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Working abroad with an Italian Degree in Laws

Travel Forums Europe Working abroad with an Italian Degree in Laws

1. Posted by Caesar (Full Member 74 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hello, i'll get my degree in Laws in one year's time or so, and i'm wondering if i can find a good job in a European Union country with this kind of Graduation.
I'm studying in Italy, and i could follow the usual steps down here, but i'm also considering a few other options, for example working in the financial business.

Assuming that it'd be utopic to try a career as Lawyer in a foreign country, especially in those who have a Common Law system (Uk), what are the necessary requirements to apply for a good position in business or even in Legal jobs, and what are the wage prospectives in your countries?

Should i take a TOEFL or IELTS language test to have more chances in case ?

2. Posted by Wardsan (Travel Guru 14 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

If you want to practise as a lawyer then obviously you need to undertake post-graduate training. You could either:

    qualify as a lawyer in Italy and then transfer as a lawyer to another EU country, such as the UK; or
    do the post-graduate training elsewhere in the EU.

The first seems the more natural route. Lawyers have a right to practise elsewhere in the EU, but they have to show that they meet local knowledge standards. I believe the relevant Directives are 98/5/EC and 2005/36/EC and you might as well study them anyway because they are an example of how the EU freedom to provide services operates. The Law Society can explain this in the context of English solicitors:

As to the second route, in England you would take the Legal Practice Course to become a solicitor or the Bar Vocational Course to become a barrister. An Italian degree in law would probably not meet the academic requirements for entry to these courses - because our law is very different from yours - so you would probably have to do a post-graduate diploma in law, or conversion course, beforehand. (Actually we don't have a common law system in the UK. We have three: England and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland.)

Generally speaking it's easy to find jobs in the UK assuming your English is good enough. We have very low unemployment, and a shortage of skilled labour. Speaking more than one language is an advantage. Perhaps a million people are employed in financial services in London, and quite a lot of them are Italian, French, German... In this field some quantitative ability helps, some intelligence (but I have met a lot of idiots), and above all the ability to put up with working 168 hours a week. Salaries are very high indeed. But banks are not really hiring now because they are ill.

On the other hand you can earn lots of money as a notaio in Italy for doing almost nothing...

3. Posted by Caesar (Full Member 74 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thank a lot mate. I found your tips very helpful.
You're right. Surely the degree alone wouldn't offer too much abroad. Getting the post graduate training and passing the exam to become lawyer in Italy would offer more options, even considering to move abroad after that.

Do you think a title of italian lawyer would be enough to find a good and well paid job, for example, in UK or i would need to get some master or courses to get into business, economics or foreign legal systems ? I'd prefer to get into work immediately, after that.


Notary is a profession that requires too much study and it's too uncertain, as very few pass the test, which is roughly about 15,000 to 20,000 pages. You have to study 4-5 up to 10 years before passing it, and you still have no certainty to get the appointment. You have 3 big tests to pass through, and all of them must be perfect. Of course after that, you can sit down and enjoy moneys, but at that point you probably will be too old.
I think winning lottery is easier, even with a brilliant university cursus honorum.

4. Posted by Wardsan (Travel Guru 14 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Prego. I take your point on the notaio.

Well, maybe 40% of people in their early-mid twenties in the UK are now graduating from university. Employers need to find a way to distinguish between the geniuses and the Bushes. They do this by: which university; which course; marks achieved; post-graduate study; relevant experience; other skills such as languages; ability to convince in interview. Law is, of course, a respected degree (although you never get called dottore here, unless you have a medical degree). With a non-UK degree you would probably need something else on top. With an Italian law qualification you would have something extra. You could use that to apply to work as an English solicitor, in a bank, or in another company, especially one with operations in Italy or selling to Italian clients. Most people working as lawyers in UK banks have come from UK or US law firms, so I guess the law firm route would be the best way - but I am outside my knowledge at this point. If you are prepared to target a broad range of graduate jobs in multinational firms in London, I would guess that you would not need a master's as well, but so much depends on your marks and your abilities in interview that it is difficult to say.

5. Posted by Caesar (Full Member 74 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thank you very much indeed. It was very helpful.

6. Posted by FIU2008 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I have a degree in International Relations from the U.S. How can I find work in Italy with this degree?

7. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Assuming you are not an EU citizen, you can't. Or well, it's practically impossible. We - the Europeans - have legislation that makes it extremely difficult for you - the non-Europeans - to get employment here. As you may have noticed, the original poster was a European citizen, asking about employment in another European country. That makes a BIG difference.

You would basically need a future employer, who can request the Italian authorities that a working permit be issued to you. Bound by European treaties, the authorities will only do this if the employer can prove that you have a unique skill that cannot be fulfilled by a European national. Usually this is where people cease their attempts; in the extremely unlikely case that you would obtain such a permit, post back here and I'll happily take you through the remaining procedures.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Apr-2009, at 15:48 by bentivogli ]