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  • Writer's pictureNadia Cook

International Legal Secondments: My Experience and Q&A's

In this post I share my knowledge in regards to what I have learned from my own experience of going on an International secondment.

My international secondment was less conventional than most, and a bit out of the ordinary in comparison to the (usual) secondments offered by law firms. Ordinarily, most individuals who go on secondment it is common practice for their firm to offer international secondments especially in larger commercial firms for their trainees. I was the first person to go on secondment in the firm that I worked in at the time (a medium sized Scottish Personal Injury firm).

I saw the secondment advertised online, done my research and approached the partners to tell them about the opportunity and asked if it was a possibility. To my complete shock and surprise they said yes! Though to be completely transparent, I hesitated for weeks before the deadline, debating whether I was good enough, and whether I should approach my employer to ask. Moral of the story being, if you don't ask, you will never know.

I was seconded to the UK Law Societies Brussels Office from January - March 2019. Yes that it right you guessed it - I was living and working in Brussels city centre on the final Brexit exit date, marking the UK's departure from the EU. I think I can

guess what your next question is - what about the pandemic? I by chance actually left Brussels just before the pandemic widespread lock down in the UK. Though do not be phased by this when considering a secondment, as the office I was seconded to more recently offered virtual secondments to those who were unable to travel due to restrictions, and I know other law firms/businesses who have offered similar opportunities too!

Use the arrow to scroll on the image below too see some of my photos I took whilst on secondment

Click on the arrows to expand the answers to the questions below

What is a secondment?

A secondment is an opportunity for an individual to work for another team, or at a different firm or business for a set period of time (usually 3-6 months) or sometimes up to one year. They will still remain employed by their firm or the business, but spend a period of time away as agreed with their employer.

How long can I go for?

How do I approach my employer to ask to go on a secondment?

What are the benefits of secondments?

What are the cons of international secondments?

Where should I look for secondments and how do I find out about them?


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