Foreign lawyer in the US? You don't need LLM.


richardvf

I would withdraw from the LL.B program and return to the US for the JD. It is three years, which is the same as a two year LL.B and one year LL.M. or a 2 year LL.B plus BVC. However, with the JD, you will be eligible to take the bar in any state and be much more marketable. As an US citizen, IMO, it is a no brainer that you return to the US. Most law schools have semester abroad programs that will allow you to get international exposure. I don't even think you would be eligible to take Arizona or Texas with a 2 year LL.B and one year LL.M.

I would withdraw from the LL.B program and return to the US for the JD. It is three years, which is the same as a two year LL.B and one year LL.M. or a 2 year LL.B plus BVC. However, with the JD, you will be eligible to take the bar in any state and be much more marketable. As an US citizen, IMO, it is a no brainer that you return to the US. Most law schools have semester abroad programs that will allow you to get international exposure. I don't even think you would be eligible to take Arizona or Texas with a 2 year LL.B and one year LL.M.
quote
phxpueblo

Hi Richardvf and thank you so much for your advice.

I do have an additional and related question. Do you see any practicality or merit in finishing my 2-yr LLB, then applying to a 2-yr JD (i.e. Northwestern, etc.)? I wonder if:

(1) The LLB would assist with getting into a good US law program (that allows for the LLB transfer / 2-yr JD)?;

(2) The LLB would help with a greater content understanding of the law (albeit there are obvious & varied differences to UK-US law), thereby potentially creating a greater likelihood of achievement at the receiving US law school?; and

(3) Undertaking the above route, LLB + JD, practically speaking (and assuming good marks were earned), would I be looked at as a more valuable commodity to law firms (or law firms with multi-national offices & clients)?

Again, thank you very much in taking the time to provide valuable feedback.

Hi Richardvf and thank you so much for your advice.

I do have an additional and related question. Do you see any practicality or merit in finishing my 2-yr LLB, then applying to a 2-yr JD (i.e. Northwestern, etc.)? I wonder if:

(1) The LLB would assist with getting into a good US law program (that allows for the LLB ‘transfer’ / 2-yr JD)?;

(2) The LLB would help with a greater content understanding of the law (albeit there are obvious & varied differences to UK-US law), thereby potentially creating a greater likelihood of achievement at the receiving US law school?; and

(3) Undertaking the above route, LLB + JD, practically speaking (and assuming good marks were earned), would I be looked at as a more valuable commodity to law firms (or law firms with multi-national offices & clients)?

Again, thank you very much in taking the time to provide valuable feedback.



quote
richardvf

Well, a two year LL.B and two year J.D is better. However, because there are only a few law schools offering the two year J.D. to foreign law graduates (Nortwestern being one of them), I still feel you are limiting yourself. What will you do if you do not get accepted to Northwestern? Also, would Northwestern or any of the other schools that offer the two year J.D. give you one year of credit for a two year LL.B? I always thought that UK LL.B degrees required three or four years of study. I really think you should finish this year and transfer next fall to a 3 year JD program. A year of LL.B studies will help you gain legal insight and essay test taking skills. The fact that you will only have a BA and J.D (but not an LL.B) really won't matter, IMO. The multi-national firms are the Biglaw firms require graduation from a top law school and excellent grades. A two year LL.B won't mean squat if you return to the US after the LL.B and then earn a J.D from a mediocre law school.

Well, a two year LL.B and two year J.D is better. However, because there are only a few law schools offering the two year J.D. to foreign law graduates (Nortwestern being one of them), I still feel you are limiting yourself. What will you do if you do not get accepted to Northwestern? Also, would Northwestern or any of the other schools that offer the two year J.D. give you one year of credit for a two year LL.B? I always thought that UK LL.B degrees required three or four years of study. I really think you should finish this year and transfer next fall to a 3 year JD program. A year of LL.B studies will help you gain legal insight and essay test taking skills. The fact that you will only have a BA and J.D (but not an LL.B) really won't matter, IMO. The multi-national firms are the Biglaw firms require graduation from a top law school and excellent grades. A two year LL.B won't mean squat if you return to the US after the LL.B and then earn a J.D from a mediocre law school.
quote
marungu

I personally believe that of you want to practice as a US attorney, then for the JD right away without meandering in LL.B. and/or LL.M. But that is only necessary if you want to be a litigation attorney.

I know of several tax lawyers, who are among the top practitioners in the tax field, and they do not even need to be admitted to any US bar in the first place. I came to US to study tax law, gain exposure to international practice, and I can do that pretty well, with or without admission to any US bar.

So, consider your options carefully, decide what you want to do, and do that which is worth your time and money.

I personally believe that of you want to practice as a US attorney, then for the JD right away without meandering in LL.B. and/or LL.M. But that is only necessary if you want to be a litigation attorney.

I know of several tax lawyers, who are among the top practitioners in the tax field, and they do not even need to be admitted to any US bar in the first place. I came to US to study tax law, gain exposure to international practice, and I can do that pretty well, with or without admission to any US bar.

So, consider your options carefully, decide what you want to do, and do that which is worth your time and money.
quote

Anyone who has taken this route? A 2 year llb followed by the UK bar then the California bar?

Anyone who has taken this route? A 2 year llb followed by the UK bar then the California bar?
quote
tendrejh

Hello there,

Who could advise a French attorney on the best way to get prepared for the California Bar ?
Makes job prospects better ?
Thanks!

Hello there,

Who could advise a French attorney on the best way to get prepared for the California Bar ?
Makes job prospects better ?
Thanks!
quote
nriattorne...

Anyone who has taken this route? A 2 year llb followed by the UK bar then the California bar?


Besides searching on net extensively, I have discussed the matter with several attorneys and law professors in USA. The best route for practicing law in USA is 24 credits hours study in an ABA approved law school; it may be LL.M OR a non-degree seeking course; or part-time LL.M. In USA the Bar Licence is granted State-wise; however, if you are registered as an Immigration attorney with any State Bar, you can practice [immigration laws] throughout the country.

<blockquote>Anyone who has taken this route? A 2 year llb followed by the UK bar then the California bar? </blockquote>

Besides searching on net extensively, I have discussed the matter with several attorneys and law professors in USA. The best route for practicing law in USA is 24 credits hours study in an ABA approved law school; it may be LL.M OR a non-degree seeking course; or part-time LL.M. In USA the Bar Licence is granted State-wise; however, if you are registered as an Immigration attorney with any State Bar, you can practice [immigration laws] throughout the country.
quote
avukat

Hey guys,
I have a law degree from Turkey and I live in Tennessee. TN Bar doesn't accept LLM for taking the bar exam. And I don't want to go back to school! What do you recommend? Is there any way that I can use my degree here? Ant advise????
Thanks a lot..

Hey guys,
I have a law degree from Turkey and I live in Tennessee. TN Bar doesn't accept LLM for taking the bar exam. And I don't want to go back to school! What do you recommend? Is there any way that I can use my degree here? Ant advise????
Thanks a lot..
quote
nriattorne...

You may apply to California or New York. Once admitted to practice in any of the Bars, you are allowed to practice in TN or any other State for immigration laws.

You may apply to California or New York. Once admitted to practice in any of the Bars, you are allowed to practice in TN or any other State for immigration laws.
quote
jcrp

Hi richardvf and everyone else..

Im a Peruvian lawyer, and Im American resident since two years ago (I won the visa lottery), although right now Im living outside the States because of work. This days I´m planing to settle definitively in the usa. I have one question:

1.- Is still possible, for a lawyer from a civil law system (like Peru) to sit for the California Bar exam with the only requisite of be admitted in my country as a lawyer? (Registered in the Bar of my country), because a friend told me that rules has changed from that timein California.

Thanks you very much for your help!!!

Hi richardvf and everyone else..

I’m a Peruvian lawyer, and I’m American resident since two years ago (I won the visa lottery), although right now I’m living outside the States because of work. This days I´m planing to settle definitively in the usa. I have one question:

1.- Is still possible, for a lawyer from a civil law system (like Peru) to sit for the California Bar exam with the only requisite of be admitted in my country as a lawyer? (Registered in the Bar of my country), because a friend told me that rules has changed from that timein California.

Thanks you very much for your help!!!
quote
richardvf

The rules have not changed. If you are a licensed Peruvian attorney you are eligible to take the California bar exam. It might be a good idea to get an LL.M for common law exposure though. Here is the link right off the California bar website.

http://calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/admissions/77sf.pdf

The rules have not changed. If you are a licensed Peruvian attorney you are eligible to take the California bar exam. It might be a good idea to get an LL.M for common law exposure though. Here is the link right off the California bar website.

http://calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/admissions/77sf.pdf
quote
southside

richardvf, Underemployedlawyer

Great contributions to the thread, I have found them really informative. I wonder if you would be so kind as to share a little more of your knowledge on this issue?

I am a 5 years qualified lawyer in a decent (top 10) City firm in London with pretty good prospects. My girlfriend is American and I foresee a point at which I might want to emigrate to the US. I don't have any illusions about law as career and have no particular aspirations to 'big law', just to a firm that is big enough to accommodate a pretty high degree of specialism and is honest in its dealings (and that pays reasonably well). I am pretty much an expert in one field which may have some cross-over appeal to US firms.

So what do you think my best route is? Despite my success to date my legal academics are fairly shameful. I did a UK degree in history at decent university and received a 2(i) (equiv magna cum laude???), but then did a Post Graduate Diploma in Law (a one year conversion course) and only recieved a "pass", which is pretty mediocre. I did a bit better in the following compulsory year (the Legal Practice Course) although it is not academic in nature.

I suspect I am going to struggle to get into a decent LLM course. I am not sure if could face doing a JD, although this route would have the advantage of allowing me to do LSAT and thus correcting the poor legal academics.

So, what to do? Should I try to write something decent and get published in a decent academic journal? Would this help with the admissions? Would Cali bar help? I am conscious that being in decent London firm is not going to get me very far with an LLM admission panel without the academic to back it up.

Any ideas?

Thanks guys

richardvf, Underemployedlawyer

Great contributions to the thread, I have found them really informative. I wonder if you would be so kind as to share a little more of your knowledge on this issue?

I am a 5 years qualified lawyer in a decent (top 10) City firm in London with pretty good prospects. My girlfriend is American and I foresee a point at which I might want to emigrate to the US. I don't have any illusions about law as career and have no particular aspirations to 'big law', just to a firm that is big enough to accommodate a pretty high degree of specialism and is honest in its dealings (and that pays reasonably well). I am pretty much an expert in one field which may have some cross-over appeal to US firms.

So what do you think my best route is? Despite my success to date my legal academics are fairly shameful. I did a UK degree in history at decent university and received a 2(i) (equiv magna cum laude???), but then did a Post Graduate Diploma in Law (a one year conversion course) and only recieved a "pass", which is pretty mediocre. I did a bit better in the following compulsory year (the Legal Practice Course) although it is not academic in nature.

I suspect I am going to struggle to get into a decent LLM course. I am not sure if could face doing a JD, although this route would have the advantage of allowing me to do LSAT and thus correcting the poor legal academics.

So, what to do? Should I try to write something decent and get published in a decent academic journal? Would this help with the admissions? Would Cali bar help? I am conscious that being in decent London firm is not going to get me very far with an LLM admission panel without the academic to back it up.

Any ideas?

Thanks guys
quote
percuriam

Your advice is not very feasible for a law student from a country with low bar passage rate(some Asian civil law countries). For example, the passage rate is less than 3% in Korea. An Korean llm applicant can skip the difficult home bar admission to sit for bar exam by obtaining an ll.m in US.

Your advice is not very feasible for a law student from a country with low bar passage rate(some Asian civil law countries). For example, the passage rate is less than 3% in Korea. An Korean llm applicant can skip the difficult home bar admission to sit for bar exam by obtaining an ll.m in US.
quote
Romanico

Hi richardvf and everyone else..

Im a Peruvian lawyer, and Im American resident since two years ago (I won the visa lottery), although right now Im living outside the States because of work. This days I´m planing to settle definitively in the usa. I have one question:

1.- Is still possible, for a lawyer from a civil law system (like Peru) to sit for the California Bar exam with the only requisite of be admitted in my country as a lawyer? (Registered in the Bar of my country), because a friend told me that rules has changed from that timein California.

Thanks you very much for your help!!!


Yes you can sit for the Bar exam in California if you are a cerftified lawyer in almost every Country in the world.

However, the real issue is not to sit but to pass.

The CalBar is the most difficult bar exam in the Planet; lots of ABA educated lawyers can never pass it; LA's Major took it four times and never passed it. Even Kathleen Sullivan already admitted in New York and Massachusetts, former Dean of Stanford Law School failed in her first try.

Lots of ABA qualified JD invest a lot of time and Tonns of money in trying to pass the Bar exam in CA.

There are other options, take a look in the quide I am attaching (chart X), it is not exact but rather plenty of mstakes but at least it could give you some input about other options. You can try Texas or New Mexico; there is not much time left.

Many Supreme Courts over the US are embracing the anti-foreign lawyers in the US. Things will become more and more difficult for us in the near future; try to get a US bar admission as soon as you can; my best advise? forget California, that may be many years from now, even JDs from Harvard who already passed other Bars failed in CA.

Well good luch, I attach the Guide, it contains percentage of approval in the many States.

http://www.ncbex.org/comprehensive-guide-to-bar-admissions/

<blockquote>Hi richardvf and everyone else..

I’m a Peruvian lawyer, and I’m American resident since two years ago (I won the visa lottery), although right now I’m living outside the States because of work. This days I´m planing to settle definitively in the usa. I have one question:

1.- Is still possible, for a lawyer from a civil law system (like Peru) to sit for the California Bar exam with the only requisite of be admitted in my country as a lawyer? (Registered in the Bar of my country), because a friend told me that rules has changed from that timein California.

Thanks you very much for your help!!!
</blockquote>

Yes you can sit for the Bar exam in California if you are a cerftified lawyer in almost every Country in the world.

However, the real issue is not to sit but to pass.

The CalBar is the most difficult bar exam in the Planet; lots of ABA educated lawyers can never pass it; LA's Major took it four times and never passed it. Even Kathleen Sullivan already admitted in New York and Massachusetts, former Dean of Stanford Law School failed in her first try.

Lots of ABA qualified JD invest a lot of time and Tonns of money in trying to pass the Bar exam in CA.

There are other options, take a look in the quide I am attaching (chart X), it is not exact but rather plenty of mstakes but at least it could give you some input about other options. You can try Texas or New Mexico; there is not much time left.

Many Supreme Courts over the US are embracing the anti-foreign lawyers in the US. Things will become more and more difficult for us in the near future; try to get a US bar admission as soon as you can; my best advise? forget California, that may be many years from now, even JDs from Harvard who already passed other Bars failed in CA.

Well good luch, I attach the Guide, it contains percentage of approval in the many States.

http://www.ncbex.org/comprehensive-guide-to-bar-admissions/
quote
none

sorry if this has been answered before...having trouble getting clarity on my predicament.
i have australian LLB, but not admitted in australia, there is a course called the New York Bar Review that did a seminar at my uni last year and told us that we didn't need to be admitted in Australia to qualify to take the NY Bar. Here is their website: http://www.nybar.com.au

If there are any australians out there who have taken the test, and have not been admitted in australia (and have not done PLT/clerkship), can you let me know what "proofs" you submitted?
thanks in advance!!

sorry if this has been answered before...having trouble getting clarity on my predicament.
i have australian LLB, but not admitted in australia, there is a course called the New York Bar Review that did a seminar at my uni last year and told us that we didn't need to be admitted in Australia to qualify to take the NY Bar. Here is their website: http://www.nybar.com.au

If there are any australians out there who have taken the test, and have not been admitted in australia (and have not done PLT/clerkship), can you let me know what "proofs" you submitted?
thanks in advance!!
quote
potoca78

Hey everybody! I am a lawyer in Venezuela and I would like to take the Bar Exam in Mass. My question is: a LLM assure my seat in the Bar Exam? I qualify in almost everything but i am not sure about "legal education equivalent, in the Board's opinion, to that provided in law schools approved by the American Bar Association"...or maybe is easier go for a Motion in order to be excuse from taking the regular law examination, since I have been admitted in my country for over 5 years? By the way, civilian law rules in Venezuela as in Peru...Is that a problem in order to validate my degree in Vzla before the Board?

Hey everybody! I am a lawyer in Venezuela and I would like to take the Bar Exam in Mass. My question is: a LLM assure my seat in the Bar Exam? I qualify in almost everything but i am not sure about "legal education equivalent, in the Board's opinion, to that provided in law schools approved by the American Bar Association"...or maybe is easier go for a Motion in order to be excuse from taking the regular law examination, since I have been admitted in my country for over 5 years? By the way, civilian law rules in Venezuela as in Peru...Is that a problem in order to validate my degree in Vzla before the Board?
quote

Hi all.
I have read most of this excellent discussion. I am a UK born but Caribbean educated lawyer and satisfied that with my legal qualifications I am entitled to sit the Bar exam in either NY or CA.

I have an LL.B. (3 years) from the University of the West Indies (UWI); I have the Legal Education Certificate (LEC) (2 years) which entitles me to be admitted to the Bar of any Commonwealth Caribbean country; and I have been admitted to practice and practicing law in Barbados for the past 9 years. Additionally, I have an LL.M. degree in Corporate & Comercial Law also from UWI (2 years). My legal education is based on the UK Common Law system.

My question is whether it is advisable to sit and pass the chosen US Bar exam first and then seek employment with a US law firm, or seek employment first and then sit the Bar exam.

Also does passing the Bar exam give you the right to live and work in the US as a lawyer? I suspect it does not and I will need a special visa of some sort. What is this process (visa application) like and what is the liklihood of getting such visa.

Thanks in advance to all who respond.

ambassador

Hi all.
I have read most of this excellent discussion. I am a UK born but Caribbean educated lawyer and satisfied that with my legal qualifications I am entitled to sit the Bar exam in either NY or CA.

I have an LL.B. (3 years) from the University of the West Indies (UWI); I have the Legal Education Certificate (LEC) (2 years) which entitles me to be admitted to the Bar of any Commonwealth Caribbean country; and I have been admitted to practice and practicing law in Barbados for the past 9 years. Additionally, I have an LL.M. degree in Corporate & Comercial Law also from UWI (2 years). My legal education is based on the UK Common Law system.

My question is whether it is advisable to sit and pass the chosen US Bar exam first and then seek employment with a US law firm, or seek employment first and then sit the Bar exam.

Also does passing the Bar exam give you the right to live and work in the US as a lawyer? I suspect it does not and I will need a special visa of some sort. What is this process (visa application) like and what is the liklihood of getting such visa.

Thanks in advance to all who respond.

ambassador
quote
giz

Hi ambassador. I am a UK educated lawyer who recently sat and passed the July 2007 NY bar examination, while i was studying over there i had the opportunity to come in contact with many foreign educated students. Many of them had taken the LLM at a US university before taking the bar examination, however like you i completed my LLB in a common law jurisdiction and was thus eligible to take the NY bar. From my experience i gather that its definitely beneficial but not a must to secure employment with a US law firm or even some sort of legal internship before taking the bar exam ,because once you past the bar examination the employer might be willing to sponsor you for a H1b visa. Which brings me to your second question passing the bar exam doesn't give you the right to work and live in the US but it does give you the possibility of securing an employer to sponsor you for a H1b visa which can last up to 6 years if successful. There is a very high demand for such Visas and something like only 65,000 visa are issued every year. Which isn't alot considering the demand. For more information on H1b visas you could check www.h1base.com
I hope this information has been of some assistance.
Good luck in all your future endeavors.

Hi ambassador. I am a UK educated lawyer who recently sat and passed the July 2007 NY bar examination, while i was studying over there i had the opportunity to come in contact with many foreign educated students. Many of them had taken the LLM at a US university before taking the bar examination, however like you i completed my LLB in a common law jurisdiction and was thus eligible to take the NY bar. From my experience i gather that its definitely beneficial but not a must to secure employment with a US law firm or even some sort of legal internship before taking the bar exam ,because once you past the bar examination the employer might be willing to sponsor you for a H1b visa. Which brings me to your second question passing the bar exam doesn't give you the right to work and live in the US but it does give you the possibility of securing an employer to sponsor you for a H1b visa which can last up to 6 years if successful. There is a very high demand for such Visas and something like only 65,000 visa are issued every year. Which isn't alot considering the demand. For more information on H1b visas you could check www.h1base.com
I hope this information has been of some assistance.
Good luck in all your future endeavors.
quote

Hi Giz,

Since you had sat for a bar exam earlier on, just wondering, is it necessary to get a special visa to enter USA for the said purpose? Or I can just make use of my tourist visa?

Hi Giz,

Since you had sat for a bar exam earlier on, just wondering, is it necessary to get a special visa to enter USA for the said purpose? Or I can just make use of my tourist visa?
quote
giz

Hi sylvia,
you don't need to get a special visa to enter the USA to take the bar, at least that was the case when i went to take the bar last year. I was told that due to the fact that the bar course (pieper bar review) i took was only 8 weeks in duration it was only necessary to have a regular tourist visa.

Hi sylvia,
you don't need to get a special visa to enter the USA to take the bar, at least that was the case when i went to take the bar last year. I was told that due to the fact that the bar course (pieper bar review) i took was only 8 weeks in duration it was only necessary to have a regular tourist visa.
quote

Reply to Post

Other Related Content

Networking During the LL.M. - Why It's Important and How to Approach It

Article Dec 16, 2011

How lawyers can use the academic year to make professional contacts

Hot Discussions