So You Want To Become An International Lawyer

By Sarah Hutchinson,
Managing Director, BARBRI International

Smart thinking. You’re already working in a highly competitive environment as a lawyer. If you want to carve out a wider niche for yourself, you need to move beyond the norm. You’ve obviously done your research, so you know that lawyers who understand the workings and complexities of the law of more than one jurisdiction are in growing demand. What may not be as clear is how to best go about reaching your goal of becoming an international lawyer, and in what jurisdiction.

Think English law. Respected for its fairness, protection and objective application, English law remains a preferred jurisdiction for global business — and for lawyers who want to create their global footprint. But rather than just diving in and trying to secure a job as a solicitor in England and Wales, or elsewhere internationally for that matter, it’s best to have a strategy that will help you develop a top-notch profile in international law.

NOW, THINK QLTS

The Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme, or QLTS, is your path to becoming a dual-qualified lawyer. The QLTS is administered by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales, so it can fast-track your ability to gain additional qualifications to practise in those countries and others. Because the international reputation of the QLTS training and qualification process is well-regarded, passing the exam and becoming a solicitor in England and Wales adds valuable credentials to your CV or resumé and opens many doors.

  • Work with global clients.
  • Work with any international law firm in the world with a base in London, a leading legal centre, or other European city or country.
  • Deal with cross-border transactions and litigation to demonstrate your competency with international legal issues.
  • Develop a better understanding of the differences between U.K. and international law.
  • Enhance your reputation and marketability in any jurisdiction.
  • Choose to stay in your current jurisdiction and offer additional legal expertise to your existing legal clients.

YOUR PATH TO DUAL QUALIFICATIONS

The English legal profession is relatively welcoming to international lawyers seeking to qualify as a solicitor. As such, it does not impose heavy restrictions to admission on grounds of nationality or residence. To be eligible to apply for admission and sit for the QLTS exam, your home jurisdiction must be recognised by the SRA and you must hold the correct professional qualifications as a lawyer. There is no internship or experience requirement to complete under the QLTS, nor do you have to take any separate English language test. To check your eligibility to sit for the QLTS exam, visit the SRA website at http://sra.org.uk/solicitors/qlts/recognised-jurisdictions.page.

Whatever your reason for becoming an international lawyer, it’s safe to say you will not regret your decision. English law is held in high esteem and is frequently the law of choice, with London being the preferred seat of international disputes. As a dual-qualified lawyer, you will be a valuable and trusted international legal adviser. Plus, you will gain a competitive advantage over many of your peers.

By investing in QLTS Prep by BARBRI, you make a huge investment in yourself. Innovative testing and learning technologies are combined with years of experience training international lawyers to make our exam prep the best partner when you decide to expand your horizons and your career.

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