The Sheffield Project on the Internationalisation of the Legal Profession

The Sheffield Project on the Internationalisation of the Legal Profession is a joint staff-student research project exploring the globalisation of the legal profession. Selected students studying abroad in their 3rd year participate in a team research project, including a short placement in a law firm in the host country. The Project capitalises on the Sheffield School of Law programme of international exchanges – the largest in the UK with over 60 partner universities in 30 countries and over 100 students involved each year.

The project is coordinated by Dr. Francesca Strumia, and involves academic colleagues working at the intersection of international and commercial law.

2015-16 Academic Year

The Project was launched in 2015-2016, with a four-student pilot team conducting research on three initial questions in Australia (Melbourne, Brisbane) and Europe (Munich, Germany; and Milan, Italy).

Read the 2016 team's blog about their experience here.

2016-17 Academic Year

The 2017 team included nine students working in as many countries (UK, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and Australia) on a project titled 'Anti-Globalisation Trends and the International Legal Profession: Perceptions, Impacts, Responses'.

Read the report of the 2017 team’s findings here.

2017-18 Academic Year

The 2018 team included five students collecting data in the UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Australia and Germany for a report on Technology: Implications on the Nature of Legal Practice and the Role of the International Legal Profession.

Read the report of the 2018 team's findings here.

Format and Contentintlecture2Intlecture

Each year, the project team decides a collective research question and recruits six to eight students to conduct background research and collect data in different jurisdictions. Each student’s research task involves a three-day placement in a law firm in the relevant jurisdiction. During their placement, the student interviews lawyers and staff, and observes selected matters.

Participating law firms have included:

Each year, students prepare a lecture on the project findings and experience, which they deliver to second years in the School of Law on their return. They also produce a written report aimed at the legal profession and academia.

The project offers participating students the chance to develop knowledge on the legal profession through a comparative lens as well as gain research skills and practical experience.

Elliott Glover

Through the internationalisation project, I gained experience within an international commercial law firm in Milan. Overall, the project has enhanced my abilities both personally and professionally.

Taking part in the project has been one of my proudest achievements and greatest joys from my University experience. It is a testament to the School of Law’s international outlook and its ambition to provide students with practical experiences.

elliott glover, llb law with french law


The internationalisation project allowed me to intern around the world, work in a close-knit team, pursue a multi-national research proposal and discover the international legal industry. Ultimately, the project had many dimensions and it developed my competencies from a number of different angles.

The project made me realise that I wanted to work in an international firm, and it assisted me in securing a training contract with one.

CONNOR BROWN, LLB law (european & international)