Archive for November, 2006

International Lawyers Handling Distribution and Franchising–Note CLE on Loyalty Programs

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

The current status in North America and the EU of loyalty programs and fidelity rebates under antitrust/competition law, and related topics, will be explored in this CLE program:

Title: Buying Loyalty Revisited  (click to learn more)

Date: November 21, 2006

Time:  12:00-1:30 EST

Sponsor:  ABA

International Lawyers as Right and Left Brain Thinkers

Friday, November 17th, 2006

I recently heard a speech by Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind:  Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future.  He discussed a number of trends–like abundance– that are causing a value shift in favor of right-brain disposed folks. The author believes that the unprecedented increase in the US standard of living means that increasingly wealthy Americans have the financial clout to purchase attractively designed consumer goods–hence, the rising importance of right-brained creative types who design those fancy and stylish goods. 

Mr. Pink also discussed how the growth of an educated Asian workforce and the automation of many job functions have caused many left-brain, “automated” jobs to  move to Asia and other offshore locals.  As a result, people gifted with creative, right-brain thinking will become more highly valued in the US because their unique, right-brain savvy can’t be precisely duplicated.

And lawyers?  Dan Pink posits that standard legal functions will increasingly be outsourced to non-US lawyers who can do the work cheaper.  We have seen it already happening.

But, I say, international lawyers possess a unique skill set.  Further, many of the functions of international lawyers require left AND right brain thinking.  Creative strategizing across cultures and legal systems is the daily practice of most international lawyers–and this largely can’t be automated (at least not yet).  And so, while lawyers who churn out cookie-cutter documents may find their livelihoods at risk, right and left brain-using international lawyers can revel in their job security, at least for the moment.

 

Going Global: A Guide to Growing an International Practice

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Below is the text of my newest article, reprinted from the November 2006 edition of the Texas Bar Journal, in the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Section. If you prefer to link to the original, click here: Going Global:  A Guide to Growing an International Practice.

Going Global: 
A Guide to Growing an International Practice
 

 

 

by Janet H. Moore

According to author Thomas Friedman, the world is flat and getting flatter by the minute.  Almost every business transaction involves, on one end or the other, international commerce.

So, how does a solo or small firm practitioner take advantage of this rapid globalization?  Growing an international practice is like delving into any new practice area; it requires a combination of education, expertise and rainmaking.

Education: Understanding International Law Practice

 

 

 

Many lawyers dream about practicing international law without really knowing what is involved. Lawyers who want to take on international work should make sure they thoroughly understand and are flexible enough to accommodate international matters.International lawyers work across time zones and cultures, even when doing so isn’t necessarily enjoyable or convenient. They also regularly manage a lot of uncertainty; differences between legal systems (like the civil and common law systems), differences between countries’laws, and other factors often preclude clear answers.

International lawyers need to know:  how to help their clients with foreign law questions; when to confirm their conclusions with foreign counsel; and, perhaps most important, how to confirm those conclusions in a way that gets an accurate, insightful and useful response from foreign counsel. 

There field offers many specialties, including international business transactions, international trade, and international litigation and arbitration.  Solo and small firm practitioners may aspire to add just a few international matters to their existing practice.  Or, they may wish to change their practice entirely, such as by moving into the public international law arena 

Helpful guides to the various kinds of international practice include: Careers in International Law (ABA Section of International Law and Practice); Careers in International Law:  A Guide to Career Paths and Internships in International Law (American Society of International Law); and, for a look at interesting international careers outside traditional law jobs, Careers in International Affairs (Georgetown University Press).

Talking to experienced international lawyers is another good way to get insights into the practice, including recommendations on competent foreign counsel and traveler-friendly office technology.  Many international lawyers congregate at the continuing legal education classes sponsored by the international sections of local bar associations, the State Bar of Texas, and the ABA.  Committee members within the ABA’s international section also share helpful information through online listserves.

Some international lawyers opt to join organizations like the London-based International Bar Association, the American Society of International Law and some of the numerous bar associations focusing on particular ethnic groups, like the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association. The Hieros Gamos website (www.hg.org) lists many of these associations.  Texas lawyers particularly interested in international arbitration should investigate programs by the University of Houston’s A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center and the Dallas-based Institute for Transnational Arbitration.

Aspiring international attorneys should learn some of the field’s basic legal principles.  Depending on their area of interest, they might audit a class on public international law, international litigation and arbitration, or international business transactions. The ABAs International Lawyer’s Deskbook (Second Edition) introduces many pertinent subjects, including international payment methods, customs, and international arbitration. Databases like the Electronic Information System for International Law (www.eisil.org) make available international law treaties and other legal materials on the Web.  Law schools journals such as the University of Texas School of Law’s Texas International Law Journal and the South Texas College of Law’s Currents:  International Trade Journal publish interesting commentaries.

 

 

 

Lawyers should also become familiar with the laws of foreign countries with which they will be dealing regularly. Good overviews of many foreign countries’ laws exist under titles like Doing Business in [name of foreign country], and many foreign law firms distribute complimentary newsletters highlighting their local laws.  For a quick check, lawyers can consult Martindale-Hubble’s summaries of the statutory laws of over sixty countries.
 

Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyer’s examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer,” a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions.” 

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through “blawgs.”

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense—but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a “country desk” willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

 Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

  

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

 

 Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

  

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

 

 

Expertise Building.

Nothing beats real world experience in the international field. Some lawyers start by leveraging their domestic expertise and taking on similar projects with international issues. For example, a family law practitioner might seek out matters in which some of the property is located abroad or one of the parties is a foreign national. 
Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.

Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients, and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyers examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer”, a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions”.

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through blawgs.

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense, but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a country desk willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

 Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

  

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

  

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.

 

 

Expertise Building.
Nothing beats real world experience in the international field. Some lawyers start by leveraging their domestic expertise and taking on similar projects with international issues. For example, a family law practitioner might seek out matters in which some of the property is located abroad or one of the parties is a foreign national. 
Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.

Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients­—and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyer’s examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking. 

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer,” a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions.” 

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through “blawgs.”

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense—but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a “country desk” willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

 Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

  

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

  

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.
Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients­—and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyer’s examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking. 

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer,” a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions.” 

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through “blawgs.”

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense—but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a “country desk” willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

International lawyers need to know:  how to help their clients with foreign law questions; when to confirm their conclusions with foreign counsel; and—perhaps most important—how to confirm those conclusions in a way that gets an accurate, insightful and useful response from foreign counsel. 

There field offers many specialties, including international business transactions, international trade, and international litigation and arbitration.  Solo and small firm practitioners may aspire to add just a few international matters to their existing practice.  Or, they may wish to change their practice entirely, such as by moving into the public international law arena. 

Helpful guides to the various kinds of international practice include: Careers in International Law (ABA Section of International Law and Practice); Careers in International Law:  A Guide to Career Paths and Internships in International Law (American Society of International Law); and, for a look at interesting international careers outside traditional law jobs, Careers in International Affairs (Georgetown University Press).

Talking to experienced international lawyers is another good way to get insights into the practice, including recommendations on competent foreign counsel and traveler-friendly office technology.  Many international lawyers congregate at the continuing legal education classes sponsored by the international sections of local bar associations, the State Bar of Texas, and the ABA.  Committee members within the ABA’s international section also share helpful information through online listserves.

Some international lawyers opt to join organizations like the London-based International Bar Association, the American Society of International Law and some of the numerous bar associations focusing on particular ethnic groups, like the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and the Hispanic National Bar Association. The Hieros Gamos website (www.hg.org) lists many of these associations.  Texas lawyers particularly interested in international arbitration should investigate programs by the University of Houston’s A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center and the Dallas-based Institute for Transnational Arbitration.

Aspiring international attorneys should learn some of the field’s basic legal principles.  Depending on their area of interest, they might audit a class on public international law, international litigation and arbitration, or international business transactions.  The ABA’s International Lawyer’s Deskbook (Second Edition) introduces many pertinent subjects, including international payment methods, customs, and international arbitration. Databases like the Electronic Information System for International Law (www.eisil.org) make available international law treaties and other legal materials on the Web.  Law schools journals such as the University of Texas School of Law’s Texas International Law Journal and the South Texas College of Law’s Currents:  International Trade Journal publish interesting commentaries.

 

 

 

Lawyers should also become familiar with the laws of foreign countries with which they will be dealing regularly.  Good overviews of many foreign countries’ laws exist under titles like “Doing Business in [name of foreign country]”, and many foreign law firms distribute complimentary newsletters highlighting their local laws.  For a quick check, lawyers can consult Martindale-Hubble’s summaries of the statutory laws of over sixty countries. 

Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients­—and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyer’s examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking. 

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer,” a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions.” 

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through “blawgs.”

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense—but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a “country desk” willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

 

 

Expertise Building.
Nothing beats real world experience in the international field. Some lawyers start by leveraging their domestic expertise and taking on similar projects with international issues. For example, a family law practitioner might seek out matters in which some of the property is located abroad or one of the parties is a foreign national. 
Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.

Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients­—and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyer’s examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking. 

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer,” a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions.” 

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through “blawgs.”

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense—but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a “country desk” willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.

 

 

 

 

Expertise Building.
Nothing beats real world experience in the international field. Some lawyers start by leveraging their domestic expertise and taking on similar projects with international issues. For example, a family law practitioner might seek out matters in which some of the property is located abroad or one of the parties is a foreign national. 
Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.

Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients­—and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyer’s examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking. 

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer,” a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions.” 

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through “blawgs.”

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense—but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a “country desk” willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

Some lawyers offer their services to seasoned international lawyers at a reduced rate or on a contract basis, just to gain the experience.  Legal recruiters who specialize in contract lawyer placements can sometimes find a temporarily jobs involving international issues.  Of course, moving to a law firm or in-house position with international work is also an option.
Pro bono work can also provide real world international law experience.  Pro bono cases abound involving asylum and other immigration issues.  Working on these cases teaches lawyers how to deal with foreign clients­—and whether doing so is enjoyable.

Some attorneys have gained exposure to international tax and other transactional issues by volunteering for multi-national charities.  The ABA’s website  (www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/international.html) publicizes international pro bono options, including opportunities abroad.

Lawyers should also reexamine their work experience, looking for international or foreign law questions that they resolved tangentially.  Perhaps they handled foreign tax, intellectual property or real property questions as part of an otherwise domestic acquisition.  Surveying past experience helps in several ways:  It highlights clients who may need help with similar issues, and it bolsters a lawyer’s examples of his or her international experience.  

Rainmaking. 

Once equipped with knowledge and experience, lawyers should let the world know about their international focus.  Instead of a merely saying “I’m a corporate lawyer,” a lawyer might say something like, “I’m a lawyer who helps small companies with international business transactions.” 

Although they must carefully comply with State Bar rules, practitioners can subtly communicate their international experience through websites, law firm brochures, and other marketing materials.  For example, lawyers might post on their firm’s website copies of their articles or speeches on international law topics.  More recently, attorneys have begun showcasing their expertise through “blawgs.”

Effective networking plays an important part in business generation.  Attorneys should seek out international events which attract ideal clients.  For example, Texas chapters of the World Affairs Council and the Council on Foreign Relations and university-sponsored organizations like the Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, host well-attended lectures on international topics.  Texas also boasts numerous energy-related trade groups which attract people in the international energy sector.

Before interacting with potential clients from other cultures, attorneys should become culturally aware. Many American lawyers use a forceful and direct communication style that can be off-putting to clients from other cultures.  Prospective foreign clients may be far too polite to mention the offense—but they may not call again.

Lawyers can heighten their cultural sensitivity by reading books about the business customs of foreign cultures, such as Frank Acuff’s How to Negotiate Anything with Anyone Anywhere Around the World, Roger Axtell’s Gestures and Do’s and Taboos Around the World, and the Culture Shock series. Foreign embassies in Washington, D.C. and corresponding consulates also offer lots of cultural information. The State Department and CIA sponsor fact-filled websites about foreign countries, and many U.S. State Department employees assigned to a “country desk” willingly share their insights about that country.
In many cultures a close personal relationship must develop before a substantial business relationship can evolve.  As a general rule, American lawyers should be prepared to spend more time cultivating certain foreign clients than they would American clients.  American lawyers should also be aware of cultural differences in group dynamics and hierarchy; although a foreign contact may have the authority to retain a particular American lawyer, the contact may feel obligated to build consensus within his team first in order to preserve harmony.

In some cases, speaking the client’s native language is a prerequisite to being hired.  Regardless, knowing a few basic pleasantries in the client’s native tongue is certainly a good idea; it demonstrates interest in the client and an effort to learn about his culture. 

Because relationships are so important in many foreign cultures, personal introductions and recommendations carry a lot of weight. Lawyers intent on international rainmaking should think hard about their personal contacts that could make such introductions.

Attorneys should also contemplate informal strategic alliances with lawyers and non-lawyers who serve the same client base.  For example, an estate planning lawyer who wants to help wealthy families from Mexico could cultivate relationships with bankers, financial planners, and even real estate agents who serve those clients.

Preparing to Go Global.

 

 

 

Perhaps no other legal field is so vast—and so mesmerizing—as international law.  Whether involving public or private law, business or litigation, the international legal field is evolving rapidly.  As the pace of globalization quickens daily, so does the importance of becoming internationally savvy.  The wise solo or small firm practitioner should be poised to “go global” with the rest of the world. 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com

 

 

 

Janet H. Moore, JD,, practiced in the international business transactions field for 15 years before becoming a professionally trained executive coach and consultant for lawyers.  She helps lawyers grow their practices, maximize media exposure, enhance leadership and communication skills, and transition careers.  She may be reached at Janet@InternationalLawyerCoach.com
 

  

  
 

International lawyers work across time zones and cultures, even when doing so isn’t necessarily enjoyable or convenient. They also regularly manage a lot of uncertainty; differences between legal systems (like the civil and common law systems), differences between countries’ laws, and other factors often preclude clear answers.

 

 

 

International Law Firms Recognize that Lawyers Need Polished People Skills

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Major international law firms like Freshfields and Baker & Mckenzie are acknowledging this important truth:  many lawyers need to polish their people skills.  Today’s Financial Times reports how some law firms are even hiring actors to stage simulated client interactions, and let lawyers practice their client development techniques without fear of reprisals.  As described in the article titled Polish Your People Skills, some firms like Clifford Chance are creating “academies” through which lawyers can get training on various professional development skills, all part of talent retention strategies. 

Good planning because, after all, every client communication is indeed a client development opportunity. 

A Virtual, Global Bar Association: InternetBar.org

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

So much for traditional international bar associations.  This one strives for a truly global reach.  

Yesterday I met Jeffrey Aresty, the President and founder of InternetBar.org.  Aresty hopes that his collaborative organization will advance the rule of law in cyberspace–thereby further fostering the growth of e-commerce.

Aresty plans for strategic alliances between InternetBar.org and various other bar associations, universities and other organizations worldwide.  Educational programs will teach members how to practice law ethically and safely in cyberspace–and even how to engage in Online Dispute Resolution. InternetBar.org also plans to create, test (via the Internet and open source software) and disseminate new best practices, all promoting the rule of law in cyberspace. 

 International lawyers will particularly approve of this:  the organization aspires to teach lawyers to collaborate across cultures. InternetBar.org also hopes that its members will get involved in building a global consensus about international human rights issues and the rule of law worldwide.

Membership is free.  For more information, access InternetBar.org