I am frequently approached by foreign-educated candidates who are highly qualified attorneys seeking employment in the United States, including foreign lawyers in the U.K. These candidates are frequently confounded by how difficult it can be for them to get jobs as attorneys in the United States, even though their resumes or curricula vitae demonstrate that they are highly qualified for available positions.

Finding a Job as a Foreign Attorney

There are a number of different factors that will affect the ability of a foreign-educated lawyer to successfully land a job with a U.S. law firm, and some of the biggest issues are discussed here.

Working permission.
The primary factor that determines whether a person can get a job at a law firm in the United States is whether that person can work legally there. Permission can be broken into three classes: no working permission, working permission for a limited period of time, and full working permission. Absent some special skill that a law firm needs, persons without working permission will find it nearly impossible to obtain a job with a United States law firm. (I would like to meet someone who has obtained a job, even though he/she did not have working permission. Please contact me and tell me how you did it so that I can let other people know how to engage in successful searches.)