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10 tips to get you ready for takeoff

10 tips to get you ready for takeoff

By Thomas Hobbs

The idea of coupling international experience as a lawyer and spending your weekends in some of the most exciting and culturally diverse cities in the world can be hard to resist. So if you’re open to a move overseas and don’t know where to start, you might find the following tips useful. Do your homework as to location and opportunities in your practice area. Getting a job as a junior lawyer in Australia isn’t easy and so be realistic about gaining your dream job in a foreign jurisdiction. Traditionally, London has been a popular destination for Australian lawyers, but the legal market there at the moment is not as good as it once was. But this is not to say things won’t pick up over time. Also, play to your strengths. So if you’re an employment lawyer focus on employment lawyer roles initially and you can always broaden your search. Also, if you speak a relevant language, make that known to a potential employer. I’d advise speaking to a legal recruiter here to get a realistic sense of demand in your practice area before heading over. Prepare an updated CV with multiple versions (if applicable). Update your CV here and get someone to look over it for substance and grammatical errors. If you’re a generalist with a focus on commercial matters, for example, prepare a strong commercial CV as well as a more generalist CV so you can apply for more roles (keeping in mind the usual difficulty of finding roles at the junior level). Use a legal CV template to get you started if you haven’t updated your CV since landing your first lawyer role. Get some written references. Having strong written references on hand to send to potential employers with your CV and law transcript adds credibility to your application. I like interstate lawyers seeking work in Melbourne to send me written references for this reason and the same idea should apply if you’re sending your CV to a firm in another country – always checking of course that the referee is happy for you to do so and that they’d be happy to provide any additional comments if requested.

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