Australian/NZ applicants for 2020-2021


Syd2030

Hi all!

Just checking in with any Australian and NZ applicants out there for this year’s LLMs at US law schools.

I applied to 7 universities (Columbia, NYU, Harvard, Northwestern, UCLA, Georgetown and Berkeley) and have been accepted to 3 so far (Northwestern, NYU, UCLA). My first choice is probably heading to NYC so fingers crossed on the pending financial aid decisions from NYU and on Columbia admission!

Where did everyone apply to, where have you heard back from and what’s your first choice? :)

[Edited by Syd2030 on Feb 11, 2020]

Hi all!

Just checking in with any Australian and NZ applicants out there for this year’s LLMs at US law schools.

I applied to 7 universities (Columbia, NYU, Harvard, Northwestern, UCLA, Georgetown and Berkeley) and have been accepted to 3 so far (Northwestern, NYU, UCLA). My first choice is probably heading to NYC so fingers crossed on the pending financial aid decisions from NYU and on Columbia admission!

Where did everyone apply to, where have you heard back from and what’s your first choice? :)
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Uzbek Lawy...

There are 2 Australians in the Columbia 2020-2021 thread who just got accepted.

There are 2 Australians in the Columbia 2020-2021 thread who just got accepted.
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Hi Syd2030

I’ve applied for Columbia, Stanford and Chicago as well as Oxbridge.

I got an email around 3:30am AEST for admission to Columbia. I haven’t heard back from anywhere else yet. I’m still deciding on my top pick, if I’m offered any others. Very keen for Columbia though, it looks fantastic.

Hi Syd2030

I’ve applied for Columbia, Stanford and Chicago as well as Oxbridge.

I got an email around 3:30am AEST for admission to Columbia. I haven’t heard back from anywhere else yet. I’m still deciding on my top pick, if I’m offered any others. Very keen for Columbia though, it looks fantastic.
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Swjs

Hey mate. I have applied to Cambridge, Chicago, Columbia, LSE, NYU, Oxford and Harvard - so far admitted to Chicago, NYU and LSE, still waiting on the rest.

Will depend on Harvard and the rest but I'm very keen on Chicago.

Hey mate. I have applied to Cambridge, Chicago, Columbia, LSE, NYU, Oxford and Harvard - so far admitted to Chicago, NYU and LSE, still waiting on the rest.

Will depend on Harvard and the rest but I'm very keen on Chicago.
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Congrats on all your acceptances!

I've applied to Columbia, Harvard and Chicago - I've been admitted to Chicago and Columbia and I'm still waiting on Harvard.

First choice will depend on funding but I'm leaning towards Chicago at the moment (depending on how Harvard turns out).

Congrats on all your acceptances!

I've applied to Columbia, Harvard and Chicago - I've been admitted to Chicago and Columbia and I'm still waiting on Harvard.

First choice will depend on funding but I'm leaning towards Chicago at the moment (depending on how Harvard turns out).
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Syd2030

Congrats all - exciting on Columbia!
Have you received financial aid decisions from Columbia?
I’ve received aid from UCLA and Northwestern so far and my ultimate decision is going to be heavily based on the funding considerations :/ Aussie dollar ain’t good these days as we all know!

Congrats all - exciting on Columbia!
Have you received financial aid decisions from Columbia?
I’ve received aid from UCLA and Northwestern so far and my ultimate decision is going to be heavily based on the funding considerations :/ Aussie dollar ain’t good these days as we all know!
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Congrats all - exciting on Columbia!
Have you received financial aid decisions from Columbia?
I’ve received aid from UCLA and Northwestern so far and my ultimate decision is going to be heavily based on the funding considerations :/ Aussie dollar ain’t good these days as we all know!


Nope haven't heard anything - they make financial aid decisions on a rolling basis separate to admission. Weaker Aussie dollar and strengthening USD are a ruthless combo!

[quote]Congrats all - exciting on Columbia!
Have you received financial aid decisions from Columbia?
I’ve received aid from UCLA and Northwestern so far and my ultimate decision is going to be heavily based on the funding considerations :/ Aussie dollar ain’t good these days as we all know![/quote]

Nope haven't heard anything - they make financial aid decisions on a rolling basis separate to admission. Weaker Aussie dollar and strengthening USD are a ruthless combo!
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Hey all. From Melbourne. I've just received an acceptance from Northwestern. Awaiting financial aid decision. And awaiting decisions from NYU, Stanford, Duke and Michigan. Preference is NYU and Stanford. But decision will be largely dependent on financial aid. Congrats all who have been accepted.

Hey all. From Melbourne. I've just received an acceptance from Northwestern. Awaiting financial aid decision. And awaiting decisions from NYU, Stanford, Duke and Michigan. Preference is NYU and Stanford. But decision will be largely dependent on financial aid. Congrats all who have been accepted.
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Also, I'm already admitted to the New York Bar (having passed the NY Bar Exam in 2018; admitted last year). I have 6 years PQE in hardcore commercial litigation. Do you think this will make me a strong applicant for financial aid? There is no way I can afford the obscene tuition at these top US law schools, especially with the weak Aussie dollar (take me back to 2012 when we were at the peak of the mining boom!). Although I've got solid credentials, my worry is that my grades for my LL.B were pretty mediocre.. What do you guys think? Man, exciting times ahead.

[Edited by MelbourneAttorney on Feb 11, 2020]

Also, I'm already admitted to the New York Bar (having passed the NY Bar Exam in 2018; admitted last year). I have 6 years PQE in hardcore commercial litigation. Do you think this will make me a strong applicant for financial aid? There is no way I can afford the obscene tuition at these top US law schools, especially with the weak Aussie dollar (take me back to 2012 when we were at the peak of the mining boom!). Although I've got solid credentials, my worry is that my grades for my LL.B were pretty mediocre.. What do you guys think? Man, exciting times ahead.
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Syd2030

Hi MelbourneAttorney, congrats on Northwestern!
I’m not sure but I’m sure if you have a well-rounded CV and a strong personal statement/expressed yourself well in the interview then you will be a great contender for aid!

I’m curious about everyone’s motivations for pursuing the LLM given that we are all eligible to sit the NY and CA Bar exams already. Personally, I want an LLM for a few reasons - because I would like to secure a litigation role in the US (which is harder to do at my level than as a transactional lawyer); to focus on public law, advocacy and public interest courses and clinics; to expand my US and global network; and to become more competitive for a chambers if I later decide to go to the Bar in Australia.
What are everyone else’s reasons?

Hi MelbourneAttorney, congrats on Northwestern!
I’m not sure but I’m sure if you have a well-rounded CV and a strong personal statement/expressed yourself well in the interview then you will be a great contender for aid!

I’m curious about everyone’s motivations for pursuing the LLM given that we are all eligible to sit the NY and CA Bar exams already. Personally, I want an LLM for a few reasons - because I would like to secure a litigation role in the US (which is harder to do at my level than as a transactional lawyer); to focus on public law, advocacy and public interest courses and clinics; to expand my US and global network; and to become more competitive for a chambers if I later decide to go to the Bar in Australia.
What are everyone else’s reasons?
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Radek hwiv

Hello everyone,

I've applied to Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, Penn and UCLA.

Thus far I have received admission from NYU (financial aid decision pending) and UCLA (Dean's Scholarship).

I'm waiting to hear back from Columbia, Penn and Berkeley. I submitted on deadline date and applications were approved by 23 January - with delay on LSAC.

So hopefully will hear back from Columbia shortly. Berkeley will take longer I feel.

Berkeley is my top choice.

Best wishes,

[Edited by Radek hwiv on Feb 12, 2020]

Hello everyone,

I've applied to Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, Penn and UCLA.

Thus far I have received admission from NYU (financial aid decision pending) and UCLA (Dean's Scholarship).

I'm waiting to hear back from Columbia, Penn and Berkeley. I submitted on deadline date and applications were approved by 23 January - with delay on LSAC.

So hopefully will hear back from Columbia shortly. Berkeley will take longer I feel.

Berkeley is my top choice.

Best wishes,

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Radek hwiv

Syd2030

I have similiar motivations. My wife and I won the US Green Card lottery so I'm trying to make myself competitive in that market.

I've worked as a management consultant, in law firms and in plaintiff side class action litigation.

I have a PhD (history ) and first class honours degrees in arts and law. I felt that even with given good academic success and scholarships in Australia and professional experiences, without a direct link from a top tier law firm it is difficult to fully get set up over there. So I'm trying to give my family and I the best shot to succeed as a lawyer or business person there and I believe the LLM will give me the best shot for this!

Anyhow, let me know if you have more questions,

Syd2030

I have similiar motivations. My wife and I won the US Green Card lottery so I'm trying to make myself competitive in that market.

I've worked as a management consultant, in law firms and in plaintiff side class action litigation.

I have a PhD (history ) and first class honours degrees in arts and law. I felt that even with given good academic success and scholarships in Australia and professional experiences, without a direct link from a top tier law firm it is difficult to fully get set up over there. So I'm trying to give my family and I the best shot to succeed as a lawyer or business person there and I believe the LLM will give me the best shot for this!

Anyhow, let me know if you have more questions,




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My main motivation for applying to postgrad is to transition to the bar. A postgraduate degree seems to almost be a prerequisite to securing good chambers in my city and opens doors. Also very excited to just have a year on the books. Feel like I wasted a lot of my undergraduate degree.

My main motivation for applying to postgrad is to transition to the bar. A postgraduate degree seems to almost be a prerequisite to securing good chambers in my city and opens doors. Also very excited to just have a year on the books. Feel like I wasted a lot of my undergraduate degree.
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Syd2030

Wow, that’s a very interesting background Radek! Wish you all the best, and how exciting on the green card.

For my part, I’m also a US citizen (although Aus born and raised), and I’m probably looking to work there at least for the next few years after the LLM.

I agree with you about being excited to hit the books Queenslander - I feel like I didn’t really hit the ground running in my law subjects until about 3 years into the combined degree, and so I’m excited to have the opportunity to really immerse myself in studying again

[Edited by Syd2030 on Feb 12, 2020]

Wow, that’s a very interesting background Radek! Wish you all the best, and how exciting on the green card.

For my part, I’m also a US citizen (although Aus born and raised), and I’m probably looking to work there at least for the next few years after the LLM.

I agree with you about being excited to hit the books Queenslander - I feel like I didn’t really hit the ground running in my law subjects until about 3 years into the combined degree, and so I’m excited to have the opportunity to really immerse myself in studying again
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Thanks for your comments Syd. My motivations are virtually identical to yours. Ultimately I want to head to the Bar in Melbourne (or even Brisbane, where I'm originally from) and I think having an LL.M from a prestigious US law school will add to the credentials. I feel that at the Bar, credentials and perception can go a long way. I am also a litigator, so like yourself it is difficult for me to ease into the New York market, unlike my colleagues in front-line banking or M&A. Even though I passed the New York Bar and got admitted last year in NY, I feel that the "stamp of excellence" from a US law school is just missing on my CV. There are also a couple of LL.M recruitment fairs where candidates score roles at top tier law firms (as you'd expect, it's highly competitive).

Also glad to hear that Queenslander has similar motivations of going to the Bar after the LL.M experience. I also share his/her sentiments regarding the excitement of having a year on the books, particularly in the immersive US law school environment where, depending on where you go, it's more interactive and intense (compared to my LL.B experience).

Radek, I think your credentials are stellar so all the best with your move to the US. And that's awesome that you and your wife won the Green Card lottery - I hear that's exceptionally difficult to get.

Looks like there are quite a few litigators amongst us!

I do have one question. There appears to be a view out there that an LL.M adds nothing to your career. Now I would disagree but I think there is some truth to that view if you did an LL.B/J.D, got bad grades and are trying to do an LL.M to make up for it without substantial professional work experience. But I think an LL.M from a good school combined with solid professional experience does set you up to stand a reasonable chance of scoring a job at the top US law firms. I know a few Australians who went down this path and secured roles a top firms. I suppose the value of an LL.M depends on your individual motivations for doing it. What does everyone think about this?

[Edited by MelbourneAttorney on Feb 12, 2020]

Thanks for your comments Syd. My motivations are virtually identical to yours. Ultimately I want to head to the Bar in Melbourne (or even Brisbane, where I'm originally from) and I think having an LL.M from a prestigious US law school will add to the credentials. I feel that at the Bar, credentials and perception can go a long way. I am also a litigator, so like yourself it is difficult for me to ease into the New York market, unlike my colleagues in front-line banking or M&A. Even though I passed the New York Bar and got admitted last year in NY, I feel that the "stamp of excellence" from a US law school is just missing on my CV. There are also a couple of LL.M recruitment fairs where candidates score roles at top tier law firms (as you'd expect, it's highly competitive).

Also glad to hear that Queenslander has similar motivations of going to the Bar after the LL.M experience. I also share his/her sentiments regarding the excitement of having a year on the books, particularly in the immersive US law school environment where, depending on where you go, it's more interactive and intense (compared to my LL.B experience).

Radek, I think your credentials are stellar so all the best with your move to the US. And that's awesome that you and your wife won the Green Card lottery - I hear that's exceptionally difficult to get.

Looks like there are quite a few litigators amongst us!

I do have one question. There appears to be a view out there that an LL.M adds nothing to your career. Now I would disagree but I think there is some truth to that view if you did an LL.B/J.D, got bad grades and are trying to do an LL.M to make up for it without substantial professional work experience. But I think an LL.M from a good school combined with solid professional experience does set you up to stand a reasonable chance of scoring a job at the top US law firms. I know a few Australians who went down this path and secured roles a top firms. I suppose the value of an LL.M depends on your individual motivations for doing it. What does everyone think about this?
quote

I agree with you entirely that it depends upon your individual motivations. If you have aspirations for the bar then getting into a good chambers and building your personal brand as an expert in X area of law etc is important, and an LLM will assist in that regard. I also have heard anecdotally that doing an LLM can be useful in building connections to secure a role with a top firm. Ive noticed that a lot of top firms seem to have some level of involvement at the top schools (e.g associates or partners supervising a clinic or attending recruitment fairs).

Obviously having an LLM isn’t a prerequisite to achieving any of the above, nor is it a guarantee that you will achieve the above merely by adding another testamur to the collection. It’s neither necessary nor sufficient. But I think that it certainly helps.

I also think that there are a lot of unfortunate graduates In the US that have struggled to find their dream job who have a misconception that getting a good LLM will cure any other weakness in their application (e.g poor first law degree, or lack of experience). I think these people are the intended recipients of the “lawyers losing money” rhetoric.

I agree with you entirely that it depends upon your individual motivations. If you have aspirations for the bar then getting into a good chambers and building your personal brand as an expert in X area of law etc is important, and an LLM will assist in that regard. I also have heard anecdotally that doing an LLM can be useful in building connections to secure a role with a top firm. Ive noticed that a lot of top firms seem to have some level of involvement at the top schools (e.g associates or partners supervising a clinic or attending recruitment fairs).

Obviously having an LLM isn’t a prerequisite to achieving any of the above, nor is it a guarantee that you will achieve the above merely by adding another testamur to the collection. It’s neither necessary nor sufficient. But I think that it certainly helps.

I also think that there are a lot of unfortunate graduates In the US that have struggled to find their dream job who have a misconception that getting a good LLM will cure any other weakness in their application (e.g poor first law degree, or lack of experience). I think these people are the intended recipients of the “lawyers losing money” rhetoric.
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Agree 100%, Queenslander.

In other news.. just woke up to a letter from Northwestern offering a very generous scholarship. I am stoked.

Still waiting on: Stanford, NYU, Duke and Michigan... radio silence.. LSAC didn't complete my review until 30 Jan 2020 (although applications were all submitted prior to the deadlines) so my applications may all take a while..

Agree 100%, Queenslander.

In other news.. just woke up to a letter from Northwestern offering a very generous scholarship. I am stoked.

Still waiting on: Stanford, NYU, Duke and Michigan... radio silence.. LSAC didn't complete my review until 30 Jan 2020 (although applications were all submitted prior to the deadlines) so my applications may all take a while..
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Swjs

For what it is worth, I am at the junior bar. Generally, I would say an LLM is a mark of distinction (particularly at the universities we all have applied to) but certainly not a pre-requisite for getting into good chambers or higher end success.

That said, if an llm gets you 5-6 good briefs over the course of your career it pays for itself. And that's not to mention all the other advantages - friends all over the world, a chance to live overseas in a great city (which you can't really do once you get called to the bar), and the opportunity to learn from people with a different perspective. I see that as the principal advantage of doing an LLM - while I think it will be revenue neural at worst in the long run, the career advantages are probably a secondary reason to do it.

Anyway, I've got a lot of friends who have done LLMs at a variety of places, and I've yet to come across someone who regrets it. Given that, I don't think you can go wrong, wherever people wind up.

For what it is worth, I am at the junior bar. Generally, I would say an LLM is a mark of distinction (particularly at the universities we all have applied to) but certainly not a pre-requisite for getting into good chambers or higher end success.

That said, if an llm gets you 5-6 good briefs over the course of your career it pays for itself. And that's not to mention all the other advantages - friends all over the world, a chance to live overseas in a great city (which you can't really do once you get called to the bar), and the opportunity to learn from people with a different perspective. I see that as the principal advantage of doing an LLM - while I think it will be revenue neural at worst in the long run, the career advantages are probably a secondary reason to do it.

Anyway, I've got a lot of friends who have done LLMs at a variety of places, and I've yet to come across someone who regrets it. Given that, I don't think you can go wrong, wherever people wind up.
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Syd2030

Congrats on the scholarship MelbourneAttorney! Northwestern was also generous with me - maybe they are looking to bring more Aussies on board as it is not as well-known here? Either way, I'm very happy haha.

I fully agree with Swjs and Queenslander. I haven't been looking at this opportunity from the purely financial 'cost/benefit analysis' lens as I know so many people who have described the LLM as the best year of their life and a year that fundamentally altered the way they think about the law.

Some examples:
- A former colleague who went to NYU and studied subjects relating to Evidence, Appellate Advocacy and other litigious subjects, and who is now a barrister at a top chambers
- Another former colleague who went to NYU for this year and has secured a job at a top 6 law firm in NYC as a litigation attorney. I know another Aussie at the same firm who did the Harvard LLM
- A former colleague who went to Columbia and is now working in the Magic Circle in London
- Another person I know who went to UCLA and worked in entertainment law in LA before moving into transactional work at a prestigious global firm in continental Europe
- A partner at my firm who is in her early 30's and did the Harvard LLM

I'm sure we will all have an incredible time and it will definitely open doors

Congrats on the scholarship MelbourneAttorney! Northwestern was also generous with me - maybe they are looking to bring more Aussies on board as it is not as well-known here? Either way, I'm very happy haha.

I fully agree with Swjs and Queenslander. I haven't been looking at this opportunity from the purely financial 'cost/benefit analysis' lens as I know so many people who have described the LLM as the best year of their life and a year that fundamentally altered the way they think about the law.

Some examples:
- A former colleague who went to NYU and studied subjects relating to Evidence, Appellate Advocacy and other litigious subjects, and who is now a barrister at a top chambers
- Another former colleague who went to NYU for this year and has secured a job at a top 6 law firm in NYC as a litigation attorney. I know another Aussie at the same firm who did the Harvard LLM
- A former colleague who went to Columbia and is now working in the Magic Circle in London
- Another person I know who went to UCLA and worked in entertainment law in LA before moving into transactional work at a prestigious global firm in continental Europe
- A partner at my firm who is in her early 30's and did the Harvard LLM

I'm sure we will all have an incredible time and it will definitely open doors
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Totally agree with the sentiment that it’s the best year of your life, everyone I’ve spoken to who has gone over has said the same thing.

Another question for those who are likely to, or already have, multiple offers (I definitely wouldn’t count myself in this category, I can’t believe I’ve gotten one haha, but I’m curious) how are you going about comparing the different unis and weighing up which offer to accept? Whether it’s Northwestern or UCLA or Chicago or Columbia etc, what are you prioritising?

Totally agree with the sentiment that it’s the best year of your life, everyone I’ve spoken to who has gone over has said the same thing.

Another question for those who are likely to, or already have, multiple offers (I definitely wouldn’t count myself in this category, I can’t believe I’ve gotten one haha, but I’m curious) how are you going about comparing the different unis and weighing up which offer to accept? Whether it’s Northwestern or UCLA or Chicago or Columbia etc, what are you prioritising?
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