Setting your sights on an overseas legal career

There are many advantages to working and living overseas. Whether you’re drawn by the prospect of travel or the excitement of meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, relocating for a job can be a great way of seeing the world and expanding your life and professional experience. Due to the different law systems in different countries, many lawyers discount a professional legal career overseas. There are, however, lots of job prospects for those with their sights on an international legal career. If you’re thinking about transferring your legal skills abroad, here are a few tips to help you get there.

–          Choose your time to apply. As with any industry, the legal market is subject to market supply and demand. Do your research – if a particular country, city or legal niche is experiencing a staffing shortage, then that is a smart time to apply for jobs and enter the employment pool.

–          Specialise in transferrable practices of law. If you’re serious about working and living overseas as a lawyer, then it is in your best interest to specialise in transferable areas of practice such as corporate, banking and finance, projects, construction, IT and energy law. Your legal skills and expertise in these areas will be able to be utilised in other countries. Establishing yourself as an expert in any of these areas will also make you more marketable and desirable to overseas employers. 

–          Choose law firms that have overseas offices. A smart avenue through which to pursue an overseas legal career is to work at a law firm in your home town that has international offices. You’ll be the first to hear about job offers and will already have established your credentials and reputation with your employer, making you a more likely candidate for any overseas roles. If, for example, you’re interested in working in London, legal jobs will be easier to obtain if you work for a law firm with a London office.

Working and living overseas can be a rewarding experience. Whether you’re interested in working in Hong Kong, London or Sydney, law jobs overseas are available to those willing to relocate and follow an international law career path. It may also be worth familiarizing yourself with http://www.worldlii.org/.

Where in the world would you like to work?

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