British lady seeking job in Paris


I was wondering if anyone here can help me or offer me advice

I am a 25 year old lady from England. I have an undergraduate law degree, the legal practice course and I am completeing my masters in business law through distance learning. I have had previous roles in international law firms and now work as a Judicial support officer for the Ministry of Justice. I  decided about 3 years ago I no longer wanted to be a solicitor but still want to pursue a career in law in Europe. My preferred destinations are Paris or Brussels.

After about 2 years of applying for jobs abroad mainly in Europe, last summer 2017 I was offered a 6 week unpaid internship in a start up NGO in Paris, working with refugees and promoting human rights. I had the best experience and was trying to find fulltime work to allow me to stay in Paris after my internship. I didn’t have much luck and only had one interview the whole time I was there which was for another internship I was over-qualified for. I was contacted by agencies looking for native English speakers for au pair work or teaching children but that’s not what I’m looking for.

I returned home and decided to keep trying, thinking my positive newly gained international experience would help me and boost my CV.

Unfortunately, it’s almost been 6 months and I’m still having no luck. I speak fluent English and have an intermediate level of French which I am keen to improve. I have kept my options open, even applying for entry level jobs in British companies / law firms where the only required language is English and still no luck. I have adapted my CVs and cover letters to the style required in France.

Please can someone offer me any helpful advice?

Hi there Ashfox,

I saw your post from the 11th of March and wanted to offer any possible help.

I too am English and have studied law. The difference is I've been living in France for 14 years, am fully bilingual and did all my studies in French law and am now a French Barrister (Avocat) in the South-West of France.

My advice to you would be, firstly, to work on your French.

You said in your post that you have an intermediary level of French. What you must bear in mind is that, even though English is widely spoken, if you want to work in Paris or Brussels then you have to master French, especially in the legal field as we also have legal jargon over here which is very different to everyday French.

Secondly, get to grips with French law and proceedings.

There are many similarities between applicable law in the UK and France / Brussels what with EU regulations, but there are also a lot of French specificities, especially when it comes to legal proceedings and again, all hearings / written work will be in French.

Thirdly, have a look on the website

This is a site dedicated to the legal field offering several possibilities : analysis of precedents, of new Acts and / or Bills, a forum and employers can post job offers on it and job seekers can post their requests.

If you want to discuss more then please don't hesitate to PM me.

All the best,

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