In fact, more and more large law firms are offering their mid-level associates the opportunity to work abroad for several years. In addition, many law firms are involved in some type of international work, so a large number of lawyers must employ comparative legal skills and cross-cultural understanding. Subscribe and receive breaking news, comments and opinions on law firms, law schools, lawsuits, judges and more. What a lawyer working abroad does on a normal day depends on the area of practice.
It also depends on local regulations governing the practice of law, which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Many of our major business partners allow experienced U.S. lawyers to practice in the U.S. UU.
Law or work under the supervision of a local lawyer. Work will also vary depending on configuration. The most common scenarios include working in an overseas office of a U. Law firm or as a local employee at a foreign law firm.
But U.S. lawyers can also work in-house for the local subsidiary of a U. Multinational company or directly for a foreign multinational company. However, the common denominators are that most practices are transactional and transactions often have an international component.
An example is a strategic alliance or joint venture between a U.S. company and its foreign counterpart to develop and commercialize the specified technology. Other examples include a cross-border business combination or the simultaneous issuance of securities in multiple jurisdictions. Many of these transactions could be serviced by a U.
Law firm that works with local unaffiliated lawyers. Law firms with major international businesses have determined that it makes sense to pursue these agreements with U.S. lawyers (and their own foreigners) located both in the U.S. Local law firms with significant international work also hire U.S.
lawyers to help them with cross-border transactions. Lawyers abroad can also coordinate with local lawyers to provide guidance to the U.S. Companies on complying with local regulations in their day-to-day operations. They also provide guidance to foreign companies on U.S.
compliance. Regulations, ranging from data privacy to self-trading. In most situations, lawyers working abroad interact with their colleagues as they would in the United States,. The nature of contact with foreign customers depends on a variety of factors, including corporate culture and language barriers.
Local regulations on the practice of law may also affect the nature of client contact. If all goes well, seconded lawyers often return to work at the firm in the U.S. Others get jobs as in-house advisors in multinational companies, whether in the U.S. Some of these companies could be clients of the firm that the lawyer served while abroad.
U.S. lawyers who work as local contractors at foreign law firms often have fixed-term contracts of approximately two years. They can try to extend their deadlines, but they should think about their next move long before their contracts expire. Attorneys Seeking to Return to a New Firm or Company in the U.S.
It should emphasize the quality and quantity of the agreements in which they worked abroad. This can help overcome any bias between U. Lawyers based abroad are likely to encounter a variety of legal problems, as well as a regulatory environment and business practices that are unique to the jurisdiction or region, making practicing abroad interesting. Outside of work, they are likely to live in or near a world-class city with plenty of opportunities to explore and do some sightseeing, attend cultural events, and try new foods.
Business flow varies as in the U.S. Time zone differences and corporate cultural norms can create pressure to stay in the office, even if you're not busy. A common complaint is the exhaustion of a workflow that can be difficult to predict, but this is also true for transactional lawyers based in the U.S. Another common complaint is that practicing abroad may not live up to expectations, especially after the initial excitement of working abroad runs out.
Another problem may be more common in foreign law firms than in U.S. overseas offices. An American lawyer who expects to work on substantive legal matters may end up spending a disproportionate amount of time correcting English in locally produced documents. If the governing law of the document is local law, this makes it difficult for the U.S.
lawyer to provide legal guidance. It's a great opportunity to gain international legal experience, acclimate to global business practices and create a global network of contacts. If the firm has a good flow of business, the lawyer should have little difficulty translating substantive legal skills acquired abroad to a law firm or internal position in the U.S. Most Americans who work abroad return to the U.S.
International transactional business flow depends on a variety of legal factors. For example, international tax law can lead companies to transact to move revenue-generating assets, such as intellectual property, to low-tax jurisdictions. Business flow can also be directed to specific jurisdictions based on business-friendly corporate governance, merger control, labor and labor laws, among others. Trade flow is also affected by interest rates and volatility in financial markets, including foreign exchange markets.
Another factor is the international political climate, which, if uncertain, can stifle transactions that might otherwise make business sense. A good candidate would have a few years of transactional legal experience in a large law firm or in-house legal department. The candidate must be curious, flexible and non-judgmental. Being bilingual helps, but in many cases it's not necessary.
Candidates must perform due diligence before agreeing to work abroad. For example, Americans working abroad are subject to special federal tax reporting requirements, including the requirement to annually notify the IRS of any foreign bank or other financial accounts. Lawrence Hsieh is senior legal editor at Practical Law, where he focuses on business transactions and writes regular legal commentary for Reuters. Previously, he was in-house counsel at Nissho Iwai American Corporation and corporate associate at Shea %26 Gould and Ober, Kaler, Grimes %26 Shriver (now Baker Donelson).
Lawrence also worked in Tokyo as a foreign associate at Komatsu %26 Koma, and spent a summer in Nagashima %26 Ohno. Counseling, Better Know A Practice Area, Biglaw, Professional Advice, Cross-Border, Cross-Border Transactions, Field Offices, In-House Counsel, International Lawyers, Job Searches, Lawrence Hsieh, Practical Law Company (PLC), Transactional Practice We will never sell or share your information without your consent. No less important than what you do, is where you do it. Opportunities to participate in international work tend to be found mainly in large law firms with offices in other countries, or in internal work within certain international businesses.
As for degrees or licenses, that will depend on what you specifically want to do abroad. However, in my experience, most of the opportunities available to the U.S. Lawyers abroad don't require anything special. But, of course, there are credentials that could help in a particular jurisdiction.
In that sense, language studies can also be a good way to enter life abroad. While admission restrictions are likely to exist at this time, there are many institutions in China (and elsewhere) that offer very affordable language programs. In many cases, participants may reside in dormitories or other accommodations offered by the institution. They can also sponsor students for visas, which can be a problem if you want to be in a place like China for a longer period without work.
A deep academic immersion in a country's legal system can also be useful for those with an interest in working abroad. Even after working in China for half a decade, I still benefited greatly from my LLM program in Chinese Business Law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Today, my understanding of the Chinese legal system is indelibly shaped by the education I received there. Many potential employers will appreciate the fact that you are a little versed in your legal system.
Even an introductory law school class can provide an advantage; if none are available, check if your school allows students to design a course for themselves. Just as important, don't discount the value of the legal experience of bread and butter in your home country. As an American lawyer working abroad, you are likely to heavily utilize some legal skills that can be honed in almost any U.S. Firm, such as statutory research, contract review, and customer relationship management.
UK lawyers and other Commonwealth lawyers are even better positioned in this regard, as they could end up working in a jurisdiction whose legal system closely resembles that of their home country. Everyone's situation is different, but having a keen interest in a particular country or region is very helpful. This will give you that extra motivation to accept career opportunities that aren't ideal, but that can provide a useful platform. For example, many Americans in China start teaching English.
This gives them the opportunity to learn the field, improve their language skills and establish contacts. Those looking for opportunities to work abroad should be clear about what they really want to get out of their experience. This will help when it comes time to make certain important decisions that may involve significant trade-offs. In an ideal world, you can work for a company or company you like, with bosses and colleagues you like, in an office space that you like and in a city that you like.
But that's not easy in your own country, let alone abroad. Keep in mind that, as a foreigner, you are almost always at a disadvantage when it comes to the labor market. In my experience, this is true in all countries, to varying degrees. If you are interested in exploring opportunities to work abroad, be prepared to eat bitterness, as the Chinese say, at least for a while.
Teaching English in a Chinese provincial city probably won't be an attractive prospect for most law school graduates, but it can be the gateway to exploring opportunities in the country (although you don't want to stray too far from international cities like Beijing and Shanghai, where most the works). And if you do it legitimately, your employer is likely to take care of your visa and even help you with housing. Meanwhile, you'll have revenue and a platform to connect from. That said, be very careful what offers you accept to teach.
Similarly, if staying in a certain place is your bottom line, then make peace with that reality and act accordingly. A particular work may not be as inspiring, but it may be right in the grandest scheme of things. I once met a Canadian lawyer who worked for an immigration consultant in Guangzhou. Back in Canada, he had been a corporate lawyer in one of the Seven Sisters, and he didn't find immigration law interesting.
But overall he was happy in southern China, and it was in the field of immigration that his credentials as a Canadian lawyer were most valuable in that environment. At the same time, you need to be realistic about what each place has to offer. While I've always liked Hong Kong, living in southern China, I met more than one foreigner who wasn't particularly interested in the city, but over time I ended up moving there. The bottom line is that, from a professional point of view, Hong Kong has offered and will probably continue to offer more opportunities than the mainland for foreigners (even if the pie is getting smaller).
Places like Hong Kong and Singapore may lack some energy present in nearby countries, but ultimately they can offer a more sustainable lifestyle. Don't lose sight of the fact that one day you might have or want to return to your home country, in which case having worked in an advanced economy could make a big difference, in terms of savings, skill portability, etc. Again, as long as the pandemic spreads (and perhaps even longer), much of the above will not be actionable, at least not as far as China is concerned. But there are many other places in the world where lawyers in the United States and elsewhere can find opportunities.
Keep up to date with news and ideas about Chinese law by subscribing to the blog. These lawyers can participate in contract negotiation, international dispute resolution, merger management, etc. It requires knowledge of the different legal systems and an understanding of the source of international law. For example, an international tax lawyer should find out the tax implications associated with cross-border transactions and help clients lower their effective tax rates around the world.
One of the challenges to be faced as a budding international lawyer is the ongoing reform of the profession as a whole around the world. As an American lawyer working abroad, you will most likely heavily utilize some advocacy skills that can be honed in almost any U. To conclude, there is no definition of an International Lawyer per se, and if there were, it would be someone who works with clients, transactions and disputes related to more than one jurisdiction. There are also many organizations dedicated to particular practice areas, which can be even more influential in their area of expertise, such as the European Business Lawyers Association for in-house business lawyers.
Being an international lawyer means having to work with different business cultures and finding ways to achieve the client's goals, while taking into account different work practices around the world. In reality, being an international lawyer means understanding how a large number of laws and regulations interact, it is knowing how to use these rules and precedents to better help your clients. It may be more difficult for U.S. lawyers to forge careers abroad in the future, thanks to the increase in the number of foreign lawyers who speak English and study and work in the United States.
We define an international lawyer (in simpler terms) as someone who works with clients, transactions and disputes related to more than one jurisdiction. On the other hand, with so many lawyers around the world, a career in international law is a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Lawyers who come from an English-speaking country may prefer to ignore this part, but for everyone else, it can hardly be ignored that English is the predominant language of international business. So how do lawyers prepare for the new reality and prepare for the future? Professor Susskind identifies three areas in which lawyers must adapt their behaviors if they want to thrive in the new era.
When a country is thriving, lawyers with experience in a necessary practice area may be in high demand, but work in an economically volatile region such as Russia can burn out very quickly and lawyers will be forced to seek new positions. . .