In my 32 years of practice in Milan, Italy, with active involvement in domestic and international business law, I’ve sometimes wondered what my colleagues overseas may have been missing by limiting themselves to domestic practice only.
There are countries—such as those around the Mediterranean Basin—where the very location, geography, heritage, and culture produce a more internationally minded citizenry. On the other hand, there are countries—such as the United States, Russia, and China—where the size of territories involved and the use of a national language have led to a more domestic focus. Certainly, the United States, as the world’s leading economy, is internationally minded, but international legal practice is substantially confined to the East Coast and to such lighthouse centers out West as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Elsewhere, there are very few domestic attorneys doing international work.