JD or LLM after LLB for US Citizens?


kitsull
I'm looking for some advice on whether to apply for an LLM or J.D. after completing my LLB.

I'm a US citizen studying law at the London School of Economics and on track(fingers crossed) for a first class degree. I want to move home to NYC. I know that I am eligible for the Bar exam in NY with only my LLB but I definitely want to augment my UK degree with some American education.

Will the LLM be sufficient for my purposes, or should I apply for the JD? I have read the other posts about LLM vs. JD decisions but most of the answers seemed to pertain only to non-US citizens who are not offered jobs after the LLM because of the obvious problems associated with visas, etc.

Any help would be much appreciated!
I'm looking for some advice on whether to apply for an LLM or J.D. after completing my LLB.

I'm a US citizen studying law at the London School of Economics and on track(fingers crossed) for a first class degree. I want to move home to NYC. I know that I am eligible for the Bar exam in NY with only my LLB but I definitely want to augment my UK degree with some American education.

Will the LLM be sufficient for my purposes, or should I apply for the JD? I have read the other posts about LLM vs. JD decisions but most of the answers seemed to pertain only to non-US citizens who are not offered jobs after the LLM because of the obvious problems associated with visas, etc.

Any help would be much appreciated!
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daflake
What are your career goals?

If you want to work at a Biglaw firm in NYC you will ideally want a JD- the main reason being 1) top firms looking for US lawyers seek JD-degree holders; and 2) the access to on-campus interviews with Biglaw firms which may not be available in an LLM program.

Try the two-year accelerated JD programs; there are a good number of threads on this forum discussing the various programs available.

On the other hand, if you want to work for a biglaw firm in London, you obviously do not need a JD but a US LLM would be a nice bonus (though first from LSE would be enough). Also, you should note that a newly qualified associate at a top tier US law firm in London will make more than a US$160k , the starting salary for first year associates on NY salary, due in part to the exchange rate and fierce competition for candidates. One may point out that it takes 2 years training to become qualified under the English system until you are on first year associate salary, which may explain the disparity between the NY rate and the London US firm rate, but keep in mind that you would be shelling out thousands of dollars and get entangled in debt if you do an LLM, or even worse, a JD and then go the Biglaw firm in NYC path. Also, don't bother going to a JD/LLM program unless it is a Top 14 law school and you think you can finish top 1/3 of your class. But if you are on track to get a 1st from LSE that should not be a problem if you work hard..

Also, you should note that if you do want to go back to NYC sometime in your career your legal experience in London allows you to do that. 1 or 2 year PQE associates in US firms in London will have no problem moving back to NYC, though you may be discounted depending on your practice experience. But at least you won't be in debt and you'll have been making good money the last 3-4 years (including the training contract).

Also, you should note that the US economy is slowing and many biglaw firms are now firing. First year associate start days have been pushed back and many US summer associates have been no-offered this summer. This may not affect you if you do a JD, but the economy might not look any better, or even worse, after your 1 year LLM assuming you are graduating this year from LSE.
What are your career goals?

If you want to work at a Biglaw firm in NYC you will ideally want a JD- the main reason being 1) top firms looking for US lawyers seek JD-degree holders; and 2) the access to on-campus interviews with Biglaw firms which may not be available in an LLM program.

Try the two-year accelerated JD programs; there are a good number of threads on this forum discussing the various programs available.

On the other hand, if you want to work for a biglaw firm in London, you obviously do not need a JD but a US LLM would be a nice bonus (though first from LSE would be enough). Also, you should note that a newly qualified associate at a top tier US law firm in London will make more than a US$160k , the starting salary for first year associates on NY salary, due in part to the exchange rate and fierce competition for candidates. One may point out that it takes 2 years training to become qualified under the English system until you are on first year associate salary, which may explain the disparity between the NY rate and the London US firm rate, but keep in mind that you would be shelling out thousands of dollars and get entangled in debt if you do an LLM, or even worse, a JD and then go the Biglaw firm in NYC path. Also, don't bother going to a JD/LLM program unless it is a Top 14 law school and you think you can finish top 1/3 of your class. But if you are on track to get a 1st from LSE that should not be a problem if you work hard..

Also, you should note that if you do want to go back to NYC sometime in your career your legal experience in London allows you to do that. 1 or 2 year PQE associates in US firms in London will have no problem moving back to NYC, though you may be discounted depending on your practice experience. But at least you won't be in debt and you'll have been making good money the last 3-4 years (including the training contract).

Also, you should note that the US economy is slowing and many biglaw firms are now firing. First year associate start days have been pushed back and many US summer associates have been no-offered this summer. This may not affect you if you do a JD, but the economy might not look any better, or even worse, after your 1 year LLM assuming you are graduating this year from LSE.
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kitsull
Thanks for responding in such detail! I'm wavering between returning to NYC and trying for a place with a big firm and staying put in London and doing the same. Either way you have been very helpful! Sounds like it may be worth my while to stay in London for the time being.
Thanks for responding in such detail! I'm wavering between returning to NYC and trying for a place with a big firm and staying put in London and doing the same. Either way you have been very helpful! Sounds like it may be worth my while to stay in London for the time being.
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I strongly disagree with the person who responded to you. You've spent 3 years completing an LLB, why on earth go back to what is essentially square one and complete a whole other 3-year law program designed for people with no experience in law.. when you could instead be obtaining further qualifications such as the NY bar and/or an LLM. Go for the LLM !
I strongly disagree with the person who responded to you. You've spent 3 years completing an LLB, why on earth go back to what is essentially square one and complete a whole other 3-year law program designed for people with no experience in law.. when you could instead be obtaining further qualifications such as the NY bar and/or an LLM. Go for the LLM !
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ekchi
I suggest you do a JD in the US. While the subjects may be similar or even identical, there are very few opportunities in the market right now. The economic slump will probably ravage the US (and the world) for another 3 years; and job opportunities might be hard to come by. Hence, competing with the pool of law graduates and recently displaced lawyers in looking for work may not be in your best interests.

By beefing up your credentials during an economic downturn, you are positioning for juicy job placements which you probably won't get in this economy. If I were you, to mix it up and not commit myself to 3 years of wasted time, I would take a JD/MBA instead of a standalone JD. By doing this you are taking subjects which you most likely didn't take in LSE and getting a JD credential to boot.
I suggest you do a JD in the US. While the subjects may be similar or even identical, there are very few opportunities in the market right now. The economic slump will probably ravage the US (and the world) for another 3 years; and job opportunities might be hard to come by. Hence, competing with the pool of law graduates and recently displaced lawyers in looking for work may not be in your best interests.

By beefing up your credentials during an economic downturn, you are positioning for juicy job placements which you probably won't get in this economy. If I were you, to mix it up and not commit myself to 3 years of wasted time, I would take a JD/MBA instead of a standalone JD. By doing this you are taking subjects which you most likely didn't take in LSE and getting a JD credential to boot.
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llmnyc2009
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srini234
My daughter is in same state. i.e she is in UCL now and wanted to do JD in US. Kitsull, can i know your current state and can you please provide an update as it wil be useful for us
My daughter is in same state. i.e she is in UCL now and wanted to do JD in US. Kitsull, can i know your current state and can you please provide an update as it wil be useful for us
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