What Are the Best Tips for Getting Overseas Legal Jobs?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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To get overseas legal jobs, candidates will typically have to obtain government approval to immigrate to the country where they want to work. This is usually accomplished by obtaining a transfer from a current employer or being hired by an overseas firm. In addition, those who want to be hired for overseas legal jobs will typically need to have expertise in lucrative areas of legal practice for law firms and businesses in international markets. These candidates may also need to complete additional education and training in the legal system of the country in which they obtain employment.

One of the more significant challenges for anyone who is hoping to apply for overseas legal jobs is that of obtaining permission to emigrate to a new country. Perhaps the easiest way of managing this issue is obtaining an overseas post through one's current employer. Another option is to apply directly to an employer who is willing to sponsor a foreign job candidate for immigration. While it is possible to immigrate to some countries without having a job lined up, looking for work in the legal field after relocation can be challenging.


The education necessary to work in the legal field depends on the jurisdiction in which a person wants to work. In some cases, and individual’s education may be sufficient for obtaining overseas legal jobs, particularly if he or she plans to work for an international office of a business or law firm which is based in his or her home country. If an individual hopes to be licensed or certified to practice in another country, she may be required to complete a course of study in that country’s legal system. Here she may also be required to complete a licensing exam — for example, in the United States, those who wish to be licensed attorneys must pass the bar exam in the states where they will practice. If someone wants to work in a country where the primary language is different from her native tongue, she may also need to complete a course of study in that language or be able to prove her fluency by taking a comprehensive examination.

Individual employers, as well as governments, may require candidates for overseas legal jobs to have substantial experience before they can be hired. The necessary experience will vary according to the specialty of the law firm or laws that require candidates for legal practice to obtain a certain amount of experience before being fully qualified as lawyers. Those who want to apply for overseas legal jobs should be careful to fully document all their experience on their resumes or curriculum vitae. They should also be prepared to experience a learning curve by taking entry-level positions at overseas businesses and firms so that they can become familiar with the legal system.


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