First and foremost, even though the prospect of more school seems daunting at this point, if you want to make a career as a lawyer and have the option of living and working in Munich, it may be worth going that extra mile and getting certified in Germany. But, that is a choice you will want to make after you have spent some time there, so here are a few ideas for you in the meantime. Some do involve teaching English, but it may not be in the context you are imagining:
- Teaching law at a university. English is the language of instruction at many institutions of the world these days, especially at the graduate level.
- Work online as a contract lawyer with a US employer
- Take language courses in Munich while teaching English to executives part-time. I have a friend in London, UK who earns $1,200 per day teaching English to executives one-on-one.
- Alternatively, teach English to German lawyers and use these contacts to make links in your field of work.
- Specialize and become an international law consultant [in Public International Law (PIL)] or private sector law. Europe is at your doorstep; your client could be any international organization. You could start by pairing yourself up as a junior consultant with an international law expert in your field of work.
- Law is surely not your only interest. Consider interning, volunteering or working in a field that interests you, but where your skills will come in handy. Consider an NGO or private firm.
- Consider freelancing ideas listed in The Traveling Spouse: Why Work? and Why 50+ Workers Should Go Abroad (for registered users).
- Take time off and enjoy Munich!
I have bar membership in two states and will soon be starting my career as a lawyer. My partner is from Munich and I’d like to move there with him for a period of time. I don’t want to start all over and qualify as a lawyer in Germany, but I’m determined to do something I am passionate about. I don’t like corporate law, so working with a big American firm’s Munich office doesn’t excite me. How would you suggest I explore work possibilities? What can I do besides teach English? I feel that I have more to offer than that at this point in my life.
-Salima, 30, Austin, TX