I’m a fourth year corporate lawyer from Singapore and it’s been my dream to work in Japan. I’ve been learning Japanese on my own for 5 years and have no problem communicating with my Japanese friends. Do I stand a chance of landing a legal job in Japan, preferably in Tokyo? どうぞ宜しくお願いします。
Thank you very much for reaching out to us. Currently, it is difficult for non-Japanese lawyers to land a legal role in Japan, especially with the pandemic going on. While many law firms/companies here are indeed open to consider foreign lawyers, most of them tend to prioritize candidates who fulfill the following 3 criteria:-
(1) Residing in Japan
(2) Strong business level Japanese, and
(3) Actual legal experience in Japan
With the borders remaining closed, there is very little chance for new working visas to be issued. We hope the situation gets better soon but for the time being, we would suggest you to play it safe – stay in Singapore and make a move to a Japanese law firm/company with a local branch. With a higher chance to work with their Japanese legal team and with more exposure to Japanese legal matters, it would be easier for you to either request for an internal transfer to their Japanese headquarters, or make your next leap to Japan after 1.5-2 years.
If you wish to know more, we are happy to arrange a call for you to speak with our consultants.