International trade is structured by any number of policies, trade agreements and contracts, and each of these depends on legal procedures to be upheld and defended. Simple transactions such as a contract for the sale of goods can be complicated by differing legal systems in the countries involved. The issues are even more complex when dealing with international capital investments, especially if they involve technology transfer or intellectual property.
Today, virtually every law firm of substantial size is involved in the global context. Many domestic clients have expanded overseas, and law firms have followed, advising on legal aspects of acquisitions, joint ventures, global securities offerings, international dispute resolutions, and interfacing with foreign lawyers on local issues. International law is a field with a very bright outlook and great potential for the future.
Average Annual Salary: $140,000
Majors: Political Science, International Affairs; a law degree (J.D.) is also required to practice
Commercial Trade Attorney
Negotiate agreements and prepare relevant trade documents, ensuring that agreements are enforceable in all the countries involved in the transaction, and specifying international arbitration procedures in case of a disagreement.
- Key to Success: A detailed knowledge of laws, regulations, and international agreements, as well as a solid understanding of litigation practices in various countries, and excellent negotiating skills. A background in political science or international business is a major asset.
International Investment Attorney
Negotiate deals for foreign direct investment and prepare contracts and agreements for investment.
- Key to Success: You must be able to discover ways of resolving conflicts between different legal systems, and have substantial knowledge about agreements affecting international capital flow and foreign investment.
International Regulatory Attorney
Help private and public clients understand their role in international trade and business by providing guidance and insight on how they can enter foreign markets and the rules and regulations that shape those countries’ economies.
- Key to Success: Significant experience in regulatory law as well as deep understanding of international rules and policies.