Industry Resources

Working Overseas: Asking The Right Questions Before You Move

I recently wrote a post on Planning for a Legal Career Overseas in which I touched on questions such as “Which practice areas are most conducive to working abroad as a U.S. lawyer?” and “What should I look for in a firm, if I would like to work abroad?”

Now let’s assume you have an opportunity to work overseas, either through your current firm or with a new firm. It is important to be sure you have all the information you need before deciding whether or not to accept that offer. You should know exactly what to expect before you make the move. It is also crucial for you and the new office to be on the same page.

What are some of the questions you should be asking before you accept that offer?

Salary & Benefits

Moving Expenses

Going Local

Other Questions

If you can find the answers to some of the above questions on your own, or by asking other associates who have recently moved, you should. Keep in mind that every office of every firm has a different package for associates working overseas, and sometimes it varies by associate. No firm will give you everything you want. Ultimately, working overseas is an incredibly rewarding opportunity and you should base your decision on much more than just overall comp. Showing up in the new office and already being known as the “high maintenance” or “overly demanding” associate will not make the best impression. Pick and choose your battles wisely.

If you are working with a recruiter, the recruiter may have some of these answers, and he or she can certainly help you determine which are appropriate questions for the law firm and which may not be. When it comes to negotiating your package, a recruiter may be able to assist. However, keep in mind that it’s you and not the recruiter who will be facing your new employers day in and day out once you start the new position. Taking on the negotiation yourself may make you realize which points are deal breakers for you and which are not. Fighting your own battle in the post-offer stage will ultimately make you look more professional in the eyes of your new bosses.