PRACTICING ABROAD

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bissey
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PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby bissey » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:03 am

How does one go about practicing outside of the United States? Anything specific to do in law school? I'm thinking or practicing in Europe (possibly Spain, France, or UK). Any information would be great since I really don't know anything about it.

Are there firms in foreign countries that you could work at without knowing the language?

Thanks.

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bissey
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby bissey » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:11 pm

bump

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swc65
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby swc65 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:14 pm

Some law schools have international programs where you can earn two degrees. One would be to practice int the US and the other to practice in Europe, for example.

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bissey
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby bissey » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:21 pm

swc65 wrote:Some law schools have international programs where you can earn two degrees. One would be to practice int the US and the other to practice in Europe, for example.


How do I find out about that? I know that schools have boxes you can check for joint degrees, but I've never seen one for international practice.

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swc65
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby swc65 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:24 pm

bissey wrote:
swc65 wrote:Some law schools have international programs where you can earn two degrees. One would be to practice int the US and the other to practice in Europe, for example.


How do I find out about that? I know that schools have boxes you can check for joint degrees, but I've never seen one for international practice.



I am not sure about any schools other than Columbia. At Columbia, I would apply for this program midway through 1L. So it is not on the application for admission but there is an application process, I presume, during 1L. Most schools will post this info on their website. I also know that Cornell has a similar program, though I do not know all the details.

minuit
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby minuit » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:28 pm

Cornell has this dual degree program for France and Germany, I believe. I applied to the JD/Master en Droit program at Cornell. You have to be fluent in the language, though, since you'll be studying there half the time.

If you wanna get your JD and then practice abroad, I think it would be similar to what foreign lawyers do to be able to practice in the US - one year of courses, pass the bar, etc. If you wanna work abroad and speak English, you'll probably have to get your job through an American firm.

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bissey
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby bissey » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:33 pm

minuit wrote:Cornell has this dual degree program for France and Germany, I believe. I applied to the JD/Master en Droit program at Cornell. You have to be fluent in the language, though, since you'll be studying there half the time.

If you wanna get your JD and then practice abroad, I think it would be similar to what foreign lawyers do to be able to practice in the US - one year of courses, pass the bar, etc. If you wanna work abroad and speak English, you'll probably have to get your job through an American firm.


I thought it would be the same as foreigners trying to practice here, but that would require very extensive knowledge of the language. My Spanish skills are good, but they are not "read and know the laws" good.

What firms would practice abroad, and why are they there?

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jks289
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby jks289 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:37 pm

I've worked in firms abroad (not as a lawyer) and there wasn't a single person who didn't speak both English and the native language, including support staff. I know that some lawyers would come from US offices for set periods, usually one or two years, without really speaking the language. But that was rare, especially for coveted offices (Like the ones you are considering). So I would say that if you want to work aborad you need to buckle down and learn the language.

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bissey
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby bissey » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:41 pm

jks289 wrote:I've worked in firms abroad (not as a lawyer) and there wasn't a single person who didn't speak both English and the native language, including support staff. I know that some lawyers would come from US offices for set periods, usually one or two years, without really speaking the language. But that was rare, especially for coveted offices (Like the ones you are considering). So I would say that if you want to work aborad you need to buckle down and learn the language.


I can see that being the norm. As I said, I have good Spanish skills from 8 years of Spanish classes, but I would think being a lawyer would require a very high level of language skills that you can't learn in college (I mean the vocabulary and type of language).

Thanks for the replies everyone.

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jks289
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby jks289 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:41 pm

bissey wrote:
minuit wrote:Cornell has this dual degree program for France and Germany, I believe. I applied to the JD/Master en Droit program at Cornell. You have to be fluent in the language, though, since you'll be studying there half the time.

If you wanna get your JD and then practice abroad, I think it would be similar to what foreign lawyers do to be able to practice in the US - one year of courses, pass the bar, etc. If you wanna work abroad and speak English, you'll probably have to get your job through an American firm.


I thought it would be the same as foreigners trying to practice here, but that would require very extensive knowledge of the language. My Spanish skills are good, but they are not "read and know the laws" good.

What firms would practice abroad, and why are they there?


If you are conversationally fluent, to the point you can write a memo and sit in a meeting without any issues, then I would think that is enough. Typically American lawyers are there to assist in transnational business deals, and are consulted for expertise in American law and not the native law.

But this is specific to my experience. You can PM me if you want more details.

If you want to know who has office aborad just go to the sites and click "offices" and see who is there. Any major firm really.

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vlsorbust
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Re: PRACTICING ABROAD

Postby vlsorbust » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:18 am

I applied to Vermont specifically for this reason. Yes, I know it's a "lower-tiered" school but I want to practice in Europe in a very specific field. Even if I did have the numbers for the higher-ranked schools, I still would choose Vermont over them for a number of factors, which I won't get into here because I don't want to go off on a tangent. :D

When I was researching schools I actually went through each and every ABA-accredited school alphabetically to see what kind of international programs they had. I used to have an index card where I wrote all the names of the schools that offered a dual-degree program in partnership with a foreign university, but I am not sure what I did with it. Offhand, I recall there were a dozen or so schools on the list. Columbia, Harvard, Yale, American, Villanova, Northwestern (and of course Vermont) come to mind, but don't quote me on it.

Otherwise, you may consider just applying to a foreign university directly, as long as you have the language skills and a good idea of what the rules and qualifications are for practicing law there. If you want to come back to the US and practice someday, maybe go to a US school later and get an LLM.




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