Cecilia Canepa knew she wanted to be a partner someday.
But accomplishing that at a law firm in Latin America would be helped by a master of law degree and a stint at a U.S. firm.
So Canepa, an associate in corporate and finance transactions at Miranda & Amado in Lima, Peru, packed her bags. After completing her master's in Chicago, Canepa became a foreign law clerk in Greenberg Traurig's program for foreign attorneys.
It's a short-term job that she hopes will help her meet long-term goals.
"This is something that lawyers seeking master's degrees are looking for and something firms in Latin America are encouraging associates to do," said Canepa, who joined the program about 10 months ago and has been an attorney for six years. "Coming here and doing an LL.M. and then working for a law firm for a year gives you perspective as to the expectations from a U.S. legal standpoint of any cross-border transaction that has a U.S. component. … It's not that having the LL.M. or having the year in the U.S. is a requirement, but it definitely gives you a leg up in the process, a big leg up," for making partner.
That dynamic can benefit law firms as well, shareholders at Greenberg Traurig said.
The firm selects about seven participants each year for its foreign law clerk program in Miami, which is open to lawyers with law degrees from outside the United States and a master of law degree from an accredited U.S. law school.