Fresh law grad applying for T14 LLM


Kathrine
I am a final year student in Europe, expecting to graduate in Summer 2020 with a low 2:1. I want to study for an LLM in the US in Fall 2020. However, I realized that many T14 schools strongly prefer candidates with postgraduate full-time work experience (e.g. a minimum of 1 year for Columbia, and 2 years for Stanford). I rang up a US law school and asked them about their work experience preference/requirement and was told that a fresh graduate will likely be put in a considerable disadvantage. I have been very active in getting work experience during term-time and term break, so my internship experience is likely better as compared to other fresh graduates. However, they specifically said that internships undertaken before graduation will not be counted. I also have good extra curricular activities. My biggest concern is the extent to which the lack of full-time work experience would be detrimental to my application holistically.

A further question on behalf of my brother, who is also an LLB in Europe. He was supposed to graduate in 2019, but as he deferred his exams by one term, he will be finishing in February 2020 (like Australian students). He is able to secure a 6-month legal temporary contract commencing in February. If he were to apply to T14 schools now for Fall 2020 start, he will have gained 6 month full-time work experience by the time he arrive the US. Even though this still falls short of the typical 1 or 2 year(s) experience preference, will he be put in a better position than me?

[Edited by Kathrine on Nov 12, 2019]

I am a final year student in Europe, expecting to graduate in Summer 2020 with a low 2:1. I want to study for an LLM in the US in Fall 2020. However, I realized that many T14 schools strongly prefer candidates with postgraduate full-time work experience (e.g. a minimum of 1 year for Columbia, and 2 years for Stanford). I rang up a US law school and asked them about their work experience preference/requirement and was told that a fresh graduate will likely be put in a considerable disadvantage. I have been very active in getting work experience during term-time and term break, so my internship experience is likely better as compared to other fresh graduates. However, they specifically said that internships undertaken before graduation will not be counted. I also have good extra curricular activities. My biggest concern is the extent to which the lack of full-time work experience would be detrimental to my application holistically.

A further question on behalf of my brother, who is also an LLB in Europe. He was supposed to graduate in 2019, but as he deferred his exams by one term, he will be finishing in February 2020 (like Australian students). He is able to secure a 6-month legal temporary contract commencing in February. If he were to apply to T14 schools now for Fall 2020 start, he will have gained 6 month full-time work experience by the time he arrive the US. Even though this still falls short of the typical 1 or 2 year(s) experience preference, will he be put in a better position than me?
quote
#
Hello Kathrine — Please find thereafter some key points which will give you more hindsight about the T14 law schools' selection strategies: *To my limited understanding/knowledge...*

1. Diversity. They try to have people from all over the world and if possible in an equal number. => That means that you are in competition against people with the same nationality. // So, if you are a Chinese doing your studies in UK you will be in the same application group that all other Chinese applicants (even if you did your studies in UK!) which is a very big group and so the admission will be harder than an English doing is studies anywhere because the English applicant group is usually not very big. => In order to determine if your application group is big or not you can have a look of the current LLM class' diversity profile on the Law School websites or on the LLM Guide's application tracker.

2. Holistic review. The admission committee will look your grades, work experience (and also internships but with usually less consideration/esteem), toefl score, etc. => In that context they will admit the best applicants of each groups. So, bigger is your group, harder will be the admission requirements because there will be more competition. // So, if you are in a small group the lack of working experience will not be in issue. If your are in a big group, but there is not a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Chinese applicants), it will not be a problem but you will be mostly selected on your grades/ranking. However, if you are in a group with a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Japanese applicants who have 3 to 10 years of work experience) it will be very hard to be selected without significant work experience; so to compensate the lack of work experience you must have very good grades/ranking or other assets. => If the law school is a Top5 this concept is even more selective because there more applicants, and so the probability is higher to have applicants with better grades/ranking and/or longer work experience than you.

3. Law Schools particularities.
- Yale usually only admits applicants doing a PhD in law and/or planing to become a law teacher.
- Stanford + Georgetown's Tax LLM are also open to US applicants, so it's even more competitive to be admitted.

The Law Schools will usually take their decision from December to April, so before the end of your brother's 6 months contracts. Therefore, they should consider this work experience but thy should also take into account that this work experience could still be shortened (e.g. layoff, resignation, etc.). => Therefore, I don't know if he will be put in a better position than you, but in the context of an holistic review, working experience in whatever forms it takes will still be a plus in an application.

Good luck!

NB: Some Law Schools like to admit people of the same family, like couple or sibling/child of a former LLM student.

[Edited by # on Nov 12, 2019]

Hello Kathrine — Please find thereafter some key points which will give you more hindsight about the T14 law schools' selection strategies: [i]*To my limited understanding/knowledge...*[/i]

1. [b]Diversity[/b]. They try to have people from all over the world and if possible in an equal number. [u]=> That means that you are in competition against people with the same nationality.[/u] // [i]So, if you are a Chinese doing your studies in UK you will be in the same application group that all other Chinese applicants (even if you did your studies in UK!) which is a very big group and so the admission will be harder than an English doing is studies anywhere because the English applicant group is usually not very big.[/i] [u]=> In order to determine if your application group is big or not you can have a look of the current LLM class' diversity profile on the Law School websites or on the LLM Guide's application tracker.[/u]

2. [b]Holistic review[/b]. The admission committee will look your grades, work experience (and also internships but with usually less consideration/esteem), toefl score, etc. [u]=> In that context they will admit the best applicants of each groups. So, bigger is your group, harder will be the admission requirements because there will be more competition.[/u] // [i] So, if you are in a small group the lack of working experience will not be in issue. If your are in a big group, but there is not a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Chinese applicants), it will not be a problem but you will be mostly selected on your grades/ranking. However, if you are in a group with a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Japanese applicants who have 3 to 10 years of work experience) it will be very hard to be selected without significant work experience; so to compensate the lack of work experience you must have very good grades/ranking or other assets.[/i] [u]=> If the law school is a Top5 this concept is even more selective because there more applicants, and so the probability is higher to have applicants with better grades/ranking and/or longer work experience than you.[/u]

3. [b]Law Schools particularities[/b].
- [u]Yale[/u] usually only admits applicants doing a PhD in law and/or planing to become a law teacher.
- [u]Stanford + Georgetown's Tax LLM[/u] are also open to US applicants, so it's even more competitive to be admitted.

The Law Schools will usually take their decision from December to April, so before the end of your brother's 6 months contracts. Therefore, they should consider this work experience but thy should also take into account that this work experience could still be shortened (e.g. layoff, resignation, etc.). [u]=> Therefore, I don't know if he will be put in a better position than you, but in the context of an holistic review, working experience in whatever forms it takes will still be a plus in an application.[/u]

Good luck!

[u]NB[/u]: Some Law Schools like to admit people of the same family, like couple or sibling/child of a former LLM student.
quote
Kathrine
3. Law Schools particularities.
- Yale usually only admits applicants doing a PhD in law and/or planing to become a law teacher.
- Stanford + Georgetown's Tax LLM are also open to US applicants, so it's even more competitive to be admitted.



I am interested in business and corporate law. I am not sure what schools are particularly famous in these areas.

When considering ranking, should I simply refer to the one for JD, or is there a ranking specifically for LLM? I am thinking of applying to a few T14 schools based on my preferred geographical location.
[quote] 3. [b]Law Schools particularities[/b].
- [u]Yale[/u] usually only admits applicants doing a PhD in law and/or planing to become a law teacher.
- [u]Stanford + Georgetown's Tax LLM[/u] are also open to US applicants, so it's even more competitive to be admitted.

[/quote]

I am interested in business and corporate law. I am not sure what schools are particularly famous in these areas.

When considering ranking, should I simply refer to the one for JD, or is there a ranking specifically for LLM? I am thinking of applying to a few T14 schools based on my preferred geographical location.
quote
Mims
Hello Kathrine — Please find thereafter some key points which will give you more hindsight about the T14 law schools' selection strategies: *To my limited understanding/knowledge...*

1. Diversity. They try to have people from all over the world and if possible in an equal number. => That means that you are in competition against people with the same nationality. // So, if you are a Chinese doing your studies in UK you will be in the same application group that all other Chinese applicants (even if you did your studies in UK!) which is a very big group and so the admission will be harder than an English doing is studies anywhere because the English applicant group is usually not very big. => In order to determine if your application group is big or not you can have a look of the current LLM class' diversity profile on the Law School websites or on the LLM Guide's application tracker.

2. Holistic review. The admission committee will look your grades, work experience (and also internships but with usually less consideration/esteem), toefl score, etc. => In that context they will admit the best applicants of each groups. So, bigger is your group, harder will be the admission requirements because there will be more competition. // So, if you are in a small group the lack of working experience will not be in issue. If your are in a big group, but there is not a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Chinese applicants), it will not be a problem but you will be mostly selected on your grades/ranking. However, if you are in a group with a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Japanese applicants who have 3 to 10 years of work experience) it will be very hard to be selected without significant work experience; so to compensate the lack of work experience you must have very good grades/ranking or other assets. => If the law school is a Top5 this concept is even more selective because there more applicants, and so the probability is higher to have applicants with better grades/ranking and/or longer work experience than you.

3. Law Schools particularities.
- Yale usually only admits applicants doing a PhD in law and/or planing to become a law teacher.
- Stanford + Georgetown's Tax LLM are also open to US applicants, so it's even more competitive to be admitted.

The Law Schools will usually take their decision from December to April, so before the end of your brother's 6 months contracts. Therefore, they should consider this work experience but thy should also take into account that this work experience could still be shortened (e.g. layoff, resignation, etc.). => Therefore, I don't know if he will be put in a better position than you, but in the context of an holistic review, working experience in whatever forms it takes will still be a plus in an application.

Good luck!

NB: Some Law Schools like to admit people of the same family, like couple or sibling/child of a former LLM student.


Hello there,

Thank you so much for sharing your insight. Regarding point #1, do you think it would be any different if someone where a dual American citizen applying for a U.S. LLM? The other nationality, by virtue of population size, has a much smaller applicant pool applying. For example, if I am a Lebanese-American who has always lived outside the U.S./is applying from outside the U.S., will I be competing with other American applicants, or Lebanese applicants, or both?
[quote]Hello Kathrine — Please find thereafter some key points which will give you more hindsight about the T14 law schools' selection strategies: [i]*To my limited understanding/knowledge...*[/i]

1. [b]Diversity[/b]. They try to have people from all over the world and if possible in an equal number. [u]=> That means that you are in competition against people with the same nationality.[/u] // [i]So, if you are a Chinese doing your studies in UK you will be in the same application group that all other Chinese applicants (even if you did your studies in UK!) which is a very big group and so the admission will be harder than an English doing is studies anywhere because the English applicant group is usually not very big.[/i] [u]=> In order to determine if your application group is big or not you can have a look of the current LLM class' diversity profile on the Law School websites or on the LLM Guide's application tracker.[/u]

2. [b]Holistic review[/b]. The admission committee will look your grades, work experience (and also internships but with usually less consideration/esteem), toefl score, etc. [u]=> In that context they will admit the best applicants of each groups. So, bigger is your group, harder will be the admission requirements because there will be more competition.[/u] // [i] So, if you are in a small group the lack of working experience will not be in issue. If your are in a big group, but there is not a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Chinese applicants), it will not be a problem but you will be mostly selected on your grades/ranking. However, if you are in a group with a lot of people with work experience (like from my experience Japanese applicants who have 3 to 10 years of work experience) it will be very hard to be selected without significant work experience; so to compensate the lack of work experience you must have very good grades/ranking or other assets.[/i] [u]=> If the law school is a Top5 this concept is even more selective because there more applicants, and so the probability is higher to have applicants with better grades/ranking and/or longer work experience than you.[/u]

3. [b]Law Schools particularities[/b].
- [u]Yale[/u] usually only admits applicants doing a PhD in law and/or planing to become a law teacher.
- [u]Stanford + Georgetown's Tax LLM[/u] are also open to US applicants, so it's even more competitive to be admitted.

The Law Schools will usually take their decision from December to April, so before the end of your brother's 6 months contracts. Therefore, they should consider this work experience but thy should also take into account that this work experience could still be shortened (e.g. layoff, resignation, etc.). [u]=> Therefore, I don't know if he will be put in a better position than you, but in the context of an holistic review, working experience in whatever forms it takes will still be a plus in an application.[/u]

Good luck!

[u]NB[/u]: Some Law Schools like to admit people of the same family, like couple or sibling/child of a former LLM student.
[/quote]

Hello there,

Thank you so much for sharing your insight. Regarding point #1, do you think it would be any different if someone where a dual American citizen applying for a U.S. LLM? The other nationality, by virtue of population size, has a much smaller applicant pool applying. For example, if I am a Lebanese-American who has always lived outside the U.S./is applying from outside the U.S., will I be competing with other American applicants, or Lebanese applicants, or both?
quote
Kathrine


1. Diversity. They try to have people from all over the world and if possible in an equal number. => That means that you are in competition against people with the same nationality. // So, if you are a Chinese doing your studies in UK you will be in the same application group that all other Chinese applicants (even if you did your studies in UK!) which is a very big group and so the admission will be harder than an English doing is studies anywhere because the English applicant group is usually not very big. => In order to determine if your application group is big or not you can have a look of the current LLM class' diversity profile on the Law School websites or on the LLM Guide's application tracker.



Just wondering how they categorize applicants, like whether they categorize British as a group, or whether they will separate Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish individually. Chinese is a large group indeed, just curious if that include people from Taiwan and Hong Kong. :-)
[quote]

1. [b]Diversity[/b]. They try to have people from all over the world and if possible in an equal number. [u]=> That means that you are in competition against people with the same nationality.[/u] // [i]So, if you are a Chinese doing your studies in UK you will be in the same application group that all other Chinese applicants (even if you did your studies in UK!) which is a very big group and so the admission will be harder than an English doing is studies anywhere because the English applicant group is usually not very big.[/i] [u]=> In order to determine if your application group is big or not you can have a look of the current LLM class' diversity profile on the Law School websites or on the LLM Guide's application tracker.[/u]

[/quote]

Just wondering how they categorize applicants, like whether they categorize British as a group, or whether they will separate Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish individually. Chinese is a large group indeed, just curious if that include people from Taiwan and Hong Kong. :-)
quote
#
I am interested in business and corporate law. I am not sure what schools are particularly famous in these areas.

Usually a big part of T14 Law Schools' students join a big law in NY/Washington to work in business and corporate law (in which I also include all the financial legal practice like capital markets, M&A, emerging market, derivatives, securities, white colar crime, etc.). So, I am pretty sure that all those schools are pretty good in business and corporate law. I would recommend you to also have a look on the professors teaching in those university, it could help you to have more hindsight. For example, I know that at Duke there is professor Cox who is a kind of "pope" in securities regulation and also the author of many books in that field. But I am sure that all the T14 Law Schools have prestigious professor like him.


When considering ranking, should I simply refer to the one for JD, or is there a ranking specifically for LLM? I am thinking of applying to a few T14 schools based on my preferred geographical location.

While it makes not a lot of sense, I think you should refer to the one of JD because law firms (US + abroad) will only know this one. About the rankings the most famous are:
- USNEWS — the historical one — https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
- Above The Law — the outsider — https://abovethelaw.com/law-school-rankings/top-law-schools-2019/
- Shanghai's ranking — this one is worldwide — http://www.shanghairanking.com/shanghairanking-subject-rankings/law.html

To select an LLM, I would recommend you to also take into account the class size. Your experience will be totally different whether the LLM class size is big (e.g. 450 LLM students at NYU) or small (e.g. 40 LLM students at UVA) because smaller is the class better will be the mix/integration with JDs. Indeed, when there is too much LLM students in a law school they will unfortunately have their own class group.


Regarding point #1, do you think it would be any different if someone where a dual American citizen applying for a U.S. LLM? The other nationality, by virtue of population size, has a much smaller applicant pool applying. For example, if I am a Lebanese-American who has always lived outside the U.S./is applying from outside the U.S., will I be competing with other American applicants, or Lebanese applicants, or both?

For dual American citizen who did their legal studies abroad they should take into account the other nationality. // So, the Lebanese group in your example. => By the way, I also spotted that many law schools are less keen to award a scholarship if you have the US citizenship because you can have access to the US federal loan.
I don't know how it works for American who did their legal studies abroad, it could be interesting that someone with that background provide us a feedback.


Just wondering how they categorize applicants, like whether they categorize British as a group, or whether they will separate Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish individually. Chinese is a large group indeed, just curious if that include people from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

British/Scottish/English/Welsh: I don't know. It would make sense to have at least English and Welsh in the same group because it's the same legal system. But it does not matter because there is not a lot of applicants.

Chinese/HK/Taiwan: Taiwan is in a different group. I guess that HK is also in a different group, but I am not 100% sure.

[Edited by # on Nov 15, 2019]

[quote]I am interested in business and corporate law. I am not sure what schools are particularly famous in these areas.[/quote]
Usually a big part of T14 Law Schools' students join a big law in NY/Washington to work in business and corporate law (in which I also include all the financial legal practice like capital markets, M&A, emerging market, derivatives, securities, white colar crime, etc.). So, I am pretty sure that all those schools are pretty good in business and corporate law. I would recommend you to also have a look on the professors teaching in those university, it could help you to have more hindsight. For example, I know that at Duke there is professor Cox who is a kind of "pope" in securities regulation and also the author of many books in that field. But I am sure that all the T14 Law Schools have prestigious professor like him.


[quote]When considering ranking, should I simply refer to the one for JD, or is there a ranking specifically for LLM? I am thinking of applying to a few T14 schools based on my preferred geographical location.[/quote]
While it makes not a lot of sense, I think you should refer to the one of JD because law firms (US + abroad) will only know this one. About the rankings the most famous are:
- [b]USNEWS[/b] — the historical one — https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
- [b]Above The Law[/b] — the outsider — https://abovethelaw.com/law-school-rankings/top-law-schools-2019/
- [b]Shanghai's ranking[/b] — this one is worldwide — http://www.shanghairanking.com/shanghairanking-subject-rankings/law.html

To select an LLM, I would recommend you to also take into account the class size. Your experience will be totally different whether the LLM class size is big ([i]e.g[/i]. 450 LLM students at NYU) or small ([i]e.g.[/i] 40 LLM students at UVA) because smaller is the class better will be the mix/integration with JDs. Indeed, when there is too much LLM students in a law school they will unfortunately have their own class group.


[quote]Regarding point #1, do you think it would be any different if someone where a dual American citizen applying for a U.S. LLM? The other nationality, by virtue of population size, has a much smaller applicant pool applying. For example, if I am a Lebanese-American who has always lived outside the U.S./is applying from outside the U.S., will I be competing with other American applicants, or Lebanese applicants, or both?[/quote]
For [b]dual American citizen[/b] who did their legal studies abroad they should take into account the other nationality. // [i]So, the Lebanese group in your example.[/i] [u]=> By the way, I also spotted that many law schools are less keen to award a scholarship if you have the US citizenship because you can have access to the US federal loan.[/u]
I don't know how it works for American who did their legal studies abroad, it could be interesting that someone with that background provide us a feedback.


[quote]Just wondering how they categorize applicants, like whether they categorize British as a group, or whether they will separate Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish individually. Chinese is a large group indeed, just curious if that include people from Taiwan and Hong Kong.[/quote]
[b]British/Scottish/English/Welsh[/b]: I don't know. It would make sense to have at least English and Welsh in the same group because it's the same legal system. But it does not matter because there is not a lot of applicants.

[b]Chinese/HK/Taiwan[/b]: Taiwan is in a different group. I guess that HK is also in a different group, but I am not 100% sure.
quote

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