Introduction

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?

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 who have a UK presence) whilst the availability of the E3 visa1 puts lawyers from Australia right at the front of the queue.

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 UK 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]

Jason

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]

Why you should consider solicitor jobs in Milton Keynes for your next legal role

By Jason Nottage | May 12, 2022 | 0 Comments
Why you should consider solicitor jobs in Milton Keynes for your next legal role Sick of commuting to the city? Looking to further your legal career in a location that offers both city and rural aspects? We’ve outlined below why…

Planning Lawyer Jobs Market 2022 Update

By Stuart Phillips | April 22, 2022 | 0 Comments
Planning Lawyer Jobs Market 2022 Update I thought I would provide an update on recruitment trends for planning lawyers from 2021, the first quarter of 2022, and predictions for the rest of the year. The market for planning lawyers hit…

What to do once you’ve received an offer letter.

By Taylor Day | March 2, 2022 | 0 Comments
Great news you’ve received an offer letter! So, what’s next? Receiving a job offer can be both exciting and daunting, a movie trailer’s playing through your mind about all the possibilities of your next role, but then there’s the fear…

Origin Legals Interview with Associate Emma McDonald – Town Legal LLP

By Stuart Phillips | February 15, 2022 | 0 Comments
Origin Legal’s Interview with Associate Emma McDonald, Town Legal LLP Emma McDonald is an Associate with Town Legal LLP.  She joined in 2021 having trained and qualified with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.  Emma advises a wide range of clients in…

“How much will I earn?” A review of offshore legal salaries

By Charlotte Hooper | February 10, 2022 | 0 Comments
“How much will I earn?” A review of offshore legal salaries When discussing the possibility of an offshore move, one of the first questions we are usually asked is “How much are they paying?” And quite rightly so, there’s a…

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.