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Female Juris Doctor/Native American Speaker/Jobs in Warsaw


ajlawju
16 Jul 2013 #1
I just recently completed my Juris Doctor in the US (University of Florida) but I moved to Warsaw because of my husband. Undergrad, I went to Emory University Goizueta Business School and received my Bachelor in Business Administration. I have experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Seoul, South Korea at the University of Suwon for 1 year (teaching Business English during my last semester) and at an English Speaking academy for little children (Avalon English) for another year. Additionally, I have dual citizenship (Polish and American). I am fluent in Polish although my English vocabulary is far superior from my Polish vocabulary. I have interned at two law firms in Poland during my legal studies (Salans in Warsaw and SPCG in Krakow). Given these factors, I am hoping someone would be able to suggest positions that I may be able to apply to that would pay well and where my experience and education would be receognized. As I can not yet practice law (I'm taking the NY bar in February) and I can't practice Polish law (didn't study Polish law), I am even considering teaching english. I was thinking I could teach business english and/or legal english but I'm not sure how to get into that market and where to market myself best. I would very much appreciate any suggestions that you may have.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
16 Jul 2013 #2
I have experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Seoul, South Korea at the University of Suwon for 1 year (teaching Business English during my last semester) and at an English Speaking academy for little children (Avalon English) for another year.

Pretty much irrelevant. It's unlikely that anyone in Poland will regard Asian experience as being in any way relevant to Poland. Different culture, different methods.

Given these factors, I am hoping someone would be able to suggest positions that I may be able to apply to that would pay well and where my experience and education would be receognized.

The problem is the lack of experience and lack of knowledge of the Polish market. Your experience is pretty much minimal, and your education is nothing special as you aren't qualified in any way to teach.

As I can not yet practice law (I'm taking the NY bar in February) and I can't practice Polish law (didn't study Polish law),

Yes, there's probably no work for you in the legal sector.

I am even considering teaching english.

You've made several bad mistakes in your post - do you really think teaching English is for you? Your lack of qualifications is also a problem.

. I was thinking I could teach business english and/or legal english but I'm not sure how to get into that market and where to market myself best. I would very much appreciate any suggestions that you may have.

I would suggest talking to your husband about what he expects you to do here.
4 eigner 2 | 831
16 Jul 2013 #3
PM me ajlawju, I might be able to help you if you're willing to work in Lublin area.
OP ajlawju
16 Jul 2013 #4
Thank you but until my crate comes in with my stuff (end of November), I don't have a car.

thanks for your feedback. I guess I should have made it clear in my post that I'm not looking for replies that don't address my question. Of course I really appreciate your pointing out to me your personal assessment of my qualifications and a dissection of every sentence I wrote to dissuade me from pursuing any career whatsoever in Poland but that was not what I was asking for.

Regards
Harry
16 Jul 2013 #5
Thank you but until my crate comes in with my stuff (end of November), I don't have a car.

You wouldn't want to drive to Lublin and back in day on a regular basis (it's a two-lane road nearly all of the way).

What does your husband expect you to do here? Frankly you are wasting your qualifications (and the money it cost to get them).
OP ajlawju
16 Jul 2013 #6
My husband owns a company. I am just starting out professionally and the legal hiring market in the States is absolute rubbish right now. This is why I am here, education, experience, and all. My husband doesn't expect anything of me but I can't stand sitting in the house all day playing house wife. I'm a highly educated woman (far more so than every native english speaker poster looking for english teaching jobs that I've seen) that is hoping someone here may know where I can begin a search to find something fulfilling to do during the work week. Where are university job postings? My Juris Doctor qualifies me to teach American law. I can teach how to write an agreement/contract in english so that it makes sense and is clear (it's all about syntax). It's a long shot but I'm not in a hurry and I just want to know where I can start. For example, where should I post about offering transactional/corporate/legal english lessons/tutoring so that polish law students and polish lawyers would see the posting? I know some Polish law students want to do their LLM in the states so I could help them brush up on whatever it is they need brushing up on. Whether it's an american law class or the LSAT.
Harry
16 Jul 2013 #7
Where are university job postings? My Juris Doctor qualifies me to teach American law.

There certainly used to be a course in American law at Center for American Law Studies at the University of Warsaw jointly organized by them and association with the University of Florida, Levin College of law. Not sure if it still runs though. It might be worth getting in touch with them. Lublin is just about doable on the train but I have no idea if either of the universities there run courses in American law. Lodz is also just about doable but I have the same lack of knowledge.

Whether it's an american law class or the LSAT.

LSAT prep would be better I guess.

I'm a highly educated woman (far more so than every native english speaker poster looking for english teaching jobs that I've seen)

cough *English* cough
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
16 Jul 2013 #8
I'm a highly educated woman (far more so than every native english speaker poster looking for english teaching jobs that I've seen)

The thing is that you aren't highly educated according to what employers are looking for. That's the first thing that you need to understand - employers are interested in certain qualifications, and someone walking in and telling them that they're 'highly qualified' when they aren't will just make them laugh at you.

Someone could have a BA in Media Studies and a CELTA - and they will jump ahead of you for that exact reason.

Where are university job postings?

University jobs go to people who are in the know. I assure you that someone turning up fresh off the plane simply hasn't got a chance - unless your skills are somehow unique. Unfortunately, there are plenty of Americans with law degrees abroad, not least because the job market (as you say) is rubbish in the US for such people. Hence - universities can afford to simply sit back and hire someone that they already know for whatever reason.

example, where should I post about offering transactional/corporate/legal english lessons/tutoring so that polish law students and polish lawyers would see the posting?

Again, your lack of experience (as you say above) stands in your way. If you consider PF as a potential place that employers could be looking, you've already lost the job because of your English skills. And before you say anything, I know at least two people on PF have hired people that they met through PF - including myself.

I can teach how to write an agreement/contract in english so that it makes sense and is clear (it's all about syntax).

But can you teach them to write a contract in English that also complies with Polish and European law? That's not so easy, and no American law degree will help you in that respect.

I think you need to consider that in Poland, you're not likely to find anything 'highly paid'.
OP ajlawju
17 Jul 2013 #9
Oops re English. *blushing* Here I am talking myself and my education up while simultaneously (and repeatedly) making such a blatant grammar mistake. LOL. I'm just so used to typing my notes like a million miles a min trying to keep up with profs that most of my typing is hardly intelligible to anyone but myself (and of course rife with grammatical errors). On another note, I graduated from Levin Law so thanks :)

Oh whatever. I guess I'll just have to get on that business idea of mine instead of looking for a job. Thanks for your feedback.

Since we are being such sticklers for grammar and such I think it should be noted that you equated my statement that I was highly educated with highly qualified. I did no such thing. Additionally, in a follow up post I only made reference to the fact that my Juris Doctor qualifies me to teach American law. Which it does and people who lack a Juris Doctor, at least in the US, can't teach it. I also do believe that I could teach how to write a contract that complies with Polish and European Law since that is what I studied at the University of Warsaw during my study abroad program as well as what I did at both Salans and SPCG.

Again, I very much appreciate your commentary but if I had to guess, you're probably less educated than me which is why you're being so aggressive in trying to make me feel inadequate.

Pretty much irrelevant. It's unlikely that anyone in Poland will regard Asian experience as being in any way relevant to Poland. Different culture, different methods.

I am a Pole. I was born in Poland to Polish parents and, even though I am a naturalized US citizen, I am very much "in the know" regarding the Polish culture. My entire family is Polish. I'm not even first generation. So thanks but I'd bet I know more about the Polish culture than the average native English speaker whose exposure to the Polish culture involves getting drunk at Meta and teaching privates. Anyway, I'm hoping there might be a possibility that some employers in Warsaw would not only find my Juris Doctor appealing but also that I am a native English speaker with US citizenship, am fluent in Polish, have Polish citizenship (no working visas required here), and have experience teaching EFL to both advanced students (university level students) as well as beginners (7 year olds who don't understand a single word in English).

I know at least two people on PF have hired people that they met through PF - including myself.

This here is a prime example of syntax making your statement vague. It is also a prime example where a lesson in contract drafting would help to avoid such vagueness. Did you mean that you are among the two people that hired or did you mean that you were hired by one of the two that you know that hired? Very confusing. Imagine this in a contract. YIKES! If what I think you meant was that you were among those hired by one of the two people that you know than the sentence would be less vague if you stated, I know at least two people on PF have hired people, including myself, that they met through PF. Much less confusing :)

*then :)
Meathead 5 | 470
17 Jul 2013 #10
I know some Polish law students want to do their LLM in the states so I could help them brush up on whatever it is they need brushing up on. Whether it's an american law class or the LSAT.

Instead of beating your brains in trying to find someone to hire you, why don't open up your own consulting business? I could never understand these job hunts, people spend so much time on resumes and the like when they could be more productive selling their own business.
Sparks11 - | 335
17 Jul 2013 #11
It's a bit doom and gloom on here. Ajlawju, if you're in Warsaw or near you won't have much trouble finding a job teaching English. There are people here teaching with no university degrees of any kind, and nothing but some crappy, no-name tefl course to their name. Do they get the best teaching jobs? Usually not, but with your education and experience, whether it be super-fitted to the Euro market or not, you will find work. Just start looking now, get ready for Fall and you will be fine. As far as other jobs, who knows? Come and look around , things always pop up. If you take the Celta, you'll be a top-pick for many schools.
OP ajlawju
17 Jul 2013 #12
Instead of beating your brains in trying to find someone to hire you, why don't open up your own consulting business?

I honestly would much prefer this as well but where would I even begin? Where would I advertise something like that? On here? I ask because I'm not exactly tech savvy.

I could never understand these job hunts, people spend so much time on resumes and the like when they could be more productive selling their own business.

I came to this same conclusion only a few hours before you (at 2:52 am) but I appreciate your support.

Come and look around , things always pop up.

Thanks for your feedback. I'm starting to feel a little less bullied by the big bad expat experts living in Poland. Anyway, where should I come to look around. Is there some holy grail message board with job postings that I am unaware of? I mean that very seriously and not at all cheekily.

PM me ajlawju

How? I'm new on here and I didn't see an option to PM you when I clicked on your username. Not sure if you read it, but I tried to answer you in a post in which I commented that I'm carless until my crate comes in from the States.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
17 Jul 2013 #13
most of my typing is hardly intelligible to anyone but myself (and of course rife with grammatical errors).

As I said above, you don't know who is reading PolishForums. To openly admit that 'most' of your typing is intelligible and rife with grammatical errors isn't exactly doing you any favours, is it?

Additionally, in a follow up post I only made reference to the fact that my Juris Doctor qualifies me to teach American law. Which it does and people who lack a Juris Doctor, at least in the US, can't teach it.

You keep applying US rules to Poland. This is not a country known for fair hiring practices.

I also do believe that I could teach how to write a contract that complies with Polish and European Law since that is what I studied at the University of Warsaw during my study abroad program as well as what I did at both Salans and SPCG.

Forgive me for being cynical, but a year abroad combined with internships is highly unlikely to give you a thorough grounding in Polish and European law. It might give you an idea of how the institutions all relate to each other, and you might be able to make sense of a contract - but I doubt that you'd be able to actually write a contract compliant with Polish law. People here study for 8 years to be able to do that - and you think you could write one after a year?

Again, I very much appreciate your commentary but if I had to guess, you're probably less educated than me which is why you're being so aggressive in trying to make me feel inadequate.

I do love when people make mistaken assumptions.

I am a Pole. I was born in Poland to Polish parents and, even though I am a naturalized US citizen, I am very much "in the know" regarding the Polish culture. My entire family is Polish. I'm not even first generation.

Which still doesn't qualify you as having experience. As I said above, Asian experience in teaching isn't really considered to be worth anything in Europe.

So thanks but I'd bet I know more about the Polish culture than the average native English speaker whose exposure to the Polish culture involves getting drunk at Meta and teaching privates.

What does their drinking habits have to do with anything? As I've said above - someone with the CELTA, a poor BA and experience in Europe will always be ahead of you because they're a proven quantity when it comes to English teaching. No-one here is going to be impressed by an American with a law degree - they're looking for people who understand even the basics of classroom management and have a qualification that shows that.

Anyway, I'm hoping there might be a possibility that some employers in Warsaw would not only find my Juris Doctor appealing but also that I am a native English speaker with US citizenship, am fluent in Polish, have Polish citizenship (no working visas required here), and have experience teaching EFL to both advanced students (university level students) as well as beginners (7 year olds who don't understand a single word in English).

You have Asian experience, which isn't particularly well regarded in Poland, not least because the culture difference is immense. Your piece of paper is pretty worthless without work experience behind it, and your lack of real knowledge about Polish law is also a barrier to finding well paying employment. Of course, you can always find a job that pays 30zl an hour in a Callan school.

Is there some holy grail message board with job postings that I am unaware of?

Any good job in Poland doesn't get advertised, in general.

Out of curiosity, what would your salary expectations be? If you give us an idea of what you're willing to accept, perhaps we can point you in the right direction. Would you regard 40zl an hour as an insult?
OP ajlawju
17 Jul 2013 #14
Just stop responding to my post please. I find you rude and really your commentary is useless.

I do love when people make mistaken assumptions.

Country, city Poznań, Poland what can you possibly know about the hiring market in Warsaw?
Znasz j. polski? mówić? tak. pisać? nie. Yikes! You found a job but you question my ability to get one?
Occupation, website: the man with the plan
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Nice plan trolling on PF.
And. I'm. Out.
Harry
17 Jul 2013 #15
And a lot of schools (particularly those inspected by the Min Ed or PASE) simply cannot hire anybody without a recognised TEFL qualification.

You keep applying US rules to Poland. This is not a country known for fair hiring practices.

I wonder what the nostrification process is like for somebody who wants to teach at Polish uni and has a JD.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
17 Jul 2013 #16
You can always try searching for jobs in a traditional way, which is browsing job portals and answering to interesting offers.
You can start from here:

pracuj.pl/praca/
pl.jobrapido.com

create account in goldenline.pl and linkedin.com (don't forget to change your location setting to Poland).

contact universities teaching American Law:

Don't forget to make it obvious in your CV that you have dual citizenship so there is no problems with work permit.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
17 Jul 2013 #17
Just stop responding to my post please. I find you rude and really your commentary is useless.

It's a discussion forum. Then again, how do you think that potential employers will perceive you on here?

what can you possibly know about the hiring market in Warsaw?

It's often said that Poland is a village.

And a lot of schools (particularly those inspected by the Min Ed or PASE) simply cannot hire anybody without a recognised TEFL qualification.

Indeed. But let's not discount the fact that many schools also want the easy life - they don't want to deal with an American who has advanced qualifications (but nothing relevant to English teaching) when they can just hire that British guy straight off the plane with a CELTA and BA. Who will work for less, and who is likely to be less of a headache?

I wonder what the nostrification process is like for somebody who wants to teach at Polish uni and has a JD.

Long winded and tedious. Even getting into a position where you need it nostrificated is likely to be very difficult for someone new in Poland.

To the original poster : have you considered that people on here perhaps have seen it all in their time in Poland? I know one guy who has an MA in English and who can't find anything meaningful - sure, there's plenty of work, but not much decent work out there.
OP ajlawju
17 Jul 2013 #18
To the original poster : have you considered that people on here perhaps have seen it all in their time in Poland? I know one guy who has an MA in English and who can't find anything meaningful - sure, there's plenty of work, but not much decent work out there.

I have a Juris DOCTOR not a Master and yes, I have considered that to be a possibility but I still find your responses to be rude. I don't appreciate it. I wasn't applying to a job by posting on here, rather, I was hoping that someone may have been in a similar situation as myself and would provide me with useful information. Like, for example, the Monitor who responded with links. Perhaps you are right and I will find my job search in Poland to be a nightmare but a criticism of myself was not what I was asking for, rather, I was hoping to receive useful information. Like Harry's allusion to this nostrification process.

I wonder what the nostrification process is like for somebody who wants to teach at Polish uni and has a JD.

Thanks! I really do appreciate that. Now I know that I should look into that. That is useful information unlike everything that you have posted.

It's a discussion forum.

But your comments don't once address the question.

Then again, how do you think that potential employers will perceive you on here?

I can tell that, even if you wanted to hire me, you wouldn't be able to afford me so please stop wasting my time. All you require is a CELTA. I mean, that is if you even have anything to do with hiring Mr. Man With The Plan (To be the biggest troll on PF). Also, someone with my education isn't looking to get hired off of PF. Common now! Don't insult me.

Common

Come on *whoops*
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
17 Jul 2013 #19
I have a Juris DOCTOR not a Master

Doesn't mean particularly much in Poland, particularly as many people have doctorate-level qualifications while working in normal jobs.

I wasn't applying to a job by posting on here

Public presence is everything. I can't imagine there are many Polish-Americans living in Warsaw with a doctorate in Law who had studied abroad in Warsaw for a while - yet this forum is rather well known (for various reasons...) in Poland.

I can tell that, even if you wanted to hire me, you wouldn't be able to afford me so please stop wasting my time.

And this is what I've been getting at - your opinion of your value versus what employers think you are worth are likely to be extremely different. You don't need a doctorate in law to teach English, but you do need a solid pedagogical background in order to get a good job.

All you require is a CELTA.

It's not what I require, it's what the vast majority of reasonable and well paying employers will expect. Sure, there are plenty of fly by night schools out there - but they will also pay buttons and behave neurotically.

Also, someone with my education isn't looking to get hired off of PF.

Why not? There are people on here who are fearsomely well connected in Warsaw - people who are in a position to help you.

If you understand Polish culture as well as you say you do, then you'll understand the heavy reliance on personal networks.
OP ajlawju
17 Jul 2013 #20
There are people on here who are fearsomely well connected in Warsaw - people who are in a position to help you.

Those people that could help me would only care about those qualifications of mine, which you claim are irrelevant.

If you understand Polish culture as well as you say you do, then you'll understand the heavy reliance on personal networks.

My personal network doesn't include CELTA holding BA grads. Sorry.

Public presence is everything.

Says the extremely rude commenter. By the way, employers that are looking to hire someone with my credentials wouldn't be deterred by my responses to you.

Oh, and news flash! I'm posting anonymously.
Harry
17 Jul 2013 #21
Perhaps you are right and I will find my job search in Poland to be a nightmare

In the years since Poland joined the EU I've met several British solicitors (and a barrister if memory serves me correctly) who had come out here with their Polish wife/partner. All fully qualified and, unlike you, with years of experience. All but one has gone back to UK now (with or without the other half) and the one who is still hear was, last I hear, making ends meet by selling things on Allegro.

I can tell that, even if you wanted to hire me, you wouldn't be able to afford me

Do you think that with your lack of experience and Polish qualifications that you'd go in to somewhere like Salans at anything much above junior associate level?

Oh, and news flash! I'm posting anonymously.

Er, how many (currently) unemployed Polish-American women in Warsaw who hold a JD from Levin do you think there are?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
17 Jul 2013 #22
@ajlawju: Are you posting for the first time on a internet forum, that you're surprised by criticism? If you're asking for help/advise then don't start arguments with people giving you some input. Weather you would like it or not. What Harry and Delphiandomine are trying to tell you is that high qualification are worth in Poland less than in the west and not necessarily can give you pass to the teaching profession. Here 50% of people 25 - 35 have high school diploma, many of them graduated few faculties, great majority has master and not so little PhD and still many layers here is unemployed or work for funny money.

I can add that getting job in university is probably harder than in industry, because in Poland PhD from Poland will be valued more than from abroad, and even more are valued connections. Number of young people starting studies drops and number of unemployed PhD of law increases. + probably your American PhD would require some impossible nostrification.

But of course you should try your chances.
Sparks11 - | 335
17 Jul 2013 #23
There was a fellow peddling his legal knowledge around the Unis of Poland (Lodz, Warsaw, Lublin) I believe. I won't give his name but know of him because of people who have taken his classes. He taught American Law and whatever other courses the Unis dreamed up year to year. I have no idea how he got these jobs but I don't think he was any sort of legal genius in the States, more like a guy with a law degree. You could start by contacting the unis and seeing if they need anyone to teach Am. law or any spin-offs of that. As far as the "see what pops up thing" just come here and talk to people, teach in-company courses etc. check the forums, once you get here and start meeting people, they know your quals. etc. You'll be surprised how opportunities start to arise.
cms 9 | 1,255
17 Jul 2013 #24
Ajlawju

Could you send me a private message please - might have something of interest.

Would you be able to get a reference from Salans and a transcript from UF & Emory ?

By the way 80% of what is above is correct even if not presented in a very friendly way. As you look for work emphasize your good points of difference and I think you will get something - two good schools on your resume and an internship with a tough firm plus you speak Polish.
Harry
17 Jul 2013 #25
Could you send me a private message please - might have something of interest.

Did you miss this bit:

Also, someone with my education isn't looking to get hired off of PF. Common now! Don't insult me.

?
cms 9 | 1,255
17 Jul 2013 #26
Yes I did :) was not concentrating during my tea break !
OP ajlawju
17 Jul 2013 #27
Do you think that with your lack of experience and Polish qualifications that you'd go in to somewhere like Salans at anything much above junior associate level?

No. I'd be very much pleased with that. I don't mind starting from the bottom. What I don't like are people being rude.

Are you posting for the first time on a internet forum, that you're surprised by criticism?

Honestly, I get that between his computer games (checked the chat) Delphiandomine needs something to do but I can express my displeasure in being bullied by him, can't I? I guess my biggest mistake was asking an honest question on this forum in hopes that someone might have some useful information. Also, how do I private message people? Do I have to sign up?
delphiandomine 88 | 18,455
17 Jul 2013 #28
Those people that could help me would only care about those qualifications of mine, which you claim are irrelevant.

They certainly are mostly irrelevant for someone that wants to teach.

My personal network doesn't include CELTA holding BA grads. Sorry.

That's why you're sitting at home doing nothing while others are working, isn't it? Sneering at those who might have 'lesser qualifications' won't get you anywhere except staying at home - especially in a country like Poland where people do not like to be made to feel inferior.

By the way, employers that are looking to hire someone with my credentials wouldn't be deterred by my responses to you.

They certainly may not be too impressed with your haughty manner towards people. Like I keep saying, Poles do not like to be made to feel inferior.

Oh, and news flash! I'm posting anonymously.

In a village such as Poland? Not really. Can't be many people lurking around Warsaw with the same as you have.

What Harry and Delphiandomine are trying to tell you is that high qualification are worth in Poland less than in the west and not necessarily can give you pass to the teaching profession. Here 50% of people 25 - 35 have high school diploma, many of them graduated few faculties, great majority has master and not so little PhD and still many layers here is unemployed or work for funny money.

Thank you Monitor, that puts it better than I did. It's also worth pointing out that there is a perception that PhD's are expensive - and thus they won't get interviews for that reason.

I can add that getting job in university is probably harder than in industry, because in Poland PhD from Poland will be valued more than from abroad, and even more are valued connections.

I've been told by several people that to get a good job in law requires personal connections. I wouldn't believe it, but I've been told by several lawyers that they all worked for 3 years during their practice for free in order to get qualified here.

I have no idea how he got these jobs but I don't think he was any sort of legal genius in the States, more like a guy with a law degree.

He probably was wise enough to suck up to everyone that he met ;)

I don't mind starting from the bottom.

Is money important to you?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
17 Jul 2013 #29
"Here 50% of people 25 - 35 have high school diploma," I meant university diploma
Harry
17 Jul 2013 #30
No. I'd be very much pleased with that. I don't mind starting from the bottom.

You do know what you'll be earning there and how much you'll be expected to work, don't you?

What I don't like are people being rude.

Then you're in the wrong game and won't last too long as a junior associate at a big firm.


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