Planning An International Career In Law

September 4, 2015 Education

Undertaking a law degree is generally expensive and requires a great deal of hard work, but it can open up more opportunities than many people realize. Once qualified, you won’t be limited to choosing between practicing at the bar or engaging in routine work as a solicitor. You can choose to study further and develop a specialism, and you may become attached to an organization, or you may even seek work abroad.

Planning An International Career In Law

Global Opportunities in Law

Many people make the mistake of thinking that their legal qualifications limit them to practicing in the country where they studied. In fact, in most places it takes just six months to do a conversion course and be able to work locally. This makes relocating a practical option, especially if you’re going to a country that is short on established lawyers, as even borrowing funds for your course – should you need to – makes sense if you have a job at the end of it. You may also be able to get sponsorship for a course from a company, government organization or charity, and may even be able to get a job working in a US embassy.

Transferring to a New Country

In some regions, legal experts are particularly sought after to the point where you can get a lot of support to relocate. The Middle East is one such area. Shahram Shirkhani is one of the founders of Shirkhani & Alavi, an international law firm based in Iran that works to provide legal advice to companies trading in the region and in Europe. He has also helped such companies to negotiate with one another. Work like this can be ideal for people fluent in relevant areas of international law or in the legal systems of more than one country.

Opportunities in International Law

Working in international law requires further study of its own, as there are new systems to learn and new institutions to become familiar with. It’s also necessary to become familiar with a number of major treaties and to know how to identify and interpret potential cases of jus cogens. There are a number of specialties that you may wish to consider, including the following:

  • Corporate law – working with businesses on multinational deals, drawing up contracts and dealing with business litigation across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Criminal law – dealing with criminal cases that cross borders and with cases where criminal breaches of international law have occurred.
  • Human rights law – ensuring the proper enforcement of international treaties set up to protect people all around the world.
  • Maritime law – dealing with matters occurring at sea beyond the limits of national maritime borders, and with disputes about borders.

Developing a career in law requires a big commitment, but it can be highly rewarding. Ultimately, you’ll be helping people to make better decisions, interact with each other more effectively and keep society running in a civilized way. Lawyers may not always get the praise they deserve, but they’re the cornerstone of a functional and healthy international community.