LLB graduate, passed the NY Bar - now what opportunities await him or her in NYC?

By crm042 in NY Bar Examination - July 2009 on Jan 18, 2009

Ever noticed how difficult it is to get a paralegal job in New York? Most firms require at least 2 years or so experience. What are the realistic chances for an LLB graduate who has passed the NY Bar Examination to get a job as a paralegal, let alone a job as an Attorney?

Lets face it, the JD ought to be considered parallel with an LLB from the UK (or any other jurisdiction - not to be taken literally), but in reality is that really the case? No! Notwithstanding the differences in the legal systems, anyone who passes the NY Bar, evidently has  demonstrated an understanding of the US legal system and whilst a JD graduate, naturally, would be expected to be more orientated, he or she would have been tested by the same NY Board of Examiners as an LLB graduate from another jurisdiction.

It irritates me that an LLB graduate is seen less qualified than his JD counterpart - this may not be reflected in literature, but in the real world, many would argue that an LLB graduate is at a huge disadvantage, even in circumstances where he or she takes an LLM in American legal studies to become more familiar with the said system.

So, you have a dream of working in the Big Apple, you have no experience but you are a qualified Attorney by virtue of passing the NY Bar.... you cant get a paralegal job to ascertain the required experience because you are lacking the experience....what do you do?  Contacts are non existent.....what do you do?

I propose this idea, let all students and Attorneys on this site who are in the same predicament establish contact, form a company (easier than it seems) and show the New York firms that we are far capable....Lol

Seriously, in today's world, the issues mentioned herein are cause for concern for the aspirant and ambitious lawyer who wants to experience life in New York.

I look forward to any comments, criticism, proposals or recommendations.


AB24, Jan 25, 2012 03:31

Hi there,

I have completed both the LLB and the LLM, and now contemplating whether to pursue the NY bar or the LPC. I, as well as most of you on here dream to practice law in NYC, but failed to obtain relevant information to suggest employability.

Since most post were written 2 years ago, I was wondering whether the market has now changed by any chance, especially now that many institutions in the UK offer the NY bar course.

Could you please also address the possibility of getting a legal career in NY, and in American law firms (based in the UK)? And, whether one needs to complete both the LPC and NY bar exams, as most students I have read about, done so. Further, out of curiosity the likelihood of obtaining a paralegal position, before completing the course (whether anyone here has done so)

Thank you, this would help a great deal, given that I was hoping to apply for the exam commencing this July.

oaphill, Jan 23, 2012 01:48

I have an LLB and an American LLM and my application to sit the New York Bar Exam was denied. This was very disturbing because several colleagues of mine with an LLB were able to sit for the NY Bar Exam taking the same route I took. However, I am currently enrolled in a second LLM program. My plan now is to maybe take the DC bar exam and then after 5 years motion into NY or find a school that can convert my LLM to a JD. I have not had difficulties obtaining jobs but not being barred in NY prevents promotions. Do anyone know of any school in NY that converts the LLM degree to a JD?

Aldo Alvarez, May 17, 2010 04:58

Christopher A, California allow to sit for its bar exam graduates from correspondence/online JD degrees. On the other hand I have read that there are reciprocity agreements between NY and California for practicing attorneys in its jurisdiction, not sure if it includes attorneys with online/correspondence JDs.

Jho, Mar 04, 2010 14:31

Hi Nic1746:
Are you from the Philippines?

naeem, Feb 18, 2010 12:56

can anyone let me know about the law schools of nyc keeping in mind, where the tuition is decent, study is good and you dont have to work too hard to get through......................iam a rookie.......fresh off the boat from india.
thanks alot

Christopher A., Sep 14, 2009 17:25

Oh well--I suppose this settles the question:


Law degrees obtained by way of correspondence, external, internet or self study do not qualify an individual to take the New York bar examination.

Christopher A., Sep 14, 2009 17:17

I'm American from NYC, and currently work as an editor in the IP department at a law firm in a SE Asian country. I do not have a JD, LLB, or LLM, but am thinking of doing an online LLM w/ U Edinburgh (no LLB required) or an online LLB w/LSE. Any sense which would be the better route, as I plan to return to NYC at some point and take the NY Bar? Thanks.

crm042, Aug 27, 2009 19:57

MANMEET SINGH - THIS IS FOR YOU:- As taken from the following site: http://www.nybarexam.org/Eligible/Eligibility.htm

Now, you should be able to ascertain whether your LLB(Hons) from India will suffice. Best of luck.

520.6 Study of law in foreign country; required legal education.

(a) General. An applicant who has studied in a foreign country may qualify to take the New York State bar examination by submitting to the New York State Board of Law Examiners satisfactory proof of the legal education required by this section.

(b) Legal education.
(1) The applicant shall show fulfillment of the educational requirements for admission to the practice of law in a country other than the United States by successful completion of a period of law study at least substantially equivalent in duration to that required under subdivisions (d) and (e) of section 520.3 of this Part, in a law school or schools each of which, throughout the period of the applicant's study therein, was recognized by the competent accrediting agency of the government of such other country, or of a political subdivision thereof, as qualified and approved; and

(i) that such other country is one whose jurisprudence is based upon the principles of the English Common Law, and that the program and course of law study successfully completed by the applicant were the substantial equivalent of the legal education provided by an approved law school in the United States; or

(ii) if applicant does not meet the durational equivalency requirements of subdivision (b)(1) of this section but has at least two years of substantively equivalent education, or if applicant does not meet the substantive equivalency requirements of subdivision (b)(1)(i) of this section, that applicant has successfully completed a full-time or part-time program consisting of a minimum of 20 semester hours of credit, or the equivalent, in professional law subjects, which includes basic courses in American law, in an approved law school in the United States; or

(2) The applicant shall show admission to practice law in a country other than the United States whose jurisprudence is based upon principals of English Common Law, where admission was based upon a program of study in a law school and/or law office recognized by the competent accrediting agency of the government of such other country and which is durationally equivalent yet substantively deficient under subdivision (b)(1)(i) of this section, and that such applicant has successfully completed a full-time or part time program consisting of a minimum of 20 semester hours of credit, or the equivalent, in professional law subjects, which includes basic courses in American law, in an approved law school in the United States.

(c) Proof required. The applicant shall submit to the New York State Board of Law Examiners such proof of compliance with the provisions of this section as the board may require.

crm042, Aug 27, 2009 19:50

I am in full support of forming a study group. After all, this might be the most important examination that we'll ever take...

Shweta Singh, Aug 14, 2009 07:27

Hi guys I'm planning to take NYBE in Feb 2010 but right now I'm pursuing my LL.M in California....lets form a study group...what do you guys have to say to that?

Kaur, Aug 13, 2009 20:05

Hi ag25

I am sitting the NYBE in Feb 2010 and would be interested in being part of a study group.

From the sounds of it, the exam is very difficult but I think if a few of us work together/share notes and study hard (!), we should be able to pass.

Are you in NY?

ag25, Aug 08, 2009 01:49

Is anyone taking the exam in Feb 2010 and wanting to set up a study group?? If so let me know. Going to order the books and make a start...this month! Can't afford more crazy fees for courses, so this one will be complete self-study...wish me luck!?!!!

Dawn D, Jul 17, 2009 18:32

Hi Morrigan,

Thanks for responding. I'm planning to apply to UWI - Hugh Wooding to do the LEC next year. I'm a Grenada national (also British). We will be relocating back to Greanda so I do not have a choice to do the LPC/BVC in UK. Furthermore, I do not wish to, as my intention is to parctice in the Cariabbean region. I
I have been told that the entrance exam for LEC is tough.
Any info, you or anyone else can provide would be greatly appreciated.
You can response via this post or email

Look forward in hearing from you in due course.

Dawn D

Manmeet si..., Jun 26, 2009 18:18

Hi. i have completed my LL.B(Hons.) degree in India recently. I have secured a seat at the PSU dickinson School of Law in the LL.M in the American Legal System for Foreign Lawyers. Eventually I want to take the New York bar exam. On the NY state board website it says one need's 20 credits of american education with basic courses in American Law to sit for the NY Bar. So why are so many people talking about taking or being eligible to sit for the NY Bar with an LL.B(Hons.) degree, without gaining 20 credits??? If that's the case, is my pursuing the LL.M, gonna be a futile effort, considering that with my degree I am eligible to sit for the NY bar as such??

Erkan, Jun 17, 2009 21:41

Good article:
US Bar Exam FAQ, by Ilona Stanley

crm042, Jun 09, 2009 10:29

Firstly, I have thoroughly read through the many threads to my blog and I must say that I am utterly satisfied with the responses; I have gained a wealth of information from my fellow members - for which I am grateful.

I have made a few phone calls to a number of American Agencies, based in New York that specialize in legal recruitment. I made it clear that I held an LLB (Hons) degree and that I was eligible to sit the NY State Bar Examination. The main concern was lack of experience; this led to them consisdering mainly, if not only, 'entry level jobs'.

I would say, irrespetive of how qualified you are, if you want to work in New York City, take any entry level job that you can find in the legal field, do the best to make a positive impact, learn the practical skills, explore any development opportunities and believe me, it wont be long before you establish a network of contacts. Once you have done that, if you did not already sit the NY Bar, you will feel more comfortable sitting it, knowing that you have gained some practical skills and knowledge relevant to the subject matter. Conversely, if you have already sat the NY Bar, then you would gearing yourself up to land a fairly decent job as an Attorney notwithstanding the need, at some stage to do an LLM in a specialized area.

So my fellow members, be it a paralegal, legal secretary or a mere legal assistant, do not hesitate to grasp the opportunity, primarily in the current financial cliamate. The pay is not that great but it will worth it in the long run...

Any members living in NY who hold an LLB (Hons) degree or equivalent, considering the NY Bar Examination? If yes, lets establish contact and take on NY with all we've got....

Givemeajob..., May 12, 2009 22:41

squitch - it was really tedious, I had to spend at least 8 hours a day for 2-3 months and it had to be SOLID studying. I took Pieper Bar Review which is primarily aimed at foreign students and I really enjoyed the course. I used some of the bar bri materials to consolidate my Pieper revision. I passed the bar exam though, and as a foreign student on the first attempt thats a pretty decent achievement. I am now off to sit my LLM at an ivy league university in the hope of getting a job in NYC.

morrigan, May 09, 2009 08:25

dawn d....in order to be able to do the 6 months training at a law firm u need to be a national of the country..i can recheck this information for you becos i am now filing the million and 1 forms to be admitted...are u a national of any caribbean country??? to do the 2 yr lec..if u are not a uwi graduate then u have to write the entrance exam to get into one of the 3 law schools in the caribbean...and its pretty tough..which is why students with a uk llb prefer to go the route of the lpc or bvc..well send me ur info and i'll give u all the info ihave

squitch, Apr 22, 2009 00:25

d-rainmaker: i also filled out the eligibility form and got the letter from my university certifying my academic completion and requisite hours. completion of the LLB satisfies the academic requirements for sitting the NY bar exam, therefore you don't need to worry about the LPC. as for my degree I ordered an official transcript stating my degree title from my uni and will send that, as i wanted to keep my degree too!

givemeajob LJ- i am doing the NY bar in july before i start my LPC in september, and I was just wondering how bad an experience sitting the exam was?? and how did you study for it? did you do the barbri review course?

Givemeajob..., Apr 09, 2009 01:04

I have sat the New York Feb 2009 Exam, I also have an LLB from the UK (2.1) and want to avoid the training contract issue.

I am going to sit my LLM at Cornell University this fall in hope that it solidifies my chances of getting a job in the US after I finish. I have been told it is very difficult to obtain a job in the US especially with the job market in this situation. But just keep in mind that UK people should not be painted with the same as brush as many other LLM students as a main focus point for firms recruiting is the language barrier and those from the UK should satisfy this requirement fine.

Just keep at it, make yourself stand out and something will come along eventually. Otherwise I don't know what to do lol

yasmiin, Apr 07, 2009 15:25

Do what I did, take clinic course throughout your study, go for internship for a year after your graduation and hope for the best!lol

DawnD, Apr 06, 2009 00:05


I wanted to check if one does the LPC, is it that they only need 6 months intern/training with a practice falling within UWI region.
I\'m interested in practising in the Eastern Cariabbean region, however was informed that if I did not complete the LPC then I would have to do the 2 year cert in legal education.
any info would be useful.

d_rainmake..., Mar 27, 2009 09:47

I am interested in taking the NY bar exam, I have a U.K. LLB, 2:1, but have taken the LPC. I am in the middle of filling my eligibility form, and im not quite sure what to say for question 5: whether I have completed the educational requirements for admission to practice law in the foreign country? Im not sure if the LLB is enough, or I need the LPC..Also anyone have experience of them accepting a copy of your degree (its kinda hard to give them my original knowing i wont get it back)

Khairul, Mar 23, 2009 16:27

LLB, LLM and MBA here planning to take July 2009 Bar Exam. I agree with forming A Law firm with Foreign attorneys.

morrigan, Mar 23, 2009 02:26

with reference to doing the Ny state Bars.. I completed my lpc and two months from being called to the bar in trinidad..fortunately its alot easier for us here instead of obtaining a two year training contract we just need to intern with a firm for 6 months....i am contemplating writing the ny state bars but i do know there is a requirement for 20 hours american law..any idea on aba approved schools i can do it at and the cost

Oundo Godfrey, Mar 17, 2009 07:42

The New york bar results you have achieved will make you succeed in life wherever you go ,you just need to settle down and think a little.

KT, Mar 16, 2009 16:52

To usa_law,

I did read the SRA requirements and am fully aware of the QLTT conversion test. Regarding the legal experience, this may or may not be correct, but I was advised that you need only obtain a years legal experience, and it is not a pre-requisite that it be under the supervision of a UK solicitor. Like I said, this may or may not be correct, but merely what I have been informed by persons of significant authority.

Im aware that legal experience is difficult to obtain in the UK, let alone in the US, therefore do you have any suggestions as to how I could go about obtaining such experience in the US? Clearly we are talking more junior roles to begin with, such as paralegal work or a role as a legal assistant.

Fyi, it is possible for someone with an LLB to obtain work in a UK law firm as a paralegal or assistant to a solicitor, with the possibility of that firm training you up to become a Solicitor, my only query was whether it could be done in the US?

I do not expect the NY Bar to be "an easy way around getting a training contract", I was merely looking for an alternative route to doing the LPC and having done some extensive research, it will appear that many LLB Holders have actually opted for this route and successfully become practising UK attorneys.

Nic1746, Mar 15, 2009 08:08

What type of is the NY state bar exam? How long is the exam?

Nic1746, Mar 11, 2009 17:00

Any Filipino here who have taken successfully the NY Bar? Is it expensive?What is the process?

usa_law, Mar 06, 2009 01:08

To KT,

Regarding your NY bar route to become a UK solicitor, did you read SRA requirements for convertion? In order to become a UK solicitor, a US attorney needs (1) pass QLTT test; (2) get 2 (or 3, not sure now) years of LEGAL experience, one year of which should be done under supervision of an English attorney. How are you going to get those years of experience? It definitely would be not possible to find a job at the USA because your LLB and NY bar will not interest American employers (that's for sure). Do you think ANY solicitor in UK will be interested in training you? Just think about it.

The QLLT was designed for foreing educated PRACTICING attorneys who wanted to practice at the UK, not as a easy way around getting a training contract for the domestic LLB holders.

Sorry for being harsh.

KT, Mar 04, 2009 18:33

Im seriously considering taking the New York Bar Exam and my reasons for doing so are simple! I want to work in the US! I just wish it was a simple process!

I have an LLB and aside from taking the LPC and attempting to secure a training contract, i've now decided to take a different route. I mean, i think we sometimes forget that there are other options to consider. My friends are doing the LPC this September, one has secured a training contract, whereas the other hasnt. Other than the fact that the LPC costs an arm and a leg, would anyone else agree that the NY Bar is an alternative option?

Initially, I wanted to take the California state bar exam, and after extensive research, found that in order to do so, i would have to convert my LLB into an LLM. Not a problem at all.....aside from the fact that it costs over £30,000 in tuition fees alone, not to mention other expenses which you would have to set aside. Fine, so the next stage would be to attempt to apply for some kind of financial aid/bursaries/scholarships/grants right? Again....not as simple as that. On top of that, what about the Visa's? So....clearly....this is not an option now - unless i win a million pounds by the morning!

Now i've decided to sit the NY bar as you can do so with an LLB. My understanding of this is that you take the Bar Exam and upon successful completion, u automatically qualify as a US attorney, in which case you will have to find work. However, the Bar doesnt restrict you to working in the US as you can actually do a conversion course and qualify as a UK solicitor without the need for the LPC or a training contract. This way - it will hopefully knock years off and save you money.

I would just like to know whether anyone who has actually obtained an LLB and passed the NEw York Bar then gone onto practice as a US Attorney, as I would love to find out some more information before i go ahead with this.

exie, Feb 24, 2009 06:29

Do anyone know that graduates from the UCLA-Berkley's new summer LLM program will be eligible to take New York bar?

usa_law, Feb 12, 2009 18:46

You do not want a job as a paralegal. It's like a secretary or office assistant in majority of firms. Moreover, even if you do get a paralegal job, no attorney will ever see you are a lawyer. It's a dead end :)

With respect to finding a job as an attorney, try harder. Maybe even look at governmental positions (not in the US government though, they are a citizenship requirement) or do some pro bono work and network.

koala, Jan 22, 2009 09:18

Things work the way they do. It is a bit of a pointless exercise to try to challenge the system... I personnally understand why they prefer JDs in America like they would prefer LLBs here in the UK or maitrises in France. After it is a matter of personnality, motivation, skills and luck...there are general trends but why not make it an individual success story. I do not believe in fate! Be youself and create your future!

QSWE, Jan 19, 2009 16:57

I mean we could have a larger audience if we could extend our reach to CA bar and UK (for common law lawyers) because it is quite difficult to get paralegal jobs there too.

crm042, Jan 18, 2009 13:05

...with all due respect my fellow blogger, whilst I appreciate your commment, I find it ambiguous. Please make your point more transparent.

QSWE, Jan 18, 2009 12:19

No bad idea that. And why limit it to NY. Extend it to all jurisdictions where access to legal system is available but jobs are difficult to find.

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