Is legal experience abroad what your CV needs to stand out?
We all know Law is tough profession to get ahead in. This magazine wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t. Work experience is so common now that the only way it will make your CV stand out is by not having it. Working abroad, however, is still one way to get the edge on your competitors. To work abroad you need initiative, courage, dedication, and, with some of the options below, you don’t need a large wallet anymore. These are a good place to start looking, but if you don’t find anything right for you here, so don’t despair- there are plenty of places out there.
A great way to help get your C.V. off the ground at the same time as a grassroots organisation, Challenges Worldwide work with small businesses and non-profit organisations in developing countries, and offer them business advice and guidance, with the help of UK volunteers. Assignments are posted online, and often include legal researchers. Placements are from one to six months, with accommodation arranged to suit you, and at a fair price. They can also take couples, and will match your partner with a placement that fits their skill in the same location.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees take interns in their Geneva and Budapest offices on a rolling basis. There is no charge for taking part, but also no assistance with living costs. You must be able to commit to between two and six months, and to be prepared to really sell yourself. The stated requirements for these places are minimal, but the competition is fierce. Reapply every six months if you don’t get selected straight away.
Ok, so ignore the hokey set up of this website, this is a real gem. It’s new, and small, but the organisations on here are grassroots, your work will really make a difference, and often they don’t charge a penny- they just really want your help. There are a few legal placements around, but more admin work in Human Rights organisations than full on legal caseworks. However, the independent nature of the placement should give you plenty of experience anyway, and make your C.V. stand out.
A hugely useful website for anyone looking to… well… travel, this site also has a huge database of internships available, including a large number of law ones.
It doesn’t, however, check out
the organisations it lists, so there are a few agencies in there, and some pretty steep fees from those chancing their luck. Have a rummage though and I’m sure something just right will fall out.
These guys offer a cracking service. The fee includes your accommodation in a swanky apartment in Beijing or Shanghai, help through the visa process and survival Mandarin lessons – and of course a place in the law department of a Chinese business, or in a law firm itself. Not speaking Mandarin isn’t a problem, your co-workers will speak English, but extra lessons, or an intensive course are on offer if you want.
For those who want a really professional organisation with all the safety nets and support you could wish for, this organisation is great. The fees aren’t cheap, but do include all food and accommodation, transfers, travel insurance and they have 24 hour staff in the UK and on location. Their specialist law placements are as spread as Cambodia and Togo, and you can choose the area of law you wish specialise in.