Why You Should Go to London

If you’re thinking about heading to London for a semester or year and wondering how a semester away might impact your job search, I am here to tell you that going to London could be the best decision you ever made for your career.

Early last week, I spoke with Isy Leblanc, Senior Associate in KPMG’s London office, 2013 Notre Dame Law School graduate, and London programme participant himself, about a very unique internship opportunity available to NDLS London Programme participants. You can read more about Isy’s career path here.

Notre Dame Law students, who have taken federal income tax, have the chance to intern at KMPG’s London office one day a week while they are studying in London.

By way of background,  KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. They operate in 155 countries and have more than 174,000 people working in member firms around the world.

The KPMG U.S Tax practice in London provides an array of U.S. tax advice, operational tax and compliance services direct from London to clients based in Europe and the Middle East to meet their compliance requirements and achieve their tax objectives in relation to their international operations. KPMG’s U.S. Tax practice professionals have deep technical knowledge of tax and a keen understanding of changing business conditions in jurisdictions worldwide, which allows them to provide specialized services to support their clients’ international activities.

KPMG’s U.S. tax practice in London is unique within the London market, made up of a group of highly experienced and qualified US international tax practitioners

KPMG’s U.S. Tax practice is currently comprised of around 25 members, most of whom are U.S. qualified attorneys, meaning they have graduated from a U.S. law school and passed the bar in the United States. The three partners that run the group are part of KPMG’s US member firm’s Washington National Tax practice, the technical core of the firm’s US tax practice that comprises senior-level professionals with noteworthy experience in international tax and the taxation of transactions and financial products. The practice also has a tax compliance component that is run by CPAs.

Isy says that KPMG would like to have a Notre Dame Law student intern in the future, who is focusing on a tax track while studying in London. He says that the KPMG internship would be ideal for a student with a background in tax who has already taken at minimum a federal income tax class and preferably some advanced tax classes.

He says that the internship would provide excellent exposure for students. The work we see in London is oftentimes at a high level of sophistication, especially in the alternative investment space, and experiencing firsthand the array of tax services we provide would be invaluable for those considering a career in tax.

Isy says that a lot of law school is academic and students sometimes fail to appreciate the many commercial considerations at the heart of structuring a transaction that are imperative to providing clients with commercially viable legal advice.

On top of the internship, KPMG is hoping to offer an international tax class in London starting Spring 2018.

KPMG’s U.S. Tax practice in London is constantly looking for qualified and talented candidates with an interest in London to join their ever-growing team.

If you’re not interested in tax, there are plenty of other great internship opportunities available. Going to London is great for your career if you do an internship consistent with your planned career path while you’re studying there. So take a look at some of the great internship opportunities that are available to London Programme participants:


Orrick is a global law firm with a focus on the technology, energy and infrastructure, and financial sectors. Its wide-ranging practice areas include commercial transactions, litigation, and compliance.


 Hardwicke is a set of chambers with barristers specializing in commercial, construction, insurance and property law. Notre Dame’s contact there, Mark Engleman specializes in intellectual property and has hosted students interested in that area of law.

The Open Society Foundation

The Open Society Justice Initiative uses law to protect and empower people around the world, supporting the values and work of the Open Society Foundations founded by George Soros. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, they strive to secure legal remedies for human rights abuses, and promote effective enforcement of the rule of law.

Their efforts focus on accountability for international crimes, racial discrimination and statelessness, criminal justice reform, abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, the promotion of freedom of information and expression, and combating natural resource–related corruption.

JD Spicer Zeb Solicitors

 JD Spicer Zeb is a solicitors firm with a national practice with over 80 lawyers and support staff covering complex and high profile work across England and Wales. They are consulted internationally and regularly act in high profile cases covered in the media and are known for their substantial experience of complex fraud and exceptionally serious criminal cases.  Their work spans from crime and fraud to terrorism, extradition, prison law, family law, personal injury and immigration.

NNU Immigration

NNU Immigration provides US immigration support to a wide range of clients across all industry sectors. The firm was founded by Notre Dame law alumna, Nita Upadhye.  Her firm provides tailored, high-level service for companies and individuals requiring employer-sponsored visas, investor visas, criminal waivers of inadmissibility, green card status, abandonment of green card status, naturalization, and renunciation of US citizenship.  They specialize exclusively in US Immigration law. This is normally a full year placement.

Three Crowns LLP

Three Crowns LLP is located in London, Paris and Washington DC, Three Crowns is a firm dedicated to international arbitration—commercial, investment-treaty, and inter-State.

Withers LLP  

Withers Worldwide has offices globally.  Our contact there, Jaime McLemore, graduated cum laude from Notre Dame Law School and participated in the London Programme. Jaime advises on US and international tax and estate planning for individuals, trusts and estates. She advises clients with regard to US tax compliance and assists them through the US voluntary disclosure programs.

Laura Devine Solicitors

Laura Devine Solicitors is an award-winning boutique immigration firm recognised as one of the foremost immigration practices in the UK (ranked in ‘Band 1’ by legal directories). The firm comprises 50 dedicated staff and the partners are renowned as leading immigration experts.

The firm provides specialist advice on all aspects of immigration to the UK and US, and European free movement assisting individuals, families, SMEs and corporate clients including but not limited to, finance, consulting, manufacturing, IT, travel, hospitality, retail, pharmaceutical, education, entertainment, fashion and sports.

We offer interns the opportunity to gain experience within a UK law firm within one of our legal teams, typically comprising a partner (or senior solicitor), qualified solicitor, trainee and paralegal.  Each team works on a diverse range of clients, from managing large corporate to SMEs and individuals handling a wide variety of cases from intra-company transfers to investors, students, family based applications and human rights claims.  Interns will gain practical experience in legal tasks e.g. conducting legal research, drafting advice and applications, liaising with government bodies and attending client meetings.

Interns are exposed to a variety of different areas and it is hoped they will gain valuable experience to assist with their future career choices.  Legal research, drafting, written, verbal communication and negotiation skills will all be enhanced together with knowledge of the UK immigration system.

All work will be supervised and where time allows, feedback given directly to the intern on a case by case basis.  We are experienced at hosting interns and provide them with an opportunity to observe a leading boutique law firm and gain high quality experience, having access to leading lawyers in the sector.

Interns will attend client meetings and be exposed to in-house training and networking events.  Our lawyers hold monthly technical update meetings where they discuss changes to law and policy.  Immigration law is a fast moving area of law and it is essential our lawyers have first class knowledge and stay abreast of the changes.

Rodney Dixon QC, Temple Garden Chambers

Rodney Dixon practices both internationally and domestically in the fields of international law, public law, and human rights. He acts on behalf of Governments, political leaders, military commanders, international organisations, companies, NGOs, and victims. He specialises in public international law and international criminal law before all international, regional and national courts. Domestically, his expertise is in administrative and public law particularly in cases concerning foreign relations, the military, terrorism, public inquiries, extradition and mutual assistance, education, and health and safety.

Rodney Dixon’s international work covers all international criminal courts for trial, appeal and review proceedings; Privy Council cases; UN and civil claims; bilateral investment treaty matters; territorial and border disputes; international inquiries and investigations; actions before the International Court of Justice (ICJ); applications before the European Court of Human Rights and before the African Commission and African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights; and, private international law cases.

US Embassy: Office of European Litigation

The Office of European Litigation supervises and directs all civil litigation in Europe and the Caucasus to which the U.S. is a party. None of the United States’ federal departments or agencies (including, for example, the Departments of State and Defense) have a juridical personality separate from the U.S. as sovereign.  Therefore, any party that claims to be injured by a government department or agency must sue the United States, which in turn can only be represented by the Department of Justice.  Local counsel is retained in all these jurisdictions to undertake conduct of the case and appear on behalf of the United States in the courts of the forum state. The subject matter of disputes varies as greatly as do the diplomatic and overseas military interests of the United States.

Interns are allocated a number of tasks and projects including some short term litigation support and some longer term research.  The general aim is to set out a range of work so that interns can experience some of the variety of the office and have a number of ongoing responsibilities.

Prospective candidates for this internship should have a demonstrable interest in world affairs and international law. In addition, an interest in or study of European Law is desirable. The time commitment is approximately 12 hours a week.

Islington Law Centre

For the past 40 years Islington Law Centre has played a central role in providing access to justice for the local community. Our experienced solicitors and caseworkers provide essential specialist advice and other legal services with the help of dedicated volunteers.

Islington has high levels of poverty, contrary to its public image. 34% of the 40,000 children and young people who live in Islington live in poverty – the second highest in London. Against this background ILC has continued to offer high quality, personalised services that help our clients achieve real improvements to their situations. This includes supporting well over one thousand clients each year as well as providing telephone advice and outreach sessions on issues relating to debt, education, employment, housing, immigration and benefits.

Our Immigration Unit provides advice in all aspects of Asylum and ECHR Rights law from initial applications to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, the higher courts and sometimes the European Court on Human Rights.

All aspects of immigration law, including entry clearance applications, applications for leave to remain outside and within the immigration rules, related appeals, and all appeals in the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and the Higher Courts including Challenging detention, Bail Applications, Judicial Review, Nationality Law, and Right of free movement in the EEA.

Typical tasks an intern might be asked to undertake as part of their placement are:

  • Casework:  conduct legal and evidential research; contribute to drafting advice letters and covering letters or representations to be submitted in conjunction with immigration- or initial/fresh asylum applications.
  • Administrative:  photocopy, make telephone calls, write short letters, send faxes, compile indexes, chronologies and bundles; billing and other file administration.
  • The research typically requested will include specific country information as well as relevant policy and law in relation to cases involving Law Centre clients.
  • Court: Attending Court for appeal hearings, and to issue proceedings at the Tribunal and High Court.
  • Client Interviews: Sitting in on Client interviews in order to take notes and draft instructions if needed.
  • Individuals with a commitment to work in international relations and the law and publicly funded immigration and asylum in particular will benefit from both the casework and administrative experience gained in terms of pursuing future careers in the international field and in the law.



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