What is an international secondment?

An international secondment is a period of time spent abroad, usually working in an overseas office of a law firm. International secondments can be undertaken during your training contract or after qualification.  

For trainee solicitors, an international secondment will usually last six months, but for more senior lawyers it is not unusual for international secondments to last a year or more. 

The benefits of an international secondment are manifold. You’ll gain experience and develop your knowledge of a certain practice area whilst also learning how an overseas office of your employer law firm operates.  

Overseas offices are often smaller than their headquarters in the UK, so it is likely you will receive high levels of responsibility and become a key member of your chosen team.  

Another advantage of an international secondment is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of another country or city. Many secondees also make the most of being on a particular continent and travel to exotic destinations at weekends and during holidays.  

One thing’s for sure: you’ll definitely become popular among your friendship group when you’re on international secondment! 

Some law firms, such as White & Case and Watson Farley & Williams  offer their trainee solicitors a guaranteed international secondment during their training contract.  

Other firms which have plentiful international secondment offerings are Stephenson Harwood, Clifford Chance and HFW. Consult our international secondment winners table to find out more.

If spending a seat abroad is high on your priority list, start your research now.