Pupillage Abroad Watch

BaileyTale
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#1
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Does anyone have any information on doing this? Or perhaps can direct me to a list of countries where this is possible?

I’m looking for countries that recognise a UK law degree and BPTC who also provide some form of pupillage. Preferably this pupillage would also be recognised by the UK should one want to return.
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jacketpotato
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I am not an expert on the barrister/pupillage sounds of things, but what you are suggesting sounds extremely unlikely.

There are very few countries which distinguish between barristers and solicitors The UK is pretty unique in this. The only other country I can think of which has a split between solicitors and barristers is Hong Kong.

There are not many countries that recognise UK law degrees. You can look at countries like Canada and Australia which have quite similar legal systems to the UK. You might still find that you need to do some form of local degree or local law school though.

If you qualified as a lawyer in an overseas jurisdiction, that would not be recognised as entitling you to practice English law, but you might be able to practice in the UK on the basis that you are qualified in that overseas jurisdiction. You could look into whether you might be able to take the QLTT to dual-qualify in English law.

If you want to be spending time working overseas as a lawyer you should think hard about whether becoming a barrister is the right way to go. You might be much better off training as a solicitor.
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
If you want to be spending time working overseas as a lawyer you should think hard about whether becoming a barrister is the right way to go. You might be much better off training as a solicitor.
Whilst I can add a little more to what jacketpotato has said, I think this is going to be the conclusion. Hong Kong has been mentioned as a country that has a split profession. There are others. Certain states of Australia have a split profession and you can, at least nominally, choose to be a barrister rather than a solicitor in New Zealand. South Africa also has specialist advocates that are akin to barristers. The problem is that with all of these examples that I know of, there are differences either in the way that the professions work, the training, or both. That would make it extremely difficult if not impossible to do what you are looking for. You'd need to find an equivalent system abroad that recognises the BPTC (I am not aware of one that does) and could provide you with training that is transferable to this country, which again I have not heard of, and I doubt is possible.

If you want to practise abroad I can think of two broad options that you have. The first, and probably best, is to do what has already been suggested, and become a solicitor. The second is to secure pupillage and build a practice in this country that would then lend itself to you qualifying in another jurisdiction going forwards. It's not easy to go down that route as a barrister, but it is at least an option. You would almost invariably need to in some way transfer to or qualify in the new jurisdiction, but building the right practice as a barrister may open the door to that. Of course unless you are fluent in another language, you'd have to look into an English speaking jurisdiction, such as Australia (I only mention that because some time ago I looked into whether it was possible to transfer to Australia and, subject to gaining certain qualifications over there, it is), or an area where it is possible to practise in English, such as the Netherlands (and, specifically, the Hague, which again is possible). But if you do want to practise abroad as a 'barrister' (or equivalent) to my knowledge that would be your route.
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workinglawyer
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Oh boy where do I start.

Apart from differences in legal systems which will likely result in your being thoroughly unprepared to deal with English law matters in the event that you return, the more crucial point is this: why do you want to find a pupillage overseas? Is it because you think it's easier, or because you have a genuine interest in working in that jurisdiction? If it is the former, do you think these other countries (which are invariably former colonies) will just bend over backwards and serve their former colonial masters jobs on a silver platter? If it is the latter, why didn't you pursue your undergraduate and/or professional qualifications in that jurisdiction instead?

The reality is that the Australian, Canadian, HK, SG legal markets are already saturated with fresh graduates looking for jobs. There are also barriers preventing non-nationals from qualifying, and these barriers vary from country to country. Often you will have to commit to another degree or a conversion course in that country to even be able to start applying for pupillages/training contracts, but it's just as competitive as (and perhaps even more so than) the UK. If you intend to relocate and work in another jurisdiction because of genuine interest, you will very likely have to pursue further education there. If, however, you see finding a job overseas as a quick and easy way of qualifying in the UK, I suggest you disabuse yourself of that notion – and quickly.
Last edited by workinglawyer; 2 weeks ago
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