LLM vs. JD for Foreign Student?


Gwasha
Hello,

I have a question regarding a friend of mine who studied law in Russia. He is interested in studying International Law and I am not sure which direction to lead him, since he's already received a law degree I assumed that his best option would be to pursue an LLM in International Law.

But after doing some simple research I am not sure if that is an option for him. All the LLM programs for students who studied law in foreign countries, keep leading me to LLM's that are focused on American Law.

Does any school in the USA (preferably NYC area) offer a LLM in International Law that a foreign law student can apply to? And will he be able to practice afterward?


Or would he just need to take the LSAT and apply to a JD program?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
Hello,

I have a question regarding a friend of mine who studied law in Russia. He is interested in studying International Law and I am not sure which direction to lead him, since he's already received a law degree I assumed that his best option would be to pursue an LLM in International Law.

But after doing some simple research I am not sure if that is an option for him. All the LLM programs for students who studied law in foreign countries, keep leading me to LLM's that are focused on American Law.

Does any school in the USA (preferably NYC area) offer a LLM in International Law that a foreign law student can apply to? And will he be able to practice afterward?


Or would he just need to take the LSAT and apply to a JD program?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
quote
Interalia
Realistically,

if his intention is to practise law in the states, don't bother with the LLM. The LLM has a reputation as a "foreign degree" and is not really considered relevant by the law firms in their hiring decisions.

If he wants to go back to his own country or work for an international organization elsewhere, then there are some good international law LLMs offered by US schools. Try the one offered by NYU or the Fletcher School of diplomacy.
Realistically,

if his intention is to practise law in the states, don't bother with the LLM. The LLM has a reputation as a "foreign degree" and is not really considered relevant by the law firms in their hiring decisions.

If he wants to go back to his own country or work for an international organization elsewhere, then there are some good international law LLMs offered by US schools. Try the one offered by NYU or the Fletcher School of diplomacy.
quote
Hedek
JD: 3 years + up to $200k
LL.M: 1 year + up to $70k
2 extra years spent on the JD means you also have to take into account an opportunity cost equal to whatever money he'd make in 2 years minus cost of life for two years.

JD: if he wants to immigrate in the US and become an american lawyer and/or if he absolutely wants to live and work in the US for at least the next 10 years.
LL.M: if he's fine not necessarily working in the US after he graduates.

NYC: Columbia, NYU, and Fordham
Outside NYC, Harvard and Georgetown are particularly strong in international law (but in practice any T14 is fine).
At Columbia for example, you can tailor your curriculum so as not to take a single course in American law.
Same at NYU in their International Legal Studies, International Taxation, and Trade Regulation LL.M.

In theory, you can work with just an LL.M if you find an employer willing to sponsor you for all the annoying paperwork (e.g. H1B or whichever visa they'd want to put you on), in practice it's very difficult.

Lastly, I'd strongly advise against the JD if your friend can't score above 160 on the LSAT.
JD: 3 years + up to $200k
LL.M: 1 year + up to $70k
2 extra years spent on the JD means you also have to take into account an opportunity cost equal to whatever money he'd make in 2 years minus cost of life for two years.

JD: if he wants to immigrate in the US and become an american lawyer and/or if he absolutely wants to live and work in the US for at least the next 10 years.
LL.M: if he's fine not necessarily working in the US after he graduates.

NYC: Columbia, NYU, and Fordham
Outside NYC, Harvard and Georgetown are particularly strong in international law (but in practice any T14 is fine).
At Columbia for example, you can tailor your curriculum so as not to take a single course in American law.
Same at NYU in their International Legal Studies, International Taxation, and Trade Regulation LL.M.

In theory, you can work with just an LL.M if you find an employer willing to sponsor you for all the annoying paperwork (e.g. H1B or whichever visa they'd want to put you on), in practice it's very difficult.

Lastly, I'd strongly advise against the JD if your friend can't score above 160 on the LSAT.
quote
Interalia
Northwestern has a 2 year JD for foreign law graduates

I agree with the LSAT score though. For the kind of money that you're investing coupled with the fact that it's harder to be hired as a foreigner regardless of whether you have a JD, getting into a T14 school - while not absolutely necessary - is desirable.

Additionally, I'll just like to add that NYU is really a good choice for international law. I have been taught by Joseph Weiler before and I will absolutely put him as one of the two best professors who has ever taught me. He's that good.
Northwestern has a 2 year JD for foreign law graduates

I agree with the LSAT score though. For the kind of money that you're investing coupled with the fact that it's harder to be hired as a foreigner regardless of whether you have a JD, getting into a T14 school - while not absolutely necessary - is desirable.

Additionally, I'll just like to add that NYU is really a good choice for international law. I have been taught by Joseph Weiler before and I will absolutely put him as one of the two best professors who has ever taught me. He's that good.
quote
Hi...I've just completed my B.tech in petroleum engineering from India. I wish to diversify into the commercial side and pursue law though i wish to stick to modules specific to the energy sector...will taking up a JD course work for me if i wish to practice in US post education
Hi...I've just completed my B.tech in petroleum engineering from India. I wish to diversify into the commercial side and pursue law though i wish to stick to modules specific to the energy sector...will taking up a JD course work for me if i wish to practice in US post education
quote
Hi Manka,
I have done my LL.B. from Mumbai(India) and I m planning to start my LL.M. from January 2011 and currently I am in the US on a work visa.
As far as I understand, JD (in US) or LL.B.(in India) would not provide you any specific modules to energy sector. These courses are designed in order to enable a Student to become a Lawyer/Attorney and practice ANY area of Law. So, these courses would not allow you to specialize into one field as you did with your Bachelors degree.
If you need to practice Law in the US, then the question is where in US, i.e. which state.
Option 1: LL.B. from India + 20 credits or LL.M. in US Law School
Option 2: JD in US Law school (a JD requires almost 80 credits)
If you need to practice in New York state, you can go with Option 1 or Option 2 (this is my case, I am going with Option 1)
If you need to practice in any other state, you have to go for Option 2 only
Also, check if any other states allow option 1, I didn't research since I just want to practice in NY
Option 1 is cheaper and will cost you approx. Rs.20,000 plus USD 35,000
(I did my LL.B. form Jitendra Chauhan College, Mumbai -- called as Mithibai college, it cost me Rs.5,000 per year for 3 yrs plus Rs.500 per semester for 6 semesters totalling less than Rs.20,000 for all 3 yrs) and the 20 credits/LLM will cost you around USD 35,000. The LL.M will give you some sort of specialization, might not be energy, but something very close.
On the contrary JD in US will cost you atleast USD 50,000 or more. But the JD wont give you any specialisation.
Take care..
Sachin
Hi Manka,
I have done my LL.B. from Mumbai(India) and I m planning to start my LL.M. from January 2011 and currently I am in the US on a work visa.
As far as I understand, JD (in US) or LL.B.(in India) would not provide you any specific modules to energy sector. These courses are designed in order to enable a Student to become a Lawyer/Attorney and practice ANY area of Law. So, these courses would not allow you to specialize into one field as you did with your Bachelors degree.
If you need to practice Law in the US, then the question is where in US, i.e. which state.
Option 1: LL.B. from India + 20 credits or LL.M. in US Law School
Option 2: JD in US Law school (a JD requires almost 80 credits)
If you need to practice in New York state, you can go with Option 1 or Option 2 (this is my case, I am going with Option 1)
If you need to practice in any other state, you have to go for Option 2 only
Also, check if any other states allow option 1, I didn't research since I just want to practice in NY
Option 1 is cheaper and will cost you approx. Rs.20,000 plus USD 35,000
(I did my LL.B. form Jitendra Chauhan College, Mumbai -- called as Mithibai college, it cost me Rs.5,000 per year for 3 yrs plus Rs.500 per semester for 6 semesters totalling less than Rs.20,000 for all 3 yrs) and the 20 credits/LLM will cost you around USD 35,000. The LL.M will give you some sort of specialization, might not be energy, but something very close.
On the contrary JD in US will cost you atleast USD 50,000 or more. But the JD wont give you any specialisation.
Take care..
Sachin
quote
Pratima
Hi,

I'm a foreign attorney and I have recently been admitted to schools for L.L.M. courses, but looks like a J.D. is the best degree to go for if you are going to live long-term in the United States.

I would like to specialize in the field of Taxation Laws. Can anyone recommend any good Universities for a good Tax J.D. ?

Also, I would like to work in the State of California, post my law studies. Accordingly, would a Tax J.D. degree from any other State eg Northwestern etc help me to secure employment in California?

Does anyone know any good coaching classes for LSAT?

Any advice / suggestions would be helpful.
Hi,

I'm a foreign attorney and I have recently been admitted to schools for L.L.M. courses, but looks like a J.D. is the best degree to go for if you are going to live long-term in the United States.

I would like to specialize in the field of Taxation Laws. Can anyone recommend any good Universities for a good Tax J.D. ?

Also, I would like to work in the State of California, post my law studies. Accordingly, would a Tax J.D. degree from any other State eg Northwestern etc help me to secure employment in California?

Does anyone know any good coaching classes for LSAT?

Any advice / suggestions would be helpful.
quote
mav09
Hi Pratima,
JD is better suited for getting a job in US however that does not mean LL.M. is merely a one year holiday but largely LL.M's don't get jobs and some do.
Most people however have good jobs back home and I can tell you that it's easier for Latin Americans, Europeans, Chinese and others in whose countries International law firms have offices as they will probably train them and then keep them here or send them back to their office in the country of their origin.
Your name sounds a bit Indian and since India does not host these firms for the time being they will not be looking for Indians as much as other nationalities where they have active practices.
That being said, most large international firms have India desks and if you have a minimum of two years of work ex in a good top tier firm in India with tax or corporate practice, you may choose to do an LL.M. as you can still find a job and though it's hard in comparison to J.D. looking to work domestically, you would aptly work in a foreign desk.
With a J.D. you are a par with other domestic candidates and can compete with them easily.
Make a choice which suits you better.
California is a good place to live though it has a big financial crisis and not a very sound place for the time being to either look for a job or getting hired.
It's better to look elsewhere, where your skills (if you have prior work-ex and do your LL.M.) can come in handy.
Hope this helps.
Tax is lucrative and has larger number of opportunities in consultant firms like E&Y, PWC etc. but ordinarily average tax salaries are little lower in comparison to law firm jobs.
Looking for a job in U.S. for domestic practice whether tax or otherwise is more suited for a J.D. degree and I can't say much about tax for NW (it's considered better for corporate practice) tax is better in NYU and GULC, which is true for not just the LL.M. but for the JD as well as they are a larger offering of tax courses and better and highly specialized professors, but in general all top 20 schools should do you good and will not thwart you desire to live and work here.
Write in if you need more information and if possible I might be around.
Hi Pratima,
JD is better suited for getting a job in US however that does not mean LL.M. is merely a one year holiday but largely LL.M's don't get jobs and some do.
Most people however have good jobs back home and I can tell you that it's easier for Latin Americans, Europeans, Chinese and others in whose countries International law firms have offices as they will probably train them and then keep them here or send them back to their office in the country of their origin.
Your name sounds a bit Indian and since India does not host these firms for the time being they will not be looking for Indians as much as other nationalities where they have active practices.
That being said, most large international firms have India desks and if you have a minimum of two years of work ex in a good top tier firm in India with tax or corporate practice, you may choose to do an LL.M. as you can still find a job and though it's hard in comparison to J.D. looking to work domestically, you would aptly work in a foreign desk.
With a J.D. you are a par with other domestic candidates and can compete with them easily.
Make a choice which suits you better.
California is a good place to live though it has a big financial crisis and not a very sound place for the time being to either look for a job or getting hired.
It's better to look elsewhere, where your skills (if you have prior work-ex and do your LL.M.) can come in handy.
Hope this helps.
Tax is lucrative and has larger number of opportunities in consultant firms like E&Y, PWC etc. but ordinarily average tax salaries are little lower in comparison to law firm jobs.
Looking for a job in U.S. for domestic practice whether tax or otherwise is more suited for a J.D. degree and I can't say much about tax for NW (it's considered better for corporate practice) tax is better in NYU and GULC, which is true for not just the LL.M. but for the JD as well as they are a larger offering of tax courses and better and highly specialized professors, but in general all top 20 schools should do you good and will not thwart you desire to live and work here.
Write in if you need more information and if possible I might be around.
quote
tellbuk
JD=Better opportunity
LLM=Cheaper option> must network alot more in order to find job in a very shrot space of time which is possible.

Consider the fact that if you do well on the JD particularly in first and second year, you can obtain an offer from top firm that do the On Campus Interviews (OCI).

LLM=NYU international students job fair which is highly competitive and mainly serves as a recruiting tool for firms and companies mostly wishing to hire students to go back to their home countries to fill vacant positions.
JD=Better opportunity
LLM=Cheaper option> must network alot more in order to find job in a very shrot space of time which is possible.

Consider the fact that if you do well on the JD particularly in first and second year, you can obtain an offer from top firm that do the On Campus Interviews (OCI).

LLM=NYU international students job fair which is highly competitive and mainly serves as a recruiting tool for firms and companies mostly wishing to hire students to go back to their home countries to fill vacant positions.
quote
Pratima
Thankyou for your responses. I plan to settle in the U.S. And I don't wish to go back to my home country so I guess that J.D. Is a prudent choice. Can anyone advise good coaching for LSAT? Princeton, Kaplan which one is better?
Thankyou for your responses. I plan to settle in the U.S. And I don't wish to go back to my home country so I guess that J.D. Is a prudent choice. Can anyone advise good coaching for LSAT? Princeton, Kaplan which one is better?
quote
tellbuk
Since you intend to settle in the US chose to do the JD. You will have a greater advantage!!

Regarding the SAT, I would suggest you take Kaplan because their method of teaching is particularly helpful for international students. I took Kaplan for the Bar Exam and found it to be the better option for me.
Since you intend to settle in the US chose to do the JD. You will have a greater advantage!!

Regarding the SAT, I would suggest you take Kaplan because their method of teaching is particularly helpful for international students. I took Kaplan for the Bar Exam and found it to be the better option for me.
quote
Lisa_I
Thankyou for your responses. I plan to settle in the U.S. And I don't wish to go back to my home country so I guess that J.D. Is a prudent choice. Can anyone advise good coaching for LSAT? Princeton, Kaplan which one is better?


Powerscore

just buy real test and 2 bibles - and study yourself.
<blockquote>Thankyou for your responses. I plan to settle in the U.S. And I don't wish to go back to my home country so I guess that J.D. Is a prudent choice. Can anyone advise good coaching for LSAT? Princeton, Kaplan which one is better?</blockquote>

Powerscore

just buy real test and 2 bibles - and study yourself.
quote
I am a foreign educated student. I will be receiving my degree here in the UK this year and am enrolling at GULC to do International Legal Studies (LL.M.). I am told that if you are educated in a country using the English Common Law system, then certain bar exams are open as an option. If not, then they may well require that you take a certain amount of credits in certain American Law courses. Although this doesn't exclusively refer to an LL.M. degree, it would certainly suffice. I know certain states won't accept this, and require a J.D..

This means that (with a green card) there is no reason you cannot practise in the US after graduating with an LL.M. and having passed a state bar exam. My intention is to do so in NY, and have been told that this is completely possible. Go to the individual board of law examiners websites to see what their individual policies are.

e.g. http://www.nybarexam.org/Eligible/Eligibility.htm
I am a foreign educated student. I will be receiving my degree here in the UK this year and am enrolling at GULC to do International Legal Studies (LL.M.). I am told that if you are educated in a country using the English Common Law system, then certain bar exams are open as an option. If not, then they may well require that you take a certain amount of credits in certain American Law courses. Although this doesn't exclusively refer to an LL.M. degree, it would certainly suffice. I know certain states won't accept this, and require a J.D..

This means that (with a green card) there is no reason you cannot practise in the US after graduating with an LL.M. and having passed a state bar exam. My intention is to do so in NY, and have been told that this is completely possible. Go to the individual board of law examiners websites to see what their individual policies are.

e.g. http://www.nybarexam.org/Eligible/Eligibility.htm
quote
tanya20
this blog was really helpful in educating me about JD. I will be getting married to a doctor practicing in US and as a foreign national (having LLB from national law school in india), till now i thought that LLM was the only way to get american legal education. Can you please educate me more about JD as an option. I want to work in US, Cant i work after LLM which is cheaper and less time consuming? how is JD better than LLM? is it worth spending 3 years again, since i have already finished a 5 yeas law cours (BA. LL.B.(hons)) in India??
urgent need for an answer!
this blog was really helpful in educating me about JD. I will be getting married to a doctor practicing in US and as a foreign national (having LLB from national law school in india), till now i thought that LLM was the only way to get american legal education. Can you please educate me more about JD as an option. I want to work in US, Cant i work after LLM which is cheaper and less time consuming? how is JD better than LLM? is it worth spending 3 years again, since i have already finished a 5 yeas law cours (BA. LL.B.(hons)) in India??
urgent need for an answer!
quote
Hey, you're marrying an American doctor! You've got it made! In that case, get the LLM and save yourself some time. You won't need a huge salary from a big firm. And, if you get an LLM in Tax, you have the best (i.e., most likely) chance of getting a good job in the USA either with a nice law firm, consulting firm, or perhaps a corporate job.
Hey, you're marrying an American doctor! You've got it made! In that case, get the LLM and save yourself some time. You won't need a huge salary from a big firm. And, if you get an LLM in Tax, you have the best (i.e., most likely) chance of getting a good job in the USA either with a nice law firm, consulting firm, or perhaps a corporate job.
quote
tanya20
hey, voice.of.reason, thanks fr your quick reply! I want a good and well paying job. Do you think that LL.M. can help me in that? taxation is not my chosen area of interest.
hey, voice.of.reason, thanks fr your quick reply! I want a good and well paying job. Do you think that LL.M. can help me in that? taxation is not my chosen area of interest.
quote
My personal experience, which is similar to the comments you will find on this site, is that foreign trained lawyers who simply get a general LLM in the USA will find it quite difficult to gain a "high paying job" (or any job) in an American law firm. There is a strong preference (rightfully so) for JD holders. The sole exception might be an LLM in tax or, of course, an LLM from one of the really top schools (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Stanford).

That said, if you are able to explain your own experience to a firm (e.g., language skills, home contacts, possible new business) to a firm, then they might take a chance on you. So, the door is not shut completely, but it is tough to open.
My personal experience, which is similar to the comments you will find on this site, is that foreign trained lawyers who simply get a general LLM in the USA will find it quite difficult to gain a "high paying job" (or any job) in an American law firm. There is a strong preference (rightfully so) for JD holders. The sole exception might be an LLM in tax or, of course, an LLM from one of the really top schools (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Stanford).

That said, if you are able to explain your own experience to a firm (e.g., language skills, home contacts, possible new business) to a firm, then they might take a chance on you. So, the door is not shut completely, but it is tough to open.
quote
Lisa_I
this blog was really helpful in educating me about JD. I will be getting married to a doctor practicing in US and as a foreign national (having LLB from national law school in india), till now i thought that LLM was the only way to get american legal education. Can you please educate me more about JD as an option. I want to work in US, Cant i work after LLM which is cheaper and less time consuming? how is JD better than LLM? is it worth spending 3 years again, since i have already finished a 5 yeas law cours (BA. LL.B.(hons)) in India??
urgent need for an answer!


if you want to work in USA, and move here permanently, go and get JD.
Don't be cheap, the cheap pays twice.
No one wants to hire foreign lawyer, which you even having LLM.
Would you go for advice to the Chinese lawyer practicing in India with just one year of training? I don't think so.
out of class of 100 there are only 3 or 4 pass bar, and only 2 or 3 get hired usually for a year.
<blockquote>this blog was really helpful in educating me about JD. I will be getting married to a doctor practicing in US and as a foreign national (having LLB from national law school in india), till now i thought that LLM was the only way to get american legal education. Can you please educate me more about JD as an option. I want to work in US, Cant i work after LLM which is cheaper and less time consuming? how is JD better than LLM? is it worth spending 3 years again, since i have already finished a 5 yeas law cours (BA. LL.B.(hons)) in India??
urgent need for an answer!</blockquote>

if you want to work in USA, and move here permanently, go and get JD.
Don't be cheap, the cheap pays twice.
No one wants to hire foreign lawyer, which you even having LLM.
Would you go for advice to the Chinese lawyer practicing in India with just one year of training? I don't think so.
out of class of 100 there are only 3 or 4 pass bar, and only 2 or 3 get hired usually for a year.
quote
Lisa_I
The sole exception might be an LLM in tax or, of course, an LLM from one of the really top schools (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Stanford).

that is no longer true either (((
<blockquote>The sole exception might be an LLM in tax or, of course, an LLM from one of the really top schools (e.g., Harvard, Yale, Stanford). </blockquote>
that is no longer true either (((
quote
Lisa_I
This means that (with a green card) there is no reason you cannot practise in the US after graduating with an LL.M. and having passed a state bar exam. My intention is to do so in NY, and have been told that this is completely possible. Go to the individual board of law examiners websites to see what their individual policies are.
you can practice if you pass but you can't get a job to pay you 40k loan.
<blockquote>This means that (with a green card) there is no reason you cannot practise in the US after graduating with an LL.M. and having passed a state bar exam. My intention is to do so in NY, and have been told that this is completely possible. Go to the individual board of law examiners websites to see what their individual policies are.</blockquote> you can practice if you pass but you can't get a job to pay you 40k loan.
quote

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