Legal careers: Regional vs. National firms

Law firms can be regional/local in their reach, or national or even global.  Much depends on the size of the firm, the area(s) of law in which they practice, and the nature of their clients’ industries and needs. Lawyers who work interstate or internationally must be familiar with the laws of more than one state or nation as well as the rules that determine which state’s (or nation’s) laws will apply.  In addition, there are often federal and/or international laws that come into play.

Many individuals contemplating law school also find themselves confused about the concept of “international law.”  This is in part due to the practice of referring to two very different areas of law as “international law”: international business law (or private law) on the one hand, and international public law, the laws governing relationships among nations and between nations and non-governmental international organizations. As might be expected, those practicing international private law tend to work in private law firms or governmental regulatory agencies. Those working in international public law are almost always working for NGOs, national governments, or international bodies.