I hear from time to time from prospective law students who tell me they would like to practice something called “international law.” It’s difficult to advise them, because I’ve always been unclear about just what “international law” might be. Fortunately a commenter at Top Law Schools has provided this handy Day In the Life of An International Law Attorney:
0830: Wake up in stately 16th Century hotel in Zurich. Kiss beautiful Russian model you met last night goodbye.
0930: Breakfast at cafe overlooking the clear waters of Lake Zurich. Read the Financial Times and chuckle about their shoddy reporting on a deal you headlined last week.
1000: Take high-speed train to Paris, fielding conference calls from several CEOs and bankers.
1100: Negotiate $13 million merger between US company and European conglomerate. Everyone speaks English with a broken accent, of course, so you can understand all the documents and the negotiations.
1230: Lunch with other International Corporate Lawyers at International Corporate Lawyer Club, everyone, of course, speaking English with a broken accent.
1400: Fly to the Hague for some pro-bono work. By 1500, you’ve convicted a genocidal African dictator of every war crime imaginable. He curses you in broken English. A hundred survivors from the village he attacked gift your their ceremonial hunting horn. The chief’s beautiful, Oxford educated daughter, who you’ve been working closely with, flashes you a flirtatious smile.
1730: Return to London office of International Corporate Law Firm. Exchange witty banter with secretary. Get dressed down by your curmudgeonly boss.
1900: High-stakes Baccarat game at Monte Carlo with head of European finance ministry. After beating him, he agrees to relax certain disclosure requirements for IPOs. Also he pays for champagne (in broken English) and you party with Russian model and African chief’s daughter.
2300: Returning to hotel, concierge informs you of a call. Picking up, you hear “Mr. Corporate Lawyer, this is our fifth call. You’ve missed the last three payments on your student loans. If you’d like to discuss repayment options, you can contact me at 1-800-FANTASY.”
You wake up in a cold sweat, and realize you have less than 20 minutes to get dressed, shower, and get to your document review job in a warehouse in New Jersey. Think about going back to law school for the “International Law LLM.”