Indians Applying for LL.M


nis
Hello!

I graduated with an LL.M. Degree from Harvard in 2011 and worked with Jones Day at their Hong Kong and Singapore offices right after law school. Having helped a lot of LL.M aspirants in the past with their applications, I am now looking to provide my services professionally. I can help out with the entire process right from selection of schools to the application itself. If anyone here is interested, do get in touch.

[Edited by nis on Aug 23, 2017]

Hello!

I graduated with an LL.M. Degree from Harvard in 2011 and worked with Jones Day at their Hong Kong and Singapore offices right after law school. Having helped a lot of LL.M aspirants in the past with their applications, I am now looking to provide my services professionally. I can help out with the entire process right from selection of schools to the application itself. If anyone here is interested, do get in touch.
quote
Amita:


Thank you for your reply.

You're correct in saying "The harsh reality is that LLM degrees do not get the same respect as JD degrees in the US" thats bad enough for LLM students, but we're talking about foreign LLM students with no US work experience ... which is even worse.

My research indicates it is infact impossible for a foreign LLM student to find an employer (big or small law firm) to sponsor an H1B. A foreign student requires a work permit like an H1B or L1 (if already employed in a different country) to work in the USA de facto.

There is no way you can work in the US in a big law firm or a small law firm or even in a shop as a sales assistant for that matter without a work permit (H1B being the most common one)

Small law firms do not have the resources neither the time to recruit & sponsor an H1B, large law firms who have the resources will not as you yourself have just said, so I dont understand what you mean by saying "However, if you can set your sights lower and go to a region in the US where foreign LLM students are more rare, you can have a successful transition to a legal career in the United States"

So to recap
1) Large law firms will not hire a foreign LLM with no US work ex as you yourself have correctly said.
2) Small law firms do not have the resources to sponsor (head over to H1B database for proof) an H1B, and an "alien" requires an H1B,
3) None of the Indians in this thread since its inception in 2012 has been able to find a job (big or small) and stay on or they would have mentioned it as they're all reading (I'm sure Shivani is)

The only person who was forth coming & told us the reality of the situation is Jitana, the rest just kept quiet most likely because they couldn't find work in the US & stay on.

I guess the universities know this but they just keep shut as they get a lot of money from foreign students.

Sorry if this seems harsh but for someone like me who is not wealthy (need a large loan) or well connected it would be foolhardy to spend borrow a large amount of money & head to USA on the hope of getting a job after graduation so I have to do my research no matter what you or Harvard says.




To be clear, i am not Harvard, nor am I advocating you take out a loan and/or pursue an LL.M. in the U.S. I apologize if you thought that was my intent. I am speaking more to those that have already made that decision about the best way to proceed... particularly those that have already started or completed their LL.M. studies in the U.S..

Here are some of the guidelines I give my students if they plan to stay:

1. Start your job search by building your network from Day One of your studies (if not sooner)

I start working on placing my students the day they start the program. Getting a position in the current US job market is all about building an effective network so my first responsibility to expose them to as many prominent members of the legal community as possible both locally and in DC. I have learned that if I can get my students in the same room as potential employers, they can do the rest. For example, one of the six students in my intro program this summer has already been offered a clerkship by one of our state supreme court justices for next year and in prior summers I have had students offered positions in our state attorney general's office and one even got an on the spot offer from one of the largest firms in the world the day we visited them... (the only thing more surprising than the offer was that she turned it down... she wanted to return to her country, which she did.)

You all have the same three goals: Graduate, Pass the Bar, Get a Job. Do not make the mistake of thinking of these goals as sequential.

One final tip on network building: Have business cards the day you arrive in the US that contain your name and email. The power of the business card is that if you offer one to someone, they feel the need to offer you one of theirs. Within 24 hours of getting a business card, send a handwritten note to the person commenting on how nice is was to meet them and ask a question that will keep your conversation going.

2. Its not how you start, but how you end. Don't be afraid of the intro position. Do whatever you can to get in the door... even if it means working for free for a while. I have had multiple foreign students accept OPT paralegal positions at firms that then converted into associate positions. In fact, I have had only one that started as a paralegal at a firm that did not become an associate at that firm... so she left for a different firm and is now very successful.

3. Learn the local culture and excel at it. Here in the South, handwritten notes of thanks after a meeting and a thoughtful gift on the next holiday build powerful allies on your road to success.

4. Build a market. There is only one reason US firms hire associates in the modern legal market. No, it is not because you are bright, work hard, and do excellent work. All the applicants share most if not all three traits. Firms hire associates because they believe that eventually you will bring in new business to that firm. This is where foreign students start with a disadvantage... they do not have the social networks (family, church, university, country club...) in place that can eventually be leveraged into getting new business to the firm. In my first class I had a Chinese girl that had never left China before showing up at my school. We talked about building a market and she attacked that problem aggressively. She sought out under-served immigrants and helped them find the right local firm for their specific legal needs. By the end of her year here, she had three firms competing to sponsor her and hire her as an associate. She turned them all down, married an American classmate and the two of them started their own firm instead in Iowa of all places... and in their third year they interviewed two of my alumni with the plan to sponsor one of them for H1B.

5. Ask advice all the time, and then find a way to show that you followed it. (e.g. Ask which types of courses to take and then find a way to spin your eventual choice as a product of their advice). Many if not most American lawyers are arrogant know-it-alls that love to be right. If they tell you the 'key to success' and you follow it, they become emotionally tied to your success.

Asking for career advice in a non-hiring setting is much less stressful for both of you. Many students make the mistake of only talking to potential employers and only talking to them once they are looking for a job. That means that all your contact with the individual is in a stressful, almost confrontational setting. Build the mentor-mentee or friendship relationship first and foremost.

6. Go beyond your school. The first place most students look for advice/guidance/assistance if from their favorite professor or the school placement office. Both are useful, but remember that hundreds of others are getting the same leads/tips/advice if you are at a larger program. Find a way to expand your network beyond the school. Dress professionally and go to every social function or reception that you can. Hand out lots of cards and follow up

7. Commit to the plan. "I'll try and see how it goes" does not cut it. All your heart and effort have to be there in order to succeed at this. If every day you are still thinking about giving up and going home, that future become unavoidable.

To be up front, I have only had one Indian student complete my program so far and he just graduated and is in his OPT, so I cannot speak intelligently about the specific struggles of Indian students. That said, we have been incredibly fortunate in placing our LL.M. alumni that have decided to stay in the United States. The quality of our students has been our greatest selling point. For example, I had one firm hire one of our L.L.M. alumni two years ago, and based on the quality of her work, they have since hired two more (of the three, they only had to H1B sponsor one, however... one married an American and the other was granted asylum).

This is not a fairy tale, so i cannot state that 100% of my foreign LL.M.s have been able to find positions, but after our first five years as a program, we are running at 80% employment at nine months after graduation, and 100% employment for all those that passed the bar (I am also proud of our over 75% bar passage rate for foreign LL.Ms). However, take these numbers with a grain of salt. I keep my program very small (normally under ten students) so it is much easier for me to help place the 2 or 3 foreign students that want to stay in the US each year. Other directors that have classes of 200 or so have a much more difficult task than I do. I also think I benefit from being in a region where foreign educated lawyers are rare.

I hope this helps

One sidenote First, small firms do sponsor H1B associates and the H1B database supports this. You will even see sole practitioner firms sponsor an H1B associate. (The database is poorly constructed, so be careful not to just search for "attorney" but the plethora of other words and phrases other terms used to describe positions, such as 'lawyer'.)

[Edited by Richard Meyer on Aug 23, 2017]

[quote][quote]Amita:



Thank you for your reply.

You're correct in saying "The harsh reality is that LLM degrees do not get the same respect as JD degrees in the US" thats bad enough for LLM students, but we're talking about foreign LLM students with no US work experience ... which is even worse.

My research indicates it is infact impossible for a foreign LLM student to find an employer (big or small law firm) to sponsor an H1B. A foreign student requires a work permit like an H1B or L1 (if already employed in a different country) to work in the USA de facto.

There is no way you can work in the US in a big law firm or a small law firm or even in a shop as a sales assistant for that matter without a work permit (H1B being the most common one)

Small law firms do not have the resources neither the time to recruit & sponsor an H1B, large law firms who have the resources will not as you yourself have just said, so I dont understand what you mean by saying "However, if you can set your sights lower and go to a region in the US where foreign LLM students are more rare, you can have a successful transition to a legal career in the United States"

So to recap
1) Large law firms will not hire a foreign LLM with no US work ex as you yourself have correctly said.
2) Small law firms do not have the resources to sponsor (head over to H1B database for proof) an H1B, and an "alien" requires an H1B,
3) None of the Indians in this thread since its inception in 2012 has been able to find a job (big or small) and stay on or they would have mentioned it as they're all reading (I'm sure Shivani is)

The only person who was forth coming & told us the reality of the situation is Jitana, the rest just kept quiet most likely because they couldn't find work in the US & stay on.

I guess the universities know this but they just keep shut as they get a lot of money from foreign students.

Sorry if this seems harsh but for someone like me who is not wealthy (need a large loan) or well connected it would be foolhardy to spend borrow a large amount of money & head to USA on the hope of getting a job after graduation so I have to do my research no matter what you or Harvard says.



[/quote]

To be clear, i am not Harvard, nor am I advocating you take out a loan and/or pursue an LL.M. in the U.S. I apologize if you thought that was my intent. I am speaking more to those that have already made that decision about the best way to proceed... particularly those that have already started or completed their LL.M. studies in the U.S..

Here are some of the guidelines I give my students if they plan to stay:

1. Start your job search by building your network from Day One of your studies (if not sooner)

I start working on placing my students the day they start the program. Getting a position in the current US job market is all about building an effective network so my first responsibility to expose them to as many prominent members of the legal community as possible both locally and in DC. I have learned that if I can get my students in the same room as potential employers, they can do the rest. For example, one of the six students in my intro program this summer has already been offered a clerkship by one of our state supreme court justices for next year and in prior summers I have had students offered positions in our state attorney general's office and one even got an on the spot offer from one of the largest firms in the world the day we visited them... (the only thing more surprising than the offer was that she turned it down... she wanted to return to her country, which she did.)

You all have the same three goals: Graduate, Pass the Bar, Get a Job. Do not make the mistake of thinking of these goals as sequential.

One final tip on network building: Have business cards the day you arrive in the US that contain your name and email. The power of the business card is that if you offer one to someone, they feel the need to offer you one of theirs. Within 24 hours of getting a business card, send a handwritten note to the person commenting on how nice is was to meet them and ask a question that will keep your conversation going.

2. Its not how you start, but how you end. Don't be afraid of the intro position. Do whatever you can to get in the door... even if it means working for free for a while. I have had multiple foreign students accept OPT paralegal positions at firms that then converted into associate positions. In fact, I have had only one that started as a paralegal at a firm that did not become an associate at that firm... so she left for a different firm and is now very successful.

3. Learn the local culture and excel at it. Here in the South, handwritten notes of thanks after a meeting and a thoughtful gift on the next holiday build powerful allies on your road to success.

4. Build a market. There is only one reason US firms hire associates in the modern legal market. No, it is not because you are bright, work hard, and do excellent work. All the applicants share most if not all three traits. Firms hire associates because they believe that eventually you will bring in new business to that firm. This is where foreign students start with a disadvantage... they do not have the social networks (family, church, university, country club...) in place that can eventually be leveraged into getting new business to the firm. In my first class I had a Chinese girl that had never left China before showing up at my school. We talked about building a market and she attacked that problem aggressively. She sought out under-served immigrants and helped them find the right local firm for their specific legal needs. By the end of her year here, she had three firms competing to sponsor her and hire her as an associate. She turned them all down, married an American classmate and the two of them started their own firm instead in Iowa of all places... and in their third year they interviewed two of my alumni with the plan to sponsor one of them for H1B.

5. Ask advice all the time, and then find a way to show that you followed it. (e.g. Ask which types of courses to take and then find a way to spin your eventual choice as a product of their advice). Many if not most American lawyers are arrogant know-it-alls that love to be right. If they tell you the 'key to success' and you follow it, they become emotionally tied to your success.

Asking for career advice in a non-hiring setting is much less stressful for both of you. Many students make the mistake of only talking to potential employers and only talking to them once they are looking for a job. That means that all your contact with the individual is in a stressful, almost confrontational setting. Build the mentor-mentee or friendship relationship first and foremost.

6. Go beyond your school. The first place most students look for advice/guidance/assistance if from their favorite professor or the school placement office. Both are useful, but remember that hundreds of others are getting the same leads/tips/advice if you are at a larger program. Find a way to expand your network beyond the school. Dress professionally and go to every social function or reception that you can. Hand out lots of cards and follow up

7. Commit to the plan. "I'll try and see how it goes" does not cut it. All your heart and effort have to be there in order to succeed at this. If every day you are still thinking about giving up and going home, that future become unavoidable.

To be up front, I have only had one Indian student complete my program so far and he just graduated and is in his OPT, so I cannot speak intelligently about the specific struggles of Indian students. That said, we have been incredibly fortunate in placing our LL.M. alumni that have decided to stay in the United States. The quality of our students has been our greatest selling point. For example, I had one firm hire one of our L.L.M. alumni two years ago, and based on the quality of her work, they have since hired two more (of the three, they only had to H1B sponsor one, however... one married an American and the other was granted asylum).

This is not a fairy tale, so i cannot state that 100% of my foreign LL.M.s have been able to find positions, but after our first five years as a program, we are running at 80% employment at nine months after graduation, and 100% employment for all those that passed the bar (I am also proud of our over 75% bar passage rate for foreign LL.Ms). However, take these numbers with a grain of salt. I keep my program very small (normally under ten students) so it is much easier for me to help place the 2 or 3 foreign students that want to stay in the US each year. Other directors that have classes of 200 or so have a much more difficult task than I do. I also think I benefit from being in a region where foreign educated lawyers are rare.

I hope this helps

One sidenote First, small firms do sponsor H1B associates and the H1B database supports this. You will even see sole practitioner firms sponsor an H1B associate. (The database is poorly constructed, so be careful not to just search for "attorney" but the plethora of other words and phrases other terms used to describe positions, such as 'lawyer'.)
quote
Amita:


Thank you for your reply.

You're correct in saying "The harsh reality is that LLM degrees do not get the same respect as JD degrees in the US" thats bad enough for LLM students, but we're talking about foreign LLM students with no US work experience ... which is even worse.

My research indicates it is infact impossible for a foreign LLM student to find an employer (big or small law firm) to sponsor an H1B. A foreign student requires a work permit like an H1B or L1 (if already employed in a different country) to work in the USA de facto.

There is no way you can work in the US in a big law firm or a small law firm or even in a shop as a sales assistant for that matter without a work permit (H1B being the most common one)

Small law firms do not have the resources neither the time to recruit & sponsor an H1B, large law firms who have the resources will not as you yourself have just said, so I dont understand what you mean by saying "However, if you can set your sights lower and go to a region in the US where foreign LLM students are more rare, you can have a successful transition to a legal career in the United States"

So to recap
1) Large law firms will not hire a foreign LLM with no US work ex as you yourself have correctly said.
2) Small law firms do not have the resources to sponsor (head over to H1B database for proof) an H1B, and an "alien" requires an H1B,
3) None of the Indians in this thread since its inception in 2012 has been able to find a job (big or small) and stay on or they would have mentioned it as they're all reading (I'm sure Shivani is)

The only person who was forth coming & told us the reality of the situation is Jitana, the rest just kept quiet most likely because they couldn't find work in the US & stay on.

I guess the universities know this but they just keep shut as they get a lot of money from foreign students.

Sorry if this seems harsh but for someone like me who is not wealthy (need a large loan) or well connected it would be foolhardy to spend borrow a large amount of money & head to USA on the hope of getting a job after graduation so I have to do my research no matter what you or Harvard says.




To be clear, i am not Harvard, nor am I advocating you take out a loan and/or pursue an LL.M. in the U.S. I apologize if you thought that was my intent. I am speaking more to those that have already made that decision about the best way to proceed... particularly those that have already started or completed their LL.M. studies in the U.S..

Here are some of the guidelines I give my students if they plan to stay:

1. Start your job search by building your network from Day One of your studies (if not sooner)

I start working on placing my students the day they start the program. Getting a position in the current US job market is all about building an effective network so my first responsibility to expose them to as many prominent members of the legal community as possible both locally and in DC. I have learned that if I can get my students in the same room as potential employers, they can do the rest. For example, one of the six students in my intro program this summer has already been offered a clerkship by one of our state supreme court justices for next year and in prior summers I have had students offered positions in our state attorney general's office and one even got an on the spot offer from one of the largest firms in the world the day we visited them... (the only thing more surprising than the offer was that she turned it down... she wanted to return to her country, which she did.)

You all have the same three goals: Graduate, Pass the Bar, Get a Job. Do not make the mistake of thinking of these goals as sequential.

One final tip on network building: Have business cards the day you arrive in the US that contain your name and email. The power of the business card is that if you offer one to someone, they feel the need to offer you one of theirs. Within 24 hours of getting a business card, send a handwritten note to the person commenting on how nice is was to meet them and ask a question that will keep your conversation going.

2. Its not how you start, but how you end. Don't be afraid of the intro position. Do whatever you can to get in the door... even if it means working for free for a while. I have had multiple foreign students accept OPT paralegal positions at firms that then converted into associate positions. In fact, I have had only one that started as a paralegal at a firm that did not become an associate at that firm... so she left for a different firm and is now very successful.

3. Learn the local culture and excel at it. Here in the South, handwritten notes of thanks after a meeting and a thoughtful gift on the next holiday build powerful allies on your road to success.

4. Build a market. There is only one reason US firms hire associates in the modern legal market. No, it is not because you are bright, work hard, and do excellent work. All the applicants share most if not all three traits. Firms hire associates because they believe that eventually you will bring in new business to that firm. This is where foreign students start with a disadvantage... they do not have the social networks (family, church, university, country club...) in place that can eventually be leveraged into getting new business to the firm. In my first class I had a Chinese girl that had never left China before showing up at my school. We talked about building a market and she attacked that problem aggressively. She sought out under-served immigrants and helped them find the right local firm for their specific legal needs. By the end of her year here, she had three firms competing to sponsor her and hire her as an associate. She turned them all down, married an American classmate and the two of them started their own firm instead in Iowa of all places... and in their third year they interviewed two of my alumni with the plan to sponsor one of them for H1B.

5. Ask advice all the time, and then find a way to show that you followed it. (e.g. Ask which types of courses to take and then find a way to spin your eventual choice as a product of their advice). Many if not most American lawyers are arrogant know-it-alls that love to be right. If they tell you the 'key to success' and you follow it, they become emotionally tied to your success.

Asking for career advice in a non-hiring setting is much less stressful for both of you. Many students make the mistake of only talking to potential employers and only talking to them once they are looking for a job. That means that all your contact with the individual is in a stressful, almost confrontational setting. Build the mentor-mentee or friendship relationship first and foremost.

6. Go beyond your school. The first place most students look for advice/guidance/assistance if from their favorite professor or the school placement office. Both are useful, but remember that hundreds of others are getting the same leads/tips/advice if you are at a larger program. Find a way to expand your network beyond the school. Dress professionally and go to every social function or reception that you can. Hand out lots of cards and follow up

7. Commit to the plan. "I'll try and see how it goes" does not cut it. All your heart and effort have to be there in order to succeed at this. If every day you are still thinking about giving up and going home, that future become unavoidable.

To be up front, I have only had one Indian student complete my program so far and he just graduated and is in his OPT, so I cannot speak intelligently about the specific struggles of Indian students. That said, we have been incredibly fortunate in placing our LL.M. alumni that have decided to stay in the United States. The quality of our students has been our greatest selling point. For example, I had one firm hire one of our L.L.M. alumni two years ago, and based on the quality of her work, they have since hired two more (of the three, they only had to H1B sponsor one, however... one married an American and the other was granted asylum).

This is not a fairy tale, so i cannot state that 100% of my foreign LL.M.s have been able to find positions, but after our first five years as a program, we are running at 80% employment at nine months after graduation, and 100% employment for all those that passed the bar (I am also proud of our over 75% bar passage rate for foreign LL.Ms). However, take these numbers with a grain of salt. I keep my program very small (normally under ten students) so it is much easier for me to help place the 2 or 3 foreign students that want to stay in the US each year. Other directors that have classes of 200 or so have a much more difficult task than I do. I also think I benefit from being in a region where foreign educated lawyers are rare.

I hope this helps

One sidenote First, small firms do sponsor H1B associates and the H1B database supports this. You will even see sole practitioner firms sponsor an H1B associate. (The database is poorly constructed, so be careful not to just search for "attorney" but the plethora of other words and phrases other terms used to describe positions, such as 'lawyer'.)



Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?

[Edited by amita_gupta on Aug 25, 2017]

[quote][quote][quote]Amita:



Thank you for your reply.

You're correct in saying "The harsh reality is that LLM degrees do not get the same respect as JD degrees in the US" thats bad enough for LLM students, but we're talking about foreign LLM students with no US work experience ... which is even worse.

My research indicates it is infact impossible for a foreign LLM student to find an employer (big or small law firm) to sponsor an H1B. A foreign student requires a work permit like an H1B or L1 (if already employed in a different country) to work in the USA de facto.

There is no way you can work in the US in a big law firm or a small law firm or even in a shop as a sales assistant for that matter without a work permit (H1B being the most common one)

Small law firms do not have the resources neither the time to recruit & sponsor an H1B, large law firms who have the resources will not as you yourself have just said, so I dont understand what you mean by saying "However, if you can set your sights lower and go to a region in the US where foreign LLM students are more rare, you can have a successful transition to a legal career in the United States"

So to recap
1) Large law firms will not hire a foreign LLM with no US work ex as you yourself have correctly said.
2) Small law firms do not have the resources to sponsor (head over to H1B database for proof) an H1B, and an "alien" requires an H1B,
3) None of the Indians in this thread since its inception in 2012 has been able to find a job (big or small) and stay on or they would have mentioned it as they're all reading (I'm sure Shivani is)

The only person who was forth coming & told us the reality of the situation is Jitana, the rest just kept quiet most likely because they couldn't find work in the US & stay on.

I guess the universities know this but they just keep shut as they get a lot of money from foreign students.

Sorry if this seems harsh but for someone like me who is not wealthy (need a large loan) or well connected it would be foolhardy to spend borrow a large amount of money & head to USA on the hope of getting a job after graduation so I have to do my research no matter what you or Harvard says.



[/quote]

To be clear, i am not Harvard, nor am I advocating you take out a loan and/or pursue an LL.M. in the U.S. I apologize if you thought that was my intent. I am speaking more to those that have already made that decision about the best way to proceed... particularly those that have already started or completed their LL.M. studies in the U.S..

Here are some of the guidelines I give my students if they plan to stay:

1. Start your job search by building your network from Day One of your studies (if not sooner)

I start working on placing my students the day they start the program. Getting a position in the current US job market is all about building an effective network so my first responsibility to expose them to as many prominent members of the legal community as possible both locally and in DC. I have learned that if I can get my students in the same room as potential employers, they can do the rest. For example, one of the six students in my intro program this summer has already been offered a clerkship by one of our state supreme court justices for next year and in prior summers I have had students offered positions in our state attorney general's office and one even got an on the spot offer from one of the largest firms in the world the day we visited them... (the only thing more surprising than the offer was that she turned it down... she wanted to return to her country, which she did.)

You all have the same three goals: Graduate, Pass the Bar, Get a Job. Do not make the mistake of thinking of these goals as sequential.

One final tip on network building: Have business cards the day you arrive in the US that contain your name and email. The power of the business card is that if you offer one to someone, they feel the need to offer you one of theirs. Within 24 hours of getting a business card, send a handwritten note to the person commenting on how nice is was to meet them and ask a question that will keep your conversation going.

2. Its not how you start, but how you end. Don't be afraid of the intro position. Do whatever you can to get in the door... even if it means working for free for a while. I have had multiple foreign students accept OPT paralegal positions at firms that then converted into associate positions. In fact, I have had only one that started as a paralegal at a firm that did not become an associate at that firm... so she left for a different firm and is now very successful.

3. Learn the local culture and excel at it. Here in the South, handwritten notes of thanks after a meeting and a thoughtful gift on the next holiday build powerful allies on your road to success.

4. Build a market. There is only one reason US firms hire associates in the modern legal market. No, it is not because you are bright, work hard, and do excellent work. All the applicants share most if not all three traits. Firms hire associates because they believe that eventually you will bring in new business to that firm. This is where foreign students start with a disadvantage... they do not have the social networks (family, church, university, country club...) in place that can eventually be leveraged into getting new business to the firm. In my first class I had a Chinese girl that had never left China before showing up at my school. We talked about building a market and she attacked that problem aggressively. She sought out under-served immigrants and helped them find the right local firm for their specific legal needs. By the end of her year here, she had three firms competing to sponsor her and hire her as an associate. She turned them all down, married an American classmate and the two of them started their own firm instead in Iowa of all places... and in their third year they interviewed two of my alumni with the plan to sponsor one of them for H1B.

5. Ask advice all the time, and then find a way to show that you followed it. (e.g. Ask which types of courses to take and then find a way to spin your eventual choice as a product of their advice). Many if not most American lawyers are arrogant know-it-alls that love to be right. If they tell you the 'key to success' and you follow it, they become emotionally tied to your success.

Asking for career advice in a non-hiring setting is much less stressful for both of you. Many students make the mistake of only talking to potential employers and only talking to them once they are looking for a job. That means that all your contact with the individual is in a stressful, almost confrontational setting. Build the mentor-mentee or friendship relationship first and foremost.

6. Go beyond your school. The first place most students look for advice/guidance/assistance if from their favorite professor or the school placement office. Both are useful, but remember that hundreds of others are getting the same leads/tips/advice if you are at a larger program. Find a way to expand your network beyond the school. Dress professionally and go to every social function or reception that you can. Hand out lots of cards and follow up

7. Commit to the plan. "I'll try and see how it goes" does not cut it. All your heart and effort have to be there in order to succeed at this. If every day you are still thinking about giving up and going home, that future become unavoidable.

To be up front, I have only had one Indian student complete my program so far and he just graduated and is in his OPT, so I cannot speak intelligently about the specific struggles of Indian students. That said, we have been incredibly fortunate in placing our LL.M. alumni that have decided to stay in the United States. The quality of our students has been our greatest selling point. For example, I had one firm hire one of our L.L.M. alumni two years ago, and based on the quality of her work, they have since hired two more (of the three, they only had to H1B sponsor one, however... one married an American and the other was granted asylum).

This is not a fairy tale, so i cannot state that 100% of my foreign LL.M.s have been able to find positions, but after our first five years as a program, we are running at 80% employment at nine months after graduation, and 100% employment for all those that passed the bar (I am also proud of our over 75% bar passage rate for foreign LL.Ms). However, take these numbers with a grain of salt. I keep my program very small (normally under ten students) so it is much easier for me to help place the 2 or 3 foreign students that want to stay in the US each year. Other directors that have classes of 200 or so have a much more difficult task than I do. I also think I benefit from being in a region where foreign educated lawyers are rare.

I hope this helps

One sidenote First, small firms do sponsor H1B associates and the H1B database supports this. You will even see sole practitioner firms sponsor an H1B associate. (The database is poorly constructed, so be careful not to just search for "attorney" but the plethora of other words and phrases other terms used to describe positions, such as 'lawyer'.) [/quote]


Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?
quote


Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?


Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.
[quote]

Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?
[/quote]

Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.






quote


Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?


Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.




Thanks for reply.

I do appreciate your advise. Its not that I dont want to listen to you, its just that what you say is similar to what most of the big schools say & yet most of the Indian LLM grads have had to return after OPT ........ many of them couldn't even find a decent law firm during OPT !!

Despite your encouragement, I haven't been able to find evidence of recently graduated Indian LLM students finding employment beyond OPT (with the exception of those who had family connections)

Almost all that I know of, have tried to make contact with, or who's careers I have followed on websites like linkedin have had to return

Statistically there is something like a 97% chance of me landing up without a job after OPT, and that's not a chance I'm willing to take after borrowing a lot of money ..... frankly I'd be foolish if I did.

I've decided to studly in Singapore instead of USA .... & personally for me I think its a wise decision !!


Thank you once again for your encouragement & good luck to all.

[Edited by amita_gupta on Aug 27, 2017]

[quote][quote]

Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?
[/quote]

Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.






[/quote]

Thanks for reply.

I do appreciate your advise. Its not that I dont want to listen to you, its just that what you say is similar to what most of the big schools say & yet most of the Indian LLM grads have had to return after OPT ........ many of them couldn't even find a decent law firm during OPT !!

Despite your encouragement, I haven't been able to find evidence of recently graduated Indian LLM students finding employment beyond OPT (with the exception of those who had family connections)

Almost all that I know of, have tried to make contact with, or who's careers I have followed on websites like linkedin have had to return

Statistically there is something like a 97% chance of me landing up without a job after OPT, and that's not a chance I'm willing to take after borrowing a lot of money ..... frankly I'd be foolish if I did.

I've decided to studly in Singapore instead of USA .... & personally for me I think its a wise decision !!


Thank you once again for your encouragement & good luck to all.
quote


Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?


Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.




Thanks for reply.

I do appreciate your advise. Its not that I dont want to listen to you, its just that what you say is similar to what most of the big schools say & yet most of the Indian LLM grads have had to return after OPT ........ many of them couldn't even find a decent law firm during OPT !!

Despite your encouragement, I haven't been able to find evidence of recently graduated Indian LLM students finding employment beyond OPT (with the exception of those who had family connections)

Almost all that I know of, have tried to make contact with, or who's careers I have followed on websites like linkedin have had to return

Statistically there is something like a 97% chance of me landing up without a job after OPT, and that's not a chance I'm willing to take after borrowing a lot of money ..... frankly I'd be foolish if I did.

I've decided to studly in Singapore instead of USA .... & personally for me I think its a wise decision !!


Thank you once again for your encouragement & good luck to all.


I think you are well on your path to success. (However, I know nothing about the market in Singapore, so I have no guidance to share)

I absolutely agree with you that only a small percentage of LLM students end up with jobs in the US post OPT, and that is not limited to just Indian lawyers, though I do think you suffer more than folks from some other countries (which is counter-intuitive since you are also common law). Those who have the easiest time finding a position are those that can identify an immigrant community that is under-served, legally. Mexican, Chinese and lawyers from many South American & African countries have fared better than Indians because of the size of those immigrant populations in the US plus the cultural norms that may cause them to be under-served.

To sum up all of my posts, to get a job post OPT in the US you have to be able to beat the odds and work aggressively at it from day one. It is much more difficult than many presume before they get on a plane. If the percentage is only 10% (and I have no idea what it actually is) than you have to work hard enough at getting that job to ensure you are in that ten percent. Even excellent grades from a great school will NOT be enough.

Good luck in your studies and career path!.
[quote][quote][quote]

Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?
[/quote]

Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.






[/quote]

Thanks for reply.

I do appreciate your advise. Its not that I dont want to listen to you, its just that what you say is similar to what most of the big schools say & yet most of the Indian LLM grads have had to return after OPT ........ many of them couldn't even find a decent law firm during OPT !!

Despite your encouragement, I haven't been able to find evidence of recently graduated Indian LLM students finding employment beyond OPT (with the exception of those who had family connections)

Almost all that I know of, have tried to make contact with, or who's careers I have followed on websites like linkedin have had to return

Statistically there is something like a 97% chance of me landing up without a job after OPT, and that's not a chance I'm willing to take after borrowing a lot of money ..... frankly I'd be foolish if I did.

I've decided to studly in Singapore instead of USA .... & personally for me I think its a wise decision !!


Thank you once again for your encouragement & good luck to all.[/quote]

I think you are well on your path to success. (However, I know nothing about the market in Singapore, so I have no guidance to share)

I absolutely agree with you that only a small percentage of LLM students end up with jobs in the US post OPT, and that is not limited to just Indian lawyers, though I do think you suffer more than folks from some other countries (which is counter-intuitive since you are also common law). Those who have the easiest time finding a position are those that can identify an immigrant community that is under-served, legally. Mexican, Chinese and lawyers from many South American & African countries have fared better than Indians because of the size of those immigrant populations in the US plus the cultural norms that may cause them to be under-served.

To sum up all of my posts, to get a job post OPT in the US you have to be able to beat the odds and work aggressively at it from day one. It is much more difficult than many presume before they get on a plane. If the percentage is only 10% (and I have no idea what it actually is) than you have to work hard enough at getting that job to ensure you are in that ten percent. Even excellent grades from a great school will NOT be enough.

Good luck in your studies and career path!.
quote
chicken so...
Yes, it's a hard road for non-residents to get long-term jobs in the US - in the law field or not. Firms are increasingly hesitant to hire non-residents because the visa process, because they're awarded by lottery, is inherently risky.

Often the best approach is to find a firm that's interested in building its practice in your home country, and have them take you on in the US for a few years, with the goal of having you go back to your home country afterwards.
Yes, it's a hard road for non-residents to get long-term jobs in the US - in the law field or not. Firms are increasingly hesitant to hire non-residents because the visa process, because they're awarded by lottery, is inherently risky.

Often the best approach is to find a firm that's interested in building its practice in your home country, and have them take you on in the US for a few years, with the goal of having you go back to your home country afterwards.
quote
Amita:


Thank you for your reply.

You're correct in saying "The harsh reality is that LLM degrees do not get the same respect as JD degrees in the US" thats bad enough for LLM students, but we're talking about foreign LLM students with no US work experience ... which is even worse.

My research indicates it is infact impossible for a foreign LLM student to find an employer (big or small law firm) to sponsor an H1B. A foreign student requires a work permit like an H1B or L1 (if already employed in a different country) to work in the USA de facto.

There is no way you can work in the US in a big law firm or a small law firm or even in a shop as a sales assistant for that matter without a work permit (H1B being the most common one)

Small law firms do not have the resources neither the time to recruit & sponsor an H1B, large law firms who have the resources will not as you yourself have just said, so I dont understand what you mean by saying "However, if you can set your sights lower and go to a region in the US where foreign LLM students are more rare, you can have a successful transition to a legal career in the United States"

So to recap
1) Large law firms will not hire a foreign LLM with no US work ex as you yourself have correctly said.
2) Small law firms do not have the resources to sponsor (head over to H1B database for proof) an H1B, and an "alien" requires an H1B,
3) None of the Indians in this thread since its inception in 2012 has been able to find a job (big or small) and stay on or they would have mentioned it as they're all reading (I'm sure Shivani is)

The only person who was forth coming & told us the reality of the situation is Jitana, the rest just kept quiet most likely because they couldn't find work in the US & stay on.

I guess the universities know this but they just keep shut as they get a lot of money from foreign students.

Sorry if this seems harsh but for someone like me who is not wealthy (need a large loan) or well connected it would be foolhardy to spend borrow a large amount of money & head to USA on the hope of getting a job after graduation so I have to do my research no matter what you or Harvard says.



Hello.
First of all thank you so much for those inspiring words at the point where I was about to loose my hopes of studying LLM form US.

I as well dont belong to wealthy family and I'll have to drag loan for my studies. I wish to stay back and work for some years. I went through messages here and I was so shaken. But your words gave me some hopes and I would try for next year.

To be clear, i am not Harvard, nor am I advocating you take out a loan and/or pursue an LL.M. in the U.S. I apologize if you thought that was my intent. I am speaking more to those that have already made that decision about the best way to proceed... particularly those that have already started or completed their LL.M. studies in the U.S..

Here are some of the guidelines I give my students if they plan to stay:

1. Start your job search by building your network from Day One of your studies (if not sooner)

I start working on placing my students the day they start the program. Getting a position in the current US job market is all about building an effective network so my first responsibility to expose them to as many prominent members of the legal community as possible both locally and in DC. I have learned that if I can get my students in the same room as potential employers, they can do the rest. For example, one of the six students in my intro program this summer has already been offered a clerkship by one of our state supreme court justices for next year and in prior summers I have had students offered positions in our state attorney general's office and one even got an on the spot offer from one of the largest firms in the world the day we visited them... (the only thing more surprising than the offer was that she turned it down... she wanted to return to her country, which she did.)

You all have the same three goals: Graduate, Pass the Bar, Get a Job. Do not make the mistake of thinking of these goals as sequential.

One final tip on network building: Have business cards the day you arrive in the US that contain your name and email. The power of the business card is that if you offer one to someone, they feel the need to offer you one of theirs. Within 24 hours of getting a business card, send a handwritten note to the person commenting on how nice is was to meet them and ask a question that will keep your conversation going.

2. Its not how you start, but how you end. Don't be afraid of the intro position. Do whatever you can to get in the door... even if it means working for free for a while. I have had multiple foreign students accept OPT paralegal positions at firms that then converted into associate positions. In fact, I have had only one that started as a paralegal at a firm that did not become an associate at that firm... so she left for a different firm and is now very successful.

3. Learn the local culture and excel at it. Here in the South, handwritten notes of thanks after a meeting and a thoughtful gift on the next holiday build powerful allies on your road to success.

4. Build a market. There is only one reason US firms hire associates in the modern legal market. No, it is not because you are bright, work hard, and do excellent work. All the applicants share most if not all three traits. Firms hire associates because they believe that eventually you will bring in new business to that firm. This is where foreign students start with a disadvantage... they do not have the social networks (family, church, university, country club...) in place that can eventually be leveraged into getting new business to the firm. In my first class I had a Chinese girl that had never left China before showing up at my school. We talked about building a market and she attacked that problem aggressively. She sought out under-served immigrants and helped them find the right local firm for their specific legal needs. By the end of her year here, she had three firms competing to sponsor her and hire her as an associate. She turned them all down, married an American classmate and the two of them started their own firm instead in Iowa of all places... and in their third year they interviewed two of my alumni with the plan to sponsor one of them for H1B.

5. Ask advice all the time, and then find a way to show that you followed it. (e.g. Ask which types of courses to take and then find a way to spin your eventual choice as a product of their advice). Many if not most American lawyers are arrogant know-it-alls that love to be right. If they tell you the 'key to success' and you follow it, they become emotionally tied to your success.

Asking for career advice in a non-hiring setting is much less stressful for both of you. Many students make the mistake of only talking to potential employers and only talking to them once they are looking for a job. That means that all your contact with the individual is in a stressful, almost confrontational setting. Build the mentor-mentee or friendship relationship first and foremost.

6. Go beyond your school. The first place most students look for advice/guidance/assistance if from their favorite professor or the school placement office. Both are useful, but remember that hundreds of others are getting the same leads/tips/advice if you are at a larger program. Find a way to expand your network beyond the school. Dress professionally and go to every social function or reception that you can. Hand out lots of cards and follow up

7. Commit to the plan. "I'll try and see how it goes" does not cut it. All your heart and effort have to be there in order to succeed at this. If every day you are still thinking about giving up and going home, that future become unavoidable.

To be up front, I have only had one Indian student complete my program so far and he just graduated and is in his OPT, so I cannot speak intelligently about the specific struggles of Indian students. That said, we have been incredibly fortunate in placing our LL.M. alumni that have decided to stay in the United States. The quality of our students has been our greatest selling point. For example, I had one firm hire one of our L.L.M. alumni two years ago, and based on the quality of her work, they have since hired two more (of the three, they only had to H1B sponsor one, however... one married an American and the other was granted asylum).

This is not a fairy tale, so i cannot state that 100% of my foreign LL.M.s have been able to find positions, but after our first five years as a program, we are running at 80% employment at nine months after graduation, and 100% employment for all those that passed the bar (I am also proud of our over 75% bar passage rate for foreign LL.Ms). However, take these numbers with a grain of salt. I keep my program very small (normally under ten students) so it is much easier for me to help place the 2 or 3 foreign students that want to stay in the US each year. Other directors that have classes of 200 or so have a much more difficult task than I do. I also think I benefit from being in a region where foreign educated lawyers are rare.

I hope this helps

One sidenote First, small firms do sponsor H1B associates and the H1B database supports this. You will even see sole practitioner firms sponsor an H1B associate. (The database is poorly constructed, so be careful not to just search for "attorney" but the plethora of other words and phrases other terms used to describe positions, such as 'lawyer'.)
[quote][quote][quote]Amita:



Thank you for your reply.

You're correct in saying "The harsh reality is that LLM degrees do not get the same respect as JD degrees in the US" thats bad enough for LLM students, but we're talking about foreign LLM students with no US work experience ... which is even worse.

My research indicates it is infact impossible for a foreign LLM student to find an employer (big or small law firm) to sponsor an H1B. A foreign student requires a work permit like an H1B or L1 (if already employed in a different country) to work in the USA de facto.

There is no way you can work in the US in a big law firm or a small law firm or even in a shop as a sales assistant for that matter without a work permit (H1B being the most common one)

Small law firms do not have the resources neither the time to recruit & sponsor an H1B, large law firms who have the resources will not as you yourself have just said, so I dont understand what you mean by saying "However, if you can set your sights lower and go to a region in the US where foreign LLM students are more rare, you can have a successful transition to a legal career in the United States"

So to recap
1) Large law firms will not hire a foreign LLM with no US work ex as you yourself have correctly said.
2) Small law firms do not have the resources to sponsor (head over to H1B database for proof) an H1B, and an "alien" requires an H1B,
3) None of the Indians in this thread since its inception in 2012 has been able to find a job (big or small) and stay on or they would have mentioned it as they're all reading (I'm sure Shivani is)

The only person who was forth coming & told us the reality of the situation is Jitana, the rest just kept quiet most likely because they couldn't find work in the US & stay on.

I guess the universities know this but they just keep shut as they get a lot of money from foreign students.

Sorry if this seems harsh but for someone like me who is not wealthy (need a large loan) or well connected it would be foolhardy to spend borrow a large amount of money & head to USA on the hope of getting a job after graduation so I have to do my research no matter what you or Harvard says.



[/quote]
Hello.
First of all thank you so much for those inspiring words at the point where I was about to loose my hopes of studying LLM form US.

I as well dont belong to wealthy family and I'll have to drag loan for my studies. I wish to stay back and work for some years. I went through messages here and I was so shaken. But your words gave me some hopes and I would try for next year.

To be clear, i am not Harvard, nor am I advocating you take out a loan and/or pursue an LL.M. in the U.S. I apologize if you thought that was my intent. I am speaking more to those that have already made that decision about the best way to proceed... particularly those that have already started or completed their LL.M. studies in the U.S..

Here are some of the guidelines I give my students if they plan to stay:

1. Start your job search by building your network from Day One of your studies (if not sooner)

I start working on placing my students the day they start the program. Getting a position in the current US job market is all about building an effective network so my first responsibility to expose them to as many prominent members of the legal community as possible both locally and in DC. I have learned that if I can get my students in the same room as potential employers, they can do the rest. For example, one of the six students in my intro program this summer has already been offered a clerkship by one of our state supreme court justices for next year and in prior summers I have had students offered positions in our state attorney general's office and one even got an on the spot offer from one of the largest firms in the world the day we visited them... (the only thing more surprising than the offer was that she turned it down... she wanted to return to her country, which she did.)

You all have the same three goals: Graduate, Pass the Bar, Get a Job. Do not make the mistake of thinking of these goals as sequential.

One final tip on network building: Have business cards the day you arrive in the US that contain your name and email. The power of the business card is that if you offer one to someone, they feel the need to offer you one of theirs. Within 24 hours of getting a business card, send a handwritten note to the person commenting on how nice is was to meet them and ask a question that will keep your conversation going.

2. Its not how you start, but how you end. Don't be afraid of the intro position. Do whatever you can to get in the door... even if it means working for free for a while. I have had multiple foreign students accept OPT paralegal positions at firms that then converted into associate positions. In fact, I have had only one that started as a paralegal at a firm that did not become an associate at that firm... so she left for a different firm and is now very successful.

3. Learn the local culture and excel at it. Here in the South, handwritten notes of thanks after a meeting and a thoughtful gift on the next holiday build powerful allies on your road to success.

4. Build a market. There is only one reason US firms hire associates in the modern legal market. No, it is not because you are bright, work hard, and do excellent work. All the applicants share most if not all three traits. Firms hire associates because they believe that eventually you will bring in new business to that firm. This is where foreign students start with a disadvantage... they do not have the social networks (family, church, university, country club...) in place that can eventually be leveraged into getting new business to the firm. In my first class I had a Chinese girl that had never left China before showing up at my school. We talked about building a market and she attacked that problem aggressively. She sought out under-served immigrants and helped them find the right local firm for their specific legal needs. By the end of her year here, she had three firms competing to sponsor her and hire her as an associate. She turned them all down, married an American classmate and the two of them started their own firm instead in Iowa of all places... and in their third year they interviewed two of my alumni with the plan to sponsor one of them for H1B.

5. Ask advice all the time, and then find a way to show that you followed it. (e.g. Ask which types of courses to take and then find a way to spin your eventual choice as a product of their advice). Many if not most American lawyers are arrogant know-it-alls that love to be right. If they tell you the 'key to success' and you follow it, they become emotionally tied to your success.

Asking for career advice in a non-hiring setting is much less stressful for both of you. Many students make the mistake of only talking to potential employers and only talking to them once they are looking for a job. That means that all your contact with the individual is in a stressful, almost confrontational setting. Build the mentor-mentee or friendship relationship first and foremost.

6. Go beyond your school. The first place most students look for advice/guidance/assistance if from their favorite professor or the school placement office. Both are useful, but remember that hundreds of others are getting the same leads/tips/advice if you are at a larger program. Find a way to expand your network beyond the school. Dress professionally and go to every social function or reception that you can. Hand out lots of cards and follow up

7. Commit to the plan. "I'll try and see how it goes" does not cut it. All your heart and effort have to be there in order to succeed at this. If every day you are still thinking about giving up and going home, that future become unavoidable.

To be up front, I have only had one Indian student complete my program so far and he just graduated and is in his OPT, so I cannot speak intelligently about the specific struggles of Indian students. That said, we have been incredibly fortunate in placing our LL.M. alumni that have decided to stay in the United States. The quality of our students has been our greatest selling point. For example, I had one firm hire one of our L.L.M. alumni two years ago, and based on the quality of her work, they have since hired two more (of the three, they only had to H1B sponsor one, however... one married an American and the other was granted asylum).

This is not a fairy tale, so i cannot state that 100% of my foreign LL.M.s have been able to find positions, but after our first five years as a program, we are running at 80% employment at nine months after graduation, and 100% employment for all those that passed the bar (I am also proud of our over 75% bar passage rate for foreign LL.Ms). However, take these numbers with a grain of salt. I keep my program very small (normally under ten students) so it is much easier for me to help place the 2 or 3 foreign students that want to stay in the US each year. Other directors that have classes of 200 or so have a much more difficult task than I do. I also think I benefit from being in a region where foreign educated lawyers are rare.

I hope this helps

One sidenote First, small firms do sponsor H1B associates and the H1B database supports this. You will even see sole practitioner firms sponsor an H1B associate. (The database is poorly constructed, so be careful not to just search for "attorney" but the plethora of other words and phrases other terms used to describe positions, such as 'lawyer'.) [/quote]
quote


Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.



Hello
I would be applying to Us law schools. How can I contact you?

Thanks for reply.

I do appreciate your advise. Its not that I dont want to listen to you, its just that what you say is similar to what most of the big schools say & yet most of the Indian LLM grads have had to return after OPT ........ many of them couldn't even find a decent law firm during OPT !!

Despite your encouragement, I haven't been able to find evidence of recently graduated Indian LLM students finding employment beyond OPT (with the exception of those who had family connections)

Almost all that I know of, have tried to make contact with, or who's careers I have followed on websites like linkedin have had to return

Statistically there is something like a 97% chance of me landing up without a job after OPT, and that's not a chance I'm willing to take after borrowing a lot of money ..... frankly I'd be foolish if I did.

I've decided to studly in Singapore instead of USA .... & personally for me I think its a wise decision !!


Thank you once again for your encouragement & good luck to all.


I think you are well on your path to success. (However, I know nothing about the market in Singapore, so I have no guidance to share)

I absolutely agree with you that only a small percentage of LLM students end up with jobs in the US post OPT, and that is not limited to just Indian lawyers, though I do think you suffer more than folks from some other countries (which is counter-intuitive since you are also common law). Those who have the easiest time finding a position are those that can identify an immigrant community that is under-served, legally. Mexican, Chinese and lawyers from many South American & African countries have fared better than Indians because of the size of those immigrant populations in the US plus the cultural norms that may cause them to be under-served.

To sum up all of my posts, to get a job post OPT in the US you have to be able to beat the odds and work aggressively at it from day one. It is much more difficult than many presume before they get on a plane. If the percentage is only 10% (and I have no idea what it actually is) than you have to work hard enough at getting that job to ensure you are in that ten percent. Even excellent grades from a great school will NOT be enough.

Good luck in your studies and career path!.
[quote][quote][quote][quote]

Richard thanks for your reply.

Just one question please

Can you clarify what you mean by "my program" :-

As you keep referring to "my program" & are active on expat boards I get the feeling you are employed by a university specifically to help increase the number of "foreign" LLM students.

Is this correct?
[/quote]

Expat boards? I thought this was a board on the LLM guide, which exists to help students who are interested in getting an LL.M.

I think this constitutes my fifth post in three years, so i am not sure that qualifies as active.

Now, I am gonna dust off my old trial hat and assume that you are attempting to impeach my comments by claiming that I have a conflict of interest. Fair enough. Here is my background and why I decided to respond to your post intially:

'My program' is a small LL.M. program in the southern part of the US. I do not list the name because I am not here to recruit. Over a decade ago I was part of an LL.M. class at Columbia and that was the first time I became aware of how many foreign lawyers come to the US with the dream of staying and practicing. Our class had 212 members, of which six were Americans (including me). Having spent a lot of time overseas myself, I could sympathize with the incredible struggles that many of my classmates faced. I started working with them to help them achieve their goals. (No, I was not an employee of the school at that time, nor did I plan to be.. I was employed by the US government, who was paying for my additional education.) I got to know many of them very well... my family and I hosted 32 of them at our house for Thanksgiving that year.

By the end of that academic year I was filled with frustration at the limited opportunities i could find for my classmates. My frustration boiled over to anger when i learned that one of the students who I had helped get an interview at a big firm was denied access to the interview room for OCIs because only JDs were allowed in... even though that firm was expecting to talk to him.

Five years later when i retired from my government position, rather than sit around and enjoy retirement, I decided to create my own LL.M. program that would focus on the success of its students rather than filling empty seats at a law school. I agreed to forego retirement and teach at a school if, in addition to teaching, they would allow me to run my own small program the way I thought it should be run.

If this means you do not want to listen to what I posted, so be it.

Based on your posts. my advice to you, personally, is to stay in your home country and find a way to succeed there. You have a quick mind and great record if you got in to Harvard. That should be enough to achieve success anywhere.






[/quote]
Hello
I would be applying to Us law schools. How can I contact you?

Thanks for reply.

I do appreciate your advise. Its not that I dont want to listen to you, its just that what you say is similar to what most of the big schools say & yet most of the Indian LLM grads have had to return after OPT ........ many of them couldn't even find a decent law firm during OPT !!

Despite your encouragement, I haven't been able to find evidence of recently graduated Indian LLM students finding employment beyond OPT (with the exception of those who had family connections)

Almost all that I know of, have tried to make contact with, or who's careers I have followed on websites like linkedin have had to return

Statistically there is something like a 97% chance of me landing up without a job after OPT, and that's not a chance I'm willing to take after borrowing a lot of money ..... frankly I'd be foolish if I did.

I've decided to studly in Singapore instead of USA .... & personally for me I think its a wise decision !!


Thank you once again for your encouragement & good luck to all.[/quote]

I think you are well on your path to success. (However, I know nothing about the market in Singapore, so I have no guidance to share)

I absolutely agree with you that only a small percentage of LLM students end up with jobs in the US post OPT, and that is not limited to just Indian lawyers, though I do think you suffer more than folks from some other countries (which is counter-intuitive since you are also common law). Those who have the easiest time finding a position are those that can identify an immigrant community that is under-served, legally. Mexican, Chinese and lawyers from many South American & African countries have fared better than Indians because of the size of those immigrant populations in the US plus the cultural norms that may cause them to be under-served.

To sum up all of my posts, to get a job post OPT in the US you have to be able to beat the odds and work aggressively at it from day one. It is much more difficult than many presume before they get on a plane. If the percentage is only 10% (and I have no idea what it actually is) than you have to work hard enough at getting that job to ensure you are in that ten percent. Even excellent grades from a great school will NOT be enough.

Good luck in your studies and career path!.[/quote]
quote
jyoteee
We're now almost in 2019, can anyone update us what the job prospects post OPT presently are.

This is a very old thread and many members have probably finished their LLM and faced the job market

Are the prospects now better with the trump administration?
We're now almost in 2019, can anyone update us what the job prospects post OPT presently are.

This is a very old thread and many members have probably finished their LLM and faced the job market

Are the prospects now better with the trump administration?
quote
We're now almost in 2019, can anyone update us what the job prospects post OPT presently are.

This is a very old thread and many members have probably finished their LLM and faced the job market

Are the prospects now better with the trump administration?


Hi!
I think the current job scenario, particularly for foreign LLM graduates is gloomy. However, if you find a job during your OPT, it should not be much of a problem to secure an H1B visa.
[quote]We're now almost in 2019, can anyone update us what the job prospects post OPT presently are.

This is a very old thread and many members have probably finished their LLM and faced the job market

Are the prospects now better with the trump administration? [/quote]

Hi!
I think the current job scenario, particularly for foreign LLM graduates is gloomy. However, if you find a job during your OPT, it should not be much of a problem to secure an H1B visa.
quote

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