Studio Legale Sutti began to interview foreign candidates in its recruitment operations from a very early stage, be they admitted or not in the jurisdictions where we are active, on an equal basis and under the same criteria as their Italian (or Serbian, Bulgarian, Romanian) colleagues. In fact, announcements to this effect have been floated on the Internet since 1996. Nowadays, some temporary secondment and summer clerkship slots for foreign lawyers and legal trainees/students are also offered.
Foreign candidates seeking a permanent position with us should, however, already be fully admitted in their own jurisdiction, with at least a basic command of spoken and written Italian, and be motivated and willing and able to live and work permanently in one of the country where we are currently active (please not that a general policy exists which provides that our overseas representative offices in London and Tokyo are never staffed by resident local lawyers, as this would be in contrast to their explicit mission).
Under such circumstances, foreign applicants are offered exactly the same position and career opportunities as SLS’s new Italian members and may begin playing an important role early on with respect to the management of matters and projects related to their country and jurisdiction, as well as to contacts with local counsel.
As a matter of fact, while many foreign lawyers working for Italian law firms are doomed to remain Associates or Of Counsel for all eternity, or worse are hired as little more than legal translators, and in any event are practically barred from partnership, this is not the case with us.
One big difference affecting foreign colleagues and prospective colleagues is that while we do not currently have a “stage”, internship or temporary legal clerkship programme for Italian trainees and law students, and even less for Italian practising lawyers, we have a number of slots available in Milan to young foreign jurists wishing to invest in a temporary working experience with Studio Legale Sutti, in order to improve their Italian and their knowledge of our legal system.
While our linguistic and other requirements are in this case much attenuated, precedence is given to whom we call Visiting Associates, i.e., full members or trainees of foreign law firms interested in developing their contacts with us or which already have some business going on with SLS.
Please note that we may be in a position to provide those who join us for temporary work experience with some assistance regarding their accomodation in Milan or in the city’s suburbs.
In particular, two kinds of programmes exist, one for candidates wishing to undertake work experience with us for a period going from a minimum of six weeks to a maximum of ten weeks, which is ideal for Visiting Associates and for law students, the other for a more extensive involvement in our practice, lasting from six to nine months, which is especially appropriate for future colleagues in their statutory training period (e.g., German Referendäre) who are deadly serious about acquiring an extensive Italian legal training.
All those who have successfully completed a working period with us are of course entitled to a “certificate”, in the form of a letter of reference signed by the Firm’s Managing Partner, discussing in detail their achievements, their performance and the training undergone. On the basis of our extensive knowledge of the international market of legal services, we also offer them our best advice with respect to their career, and help them to investigate and assess the chances they may be offered.
We are confident that this change in the policy in force until 1995 – which was to concentrate all available in-house training resources on practitioners destined to remain with the Firm permanently – is actually contributing to an increase in cultural and practical exchanges with colleagues belonging to different jurisdictions, thus enhancing creativity and open-mindedness even for the purely domestic part of our work. In addition, it will certainly improve the personal interaction and mutual understanding between the Firm’s members and colleagues or future colleagues, with whom we trust we shall have further opportunities to collaborate once their sojourn in Italy is over.
In fact, among those having spend a period of time with us many have already obtained significant positions in their own jurisdictionss, all have kept strong ties with Firm, and some even… decided to stay, after having been offered a permanent postion with us.