NYC Paralegal to UK?

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MAC-2018

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NYC Paralegal to UK?

Postby MAC-2018 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:04 pm

Hey all.

Long time lurker, first time poster.

Seeking thoughts/advice.

I am a paralegal at a top-10 corporate/transactional firm. Have been for about 10-15 years. I was recently admitted to law school in US with a pretty generous scholarship.

My SO (soon to be fiancée) just got a job in London and wants to move.

So, my questions:

1- are there any paras here that have moved to London?
1A- if so, how was the transition? Any headhunters you recommend?

2- how do I become a lawyer in UK?

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Re: NYC Paralegal to UK?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:38 pm

MAC-2018 wrote:1- are there any paras here that have moved to London?
1A- if so, how was the transition? Any headhunters you recommend?

2- how do I become a lawyer in UK?


Not a paralegal so no specific knowledge there - but UK firms do use paralegals so general research and administrative abilities would be useful anywhere. Visas are not simple, so be very aware of how complex that might be.

Regards become a UK lawyer - if you go to law school in the US and get a JD, you will be able to work for the London offices of US law firms, doing US law. This means, almost exclusively, corporate law - mostly capital markets, bits and pieces of cross border M&A work too. You will get paid like a US lawyer, possibly plus cost-of-living-allowance too, depending on firm and what the market is like in 3 years time. This can be a great route for some people, but it's fairly high stakes to gamble on being able to get a job in London in 3 years time. We cannot predict what the economy will be like, how Brexit might have affected the UK Legal Market, etc etc.

Importantly, you will still not be a UK lawyer (a barrister or solicitor). You will take the bar in NY, probably, and be a NY lawyer practicing American law, based in the UK.


Okay - opposite approach - get a UK law degree. This is complex... it's an undergraduate degree in the UK, or you can do a "conversion course" for those who didn't know at 17 that they wanted to be a lawyer, or those later in life, that is a shorter course of 1 or 2 years, requiring an undergrad in something else to begin. Obviously you already have that.

After that course, you decide whether you want to be a courtroom lawyer (barrister) or a Solicitor (UK Corporate lawyers, as well as general practicioners. Hard to describe exactly). You get what amounts to an apprenticeship in either field - enormously competitive for barristers - and then there's really no crossing back later on.

Honestly, it's a pretty horrible idea to do the UK route. If you wanted to move back to the US to practice, you'd probably need an LLM to take most state bar exams, although not sure on that, and much of the work skills would be completely non transferable.



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