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by Vault Law Editors | March 10, 2009

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Question: I am interested in practicing international law. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about doing this?

Bill and Chet: There are two types of international law. The first involves dealing with relations between nations. This is United Nations/theHague type of work that is generally done through employment by a government agency.

I assume you are talking about working on international deals or litigation between parties of different countries. This is the more common type of international law and this work is done through private practice.

Law firms with offices in different countries are the most likely targets for your job search. The reason they typically have offices in more than one country is because they are doing cross-border transactions.

One excellent way to get involved in this type of work is to join the U.S. office of one of these firms, gaining necessary experience and then seeking a transfer or loan to one of the firm's foreign offices.

Large international firms actually welcome lawyers who are willing to go to another office because they believe you will gain valuable experience and because it fosters communication between different firm offices. Also, these assignments are not as hard to get as you might think. Not too many lawyers are in the position or are willing to pick up and move to another country for any length of time.

Before a firm will send you to another office to work, it will generally take the time to assure you are someone it is willing to invest in. You will therefore generally need to prove yourself to the home office before putting in for a foreign assignment. While doing this, make your desire to work on international deals and in another firm office known to those who can make that happen for you.

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Filed Under: Law

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