Any point taking an LLM?


I'm a second year law student at Oxford. I have a training contract with the London office of a Magic Circle firm. However, I want to move to the US at the earliest opportunity. I am Canadian, so getting a work visa is not a huge issue. Is there any point to applying for an LLM? Or should I just do my training contract here, take the New York bar, and hope for a chance to lateral on NQ or 2-4 PQE?

[Edited by illegalbeagle on Jan 16, 2021]

I'm a second year law student at Oxford. I have a training contract with the London office of a Magic Circle firm. However, I want to move to the US at the earliest opportunity. I am Canadian, so getting a work visa is not a huge issue. Is there any point to applying for an LLM? Or should I just do my training contract here, take the New York bar, and hope for a chance to lateral on NQ or 2-4 PQE?
quote
LuLu100

Interesting question... I would say that to be an associate at a good US firm in the US specifically, it would be extremely hard without having done any education in the US given the difference in legal systems. Doing an LLM would be a minimum but from what I hear from my US team (they sit next to me in the office), it is only a very very small proportion of LLM students that break into the US. The only exception would be associates from South America who are hired to work on LatAm financings (ie cause they need native Spanish or Portuguese speakers on infra deals).
 
Ultimately it will depend on what area of law you want to do. In my field (LevFin) it’s possible to work in the US as an English finance lawyer (for example, Latham have a decent sized English finance team in LA - I know a couple people there well, if you want to speak to them). Other areas like arbitration are very international so you can move over there post qualification if you can make the justification (a friend from Uni did that - but he was at KS). Privacy might also help.
Also to bear in mind, magic circle doesn’t have the same prestige in the US as in the U.K. so it’s not as though being qualified from A&O automatically makes you more marketable than a US JD student.
Do you want me to put you in touch with some of my US colleagues who can really give you their views? 

Interesting question... I would say that to be an associate at a good US firm in the US specifically, it would be extremely hard without having done any education in the US given the difference in legal systems. Doing an LLM would be a minimum but from what I hear from my US team (they sit next to me in the office), it is only a very very small proportion of LLM students that break into the US. The only exception would be associates from South America who are hired to work on LatAm financings (ie cause they need native Spanish or Portuguese speakers on infra deals).<br>&nbsp;<br>Ultimately it will depend on what area of law you want to do. In my field (LevFin) it’s possible to work in the US as an English finance lawyer (for example, Latham have a decent sized English finance team in LA - I know a couple people there well, if you want to speak to them). Other areas like arbitration are very international so you can move over there post qualification if you can make the justification (a friend from Uni did that - but he was at KS). Privacy might also help.<br>Also to bear in mind, magic circle doesn’t have the same prestige in the US as in the U.K. so it’s not as though being qualified from A&amp;O automatically makes you more marketable than a US JD student.<br>Do you want me to put you in touch with some of my US colleagues who can really give you their views?&nbsp;
quote
csaa26

If you want to work in US, an American LLM is worth for your purpose.
I am a Brazilian lawyer and I see a lot of lawyers taking LLM in NY, Washington and California, and sitting to the bar in these places. They usually get a job in partners law firms initially as foreign associates. However, the lawyers I know had the opportunity to work as associates for 3/4 years prior coming back to Brazil. In the long run, take an LLM in US if you want to work and live there.

If you want to work in US, an American LLM is worth for your purpose.<br>I am a Brazilian lawyer and I see a lot of lawyers taking LLM in NY, Washington and California, and sitting to the bar in these places. They usually get a job in partners law firms initially as foreign associates. However, the lawyers I know had the opportunity to work as associates for 3/4 years prior coming back to Brazil. In the long run, take an LLM in US if you want to work and live there.
quote

Reply to Post