Best US programs for me


nafreeme
I'm a bit lost with all of the US programs on offer... Can anyone help me out? I'd like to shortlist around 5 programs in the US, doesn't matter the state. Like many others out there, I want to complete the LLM and sit the NY bar...

I was born and raised in Brazil and did my first law degree here. I graduated in '07 from one of the best law schools in the country. I got good grades... Probably among the top 15% of my class.

I was admitted to the Brazilian Bar in '08. Since graduation, I've worked in important national law firms, with a strong experience in M&A and corporate law.

I was thinking of applying to the top 5 US News schools, and maybe one such as Texas Austin to ensure that I get in. Is that too ambitious?
I'm a bit lost with all of the US programs on offer... Can anyone help me out? I'd like to shortlist around 5 programs in the US, doesn't matter the state. Like many others out there, I want to complete the LLM and sit the NY bar...

I was born and raised in Brazil and did my first law degree here. I graduated in '07 from one of the best law schools in the country. I got good grades... Probably among the top 15% of my class.

I was admitted to the Brazilian Bar in '08. Since graduation, I've worked in important national law firms, with a strong experience in M&A and corporate law.

I was thinking of applying to the top 5 US News schools, and maybe one such as Texas Austin to ensure that I get in. Is that too ambitious?
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KJP
Hi, nafreeme.

I suggest that you first check which US law schools still accept LLM applications for Fall 2014. You may check the websites of your target schools. In the alternative, this link may assist you:

http://www.llm-guide.com/article/823/llm-application-deadlines-for-fall-2014-us-law-schools

Once you've determined which schools are still open for applications, begin preparing your documents/papers and register with LSAC, as appropriate.

In my opinion, nothing's too ambitious as long as you have the credentials and qualifications to support your application. Aim high!
Hi, nafreeme.

I suggest that you first check which US law schools still accept LLM applications for Fall 2014. You may check the websites of your target schools. In the alternative, this link may assist you:

http://www.llm-guide.com/article/823/llm-application-deadlines-for-fall-2014-us-law-schools

Once you've determined which schools are still open for applications, begin preparing your documents/papers and register with LSAC, as appropriate.

In my opinion, nothing's too ambitious as long as you have the credentials and qualifications to support your application. Aim high!
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nafreeme
Thanks! Maybe I should've said I dont plan to start the LLM before 2015...
Thanks! Maybe I should've said I dont plan to start the LLM before 2015...
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KJP
In that case, you have plenty of time to weigh your options. Any preliminary concentrations you would want to pursue?
In that case, you have plenty of time to weigh your options. Any preliminary concentrations you would want to pursue?
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nafreeme
I've worked with M&A and corporate law all my life... I reckon I'll likely focus on M&A, international M&A and stuff like that... haven't really given a lot of thought though. I just want to make sure I get into the best possible program, reputation-wise.
I've worked with M&A and corporate law all my life... I reckon I'll likely focus on M&A, international M&A and stuff like that... haven't really given a lot of thought though. I just want to make sure I get into the best possible program, reputation-wise.
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You have a good chance at the top 5. And, I think you can aim higher than Texas for a safety school. Don't go on pure rankings alone however, because those rankings fluctuate year to year. Pick schools with strong international and business curriculum as well as name recognition. Some annually strong schools not in the current top 5 include:
Georgetown
NYU
Chicago
Duke
You have a good chance at the top 5. And, I think you can aim higher than Texas for a safety school. Don't go on pure rankings alone however, because those rankings fluctuate year to year. Pick schools with strong international and business curriculum as well as name recognition. Some annually strong schools not in the current top 5 include:
Georgetown
NYU
Chicago
Duke
quote
KJP
That is true. Program-specific rankings should be considered more than general school rankings. Looking into specialized degree programs will narrow down the options.
That is true. Program-specific rankings should be considered more than general school rankings. Looking into specialized degree programs will narrow down the options.
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nafreeme
Thank you Voice of Reason and KJP for the comments. I'll rethink my school choices to make sure I don't screw up... Thanks again for the help.

One question about the application process: does it vary a lot from one school to the other? I know they all use LSAC... but, for example, what's the personal statement/statement of purpose like? Do I upload one statement of purpose onto LSAC and use that to all schools?

Thanks!
Thank you Voice of Reason and KJP for the comments. I'll rethink my school choices to make sure I don't screw up... Thanks again for the help.

One question about the application process: does it vary a lot from one school to the other? I know they all use LSAC... but, for example, what's the personal statement/statement of purpose like? Do I upload one statement of purpose onto LSAC and use that to all schools?

Thanks!
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nafreeme
One more question (now about NY and CA bar requirements): If the school is ABA approved, does it automatically mean (dependent only on the modules I take during the program) that the LLM is enough to meet the NY and CA bar requirements? I know there are other things I should be concerned about before I can finally have an answers as to whether or not I'm eligible to sit the NY or CA bar exam, but I just wanted to know about the LLM part and how I can get that outta the way.
One more question (now about NY and CA bar requirements): If the school is ABA approved, does it automatically mean (dependent only on the modules I take during the program) that the LLM is enough to meet the NY and CA bar requirements? I know there are other things I should be concerned about before I can finally have an answers as to whether or not I'm eligible to sit the NY or CA bar exam, but I just wanted to know about the LLM part and how I can get that outta the way.
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On NY you have to take some specific courses in order to sit for the bar.
On NY you have to take some specific courses in order to sit for the bar.

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KJP
One question about the application process: does it vary a lot from one school to the other? I know they all use LSAC... but, for example, what's the personal statement/statement of purpose like? Do I upload one statement of purpose onto LSAC and use that to all schools?


If you will avail of LSAC, you upload your credentials/documents once, except if the particular document is meant for a specific school (such as the PS, in which case multiple uploads are needed given the fact that you would have to customize the PS according to the program you're applying for). I am not an expert about the LSAC process though.

Caveat: Although I initially registered with LSAC, I did not avail of its services. I opted for a paper application since I applied only to one school (GULC).
<blockquote>One question about the application process: does it vary a lot from one school to the other? I know they all use LSAC... but, for example, what's the personal statement/statement of purpose like? Do I upload one statement of purpose onto LSAC and use that to all schools? </blockquote>

If you will avail of LSAC, you upload your credentials/documents once, except if the particular document is meant for a specific school (such as the PS, in which case multiple uploads are needed given the fact that you would have to customize the PS according to the program you're applying for). I am not an expert about the LSAC process though.

Caveat: Although I initially registered with LSAC, I did not avail of its services. I opted for a paper application since I applied only to one school (GULC).
quote
KJP
One more question (now about NY and CA bar requirements): If the school is ABA approved, does it automatically mean (dependent only on the modules I take during the program) that the LLM is enough to meet the NY and CA bar requirements?


There are specific credit courses that should be taken in order to satisfy eligibility requirements, unless being a law graduate and licensed foreign lawyer from a certain country qualifies you to sit for the bar exams even without taking an LLM or taking specific courses.

I have not looked into CA bar requirements so this response may apply only to the NY bar.
<blockquote>One more question (now about NY and CA bar requirements): If the school is ABA approved, does it automatically mean (dependent only on the modules I take during the program) that the LLM is enough to meet the NY and CA bar requirements? </blockquote>

There are specific credit courses that should be taken in order to satisfy eligibility requirements, unless being a law graduate and licensed foreign lawyer from a certain country qualifies you to sit for the bar exams even without taking an LLM or taking specific courses.

I have not looked into CA bar requirements so this response may apply only to the NY bar.
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nafreeme
Thanks KJP.

I knew about the specific courses thing. I only wanted to know if I have to narrow down my school choices because a specific LLM program may not offer these couses. For instance, do all top 10 US news schools offer these courses? Therefore, would it be safe to say that a top 10 US news LLM (provided you pick the right courses) qualifies the student to sit for the NY bar (let's leave CA aside for now)?

Thanks and sorry for all these questions... I really am a bit lost...
Thanks KJP.

I knew about the specific courses thing. I only wanted to know if I have to narrow down my school choices because a specific LLM program may not offer these couses. For instance, do all top 10 US news schools offer these courses? Therefore, would it be safe to say that a top 10 US news LLM (provided you pick the right courses) qualifies the student to sit for the NY bar (let's leave CA aside for now)?

Thanks and sorry for all these questions... I really am a bit lost...
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KJP
I think it would be generally correct to assume that taking an LLM from top schools would qualify the student to sit for the NY bar, unless the program is very specialized that the mandatory/prerequisite subjects that would qualify the student for the NY bar (or at least some of them) are not offered for credit or that the student would have to take those subjects over and above the coursework required to obtain the LLM.

For instance, I know of a specialized LLM degree that does not provide all the mandatory/prerequisite subjects for the NY bar in its curriculum. Thus, the student would have to take those subjects beyond his/her LLM-required coursework.
I think it would be generally correct to assume that taking an LLM from top schools would qualify the student to sit for the NY bar, unless the program is very specialized that the mandatory/prerequisite subjects that would qualify the student for the NY bar (or at least some of them) are not offered for credit or that the student would have to take those subjects over and above the coursework required to obtain the LLM.

For instance, I know of a specialized LLM degree that does not provide all the mandatory/prerequisite subjects for the NY bar in its curriculum. Thus, the student would have to take those subjects beyond his/her LLM-required coursework.
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