Internationalisation is having a significant impact on legal practice in Australia

  • There is no question that internationalisation is having an increasingly significant impact on legal practice in Australia.
  • This impact is most keenly felt amongst the large commercial law firms, which have offices overseas or are part of international law firms.  Most of their work has an international dimension. Internationalisation is already a fact of life for them.
  • But there is also an impact amongst medium and small size firms.  Although this has not been measured, there is fairly widespread agreement that many lawyers need to deal with a dimension from outside the Australian jurisdiction in many of their matters.  This could range from a family law matter where children had been taken outside the jurisdiction, to an investment in a family farm by an overseas company, to the purchase of factory machinery from an overseas supplier.  In addition, it is clear that, while the international work is still concentrated amongst the large Australian law firms, the engagement of small to medium firms in international work has grown in the recent past, and is likely to continue to grow.
  • In summary, the practice of law has changed for many lawyers, and with it the need for their education to change.