Post LLB in the US: JD or LLM


Hello, I am wondering if one attains an LLB from a UK institution, and they wish to go to the US for schooling after this, what are the main differences between JD and LLM in terms of job opportunities and pay. I know that there are a lot of options... if you want to go to JD, then you need to take the LSAT and your LLB is considered (sort of) an American *undergraduate* degree, right? Also, I know JD is 3 years and LLB is 1, so will this difference be reflected in job opportunities or pay? Benefits to doing JD in the US after UK LLB? Cons are obviously time and money... but would it provide some sort of benefit?

Hello, I am wondering if one attains an LLB from a UK institution, and they wish to go to the US for schooling after this, what are the main differences between JD and LLM in terms of job opportunities and pay. I know that there are a lot of options... if you want to go to JD, then you need to take the LSAT and your LLB is considered (sort of) an American *undergraduate* degree, right? Also, I know JD is 3 years and LLB is 1, so will this difference be reflected in job opportunities or pay? Benefits to doing JD in the US after UK LLB? Cons are obviously time and money... but would it provide some sort of benefit?
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jwpetterch...

The JD is definitely preferred by big firms and the government and certain states don't let LLMs take the bar exam. The answer to this is very variable. Smaller firms don't care or aren't as particular and if you're just going to come and set up your own firm then it doesn't matter at all.

The JD is definitely more difficult to get into (LLMs are cash cows for schools and mostly they just want live bodies with money here) and the grading curve is brutal. If you have a UK LLB you can apply for advance standing under Rule 5 (I think) and get credit for 1 year of the JD, if the school let you.

Keep in mind that with a UK LLB you don't need either of these degrees to get a law license here. Several states will let you sit the bar exam with the foreign degree alone. I did not need one and had no interest in obtaining another degree. I'm also a dual citizen, however.

Hello, I am wondering if one attains an LLB from a UK institution, and they wish to go to the US for schooling after this, what are the main differences between JD and LLM in terms of job opportunities and pay. I know that there are a lot of options... if you want to go to JD, then you need to take the LSAT and your LLB is considered (sort of) an American *undergraduate* degree, right? Also, I know JD is 3 years and LLB is 1, so will this difference be reflected in job opportunities or pay? Benefits to doing JD in the US after UK LLB? Cons are obviously time and money... but would it provide some sort of benefit?

The JD is definitely preferred by big firms and the government and certain states don't let LLMs take the bar exam. The answer to this is very variable. Smaller firms don't care or aren't as particular and if you're just going to come and set up your own firm then it doesn't matter at all.<br><br>The JD is definitely more difficult to get into (LLMs are cash cows for schools and mostly they just want live bodies with money here) and the grading curve is brutal. If you have a UK LLB you can apply for advance standing under Rule 5 (I think) and get credit for 1 year of the JD, if the school let you.<br><br>Keep in mind that with a UK LLB you don't need either of these degrees to get a law license here. Several states will let you sit the bar exam with the foreign degree alone. I did not need one and had no interest in obtaining another degree. I'm also a dual citizen, however.<br><br>[quote]Hello, I am wondering if one attains an LLB from a UK institution, and they wish to go to the US for schooling after this, what are the main differences between JD and LLM in terms of job opportunities and pay. I know that there are a lot of options... if you want to go to JD, then you need to take the LSAT and your LLB is considered (sort of) an American *undergraduate* degree, right? Also, I know JD is 3 years and LLB is 1, so will this difference be reflected in job opportunities or pay? Benefits to doing JD in the US after UK LLB? Cons are obviously time and money... but would it provide some sort of benefit? [/quote]
quote

Hello, I am wondering if one attains an LLB from a UK institution, and they wish to go to the US for schooling after this, what are the main differences between JD and LLM in terms of job opportunities and pay. I know that there are a lot of options... if you want to go to JD, then you need to take the LSAT and your LLB is considered (sort of) an American *undergraduate* degree, right? Also, I know JD is 3 years and LLB is 1, so will this difference be reflected in job opportunities or pay? Benefits to doing JD in the US after UK LLB? Cons are obviously time and money... but would it provide some sort of benefit?


Hi,

see my historical posts for LL.M. or U.S. job-related analysis and comments.

What I will say, is that there is a sweet spot for people who graduated either (1) from a Common Law country or (2) Commonwealth country. In terms of post-LL.M. jobs, you guys are more sought after, and there is a real market for UK/Aussie/Canadian lawyers who either pass a U.S. bar or get an LL.M. and pass a U.S. bar. The rationale being language, similar legal training, etc...

My personal opinion? For those people I mentioned above, a J.D. is a waste of money (more than time, but also time). The most important thing I will say, which will highly affect the chances of getting a job in the U.S., is real legal experience at a law firm (for example). I know most here don't wanna hear this, but, you are MUCH better off getting an LLB or whatever degree, then, getting licensed as a lawyer, then, working for at least 2 to 3 years (ideally 5, closest to Senior Associate or MidLevel possible), then either taking a U.S. bar or undergoing an LL.M. (and taking a U.S. bar). Study the market trends, go on LinkedIn, talk to people, etc...you will see a pattern. There is a real possibility to "plan ahead" and/or create an almost certain path for great career opportunities if you play it smartly.

I think UK graduates have the highest potential for jobs in the U.S. when combined with a U.S. bar or LL.M. (and U.S. bar).

TLDR: (1) get a solid legal education (LLB, Masters, etc...), (2) get licensed as a lawyer in your home country, (3) focus on experience in your home country (2 to 5 years), then (4) take a U.S. bar or LL.M. (and U.S. bar). This is the route to really maximize your job chances.

Remember: even a Harvard J.D. doesn't erase the visa or immigration issues that non-American citizens have in terms of post-graduation issues that you will face. An LL.M. is a much better investment (even if you do not end up finding a job in the U.S.).

For LL.M.s, I recommend choosing a school that is listed as participant on the NYU/Columbia ISIP Job Fair (https://www.law.nyu.edu/isip) or UCLA LL.M. Interview Program (https://law.ucla.edu/life-ucla-law/careers/ucla-llm-interview-program). Be sure to drill your LL.M. admissions officers/directors with questions on this and ask for statistics or historical examples of students who have gotten jobs through these two fairs. I believe most post-LL.M. jobs (90%) are handed out on these two closed fairs (not every U.S. university has access to these, for historical/political reasons that are unknown to this day).

Best,

1f48eUnleashedSoul1f48e

[quote]Hello, I am wondering if one attains an LLB from a UK institution, and they wish to go to the US for schooling after this, what are the main differences between JD and LLM in terms of job opportunities and pay. I know that there are a lot of options... if you want to go to JD, then you need to take the LSAT and your LLB is considered (sort of) an American *undergraduate* degree, right? Also, I know JD is 3 years and LLB is 1, so will this difference be reflected in job opportunities or pay? Benefits to doing JD in the US after UK LLB? Cons are obviously time and money... but would it provide some sort of benefit? [/quote]<br><br>Hi,<br><br>see my historical posts for LL.M. or U.S. job-related analysis and comments.<br><br>What I will say, is that there is a sweet spot for people who graduated either (1) from a Common Law country or (2) Commonwealth country. In terms of post-LL.M. jobs, you guys are more sought after, and there is a real market for UK/Aussie/Canadian lawyers who either pass a U.S. bar or get an LL.M. and pass a U.S. bar. The rationale being language, similar legal training, etc...<br><br>My personal opinion? For those people I mentioned above, a J.D. is a waste of money (more than time, but also time). The most important thing I will say, which will highly affect the chances of getting a job in the U.S., is real legal experience at a law firm (for example). I know most here don't wanna hear this, but, you are MUCH better off getting an LLB or whatever degree, then, getting licensed as a lawyer, then, working for at least 2 to 3 years (ideally 5, closest to Senior Associate or MidLevel possible), then either taking a U.S. bar or undergoing an LL.M. (and taking a U.S. bar). Study the market trends, go on LinkedIn, talk to people, etc...you will see a pattern. There is a real possibility to "plan ahead" and/or create an almost certain path for great career opportunities if you play it smartly.<br><br>I think UK graduates have the highest potential for jobs in the U.S. when combined with a U.S. bar or LL.M. (and U.S. bar).<br><br>TLDR: (1) get a solid legal education (LLB, Masters, etc...), (2) get licensed as a lawyer in your home country, (3) focus on experience in your home country (2 to 5 years), then (4) take a U.S. bar or LL.M. (and U.S. bar). This is the route to really maximize your job chances.<br><br>Remember: even a Harvard J.D. doesn't erase the visa or immigration issues that non-American citizens have in terms of post-graduation issues that you will face. An LL.M. is a much better investment (even if you do not end up finding a job in the U.S.).<br><br>For LL.M.s, I recommend choosing a school that is listed as participant on the NYU/Columbia ISIP Job Fair (https://www.law.nyu.edu/isip) or UCLA LL.M. Interview Program (https://law.ucla.edu/life-ucla-law/careers/ucla-llm-interview-program). Be sure to drill your LL.M. admissions officers/directors with questions on this and ask for statistics or historical examples of students who have gotten jobs through these two fairs. I believe most post-LL.M. jobs (90%) are handed out on these two closed fairs (not every U.S. university has access to these, for historical/political reasons that are unknown to this day).<br><br>Best,<br><br>:gem:UnleashedSoul:gem:
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