Traditional and more established sectors like law, banking, and medicine are pretty hard to break into if you don't speak Dutch. As these are people-focused fields, an international's inability to master the language puts them at a great disadvantage. Law especially is a pretty popular and competitive field in the Netherlands. With so few domains open to internationals, finding a way in can actually be the most difficult. Spotlight on working at Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers, an internationally-oriented company with over 15 different nationalities in its Amsterdam office. Founded in 1952, Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers started out as a small family company. It is now one of the largest B2B recovery firms in Europe covering everything from international debt recovery to credit management.
Traditional fields of law here in the Netherlands are pretty much off-limits if you don’t know the language. Fields such as labour law or criminal law naturally require mastery of the Dutch language. Internationally-open domains are extremely competitive. They also tend to require 2-3 years of experience for a basic entry level position.
Now, upon first glance, debt recovery doesn’t seem to be the most engaging or fascinating field out there. Why would you focus on debt when you could be handling mergers, divorces or maritime trade? In reality, debt collection pulls on a range of different soft skills that are required in any practice of law. The same strategizing and negotiation skills required in business are combined with the basic empathy that is required of family lawyers. Being a debt-recovery lawyer requires incredible amounts of foresight, level-headedness, and adaptability. It also draws on knowledge and experience of the world in order to help international businesses adapt to the Netherlands.
Bierens is at the forefront of those pushing for inclusivity in the hiring policies of law firms here in the Netherlands. The firm recognizes that dealing with cultural complexities and the needs of an international clientele starts with fostering an international environment. Their Amsterdam office is not only incredibly welcoming but is filled with a diverse group of people from all horizons. Everyone is open to learning with and through others. Not only does their recruitment platform offer positions only in English but it actively promotes international offers. Each post is also translated into the relevant language. Most firms limit themselves to hiring Dutch people who have acquired a significant international experience. On the contrary, Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers searches for the creativity found outside of the Dutch experience.
Working at Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers gives you the opportunity to deploy your ingenuity and negotiation skills all the while remaining in a multicultural environment. Imagine working in either English or your native language and acting as the expert of your home country! While traditionally another company might hire a multilingual Dutch lawyer, Bierens goes the extra mile. Bierens Debt Recovery Lawyers really fosters cooperation and mutual growth. Expect lively and entertaining lunch conversations with people who are eager to share the difference of their experience. Working at Bierens is a sure way to refine your professional skills and dive head-first into the complexity of the practice of law. It's where you can truly be recognized as an international and find a workplace environment that feels like home.
All my previous experience (studies and work) was primarily focused on Criminal Law. I joined Bierens in an attempt to widen my horizon and learn more about the commercial side of law. An added bonus of joining Bierens is the fact that the Amsterdam office is a multicultural working environment, which given my background is the perfect fit for me.
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