Chance of getting in job in USA after complete LLM


Mia Mia
Hi everyone

I am an American, but I went to law school (the GDL and LPC) in England. I've completed a training contract and qualified as a solicitor, but I would like to return to America to work (ideally I'd like to get an LLM, and then take the NY bar and work in NY, where I am originally from).

Does anyone know how difficult it is for a foreign-educated lawyer to get a job in America after completing an LLM? I spoke to someone on the phone at Boston University, and she said their LLM course is designed for foriegn students to leave the United States after it's completed, as it is very difficult for non-US-Law School (i.e. J.D.) educated students to get jobs in America?

Is this true? If it is true, why do so many foreign lawyers do LLMs?

Also, I've just found out that I am eligible to sit the California Bar exam (without getting an LLM, unlike NY).

Do you think it would be easier to get a job in California without an LLM, or in NY with an LLM?

Thanks very much for your help

Mia x
Hi everyone

I am an American, but I went to law school (the GDL and LPC) in England. I've completed a training contract and qualified as a solicitor, but I would like to return to America to work (ideally I'd like to get an LLM, and then take the NY bar and work in NY, where I am originally from).

Does anyone know how difficult it is for a foreign-educated lawyer to get a job in America after completing an LLM? I spoke to someone on the phone at Boston University, and she said their LLM course is designed for foriegn students to leave the United States after it's completed, as it is very difficult for non-US-Law School (i.e. J.D.) educated students to get jobs in America?

Is this true? If it is true, why do so many foreign lawyers do LLMs?

Also, I've just found out that I am eligible to sit the California Bar exam (without getting an LLM, unlike NY).

Do you think it would be easier to get a job in California without an LLM, or in NY with an LLM?

Thanks very much for your help

Mia x
quote
LL.M for foreign lawyers is not suitable for you; in any case you are eligible to seek admission into LL.M for US citizens though your first degree is from UK.

Once you are admitted into the California Bar, getting a job in USA should not be difficult for you at all.
LL.M for foreign lawyers is not suitable for you; in any case you are eligible to seek admission into LL.M for US citizens though your first degree is from UK.

Once you are admitted into the California Bar, getting a job in USA should not be difficult for you at all.
quote
richardvf
Mia,

Because you are a licensed attorney in the UK, you are eligible to take the California bar exam without any further legal education. If you pass, you will be a licensed attorney in California.

It is my understanding that you would need to complete an LL.M to take the New York bar examination, but I am not 100% certain of this. It also may be possible to take the New York bar without an LL.M if you pass the California bar. I would check into this.

Foreign law graduates come to the US for LL.M degrees because they either want to live and study in the US for a year in order to gain a basic understanding of the US legal system before they return to their home country, or because they harbor hopes that a LL.M from a top law school will allow them to get a permanent law firm job in the US. However, as a practical matter, very few foreign LL.M graduates will be able to get a job after graduation and remain in the US. First, most law firms prefer US J.D graduates. Additionally, most law firms just do not want to do with the immigration paperwork needed to obatin a work visa for a foreign LL.M graduate.

Your situation is a little different because as a US citizen you have the right to live and work in the US. If you decide to take the California bar without any further legal education, you would probably be able to find some type of attorney job in California if you pass. You probably are not going to get a Biglaw job, but you will find something. The problem is that if you follow this route you will be very limited as to where you will be able to practice law in the US as most states require a J.D. to take the bar exam.

You need to understand that while you probably only have a 3 or 4 year LL.B most US lawyers have 7 years of university education (4 years for a Bachelor's degree and 3 years for the J.D.). If you really want to practice law in the US, I think you should give serious consideration to obtaining a J.D. degree. A J.D. will allow you to take the bar exam in all 50 states and increase youe employment opportunities. Several law schools in the US, including Northwestern, have 2 year J.D. programs for foreign LL.B graduates.
Mia,

Because you are a licensed attorney in the UK, you are eligible to take the California bar exam without any further legal education. If you pass, you will be a licensed attorney in California.

It is my understanding that you would need to complete an LL.M to take the New York bar examination, but I am not 100% certain of this. It also may be possible to take the New York bar without an LL.M if you pass the California bar. I would check into this.

Foreign law graduates come to the US for LL.M degrees because they either want to live and study in the US for a year in order to gain a basic understanding of the US legal system before they return to their home country, or because they harbor hopes that a LL.M from a top law school will allow them to get a permanent law firm job in the US. However, as a practical matter, very few foreign LL.M graduates will be able to get a job after graduation and remain in the US. First, most law firms prefer US J.D graduates. Additionally, most law firms just do not want to do with the immigration paperwork needed to obatin a work visa for a foreign LL.M graduate.

Your situation is a little different because as a US citizen you have the right to live and work in the US. If you decide to take the California bar without any further legal education, you would probably be able to find some type of attorney job in California if you pass. You probably are not going to get a Biglaw job, but you will find something. The problem is that if you follow this route you will be very limited as to where you will be able to practice law in the US as most states require a J.D. to take the bar exam.

You need to understand that while you probably only have a 3 or 4 year LL.B most US lawyers have 7 years of university education (4 years for a Bachelor's degree and 3 years for the J.D.). If you really want to practice law in the US, I think you should give serious consideration to obtaining a J.D. degree. A J.D. will allow you to take the bar exam in all 50 states and increase youe employment opportunities. Several law schools in the US, including Northwestern, have 2 year J.D. programs for foreign LL.B graduates.
quote
hannenyh

Once you are admitted into the California Bar, getting a job in USA should not be difficult for you at all.


I am not so sure about this "at all". Most law firms may be hesitant to hire you for a number of reasons. Do you have any ties to California? If not, they may not believe that you will stay there for more than a year or two, and thus not want to invest in you. This is a problem for JD candidates at least. Another problem might be that they have several candidates who apply WITH a JD, and those will more than likely be preferred, so the job you get might not be a job you want. Although I don't know what your ambitions are, so it might not be a big issue for you. If you want to take the NY Bar you will probably have to get an LLM. I would double check this though. If you don't want more than one year of school, this seems like the best way to go. But richardf makes a valid point, and you should check out 2-year JD's, if that is a possibility for you. Getting a job after that should be piece of cake if you do well. You will have no immigration issues, which is a huge plus :) Good Luck!
<blockquote>
Once you are admitted into the California Bar, getting a job in USA should not be difficult for you at all. </blockquote>

I am not so sure about this "at all". Most law firms may be hesitant to hire you for a number of reasons. Do you have any ties to California? If not, they may not believe that you will stay there for more than a year or two, and thus not want to invest in you. This is a problem for JD candidates at least. Another problem might be that they have several candidates who apply WITH a JD, and those will more than likely be preferred, so the job you get might not be a job you want. Although I don't know what your ambitions are, so it might not be a big issue for you. If you want to take the NY Bar you will probably have to get an LLM. I would double check this though. If you don't want more than one year of school, this seems like the best way to go. But richardf makes a valid point, and you should check out 2-year JD's, if that is a possibility for you. Getting a job after that should be piece of cake if you do well. You will have no immigration issues, which is a huge plus :) Good Luck!
quote
Mia Mia
Hi everyone

Thanks for all of the info. To clarify, I am a bit of an unusual case: I already have four year undergraduate degree from Columbia University (in NY). I then gained a GDL and an LPC (not an LLB) in England, and have worked for two years in a "training contract" in a City law firm in London, before qualifying as a solicitor.

In other words, I have 6 years study (rather than the usual 7 that a US applicant would have with a JD) and two-years on-the-job training.

I dont if this info might change any of the advice you've given????

Thanks very much again

Mia xx
Hi everyone

Thanks for all of the info. To clarify, I am a bit of an unusual case: I already have four year undergraduate degree from Columbia University (in NY). I then gained a GDL and an LPC (not an LLB) in England, and have worked for two years in a "training contract" in a City law firm in London, before qualifying as a solicitor.

In other words, I have 6 years study (rather than the usual 7 that a US applicant would have with a JD) and two-years on-the-job training.

I dont if this info might change any of the advice you've given????

Thanks very much again

Mia xx
quote
It may be difficult to get a job in the US but it is certainly possible. Since you are a solicitor I assume that your experience is with transactional work. I am with a "Big Law" firm in the US, and we have attorneys on both coasts that did not have US JDs or LLMs. Since you would be a lateral attorney the main questions are what experience do you have and how well would you fit in and add value to an existing practice group. In terms of prior employment, "Magic Circle" firms and international firms are preferred. Experience will vary depending on what sort of practice you are looking for - are you looking to do general corporate work, international deals, international anti-trust, or intellectual property? All these areas appear to be more open to foreign lawyers. Something to consider though is that most foreign lawyers take a cut in terms of experience level when coming to a US firm. That is, for salary purposes they are considered to have less legal experience. However, this is usually a wash since US firms pay so much more than most non-US firms (although this might be changing with the exchange rate).

Many large US law firms have foreign lawyers - particularly in California and New York. Find one who went to your law school and cold call them. If they have an opening and you have relevant experience they will likely be impressed by your chutzpah and may invite you in for an interview - particularly if you are going to be in New York anyway to visit family. I did this when I my job working for a judge was ending. I cold called a partner that had gone to my law school, explained my situation and asked if he was looking for someone with my experience. I had interviews scheduled a week later, and received an offer 15 minutes after the interviews.
It may be difficult to get a job in the US but it is certainly possible. Since you are a solicitor I assume that your experience is with transactional work. I am with a "Big Law" firm in the US, and we have attorneys on both coasts that did not have US JDs or LLMs. Since you would be a lateral attorney the main questions are what experience do you have and how well would you fit in and add value to an existing practice group. In terms of prior employment, "Magic Circle" firms and international firms are preferred. Experience will vary depending on what sort of practice you are looking for - are you looking to do general corporate work, international deals, international anti-trust, or intellectual property? All these areas appear to be more open to foreign lawyers. Something to consider though is that most foreign lawyers take a cut in terms of experience level when coming to a US firm. That is, for salary purposes they are considered to have less legal experience. However, this is usually a wash since US firms pay so much more than most non-US firms (although this might be changing with the exchange rate).

Many large US law firms have foreign lawyers - particularly in California and New York. Find one who went to your law school and cold call them. If they have an opening and you have relevant experience they will likely be impressed by your chutzpah and may invite you in for an interview - particularly if you are going to be in New York anyway to visit family. I did this when I my job working for a judge was ending. I cold called a partner that had gone to my law school, explained my situation and asked if he was looking for someone with my experience. I had interviews scheduled a week later, and received an offer 15 minutes after the interviews.
quote
Tsinoy
Mia Mia,

I have a Philippne JD. My answers are based on my experience with Phil classmates.

Here are my random thoughts...

LLM is not necessary for NY bar. My classmate has a Phil. JD and took the NY bar. Passed and has worked for 4 law firms. She is doing well. She got a job with no American education, earning about 60k.

Employers will prefer a J.D than an one year of american education (LLM). This is true of big firms. You can always be lucky with smaller firms. It all depends on the person and his strategy in getting jobs. You can bank on your Columbia undergrad. That can be your selling point. Also, American experience is a big plus.

Being an American, you can always find jobs here. Its harder for non Americans to get a job as they need to be sponsored. Employers need to make an extra effort to hire them.

I know of 3 to 4 Filipinos with Phil JD and American LLM and have a job here. Take LLM in Tax, you'll surely find a job.
Mia Mia,

I have a Philippne JD. My answers are based on my experience with Phil classmates.

Here are my random thoughts...

LLM is not necessary for NY bar. My classmate has a Phil. JD and took the NY bar. Passed and has worked for 4 law firms. She is doing well. She got a job with no American education, earning about 60k.

Employers will prefer a J.D than an one year of american education (LLM). This is true of big firms. You can always be lucky with smaller firms. It all depends on the person and his strategy in getting jobs. You can bank on your Columbia undergrad. That can be your selling point. Also, American experience is a big plus.

Being an American, you can always find jobs here. Its harder for non Americans to get a job as they need to be sponsored. Employers need to make an extra effort to hire them.

I know of 3 to 4 Filipinos with Phil JD and American LLM and have a job here. Take LLM in Tax, you'll surely find a job.

quote
Mia,

Because you are a licensed attorney in the UK, you are eligible to take the California bar exam without any further legal education. If you pass, you will be a licensed attorney in California.

It is my understanding that you would need to complete an LL.M to take the New York bar examination, but I am not 100% certain of this. It also may be possible to take the New York bar without an LL.M if you pass the California bar. I would check into this.

Foreign law graduates come to the US for LL.M degrees because they either want to live and study in the US for a year in order to gain a basic understanding of the US legal system before they return to their home country, or because they harbor hopes that a LL.M from a top law school will allow them to get a permanent law firm job in the US. However, as a practical matter, very few foreign LL.M graduates will be able to get a job after graduation and remain in the US. First, most law firms prefer US J.D graduates. Additionally, most law firms just do not want to do with the immigration paperwork needed to obatin a work visa for a foreign LL.M graduate.

Your situation is a little different because as a US citizen you have the right to live and work in the US. If you decide to take the California bar without any further legal education, you would probably be able to find some type of attorney job in California if you pass. You probably are not going to get a Biglaw job, but you will find something. The problem is that if you follow this route you will be very limited as to where you will be able to practice law in the US as most states require a J.D. to take the bar exam.

You need to understand that while you probably only have a 3 or 4 year LL.B most US lawyers have 7 years of university education (4 years for a Bachelor's degree and 3 years for the J.D.). If you really want to practice law in the US, I think you should give serious consideration to obtaining a J.D. degree. A J.D. will allow you to take the bar exam in all 50 states and increase youe employment opportunities. Several law schools in the US, including Northwestern, have 2 year J.D. programs for foreign LL.B graduates.



Hi,every one !! I have recently completed LLB 2016 from India. prior to this I have done B.E Electrical,MBA Marketing..as well. Should I go for LLM or JD ?? however by looking others opinion about LLM (in U.S),students facing hard time for finding job in that case can my indian educational degree and work ex. help to find a job in other field ??

Hope for the best
[quote]Mia,

Because you are a licensed attorney in the UK, you are eligible to take the California bar exam without any further legal education. If you pass, you will be a licensed attorney in California.

It is my understanding that you would need to complete an LL.M to take the New York bar examination, but I am not 100% certain of this. It also may be possible to take the New York bar without an LL.M if you pass the California bar. I would check into this.

Foreign law graduates come to the US for LL.M degrees because they either want to live and study in the US for a year in order to gain a basic understanding of the US legal system before they return to their home country, or because they harbor hopes that a LL.M from a top law school will allow them to get a permanent law firm job in the US. However, as a practical matter, very few foreign LL.M graduates will be able to get a job after graduation and remain in the US. First, most law firms prefer US J.D graduates. Additionally, most law firms just do not want to do with the immigration paperwork needed to obatin a work visa for a foreign LL.M graduate.

Your situation is a little different because as a US citizen you have the right to live and work in the US. If you decide to take the California bar without any further legal education, you would probably be able to find some type of attorney job in California if you pass. You probably are not going to get a Biglaw job, but you will find something. The problem is that if you follow this route you will be very limited as to where you will be able to practice law in the US as most states require a J.D. to take the bar exam.

You need to understand that while you probably only have a 3 or 4 year LL.B most US lawyers have 7 years of university education (4 years for a Bachelor's degree and 3 years for the J.D.). If you really want to practice law in the US, I think you should give serious consideration to obtaining a J.D. degree. A J.D. will allow you to take the bar exam in all 50 states and increase youe employment opportunities. Several law schools in the US, including Northwestern, have 2 year J.D. programs for foreign LL.B graduates. [/quote]


Hi,every one !! I have recently completed LLB 2016 from India. prior to this I have done B.E Electrical,MBA Marketing..as well. Should I go for LLM or JD ?? however by looking others opinion about LLM (in U.S),students facing hard time for finding job in that case can my indian educational degree and work ex. help to find a job in other field ??

Hope for the best
quote
I'm curious about non-lawyer job options in the US for foreign lawyers who have LLMs.

I understand that it can be hard to get a job as an attorney, but what about options like in-house counsel in big firms, or legal consulting, or legal advisor in an international company?

Maybe more specifically - how is the competition for these kinds of jobs and is it feasible for a non-US resident to find and land them?

Moreover, are the salaries comparable to those for lawyers?

Thanks!
I'm curious about non-lawyer job options in the US for foreign lawyers who have LLMs.

I understand that it can be hard to get a job as an attorney, but what about options like in-house counsel in big firms, or legal consulting, or legal advisor in an international company?

Maybe more specifically - how is the competition for these kinds of jobs and is it feasible for a non-US resident to find and land them?

Moreover, are the salaries comparable to those for lawyers?

Thanks!
quote
chicken so...
What industry were you thinking, and what are your qualifications (besides a potential LLM?) That can make a lot of difference.
What industry were you thinking, and what are your qualifications (besides a potential LLM?) That can make a lot of difference.
quote

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