FAQ’s: I’m training with a good law firm, how do I give myself the best chance of securing an international position on qualification?
- Choose your practice areas carefully. Think about where you want to go and find out what the most transferable practice areas are for that jurisdiction – what is gold dust in one place might be useless in another. Without at least one relevant seat (and if possible a couple), an international move is going to be tricky.
- Find relevant work. Look for opportunities to work for Partners who advise on high-value matters with a cross-border element; dealing with international clients or working as part of an international team will stand you in good stead. Likewise, relevant sector experience will be an asset e.g. financial services (offshore) or construction (Middle East).
- Stand out from the crowd. Working internationally invariably means more responsibility, involvement and client contact. Your training may give you many things but it may not deliver on these areas. Grasp every opportunity to take a lead role or to get involved in business development and client events; even limited exposure could set you apart.
- Secondments. Any international secondment is valuable, irrespective of whether it is in the location you want to target on qualification. Even a six-month stint abroad shows that you will not be overawed by the inevitable challenges of relocating and settling in somewhere new. Failing that, even taking a holiday in your chosen location can be useful.
- Make preparations. Note key points for your CV as you complete each seat, thinking not only about specific work but also any stand-out role you played in it. If you have friends, colleagues or peers who have worked overseas, chat it through with them to get their perspective. Research locations to make sure you know the key basics in advance.
- Get advice: Find an international recruitment consultant who you trust (yes, preferably us!) and open discussions earlier than might seem necessary. A good recruiter will value the opportunity to start building a working relationship now and should provide you with tailored advice on your options, and how to approach/when to start the process.
The international team at Origin Legal have over twenty years’ experience of helping lawyers to make international moves. To find out more, please contact: