The Sheffield Project on the Internationalisation of the Legal Profession
Selected students studying abroad in their third year can participate in a team research project in collaboration with academics at the School of Law.
The joint staff-student research project explores the globalisation of the legal profession and includes a short placement in a law firm in the host country.
The project capitalises on the School's successful study abroad programme and 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.
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.
2016 project team
The project is coordinated by Dr Francesca Strumia and involves academic colleagues working at the intersection of international and commercial law.
Format and Content
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:
- Herbert Smith Freehills
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
- Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
To conclude the project students prepare a lecture on their findings and experience, which they deliver to second year students in the School of Law on their return. They also produce a written report aimed at the legal profession and academia.
I gained experience within an international commercial law firm in Milan. Overall, the project has enhanced my abilities both personally and professionally.
2016 project team
Research project reports
Five students collected 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.
Nine students worked 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'.
Launched in 2015-2016, the first project team of four students conducted research on three initial questions in Australia (Melbourne, Brisbane) and Europe (Munich, Germany; and Milan, Italy).