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My next move: How hard is it to get work overseas?

My next move: How hard is it to get work overseas?

It’s fairly tricky to move overseas as a second year, to any market. There are many pertinent reasons why you may want to consider putting it off until you have a few more years under your belt.

In those two years you can bed down your career and, if you aren’t there already, move to a firm that has a recognised name overseas.

Consider your preferred destination and look at the areas that international firms practise in. Tokyo, for example, tends to take people who specialise in areas such as project finance, capital markets, corporate M&A and projects. You should align your Australian experience as much as possible.

Another avenue that is increasingly possible is international secondments via local offices. In
previous years, Australian firms that had relationships overseas may have been able to arrange a few secondments. More often than not, the best you got was an introduction that would get you a coffee with a partner. Overall, the number of lawyers going overseas this way was not high. With the current trend of international firm mergers, opportunities with international firms serious about offering secondments are on the rise. The benefit of this avenue is that it keeps you in the loop, and helps negate the giving up of networks and goodwill built up within a firm.


Giving it a little more time will also give you the benefit of what is likely to be an improving market. Hopfully, over the next 18 months, the big global firms will start hunting rapaciously again for Australian lawyers. At the same time, as a fourth or fifth year lawyer, you will be entering the peak levels of demand in the overseas markets.

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