In our survey of lawyers who have come to work in the UK from abroad, we left a free text box to let them give their thoughts on life as a foreign lawyer in Britain.
Here’s a selection of what the respondents from New Zealand had to say…
“Coming over to London as a young New Zealander is somewhat of a rite of passage. I have had an incredible time here and think London is a truly incredible global city. The current Brexit mess saddens me and I do hope London remains a premier global centre for people to come and work and live here.”
“I feel very lucky to have re-qualified in England nearly 30 years ago at a time when skilled foreigners were welcomed. The situation now is totally different, and even worse I think for non-white Commonwealth nationals and EU nationals.
“I feel my entitlement to stay here is tenuous, even with a UK passport, and my desire to stay here is waning rapidly. Britain is reversing hundreds of years of political and human rights leadership and fast becoming a haven for the ignorant and the intolerant. The very things it used to be a refuge against.”
“I support the toughening up of QLTT to QLTS – I’m not sure the NZ/UK legal systems are all that comparable (if they were, they’re not really any more).
“I’m also still very surprised that law is a conversion course here and that there are no effective limits on numbers going through the system – the paralegal/trainee bottleneck where huge numbers are trying to get training contracts and are unsuccessful – is depressing. And the business of law is changing – fewer and fewer trainee positions are becoming available so it’s only going to get worse.”
“It makes me laugh and cry every time a cabbie goes off on one about immigrants and can’t realise that, as a New Zealander, I’m just as much an immigrant as the ones he’s complaining about.”
“My experience has been mostly positive but a bit more difficult to integrate into the career path when, as a group, we were initially seen as well qualified “cannon fodder”. We would assist but should not expect promotion so as not to interrupt the careers of the locals. That may have been our fault as well, in part, by working for a bit and then taking chunks of time off travelling to places like Pamplona and Oktoberfest in a VW camper van (just to complete the stereotype). Oh, did I mention a chip on the shoulder? Things may have changed a bit now.”
“It’s not as fun as back home.”
Tomorrow: the view from the Europeans.