an international firm, and the path to establishing your own practice in another country is stupidly convoluted.

As mentioned, your first priority should be making sure that you're in the part of the graduating class from Stetson (or GSU) that is employed as a lawyer on graduation.

gbullock19
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby gbullock19 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:49 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
As mentioned, your first priority should be making sure that you're in the part of the graduating class from Stetson (or GSU) that is employed as a lawyer on graduation.


Just as clarification: My intent on this post was not to find out how I can move overseas (or Canada) straight out of law school. My intent was only to ask for those people who are currently are practicing, or have once lived and practiced outside of the US, what their career path was that led them to that experience.

I know people on here have a lot of anxiety about finding jobs, that is not my concern. I work in an industry where a JD would guarantee me $100k even if only for a position that's JD-advantage. When I put this post up, I was thinking about my career 10-15 years from now and wanted to know what people's experiences are. Let me make this clear: I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT BEING UNEMPLOYED. It simply has never been a concern of mine. I just want to know what people's experiences are. Thanks.

0heL
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Re: International firms/practices

Postby 0heL » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:25 pm

gbullock19 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
As mentioned, your first priority should be making sure that you're in the part of the graduating class from Stetson (or GSU) that is employed as a lawyer on graduation.


Just as clarification: My intent on this post was not to find out how I can move overseas (or Canada) straight out of law school. My intent was only to ask for those people who are currently are practicing, or have once lived and practiced outside of the US, what their career path was that led them to that experience.

I know people on here have a lot of anxiety about finding jobs, that is not my concern. I work in an industry where a JD would guarantee me $100k even if only for a position that's JD-advantage. When I put this post up, I was thinking about my career 10-15 years from now and wanted to know what people's experiences are. Let me make this clear: I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT BEING UNEMPLOYED. It simply has never been a concern of mine. I just want to know what people's experiences are. Thanks.


I'm an American attorney who practices in an international office at my law firm.

First of all, you do know that it is illegal in the vast, vast majority of countries to take your U.S. law license and just open up a solo shop in a foreign country, right? You have to pass whatever is the equivalent of the Bar in the foreign country and then meet their weird requirements. In England, for example, the easiest way would probably be to qualify as a Solicitor work with the "common law" for 2 years and then take Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (their version of the Bar). Not so simple, and in other countries it's usually a lot harder. I'm not even qualified to work in the country that I have an office in, I'm just here because my firm needs me on some U.S. matters and I speak the relevant language (ALSO NECESSARY).

If you want to work at an international firm, that makes more sense because you can "practice U.S. law" in, say, London, Paris, or Madrid. But these positions are usually insanely competitive (every 1L wants to do international law) and will go to students from the top schools with great grades. It would take A LOT - as in like a family member who's a CEO - for a firm like Slaughter & May to look at a student from a top 100 school. Why would they? There are plenty Harvard and Yale students gunning for international law at that level anyways. Those firms are obsessed with prestige, even more so than Americans.

I understand that you are "NOT WORRIED ABOUT BEING UNEMPLOYED". That might be the case, but that is an extraordinarily arrogant thing to say (even if you were at a top school). If you are ever to pull off this plan, you should know that you have to work your ass off because the odds are stacked against you. Who knows, you might be hard-working with an amazingly rich uncle or aunt that will help you land that job. But if you're not, then the best advice I can give you is to be a 1000x times more humble in your approach.

As for your experience as a claims adjuster, that is not a position that holds a lot of respect in the world of large international firms. Insurance is such a localized field that it would not be very helpful in getting a position at Clifford Chance or Linklaters or what have you. Maybe you can open up your own insurance defense shop in Rome, but you would – again – have to qualify as an Italian lawyer.




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