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October 03, 2005

International Job Hunting

Reader “Shoortie” writes with two questions about his job search:

First, do Canadian and European (England in particular) firms hire US law students for their summer programs? Second, can I practice law in Canada or England with a JD? Any response is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Good questions! Anyone have any ideas?

Posted by mowabb at October 3, 2005 04:28 PM

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There are two basic paths to practicing abroad. First, you can join an american firm in their overseas office. This basically just involves convincing them that you have some sort of connection to the place you'd like to work, and aren't just doing it as a lark. The second involves being hired by one of the major british firms (Freshfields, Linklaters, Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith). They recruit at a number of schools, and will probably accept resumes otherwise. In either case, with a JD, you'll be practicing corporate law, in general. With a few exceptions for very high end M&A firms, you'll be practicing securities law - that is, the preparation of offerings of debt. A few firms also maintain US law anti-trust practices in Brussels. And good tax help is often posted in overseas offices of US firms as well.

Posted by: RM at October 4, 2005 09:01 AM

One caveat about the big British firms, though, is that they're even pickier than the big American firms. Unless you have a high GPA from a top law school, you ain't gettin' in.

In non-English-speaking countries, you may be able to get different types of work than just securities and M&A. I worked at a small corporate/commercial firm in Tokyo my 1L summer and had a blast: no securities or M&A there, mostly contracts and organizing subsidiaries of overseas firms. Great experience without the snoot.

Posted by: Joe at October 5, 2005 01:23 AM