I need your honest opinion


Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I need your honest (and brutal) opinion. I won't ask you whether I stand a chance to get into Harvard or Columbia, but rather which program/uni would be a good fit for me.

My background:

I am a 24 years old law student from Paris, France. I hold a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law from the same university in Paris. I was not top 5% of my class, not even top 10% as I focused my time on travel and tried to work on my English. In addition, I have studied for a year in Athens, Greece as part of an exchange program. I also studied for a year in Shanghai, China as part (again) of an exchange program. Upon graduating there I performed an internship in a mid-sized Chinese/American law firm which hired me at the end of my internship. I now work as a legal consultant there, I have worked on M&A deals, arbitration proceedings (Beijing & Shanghai) and some other legal work (IP rights, licensing, franchising etc.). During the course of my work I was published twice in two different international legal newspapers and was a speaker at an investment summit.

My curricular: volunteered as an English teacher for Chinese kids and founder of a small french NGO. I can speak a decent mandarin and my English is considered fluent by my colleagues and friends (English ones). I also was awarded two scholarship during the course of my studies, one being the most prestigious one offered by the Chinese government.

I would like now to study in the U.S. and try to pass the NY Bar. I would appreciate if some of you could give me their thoughts as to what path I ought to follow, there are so many options out there that it is hard to decide which way to pursue and what can realistically be achieved given my 'achievements'.

Thanks in advance :)

[Edited by shijidadao on Oct 06, 2016]

Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I need your honest (and brutal) opinion. I won't ask you whether I stand a chance to get into Harvard or Columbia, but rather which program/uni would be a good fit for me.

My background:

I am a 24 years old law student from Paris, France. I hold a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law from the same university in Paris. I was not top 5% of my class, not even top 10% as I focused my time on travel and tried to work on my English. In addition, I have studied for a year in Athens, Greece as part of an exchange program. I also studied for a year in Shanghai, China as part (again) of an exchange program. Upon graduating there I performed an internship in a mid-sized Chinese/American law firm which hired me at the end of my internship. I now work as a legal consultant there, I have worked on M&A deals, arbitration proceedings (Beijing & Shanghai) and some other legal work (IP rights, licensing, franchising etc.). During the course of my work I was published twice in two different international legal newspapers and was a speaker at an investment summit.

My curricular: volunteered as an English teacher for Chinese kids and founder of a small french NGO. I can speak a decent mandarin and my English is considered fluent by my colleagues and friends (English ones). I also was awarded two scholarship during the course of my studies, one being the most prestigious one offered by the Chinese government.

I would like now to study in the U.S. and try to pass the NY Bar. I would appreciate if some of you could give me their thoughts as to what path I ought to follow, there are so many options out there that it is hard to decide which way to pursue and what can realistically be achieved given my 'achievements'.

Thanks in advance :)
quote
grumpyJD

I'm not sure that I understand what type of opinion you are seeking. Aside from the NY bar, what are your longterm goals?

I'm not sure that I understand what type of opinion you are seeking. Aside from the NY bar, what are your longterm goals?
quote

Thank you for your answer. Well basically I would like to pass the NY bar and have a U.S. degree that allows me to work in a law firm or a PE firm and maximize the odds of getting into "a good one". I am well aware that an LLM is not going to open any doors for me in the U.S. and therefore I would like ideally to come back to China and work in an American firm there.

I am merely looking for advice as to what university/degree would best fit my ambitions. Harvard, Columbia, Duke? Which makes sense and which doesn't given my profile.

Thanks again :)

Thank you for your answer. Well basically I would like to pass the NY bar and have a U.S. degree that allows me to work in a law firm or a PE firm and maximize the odds of getting into "a good one". I am well aware that an LLM is not going to open any doors for me in the U.S. and therefore I would like ideally to come back to China and work in an American firm there.

I am merely looking for advice as to what university/degree would best fit my ambitions. Harvard, Columbia, Duke? Which makes sense and which doesn't given my profile.

Thanks again :)
quote
grumpyJD

Passing a state bar is a great goal and I think the NY bar will actually give you some sort of reciprocity back in Paris, right? All of the schools that you mentioned are excellent-- and hard to get into!! Have you considered any schools in Chicago or on the west coast (maybe Berkeley)? If you can get into Harvard, it's an international brand and you can't really do any better in terms of reputation. In terms of location and reputation, Columbia and NYU are really great. It's also easier to search for jobs in NYC when you're already in NYC. For recruitment, NYC is a good place to be (job fairs, international firms, etc). And what about Penn? Penn is very strong in business and you can probably take courses at Wharton. I don't know much about Duke so I can't comment about their program.

Passing a state bar is a great goal and I think the NY bar will actually give you some sort of reciprocity back in Paris, right? All of the schools that you mentioned are excellent-- and hard to get into!! Have you considered any schools in Chicago or on the west coast (maybe Berkeley)? If you can get into Harvard, it's an international brand and you can't really do any better in terms of reputation. In terms of location and reputation, Columbia and NYU are really great. It's also easier to search for jobs in NYC when you're already in NYC. For recruitment, NYC is a good place to be (job fairs, international firms, etc). And what about Penn? Penn is very strong in business and you can probably take courses at Wharton. I don't know much about Duke so I can't comment about their program.
quote
LegalLife

Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I need your honest (and brutal) opinion. I won't ask you whether I stand a chance to get into Harvard or Columbia, but rather which program/uni would be a good fit for me.

My background:

I am a 24 years old law student from Paris, France. I hold a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law from the same university in Paris. I was not top 5% of my class, not even top 10% as I focused my time on travel and tried to work on my English. In addition, I have studied for a year in Athens, Greece as part of an exchange program. I also studied for a year in Shanghai, China as part (again) of an exchange program. Upon graduating there I performed an internship in a mid-sized Chinese/American law firm which hired me at the end of my internship. I now work as a legal consultant there, I have worked on M&A deals, arbitration proceedings (Beijing & Shanghai) and some other legal work (IP rights, licensing, franchising etc.). During the course of my work I was published twice in two different international legal newspapers and was a speaker at an investment summit.

My curricular: volunteered as an English teacher for Chinese kids and founder of a small french NGO. I can speak a decent mandarin and my English is considered fluent by my colleagues and friends (English ones). I also was awarded two scholarship during the course of my studies, one being the most prestigious one offered by the Chinese government.

I would like now to study in the U.S. and try to pass the NY Bar. I would appreciate if some of you could give me their thoughts as to what path I ought to follow, there are so many options out there that it is hard to decide which way to pursue and what can realistically be achieved given my 'achievements'.

Thanks in advance :)


Any LLM admissions tutor in the world is going to ask themselves these questions in deciding if they should admit you:
1. What are your grades? The Ivy League is looking for Top 1% of the class. Anything past 5% is going to be extremely difficult to get you in. Difficult but not entirely impossible.

2. What else, other than grades, make you outstanding from the crowd? Your English prowess may not be an outstanding factor because well, everyone in the USA speaks English anyway so its not a big deal. However, they may require an English test if your country is not generally English speaking.

3. Your work experience. Now this is a plus for top law schools.

4. Your personal statement. This is your ultimate selling point to any Law school.

5. Your referees. It matters what your referees say about you. It matters how they sell you to the law school.

Before undertaking the bar, ask yourself of what importance the bar will be for you if you will not practice in the USA. It is unwise to accumulate accolades that are of no actual use. If you want to practice in the USA, it makes sense to do the Bar. If not, it doesnt make any sense other than prestige but prestige wont pay any bills.

So about schools, I would suggest that you look beyond Harvard given your academic grades. Look at NYU, Penn, Columbia, Georgetown etc.

[quote]Hello everyone,

This is my first post and I need your honest (and brutal) opinion. I won't ask you whether I stand a chance to get into Harvard or Columbia, but rather which program/uni would be a good fit for me.

My background:

I am a 24 years old law student from Paris, France. I hold a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law from the same university in Paris. I was not top 5% of my class, not even top 10% as I focused my time on travel and tried to work on my English. In addition, I have studied for a year in Athens, Greece as part of an exchange program. I also studied for a year in Shanghai, China as part (again) of an exchange program. Upon graduating there I performed an internship in a mid-sized Chinese/American law firm which hired me at the end of my internship. I now work as a legal consultant there, I have worked on M&A deals, arbitration proceedings (Beijing & Shanghai) and some other legal work (IP rights, licensing, franchising etc.). During the course of my work I was published twice in two different international legal newspapers and was a speaker at an investment summit.

My curricular: volunteered as an English teacher for Chinese kids and founder of a small french NGO. I can speak a decent mandarin and my English is considered fluent by my colleagues and friends (English ones). I also was awarded two scholarship during the course of my studies, one being the most prestigious one offered by the Chinese government.

I would like now to study in the U.S. and try to pass the NY Bar. I would appreciate if some of you could give me their thoughts as to what path I ought to follow, there are so many options out there that it is hard to decide which way to pursue and what can realistically be achieved given my 'achievements'.

Thanks in advance :)[/quote]

Any LLM admissions tutor in the world is going to ask themselves these questions in deciding if they should admit you:
1. What are your grades? The Ivy League is looking for Top 1% of the class. Anything past 5% is going to be extremely difficult to get you in. Difficult but not entirely impossible.

2. What else, other than grades, make you outstanding from the crowd? Your English prowess may not be an outstanding factor because well, everyone in the USA speaks English anyway so its not a big deal. However, they may require an English test if your country is not generally English speaking.

3. Your work experience. Now this is a plus for top law schools.

4. Your personal statement. This is your ultimate selling point to any Law school.

5. Your referees. It matters what your referees say about you. It matters how they sell you to the law school.

Before undertaking the bar, ask yourself of what importance the bar will be for you if you will not practice in the USA. It is unwise to accumulate accolades that are of no actual use. If you want to practice in the USA, it makes sense to do the Bar. If not, it doesnt make any sense other than prestige but prestige wont pay any bills.

So about schools, I would suggest that you look beyond Harvard given your academic grades. Look at NYU, Penn, Columbia, Georgetown etc.
quote

Thank you for your answers guys, it's always nice to have other people's opinions. I will definitely apply to Penn (I would love taking part to their Wharton program), Columbia, Stanford, NYU and probably Berkeley as well. Harvard is also on my list although I realize it's a long (long) shot, but fortune smiles to the daring ones, right? Not sure about my chances into getting these top schools either, although I was given the impression that NYU might be easier to get in compared to the ones mentionned above.

@LegalLife I agree and I thank you for your 'warning' regarding the lure of passing the NY bar. Passing the french bar is an option but the process is substantially longer and I do not intend to work in France anytime soon, instead I would like to go back to China and get a job in a big firm there. I think having the NY bar and an LLM from a top school might help achieve just that (compared to a 'regular' french bar).

Thank you for your answers guys, it's always nice to have other people's opinions. I will definitely apply to Penn (I would love taking part to their Wharton program), Columbia, Stanford, NYU and probably Berkeley as well. Harvard is also on my list although I realize it's a long (long) shot, but fortune smiles to the daring ones, right? Not sure about my chances into getting these top schools either, although I was given the impression that NYU might be easier to get in compared to the ones mentionned above.

@LegalLife I agree and I thank you for your 'warning' regarding the lure of passing the NY bar. Passing the french bar is an option but the process is substantially longer and I do not intend to work in France anytime soon, instead I would like to go back to China and get a job in a big firm there. I think having the NY bar and an LLM from a top school might help achieve just that (compared to a 'regular' french bar).
quote
BillQ

Apply to Georgetown Two-Year LL.M. program. You won't regret.

Apply to Georgetown Two-Year LL.M. program. You won't regret.
quote
dupsnarol

Hello all,
I have been wondering if my LLM from Nottingham Trent University from the UK could get me a good job in Canada. I have aearch for jobs in canada but couldnt find any job that could match my experience. I work in Nigeria as a company Secretary but I cant get hold of such vacancies in canada. Should I rather apply for legal assistance or paralegal and even if no employer will recruit an LLM candidate for such low role.
Please I need a head way here.
Contributions appreciated.

Hello all,
I have been wondering if my LLM from Nottingham Trent University from the UK could get me a good job in Canada. I have aearch for jobs in canada but couldnt find any job that could match my experience. I work in Nigeria as a company Secretary but I cant get hold of such vacancies in canada. Should I rather apply for legal assistance or paralegal and even if no employer will recruit an LLM candidate for such low role.
Please I need a head way here.
Contributions appreciated.
quote

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