Origin Legal


FAQ: I’m an English Solicitor – can you help me to find a role in the USA?

FAQ: I’m an English Solicitor – can you help me to find a role in the USA?

I’m an English Solicitor - can you help me to find a role in the USA?

We frequently receive enquires from Solicitors in the UK looking for a role in America. We thought we'd share our advice on this. 


This is a tricky one.  It’s not impossible but neither are the odds in your favour.  For most, it’s a notoriously difficult move to pull off whether through an agent or directly.  In simple terms, you’re up against huge numbers of US qualified attorneys with no visa requirements, so a firm is going to need a very good reason to hire you. (In fairness, US attorneys get much the same reception over here).  To muddy waters further, when roles come up that suit a Common Law lawyer, you will probably find yourself competing with internal applicants (for firms



So, it’s not easy.  But as we said, it’s not impossible either, particularly if you are able to meet some of the following criteria:

  • You will need to be in the right practice area. Experience of high-value Corporate, Finance, Funds or Regulatory work is likely to help, particularly any exposure to core US markets such as High-yield, US Securities, Leveraged Finance or Hedge Funds.
  • You will need outstanding academics. Only the leading US firms (or US offices of UK firms) are likely to hire ex-pats and their barriers to entry will be high.
  • Similarly, you will need a background with the right type of firm. This will probably be a UK/international heavyweight or an overseas office of a US law firm.
  • You are likely to need at least a couple of years’ relevant post-qualification experience.

If this describes your profile, then you’re in with a shot.  If it doesn’t you will need to explore alternatives.  Perhaps the clearest route is to secure a role in a relevant practice within the London office of a US firm.  This by no means guarantees an internal transfer but your chances certainly improve significantly.  Likewise, secondment opportunities can exist with the Magic Circle firms.

We’re often asked whether sitting the New York Bar is the answer.  Clearly it can’t hurt but we would urge caution.  It isn’t cheap, it isn’t easy, and it isn’t a guaranteed ticket to a career in New York, particularly if completed overseas without the benefit of building up contacts through internships or classmates.

1 The E3 Visa entitles Australian professionals with an offer of employment to relocate to the US with minimal difficulty. It is a two-year visa and easily extendable.

If you would like to discuss this or any other aspect of an international move, please get in touch. You can contact us on the details below:

Jason Horobin                                  ddi. +44 (0)1206 233 514              [email protected]

Charlotte Hooper                            ddi. +44 (0)1206 233 515               [email protected]


About The Author | JASON HOROBIN

Jason has specialised in international legal recruitment since September 2000 and leads the international team at Origin Legal.  He has helped hundreds of lawyers, from NQ to Senior Equity Partner, to make career-defining and life-changing moves to more than twenty jurisdictions worldwide.

[email protected]

Law firm update: A catch up with Bexley Beaumont

By Jason Nottage | September 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
LAW FIRM UPDATE: A catch up with Bexley Beaumont This week Jason Nottage speaks with Karen Bexley and Anna Beaumont to catch up on their exciting journey with their law firm Bexley Beaumont. After the firm exploded onto the legal…

Why you should consider solicitor jobs in Thames Valley over London

By James Wheelhouse | September 16, 2021 | 0 Comments
Why you should consider solicitor jobs in Thames Valley over London The perception that London is the be-all and end-all in terms of legal careers is a long-outdated concept. Compare the city’s long hours culture to a Thames Valley lawyer’s…

Why law firms should embrace remote working

By Taylor Day | September 1, 2021 | 0 Comments
Why law firms should embrace remote working   Over the last 16 months we’ve seen law firms adjusting to a flexible working schedule. With a very high percentage of staff having been successfully working remotely through necessity during the pandemic…

Meet our new consultant Alex

By Taylor Day | July 22, 2021 | 0 Comments
Meet our new consultant Alex We have some exciting news here at Origin Legal! A new consultant has recently joint the team, meet Alex Fielding. Alex, joined the team at Origin Legal during the Covid pandemic to help meet the…

Interview with EMW

By Jason Nottage | June 16, 2021 | 0 Comments
Interview with Joy Vollans, Chief Executive Officer at EMW Last week we sat down with Joy Vollans Chief Executive Officer of EMW. EMW is a leading law firm with offices in Milton Keynes, London and Gatwick. As CEO, Joy takes…

0 comments on “FAQ: I’m an English Solicitor – can you help me to find a role in the USA?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *