Competition Law - Overseas graduates


Redios

I have recently sent an e-mail asking for advice to Dr. Riley, who probably most of you already know as he is regularly answering students' queries.
He kindly answered and gave me permission to post his answer so other people can profit form it.

Here is my question:

I recently got a Law degree in a Spanish university.
My problem is that I would like to work as a lawyer, but not in Spain. So
> far I have been considering the possibility of working as a lawyer here in
> London, but it seems to be quite complicated. That would mean two years
> studying GDL part time and then the LPC, in case of course that I secure a
> training contract. So, a long time and a big investment.
>
> In the other hand, I would consider working in continental Europe, but I am
> not really sure of how the situation in the different countries is. I was
> thinking in doing a LLM in Brussels and then look for a job there, as
> competition is my main area of interest.
>
> So I would like to ask you about the ease and the ways to entry in the legal
> markets of England, France and Belgium for someone with my background
> (Spanish graduate, speak 4 languages) and interest in competition. Which of
> these two ways would you recommend me to try?
>

I have recently sent an e-mail asking for advice to Dr. Riley, who probably most of you already know as he is regularly answering students' queries.
He kindly answered and gave me permission to post his answer so other people can profit form it.

Here is my question:

I recently got a Law degree in a Spanish university.
My problem is that I would like to work as a lawyer, but not in Spain. So
> far I have been considering the possibility of working as a lawyer here in
> London, but it seems to be quite complicated. That would mean two years
> studying GDL part time and then the LPC, in case of course that I secure a
> training contract. So, a long time and a big investment.
>
> In the other hand, I would consider working in continental Europe, but I am
> not really sure of how the situation in the different countries is. I was
> thinking in doing a LLM in Brussels and then look for a job there, as
> competition is my main area of interest.
>
> So I would like to ask you about the ease and the ways to entry in the legal
> markets of England, France and Belgium for someone with my background
> (Spanish graduate, speak 4 languages) and interest in competition. Which of
> these two ways would you recommend me to try?
>


quote
Redios

And the answer from Dr. Riley:

Trying to answer your question is difficult without knowing more of your background.

Are you in fact qualified as a Spanish lawyer and a member of the Spanish bar? -and want to work in Europe? I am going to answer that question first. If you are and you are interested in working in Europe I would recommend Brussels. The point is that most law firms in Brussels are far less concerned with where you are qualifed as long as you are qualified. They will be more interested in whether you have done a LLM with a substantial content in competition law and then taken a traineeship in DG Competition or the competition equipe of the Legal Service (or in one of the bigger National Competition Authorities). So my advice is that if you are interested in working in Europe and are qualified then a LLM focussing in competition law is one way into the commercial legal scene in Brussels-a similar approach would work for world trade law-but there you would be looking at a very small market the two big players are Sidleys and Wilmer Cutler (by similar approach I mean world trade LLM followed by experience in the WTO or in the relevant DG Trade departments dealing with the WTO).

If you are not qualified-and you want to work in Europe-Can you get qualified fast in Spain? If so I would do that and then get yourself a specialist LLM and then an internship.

If you are a qualified Spanish lawyer and you want to work in London? This is more difficult to answer. Certainly doing the transfer test will help. My impression is that you have to have more than the transfer test-think in terms of what you can offer do you have specialist skills-if not that again points in the direction of a LLM and a couple of internships?

If you are not qualified and you want to work in London? I think here you have to think long and hard about the time factor-would it be quicker for you to qualify in Spain? On the other hand if you can get a full scholarship from one of the major City firms which will pay for your GDL and LPC you would get an excellent training and experience which would stand in good stead in the future wherever you go.

If you are really interested in competition law then do as much competition law as possible-by that I mean take an LLM on competition law where you can spend all your time doing competition law. Clearly City offers that option-we have 4 competition courses this year and we should have 6 next year but there are a number of other places which offer more than one course-and then organise an internship with the Commission or one of the major NCAs-that would really help.

And the answer from Dr. Riley:

Trying to answer your question is difficult without knowing more of your background.

Are you in fact qualified as a Spanish lawyer and a member of the Spanish bar? -and want to work in Europe? I am going to answer that question first. If you are and you are interested in working in Europe I would recommend Brussels. The point is that most law firms in Brussels are far less concerned with where you are qualifed as long as you are qualified. They will be more interested in whether you have done a LLM with a substantial content in competition law and then taken a traineeship in DG Competition or the competition equipe of the Legal Service (or in one of the bigger National Competition Authorities). So my advice is that if you are interested in working in Europe and are qualified then a LLM focussing in competition law is one way into the commercial legal scene in Brussels-a similar approach would work for world trade law-but there you would be looking at a very small market the two big players are Sidleys and Wilmer Cutler (by similar approach I mean world trade LLM followed by experience in the WTO or in the relevant DG Trade departments dealing with the WTO).

If you are not qualified-and you want to work in Europe-Can you get qualified fast in Spain? If so I would do that and then get yourself a specialist LLM and then an internship.

If you are a qualified Spanish lawyer and you want to work in London? This is more difficult to answer. Certainly doing the transfer test will help. My impression is that you have to have more than the transfer test-think in terms of what you can offer do you have specialist skills-if not that again points in the direction of a LLM and a couple of internships?

If you are not qualified and you want to work in London? I think here you have to think long and hard about the time factor-would it be quicker for you to qualify in Spain? On the other hand if you can get a full scholarship from one of the major City firms which will pay for your GDL and LPC you would get an excellent training and experience which would stand in good stead in the future wherever you go.

If you are really interested in competition law then do as much competition law as possible-by that I mean take an LLM on competition law where you can spend all your time doing competition law. Clearly City offers that option-we have 4 competition courses this year and we should have 6 next year but there are a number of other places which offer more than one course-and then organise an internship with the Commission or one of the major NCAs-that would really help.

quote

Redios i just want to clarify something. If you are a qualified laywer in spain, then being a member of a bar of the European Union, allows you work as a lawyer in any other European Union country and that includes the UK. There is no need to do a transfer Test. Check out this link it will explain everything in detail: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/becomingasolicitor/outsideengandwales/informationpack.law. So if you are a qualifed spanish lawywer then you do not have to do the GDL/LPC and the 2 year TC.

Anyway, if you want to do Competition Law then Brussels is the way forward. As most of the law firms in Brussels deal in this area as well as it being the centre of the European Commission. Dr Riley is right in saying that you should get yourself an LLM specialising in EU and Competition Law, as well as doing a Stage/Internship in the European Commission albeit it need not be it in one of the high profile departments of the Commission. I speak from experience as I have done an LLM and undertaken a stage at the Euroepan Commission and I am now currently working in a Brussels law firm. The fact that you also speak Spanish as well as English and probabaly other languages is an asset that is loved upon by Brussels Law firms.

If you want to do an LLM in EU/Competition Law Universities that I can recommend to you include:

1. College of Europe. Bruges, Belgium.
2. King's College London.
3. Oxford
4. Cambridge.
5. ULB. Brussels, London.
6. A top rank US university....

Hope this helps.

Redios i just want to clarify something. If you are a qualified laywer in spain, then being a member of a bar of the European Union, allows you work as a lawyer in any other European Union country and that includes the UK. There is no need to do a transfer Test. Check out this link it will explain everything in detail: http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/becomingasolicitor/outsideengandwales/informationpack.law. So if you are a qualifed spanish lawywer then you do not have to do the GDL/LPC and the 2 year TC.

Anyway, if you want to do Competition Law then Brussels is the way forward. As most of the law firms in Brussels deal in this area as well as it being the centre of the European Commission. Dr Riley is right in saying that you should get yourself an LLM specialising in EU and Competition Law, as well as doing a Stage/Internship in the European Commission albeit it need not be it in one of the high profile departments of the Commission. I speak from experience as I have done an LLM and undertaken a stage at the Euroepan Commission and I am now currently working in a Brussels law firm. The fact that you also speak Spanish as well as English and probabaly other languages is an asset that is loved upon by Brussels Law firms.

If you want to do an LLM in EU/Competition Law Universities that I can recommend to you include:

1. College of Europe. Bruges, Belgium.
2. King's College London.
3. Oxford
4. Cambridge.
5. ULB. Brussels, London.
6. A top rank US university....

Hope this helps.
quote
Redios

Thank you very much for your post, skeikhbaron.
Your experience looks very interesting, I would love to hear more about it.

I would also appreciate your opinions regarding to LLMs: the problem is that I have an equivalent of an UK 2:2 degree (I think), do you think that I have any chances to entry in any of the first Unis that you ranked? Maybe I could compensate it with languages... I don't really know whether Universities pay attention to languages.
Probably I can forget about College of Europe, but what about the others?
And the fifth Uni, I don't really understand it. Does the ULB have a branch in London?

Thank you

Thank you very much for your post, skeikhbaron.
Your experience looks very interesting, I would love to hear more about it.

I would also appreciate your opinions regarding to LLMs: the problem is that I have an equivalent of an UK 2:2 degree (I think), do you think that I have any chances to entry in any of the first Unis that you ranked? Maybe I could compensate it with languages... I don't really know whether Universities pay attention to languages.
Probably I can forget about College of Europe, but what about the others?
And the fifth Uni, I don't really understand it. Does the ULB have a branch in London?

Thank you
quote
dralanrile...

Let me cheer you up. I know of at least one QC who has a 2:2 who is now a well regarded European competition lawyer. It is possible to get on in the competition law field with a 2:2. If you have a 2:2 I would recommend you develop a portfolio of work and experience which shows your commitment and capability-for example, working for a MEP, developing your language skills, perhaps working for a Brussels based NGO and dealing with some of their legal issues, writing a couple of articles on EU Law. If you demonstrate such commitment and capability you can get into a good school for an LLM and use that as your career launchpad.

Our basic entry requirements on our international commercial Law LLM programme is a 2:1 or equivalent-but if someone applied with a 2:2 having worked say for statewatch, written pieces on EU Law issues and worked for an MEP I would seriously consider such an application.

Good Luck

Dr. Alan Riley
Director LLM Programme
City Law School
City University, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk

Let me cheer you up. I know of at least one QC who has a 2:2 who is now a well regarded European competition lawyer. It is possible to get on in the competition law field with a 2:2. If you have a 2:2 I would recommend you develop a portfolio of work and experience which shows your commitment and capability-for example, working for a MEP, developing your language skills, perhaps working for a Brussels based NGO and dealing with some of their legal issues, writing a couple of articles on EU Law. If you demonstrate such commitment and capability you can get into a good school for an LLM and use that as your career launchpad.

Our basic entry requirements on our international commercial Law LLM programme is a 2:1 or equivalent-but if someone applied with a 2:2 having worked say for statewatch, written pieces on EU Law issues and worked for an MEP I would seriously consider such an application.

Good Luck

Dr. Alan Riley
Director LLM Programme
City Law School
City University, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
quote
Redios

Thank you for encouraging me.
Actually I have a 6-6.5 over 10, I don't know wether this would be understood as a 2:1 or 2:2
Probably every Uni has its own equivalences

Thank you for encouraging me.
Actually I have a 6-6.5 over 10, I don't know wether this would be understood as a 2:1 or 2:2
Probably every Uni has its own equivalences
quote
ONLY TRUTH

It is extremely difficult to even find 1 week placement in competition law, as such people are left in lurch ,with degree having no use with complete waste of time and money. So think hard enough to see the commercial angle of university running the course. Dont ever be taken by words of people seemingly offering advices.

It is extremely difficult to even find 1 week placement in competition law, as such people are left in lurch ,with degree having no use with complete waste of time and money. So think hard enough to see the commercial angle of university running the course. Dont ever be taken by words of people seemingly offering advices.
quote
lmwoods

Thank you for encouraging me.
Actually I have a 6-6.5 over 10, I don't know wether this would be understood as a 2:1 or 2:2
Probably every Uni has its own equivalences


I hope institutions in the UK are not totally erratic though there is, I suspect, necessarily an element of fluidity in the art of translation which probably applies to marks as much as words. To try to help you assess your case, I would suggest that a 2,1 is in terms of ECTS marks 'good' (c).

Regarding the other contributor's point, I believe the scheme that Dr Riley runs (and which I don't think he mentioned in his list) does offer students the opportunity to undertake placements. I don't know the terms of this, nor could I comment on whether such a placement would translate into a job offer.

Best of luck with it all.

<blockquote>Thank you for encouraging me.
Actually I have a 6-6.5 over 10, I don't know wether this would be understood as a 2:1 or 2:2
Probably every Uni has its own equivalences</blockquote>

I hope institutions in the UK are not totally erratic though there is, I suspect, necessarily an element of fluidity in the art of translation which probably applies to marks as much as words. To try to help you assess your case, I would suggest that a 2,1 is in terms of ECTS marks 'good' (c).

Regarding the other contributor's point, I believe the scheme that Dr Riley runs (and which I don't think he mentioned in his list) does offer students the opportunity to undertake placements. I don't know the terms of this, nor could I comment on whether such a placement would translate into a job offer.

Best of luck with it all.
quote
dralanrile...

With regard to the quote above as to the difficulty of obtaining competition law placements-while
no Law School can guarantee jobs-we do offer significant career support to our International Commercial Law LLM students including competition law placements. Our support includes:-

1. Internships-for 2006/2007 we have 3 Brussels based internships and three London based internships in competition, trade and shipping law. Most of these internships have significant scholarships attached-and some of our students are currently being interviewed for those internships. [Next year I am hoping to have more internships and I am currently in negotiation with several law firms to that end]

2. Job Connections-In our Law & Practice Forum I bring in a number of practitioners to speak to our students-a number of students have been able to make arrangements for placements with our speakers.

3. I offer career planning to all our international commercial law LLM students to maximise opportunities in the London and Brussels legal market.

So Truth I cannot guarantee anybody a job but I do do the best I can to help my students get a start in their careers.

Dr. Alan Riley
Director LLM Programme
City Law School
City University, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk

With regard to the quote above as to the difficulty of obtaining competition law placements-while
no Law School can guarantee jobs-we do offer significant career support to our International Commercial Law LLM students including competition law placements. Our support includes:-

1. Internships-for 2006/2007 we have 3 Brussels based internships and three London based internships in competition, trade and shipping law. Most of these internships have significant scholarships attached-and some of our students are currently being interviewed for those internships. [Next year I am hoping to have more internships and I am currently in negotiation with several law firms to that end]

2. Job Connections-In our Law & Practice Forum I bring in a number of practitioners to speak to our students-a number of students have been able to make arrangements for placements with our speakers.

3. I offer career planning to all our international commercial law LLM students to maximise opportunities in the London and Brussels legal market.

So Truth I cannot guarantee anybody a job but I do do the best I can to help my students get a start in their careers.

Dr. Alan Riley
Director LLM Programme
City Law School
City University, London
Electronic Mail: alan.riley.1@city.ac.uk
quote

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