BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

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onesundaymorning

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by onesundaymorning » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:21 am

lfa wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:45 am
Hi OP,

Don‘t be discouraged!

The majority of posters on this forum don‘t seem to be very familiar with the European market for US big law attorneys. And I don‘t blame anyone because it is niche and small and given the huge US big law market, going abroad simply isn’t on the radar for most US law grads.- That being said, there is a lot of wrong information about big law opportunities
abroad on this board.

Better than looking at WFH, consider the following: Milan has a very small market for US big law attorneys who speak Italian and handle NY law governed capital markets offerings of Italian companies (mostly bonds but also the US law aspects of local IPOs).

Firms who employ US lawyers in Milan are eg Latham & Watkins.
There may be 1 or 2 other firms too. The market is tiny though and does not consist of more than a dozen people. A lot of this work is also done by US lawyers working in London.

As far as I know they pay NY rates.

I am not aware of other cities with US lawyers in Italy.

A job like the above would probably be more desirable then trying to work from home for months as - pointed out correctly before - this may have tax implications for your firm.
THANK YOU. Apparently in a country of 60,000,000 there are some practicing American attorneys in Milan. Whoda thunk? :roll:

I understand if people on this board think what I am asking is pie in the sky because they have no idea about the local market but the viciousness of some people here is really ridiculous. Also, for the record, I work in a very niche legal-adjacent field and work with American attorneys living in Italy who have their own private clients IN THE UNITED STATES. So, yes, they do exist. The field is such a niche one that you would be hard-pressed to even know about it--these attorneys work with Americans seeking Italian citizenship via heritage; it is a very lucrative industry as well. I was simply asking if there are any firms that hire U.S. attorneys in Italy in a non-immigration field as opposed to setting up your own shop.

I also find it highly presumptuous that people are asking about my spouse and telling me to forget about having children! My spouse works from home and follows ME. And we're also happily childfree. If it's not possible, then it's not possible. A simple "it's not possible" would suffice rather than insulting me.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by Monochromatic Oeuvre » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:11 am

onesundaymorning wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:15 am
Arrogant know it alls offering nothing of substance. :roll:

You were offered *many* replies of substance; you just chose to disregard everything that wasn't what you wanted to hear.
THANK YOU. Apparently in a country of 60,000,000 there are some practicing American attorneys in Milan. Whoda thunk? :roll:

The poster you quoted very specifically said "the market is tiny though and does not consist of more than a dozen people." That is accurate. The large majority of people working in the Italian offices of American Biglaw firms are Italians with Italian law degrees. The dozen or so Americans working there tend to have extensive business of their own and/or years of experience. I'm not aware of any first-year associate at an American Biglaw firm who ever did anything like this. Feel free to correct me if you can provide evidence otherwise, but as a general rule, don't tell other people they have "no idea about the local market" if you can't provide a single example of the thing you're praying exists.

And yes, you should absolutely be discouraged from going to law school and incurring massive amounts of debt in pursuit of a job that doesn't exist for people like you.
Also, for the record, I work in a very niche legal-adjacent field and work with American attorneys living in Italy who have their own private clients IN THE UNITED STATES. So, yes, they do exist.

But you don't have any clients, so what people with their own business can do isn't relevant to you.
The field is such a niche one that you would be hard-pressed to even know about it--these attorneys work with Americans seeking Italian citizenship via heritage; it is a very lucrative industry as well.

Individual immigration is precisely the kind of thing Biglaw firms anywhere don't do, so again, not relevant to the questions you asked.
I was simply asking if there are any firms that hire U.S. attorneys in Italy in a non-immigration field as opposed to setting up your own shop.

You actually started off this thread asking if you could WFH, which is why half the thread is about that.
I also find it highly presumptuous that people are asking about my spouse and telling me to forget about having children! My spouse works from home and follows ME. And we're also happily childfree



This is not targeted at you specifically, but tangentially, someone having kids while they planned to go back and forth between continents for months at a time would, in most circumstances, be a shitty thing to do to a child.
A simple "it's not possible" would suffice rather than insulting me.

It's not possible, and your responses in this thread demonstrated you're not the sharpest Provolone in the trattoria.

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:41 pm

Surprised nobody has mentioned one of the more realistic compromises for someone like OP: grind in biglaw until you get your net-worth to $2-4MM (so basically almost all the way to partner) and then retire early. Some firms would even let you stay on as a Counsel if you're really awesome at your job and okay with a compensation structure that favors the firm, especially if they have a London office or something you can do cap-markets work for. This is just to reiterate that it's not happening for a junior associate.

lfa

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by lfa » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:08 am

Hi,

just to clarify, the type of work I mentioned (capital markets focusing on italian issuers) also needs junior associates (NY qualified) who handle the typical junior workstreams (ie a lot of DD, drafting of disclosure etc).

The first years in these practice groups are typically Italian native speakers (LL.Ms or J.D.s).

Mid-levels or senior associates in another office may be able to do a secondment in an Italian office but without native language skills it is tough to permanently stay there.

I know that Latham and White&Case still have US capital markets teams based in Milan (and afaik - NY qualified juniors). A&O used to but is now handling this type of work from London. There may be a few other firms too. OP - browsing through the directories and checking the websites should give you a better sense of the market. - It’s probably also advisable to compare your skillset to the juniors in these practices to get a feel for the requirements/nature of these roles.

onesundaymorning

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by onesundaymorning » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:45 am

Thanks for the clarification. I am a dual U.S./Italian citizen and am native in Italian/English and can speak Spanish, French, and Dutch fluently (in a previous life I was a professional translator).

I've already contacted a few partners/associates at Latham and White&Case and a few have responded enthusiastically. I actually have a phone call in 15 minutes with a partner. I'm not opposed to qualifying in Europe either--I think with an NY qualification and one year PQE I can qualify in Ireland which will give me a backdoor into Italy.

I don't expect to go to Italy right away and recognize I will have to be somewhat mid-level to do so. Thanks!

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cavalier1138

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:14 pm

Moved to the appropriate forum, since OP is a 0L.

onesundaymorning

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by onesundaymorning » Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:57 pm

Just wanted to update:

1) Was told that there is a market for US trained attorneys in Milan, but it is a small one and entirely based around capital markets.
2) Reiterated that since it is a smaller market there are fewer positions open, but that if you are in capital markets and fluent in Italian, your chances of being hired are very high since hardly anyone wants to go to the US from Milan as opposed to other offices and you would be highly marketable.
3) There are mainly three or four firms which regularly hire for these positions: White and Case, Cleary, Latham, etc. and Latham is actually looking for someone in capital markets in Milan right now.
4) Positions pay US rates if you are a US attorney, but most attorneys will return to the US after around five years.
5) Returning to the US might be difficult since you'll be doing one slice of capital markets and people tend to see US-based capital markets work as being more in depth, but it's not a death sentence by any means.
6) Was told I could either study Italian law if I wanted to work in Italy as an Italian lawyer, or study US law and in effect be pigeonholed to capital markets, which I don't honestly mind.

So, it sounds doable.

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RunnerRunner

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by RunnerRunner » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:33 pm

onesundaymorning wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:57 pm
Just wanted to update:

1) Was told that there is a market for US trained attorneys in Milan, but it is a small one and entirely based around capital markets.
2) Reiterated that since it is a smaller market there are fewer positions open, but that if you are in capital markets and fluent in Italian, your chances of being hired are very high since hardly anyone wants to go to the US from Milan as opposed to other offices and you would be highly marketable.
3) There are mainly three or four firms which regularly hire for these positions: White and Case, Cleary, Latham, etc. and Latham is actually looking for someone in capital markets in Milan right now.
4) Positions pay US rates if you are a US attorney, but most attorneys will return to the US after around five years.
5) Returning to the US might be difficult since you'll be doing one slice of capital markets and people tend to see US-based capital markets work as being more in depth, but it's not a death sentence by any means.
6) Was told I could either study Italian law if I wanted to work in Italy as an Italian lawyer, or study US law and in effect be pigeonholed to capital markets, which I don't honestly mind.

So, it sounds doable.
Interesting. Thanks for sharing the info. Hope you snag your dream position--sounds a unique/enjoyable career path.

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FullRamboLSGrad

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Re: BigLaw and working from home: what will be my options?

Post by FullRamboLSGrad » Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:14 am

OP

I’m in what the board calls shitlaw (Insurance defense at a 5 man shop in a mid sized market). This is where most law grads really end up. The pay is fine (low 100s).

I think that the tax issues make this worse than the remote part. I’ve worked remotely for a month at a time and with all court hearing being done by video I’ve had no issues, so I don’t see why being international would matter as long as you have good internet/equipment. If you’re not doing lit, it becomes even easier.

The other thing that strikes my mind is that associates get their hours by partners taking interest in them and a big part of that is building relationships. Remote work makes that difficult.

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