Third year international arbitration associate. Have been working in a small boutique firm in Paris since I was sworn in. Can I make my way into Big Law or is too late at this point?

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Are you an American JD? Those jobs are hard to find for Americans precisely because there is no specific need for a U.S.-qualified person on those matters. Assume you want New York pay scale. It’s possible but it’s difficult. The firms that do it are Wilmer, White & Case, Debevoise, Quinn and formerly Shearman. (I wonder what’s happening with the last one since EG left and passed.) Some Cleary too. You could find a position but it will take possibly years to find a good one. There just isn’t demand and firms don’t like paying American wages for no incremental benefit. Apply but be aware that some recruiters don’t like working with IA associates since it’s difficult to place them. Do get good experience where you are — it’s what will make those doors open down the road.

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Yes, European offices of large firms are also an option.

You need to network. Do you speak Spanish? If so try firms NY and DC offices. DLA is building arbitration capacity in LatAm too - Mexico and Colombia among others.

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Unfortunately not. I do speak Arabic/French though (maybe these are less pertinent than Spanish for firms NY and DC offices?)

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