Immigration Lawyer in his own firm
Updated: Mar 25
Marco shared with us how he took the risk, and opened his own legal firm to work as an Immigration Lawyer in Italy! He really loves the fact that working in the migration field gives him an opportunity to be in touch with different cultures.
He is 33 years old and has graduated from the University of Bari - he holds a master’s degree in Law. After working in refugee centres in 2018, he decided to go on his own, and opened his own law firm a year later. His firm is fully dedicated to immigration law:
“The main part of my work is to provide clients with judicial and extrajudicial consultancy on a wide range of procedures, such as residence permit applications, visas, international protection (asylum seekers), Italian citizenship applications etc.”
He was aware of the risk but says that things are improving, and that he is very happy with the decision he took. His working day usually consists of checking the agenda, replying to emails, liaising with the public administration to follow up on the procedures, updating the clients, researching, keeping his LinkedIn page up to date with contents and articles, and sometimes also going to the Court to attend hearings.
Marco really likes what he does because it allows him to interact constantly with people from different cultures and origins, which is something he enjoys very much. His work enables him to be involved in a multicultural environment that keeps him curious and enthusiastic, even though he lives in a city that is not big or international in general.
While he was studying, his interests were more with minority rights which he is still very passionate about. He progressively switched to immigration law due to the professional experience he gained, so he is partially working on what he imagined he would. He says there is always an option to cross his current activity more with other legal areas such as minority rights which are often involved, which is why he is still open to restart studying, and perhaps enrolling in another masters programme in the future.
Getting practical experience wherever possible
Finding employment was difficult but Marco was aware of that as he chose a very complicated field, working with the NGOs and international organisations, and knew that was a part of the game. He says practical experience are very important during studies, regardless of the job position a student aspires to:
“Internships are good opportunities to become familiar with the working dynamics and rhythms, and often are occasions to create a network of colleagues that could be always useful in the future.”
After graduation, he decided to collect as much international experience as possible, to broaden his personal and professional perspectives, and learn other languages and cultures. His first move was attending an intensive English language course in Canada. He says that was definitely one of the best decisions he made, as it opened many doors in his professional life.
Dignity is important at any professional level
The main obstacle after graduating was the financial aspect, as he had several traineeships and internships in NGOs and international organisations that were all unpaid. In addition, the legal job market was, and still is saturated in Italy, so it was really hard to find concrete opportunities.
To overcome those obstacles, he started working as a freelance legal consultant in immigration law during his internships. He was working remotely, finding his clients online: “It was not easy at the very beginning but eventually alleviated the financial burden of living abroad (and often in very expensive places like London or Strasbourg!).”
He finds the financial aspect the main issue in the migration field, and believes that first jobs for young professionals, such as internships, fellowships or junior programmes must be adequately remunerated.
“I collected (too) many unpaid work experiences before getting my first salary as a jurist. It is not something about enrichment but rather gratification and dignity. Which is very important at any level in the labour market.” Tips for success
“The migration field is so wide and multidisciplinary that it would be difficult to find a proper tip for future students. I would only say that studying/working in this domain gives motivation by itself as it connects you with many different worlds, cultures, languages and mindsets. So, be open to discover and deal with them with curiosity, for better or worse.“
*INSMS is always looking for interesting career paths of former migration students. If you would like to share your professional history with the network, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject: P2P campaign