Season finale

By ivan2006 in NYU - Class of 2007 on May 23, 2007

The LL.M. is over. And I barely noticed it. It feels really weird now, because it happened too fast: after my last post, everyone was concerned about deciding their own future, landing a job here in the US/ overseas, and then it was all about celebrating the success of those who manage to achieve their goals. Then came the Spring break. After the Spring break, it was time to study hard again: we were only 6 weeks away from the finals. Papers should be submitted; the so-feared exams were dangerously close... And yet, it was hard to focus exclusively on studying, since Spring finally arrived after a long, long Winter... And New York changed completely! While in Winter everybody on the streets had a gloomy gaze, now everything had changed: all of a sudden, you could see lots of people everywhere, at any time. Some were taking sunbaths on Washington Square, other having a cup of coffee outdoors on Sullivan St... There was this nice buzz that comes with the good weather, and I remembered the reasons why I liked New York when I arrived 10 months ago...

Unfortunately, I could not enjoy this spring awakening the way I would have liked to, because for me, that was the time to lock myself at home and prepare for my exams... and all I could think about was: "When is this going to be over". All I could think about was that I wanted to get past all that and finish this LL.M. Then exams came. Everyone was stressed. And yet, it was inevitable to think of what would come next: it was also time to say goodbye to the colleagues who would return to their home countries (not too many, I should say), and to welcome parents and family that would come to the graduation ceremony. In my case, my parents arrived one day after my last exam - and I still had to submit a paper. They arrived, and I could not do anything - I just had to show them around (the law school, Washington Square, the Village) and to tell them the places I used to go, the things I used to do, so they could imagine how happy was my life in New York... It was their first time and New York, and they were just amazed. When they slept, I quietly went to a study room at the dorm and, there, at 2 or 3 in the morning, I finished my paper and submitted it. The LL.M. was officially over for me.

And then it was like someone pushed the fast forward button again: NYU had organized a lot of all-university activities to celebrate the end of the academic year, and I was trying to take my parents to all of them. A breakfast at the Kimmel Center, the Grad Alley party on the street (West 4th Street was blocked during the whole day and there was a big fair for all students and family, with free food and drinks), the Commencement cerimony (the all-university graduation in Washington Square - to see what I am talking about, see www.nyu.edu/commencement), the law school graduation ceremony at the Madison Square Garden, and a final Wine & Cheese reception for the students of my program and their families... Until the moment my colleagues and I were entering the Madison Square Garden auditorium, wearing this medieval-like attire and wearing hoods and caps (it was fun - I was feeling ridiculous, but it was fun), I was not really aware of what was going on. And then it struck me. It was all over. I would not go to the Law School everyday anymore. I would not see a lot of people from that moment on. I might not be a full-time student again in my life. I had this bittersweet feeling that even though I had achieved what I came here for, I could have enjoyed it so much more... And I am sure everybody was thinking the same...

But the most important was that it was worth it. From a personal perspective, I made friends with people from many different countries and I built relationships that I am sure will endure over the years. And I found what I was expecting to find when I decided to leave my job and Europe: a different culture, a different approach to the legal problems, a different view of things and of business. It was a tough year, for sure. But I have learned a lot. And I am happy that I have taken the decision of pursuing an LL.M. in the U.S. and at NYU. And although my LL.M. experience finished, my American adventure will still go on: now I will sit for the Bar Exam and in September I will start working in NY - just like I wanted when I arrived here. My story had a happy ending, and so many others´.

Although it is impossible to make general statements about everyone´s satisfaction, all the people I know managed to find a job that suits their needs. In some cases, it is their dream job. In other cases, it is not the job they wanted - but it is what they needed. I still have not found a foreign LL.M who was disappointed with his experience. It is true that it was a very good year for the job market: most of the Latin Americans, European and Chinese did very well. Some nationalities had a harder time - e.g. I have heard the Indians were having a tougher time landing a job in the U.S. Still, the overall feeling is that the last couple of years were great. I hope the class of 2008 can still benefit from this momentum...

Sometimes people ask me if I think it is worth it to pursue an LL.M. in the U.S. It is such a difficult question! It is true that this is a pricy education - and it is true that both the top-ranked universities and the second-tier schools charge more or less the same (e.g. the tuition charged by Stanford will not differ substantially from the tuition charged by a lesser known school). And the truth is that you can never know if next year will be as good as the previous one vis-à-vis the job market. My advice is: when you make the decision of coming to the U.S., think of what could happen if you had to come back to your home country instead of staying in the U.S. This may be or may not be the case, but do not be extremely optimistic about job prospects here. Have a Plan B. Secondly, try to go to the best school possible in your specialization field - do your homework, gather as much information as you possibly can, and talk to as many people as you can. LLM-guide can be a useful tool, we had discussed these issues a lot here during the last months. In addition, do not hesitate to contact alumni. Everyone who´s been through it could give you great insights of the LL.M. experience, and some guys who write on the Discussion Forum (like tmalmine, droit.est.philosophie or josepidal) really give good advice. That´s what I tried to do by writing this little blog - and I sincerely hope that I helped one or two would-be LL.M´s...

I will not say goodbye to you guys yet. I will be preparing for the NY Bar Exam in NYC and I will try to post a final entry about the Bar preparation as soon as I finish it. I wish you good luck in your future endeavors...

Wow, "future endeavors" sounds like the text of a rejection letter... Let me reformulate that: I wish you good luck. Period. Colorín colorado...

Comments

jt, Oct 21, 2008 15:43

Ivan, NYU should have given you a marketing/publicity position - you bits of information were concise and very informative. I think I know where I will be applying for my LLM in Tax (LLM in Taxation & LLM International Tax...what is the difference?)
Thanks Ivan, all the best in NYC...

gfm, Mar 18, 2008 14:48

Thank you Ivan,
It is the first time that I read your blog and i found it useful and well written although time has passed. Your emotions were so clear that I could feel them and dream about a possible LLM at NYU in 2008/2009.
I am waiting for results and I am full of hope.
Goog Luck for your entire career.
I hope I can share my opinion with you on day.

kjjung72, Oct 09, 2007 19:58

Hi, can anyone share with me their outline for International Tax I & II (Steines)? I am in class of 2008 and am having a very difficult time understanding the book and the lecture. My email address is kjjung72@yahoo.com. Thank you very much!

D1, Jul 31, 2007 00:46

Hi Ivan, Thanks for all your posts, they are so useful. I need your advice plsss. I am applying to University of Michigan and I want to decide whether to apply to thier intl tax law progrram or thier general LLM. My hesitation is because I hear they take only 10 people for the tax LLM. I have only about a years experience and a specialised LLM (in petroleum tax and finance from a uk uni.)

What do you know about the LLM at American Uni (WCL).

Thanks!

Bernardo, Jun 29, 2007 22:30

Oi Ivan!
Aprendeu português com vários amigos brasileiros na NYU?
Well, I will keep the english, just in case: I was admitted to General Studies. Although all my work experience since graduation has been related to Corporate Law (in one single good firm since then), I want to have first contact to subjects related to International Arbitration and Litigation. I assumed that it would be nicer not to be hooked in any specialization. What do you think about that? Did you go for Corporate?
Abraços
Bernardo

Squid, Jun 01, 2007 13:59

I thought the market was hot for Indians currently not an encouraging sign... when u headed to NYU

dam, Jun 01, 2007 13:57

Thank you very much, Ivan!

Squid, Jun 01, 2007 13:57

Good luck on the Bar.

ivan2006, May 31, 2007 17:25

Thanks, guys. Good luck to you all next year!
Regarding the specific questions,
1) Dam, the Italians I am acquainted with had done well this year. One´s going to London, another´s staying here. I think Italians have a good shot when it comes to being hired by a US law firm that has offices in Italy (the offer could be: 9 months in the US, then Italy). Of course, it all depends of so many factors!
2) Hafiz, they consider both. As far as I know, they evaluate candidates based on both criteria. Grades and Toefl can eliminate a candidate, and work experience is a plus. I don´t know the standards they apply, but let´s say that if you´re an average student with an average TOEFL, you should have significant work experience in order to get your foot in the door.
3) Bernardo, boa sorte com o LLM. Você vai entrar em qual programa?
Cheers,
Ivan

Bernardo, May 25, 2007 22:50

Ivan,

This is the my first post here, but since last year I´ve been reading your excellent blog and I want to congratulate you for your extremely valuable insights regarding your experience at NYU.
I felt that you always chose the rights subjects on a straight-to-the-point way of writing.
You will be my allumini, since I will be in NYU Class of 2008 and I think you can figure how excited I am at this point.
Again, thanks a lot and I wish you good luck on your new challenges ahead

Bernardo
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Jaan222, May 25, 2007 13:18

thank u ivan u r so great i m planning to apply next year for NYU my only question is when deciding about admisions do they consider job experience or grades??

dam, May 24, 2007 14:48

Great post, Ivan!
Thank you for all the things you told us (you'll help many future llms indeed).
Best of luck in NYC.
Do you have hints about job prospects for Italian students?

Lit, May 23, 2007 18:08

As always Ivan, a very nice, if somewhat sad post. To think you are done, I could almost feel you emotions as you described them. But congratulations man, wish you all the best with the Bar and your practising in NY in the future and thanks for adding to this blog (I sound like one of the administrators of the blog).

lion, May 23, 2007 16:53

It is really informatve and useful blog.I have been admitted to Cornell law school in corporate law.What are job prospective. I am 23 yr and done ll.b in april 07 only with very good CGPA.

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