Australian attorney looking to practice in California


Dear all,

I am currently admitted and practising as an attorney in Australia. I am looking to move to California, sit the bar exam and work as an attorney.

I would prefer to be working whilst I undertake study for the bar exam as I know from my experience in Australia, that employers prefer that a person is working before they hire them as a first-year associate. What are the prospects of getting a job as an Australia(foreign) attorney in California before taking the bar exam?

Does anyone know of any legal recruiters that link foreign attorneys with firms who hire foreign attorneys? Also just a general question about the law profession in California, is it worth the move? and finally, how long would it take for me to prepare for the California bar exam (3 months, 6 months?). I thank you in advance.

Regards,
Hamoudi
Dear all,

I am currently admitted and practising as an attorney in Australia. I am looking to move to California, sit the bar exam and work as an attorney.

I would prefer to be working whilst I undertake study for the bar exam as I know from my experience in Australia, that employers prefer that a person is working before they hire them as a first-year associate. What are the prospects of getting a job as an Australia(foreign) attorney in California before taking the bar exam?

Does anyone know of any legal recruiters that link foreign attorneys with firms who hire foreign attorneys? Also just a general question about the law profession in California, is it worth the move? and finally, how long would it take for me to prepare for the California bar exam (3 months, 6 months?). I thank you in advance.

Regards,
Hamoudi
quote
Dear you
1)Geting hired w/o the californian would be tough task indeed except you gave advice about australian law
2)You have to be in the position to analyze the risks and the profits by moving to california(its your carreer)
3)You have to bear in mind bar exams in california is the hardest one to pass with rates of 44% so working and having to study alltogether seems pretty impossible
4)If your uni is not aba accredited you have to pursue 1year llm in order to sit bar exams
5)Finally about the duration of prep courses they shouldnt take more than 3 months
Kind regards
Mike
Dear you
1)Geting hired w/o the californian would be tough task indeed except you gave advice about australian law
2)You have to be in the position to analyze the risks and the profits by moving to california(its your carreer)
3)You have to bear in mind bar exams in california is the hardest one to pass with rates of 44% so working and having to study alltogether seems pretty impossible
4)If your uni is not aba accredited you have to pursue 1year llm in order to sit bar exams
5)Finally about the duration of prep courses they shouldnt take more than 3 months
Kind regards
Mike
quote
a2
Actually, you do not need a LLM to sit for the California bar if you are admitted to the bar in your home jurisdiction, which it sounds like you are.

http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/FLC/2015_ForeignAttyBul.0215_R.pdf

As to the likelihood of getting hired, I think it would probably be hard to be hired before passing the bar. Seems like it a better idea to stay in Australia and study for the California bar, pass it and then get a job. And yes, the job market is of course tough, so good luck!
Actually, you do not need a LLM to sit for the California bar if you are admitted to the bar in your home jurisdiction, which it sounds like you are.

http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/FLC/2015_ForeignAttyBul.0215_R.pdf

As to the likelihood of getting hired, I think it would probably be hard to be hired before passing the bar. Seems like it a better idea to stay in Australia and study for the California bar, pass it and then get a job. And yes, the job market is of course tough, so good luck!
quote
Hey mate
I am from greece and i passed bar exam here.So younre saying i can sit for california or NY bar w/o pursuing a llm?
Thanks in advance
Hey mate
I am from greece and i passed bar exam here.So younre saying i can sit for california or NY bar w/o pursuing a llm?
Thanks in advance
quote
grumpyJD
It's not very straightforward but all of the information can be found on the calbar.ca.gov website. You are correct- you don't need an LLM if you are already qualified as a lawyer in your home jurisdiction. You will need to show proof of good standing in Greece to register with the CA bar. Before you can register for the exam, you should provide a US social security number and pass the moral fitness verification (references, fingerprints, etc). That takes a few months and it costs around $700. I know some people get around the SSN by using a TIN or something butI don't know how that works. Once you prove you're a lawyer in good standing and pass the moral character thing, then you can write the bar exam (held in February and July) which costs around $1200. Also, you will need to take a separate legal profession exam (MPRE) at some point during the year. It takes a few months to get the results from the bar exam too. It's a long and expensive process and you need to plan accordingly.
It's not very straightforward but all of the information can be found on the calbar.ca.gov website. You are correct- you don't need an LLM if you are already qualified as a lawyer in your home jurisdiction. You will need to show proof of good standing in Greece to register with the CA bar. Before you can register for the exam, you should provide a US social security number and pass the moral fitness verification (references, fingerprints, etc). That takes a few months and it costs around $700. I know some people get around the SSN by using a TIN or something butI don't know how that works. Once you prove you're a lawyer in good standing and pass the moral character thing, then you can write the bar exam (held in February and July) which costs around $1200. Also, you will need to take a separate legal profession exam (MPRE) at some point during the year. It takes a few months to get the results from the bar exam too. It's a long and expensive process and you need to plan accordingly.
quote
a2
Hey mate
I am from greece and i passed bar exam here.So younre saying i can sit for california or NY bar w/o pursuing a llm?
Thanks in advance


No, that's only for the CA bar. Which GrumpyJD provided more information about. But for the NY bar, there are other rules. I don't know them that well, but if my memory serves me right, you can only pass the NY bar w/o a LLM if you have a first degree in law from a common law country. I'm guessing Greece is a civil law country so then to my knowledge you could not pass the NY bar without a LLM. But you should double check it. It's all available through googling, but the rules can be a bit cumbersome to understand. Good luck!
<blockquote>Hey mate
I am from greece and i passed bar exam here.So younre saying i can sit for california or NY bar w/o pursuing a llm?
Thanks in advance</blockquote>

No, that's only for the CA bar. Which GrumpyJD provided more information about. But for the NY bar, there are other rules. I don't know them that well, but if my memory serves me right, you can only pass the NY bar w/o a LLM if you have a first degree in law from a common law country. I'm guessing Greece is a civil law country so then to my knowledge you could not pass the NY bar without a LLM. But you should double check it. It's all available through googling, but the rules can be a bit cumbersome to understand. Good luck!
quote
Thank you all!
But a crucial point llm students overseas pay ridiculously expensive llm 54-58k$ is there any alternatives?
I have to work for 3 more years to afford an llm
thanks in advance
Thank you all!
But a crucial point llm students overseas pay ridiculously expensive llm 54-58k$ is there any alternatives?
I have to work for 3 more years to afford an llm
thanks in advance
quote
Dear all

It's been almost two years since my original post. Wow how time does indeed fly!

I decided to continue practising law in Australia and become unrestricted. What "unrestricted" means is that I can now work for myself in any jurisdiction which requires an Australian admitted attorney (and potentially UK admitted attorneys as the UK and Australian systems are almost identical in their respective applications of the law).

I have decided to prepare for the California Bar over 6-9months instead of 3 months. I will complete as many past papers as possible to put myself in the best position to pass. I understand it will be difficult but so is everything else I have did in life.

The new change to the California bar exam from a 3 day exam to a 2 day exam with 50-50 weighting is great for someone in my position. If I am able to score above 85%+ in the multiple choice, I would only require 60% in the written part of the exam to pass overall.

If any attorneys from Australia who have successfully passed the California bar are reading this, please give me some useful advice and direction.

Thank you.

Regards
Hamoudi
Dear all

It's been almost two years since my original post. Wow how time does indeed fly!

I decided to continue practising law in Australia and become unrestricted. What "unrestricted" means is that I can now work for myself in any jurisdiction which requires an Australian admitted attorney (and potentially UK admitted attorneys as the UK and Australian systems are almost identical in their respective applications of the law).

I have decided to prepare for the California Bar over 6-9months instead of 3 months. I will complete as many past papers as possible to put myself in the best position to pass. I understand it will be difficult but so is everything else I have did in life.

The new change to the California bar exam from a 3 day exam to a 2 day exam with 50-50 weighting is great for someone in my position. If I am able to score above 85%+ in the multiple choice, I would only require 60% in the written part of the exam to pass overall.

If any attorneys from Australia who have successfully passed the California bar are reading this, please give me some useful advice and direction.

Thank you.

Regards
Hamoudi

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