As part of this year’s Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, we asked over 2,000 trainees and junior lawyers at the leading UK firms about the opportunities they’d had to spend time abroad on the job.
The results — which we’ve broken down by firm, to give wannabe lawyers a general picture of what they can expect — varied widely, with some outfits sending all rookies overseas while others keep them in the nest for the duration of their training.
It’s worth noting that fewer international opportunities at trainee level doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing at the qualified solicitor stage. Just as some firms view secondments abroad as an important part of developing a global mindset, there is a school of thought which sees them as an unnecessary distraction from the training process. Indeed, on occasion secondments are restricted to associates of several years post-qualification experience. With that in mind here are the results.
As part of our survey we also asked the trainees and junior lawyers about where they had been lucky enough to go — and received hundreds of comments in response. The Far East, particularly Hong Kong and Singapore, is among the most common destination, although as firms expand their networks to Australia increasingly rookies are getting the chance to spend time in Sydney as well.
The Middle East is also big, with Dubai and Bahrain favourite locations; as is Europe, with UK trainees regularly heading to the continent’s big capital cities, with secondees often speaking local languages. The US is another hotspot, with the prime location this year deemed to be San Francisco, where a host of lucky trainees have done tech-focused seats. New York is another common place to spend time, particularly for those training at the London offices of US firms.
Rarer are placements in South America, Central Asia and Africa, where most firms have less well developed networks. A word of warning: consider what time of year you’ll be doing your secondment, because some places can get very hot (and cold).
Finally, look out next week for our client secondment results, a category which we have gathered data on for the first time this year.
For all the key information about firms, including what they pay and their full results in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, check out The Firms Most List.