Moving to the USA to practice criminal law?


Has anyone, or know of anyone, been an admitted criminal attorney in their home country (non-US) and moved to USA to practice as a criminal attorney?

I have scoured all corners of the internet and can not find one person, or article, or information about a foreign lawyer moving to USA to practice as a criminal attorney? I am admitted as a criminal defense lawyer in Australia. My plans are to do the 10-month Barbri course, move to NYC, sit the NY bar, and then practice as a criminal defense attorney in NYC. But I can't find anyone that has moved to the states to pursue criminal law, only ever corporate law.

The reason I want to do criminal law is because criminal law is my PASSION, and I have always wanted to live in NYC as some point in my life. I love criminal law, I love the human-element of it, I love the court advocacy. I can't imagine myself as a corporate lawyer where I am not in court most days. There are obvious drawbacks to thisplan (vs the well-travelled corporate pathway): criminal law vastly different in US vs AUS, meaning a lot of self-training in their law; criminal defense doesn't have the lucractive financial appeal as corporate law; I imagine harder to secure initial traineeship/job since not many foreign lawyers do this.

But I've always wanted to live in NYC, and if I'm going to live there, I want to practice my trade, which is a criminal defense attorney.

Does ANYONE know of someone going from being admitted criminal attorney in their home country, then moving to the US and practicing as criminal attorney there? I would love to connect with anyone that has done it, or knows of someone doing it. I can't be the only person on the planet that's envisioned doing it? (Or maybe I am, which means there is a reason no one else has done it haha...)

Has anyone, or know of anyone, been an admitted criminal attorney in their home country (non-US) and moved to USA to practice as a criminal attorney?

I have scoured all corners of the internet and can not find one person, or article, or information about a foreign lawyer moving to USA to practice as a criminal attorney? I am admitted as a criminal defense lawyer in Australia. My plans are to do the 10-month Barbri course, move to NYC, sit the NY bar, and then practice as a criminal defense attorney in NYC. But I can't find anyone that has moved to the states to pursue criminal law, only ever corporate law.

The reason I want to do criminal law is because criminal law is my PASSION, and I have always wanted to live in NYC as some point in my life. I love criminal law, I love the human-element of it, I love the court advocacy. I can't imagine myself as a corporate lawyer where I am not in court most days. There are obvious drawbacks to thisplan (vs the well-travelled corporate pathway): criminal law vastly different in US vs AUS, meaning a lot of self-training in their law; criminal defense doesn't have the lucractive financial appeal as corporate law; I imagine harder to secure initial traineeship/job since not many foreign lawyers do this.

But I've always wanted to live in NYC, and if I'm going to live there, I want to practice my trade, which is a criminal defense attorney.

Does ANYONE know of someone going from being admitted criminal attorney in their home country, then moving to the US and practicing as criminal attorney there? I would love to connect with anyone that has done it, or knows of someone doing it. I can't be the only person on the planet that's envisioned doing it? (Or maybe I am, which means there is a reason no one else has done it haha...)
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Immortal

Great to know about your plans. Sorry, I cant answer your question, but would I like to throw my 2 cents.

I dont think you would be the first person to do what you plan for.

Firstly, US Legal Market is more liberal than others, as there are many restrictions on lawyers in other jurisdictions.

As some states allow foreign lawyers to sit for their Bar Exam, if you are smart enough you could actually get a license.

Second biggest hurdle is the visa. Many countries' students who need to study an LLM to become eligible to sit for the Bar Exam have to return to their country within 1 year of their  graduation, during which they get max 2 attempts at the Bar Exam.

I read that AUS citizens get generous visas to the US. This will be very helpful as you dont need to worry about the number of attempts at the Bar Exam and exiting the country soon after any required studies.

Thirdly, there is a strong bias towards JD graduates by employers. In your case, initially working for a Criminal Defense firm will be the wisest option, but again they might become similarly judgemental. 

Fourthly, you would need a big amount of money to sustain till you actually land up paid work.

Finally, imagine the worst case scenario, what would be the situation if you return back to AUS with a US Attorney license, would it help you become a better lawyer? would you get more clients? would more lawyers refer you? would multinational companies approach you more as you are qualified in two big & important jurisdictions?

All the best!

Great to know about your plans. Sorry, I cant answer your question, but would I like to throw my 2 cents.<br><br>I dont think you would be the first person to do what you plan for.<br><br>Firstly, US Legal Market is more liberal than others, as there are many restrictions on lawyers in other jurisdictions.<br><br>As some states allow foreign lawyers to sit for their Bar Exam, if you are smart enough you could actually get a license.<br><br>Second biggest hurdle is the visa. Many countries' students who need to study an LLM to become eligible to sit for the Bar Exam have to return to their country within 1 year of their&nbsp; graduation, during which they get max 2 attempts at the Bar Exam.<br><br>I read that AUS citizens get generous visas to the US. This will be very helpful as you dont need to worry about the number of attempts at the Bar Exam and exiting the country soon after any required studies.<br><br>Thirdly, there is a strong bias towards JD graduates by employers. In your case, initially working for a Criminal Defense firm will be the wisest option, but again they might become similarly judgemental.&nbsp;<br><br>Fourthly, you would need a big amount of money to sustain till you actually land up paid work.<br><br>Finally, imagine the worst case scenario, what would be the situation if you return back to AUS with a US Attorney license, would it help you become a better lawyer? would you get more clients? would more lawyers refer you? would multinational companies approach you more as you are qualified in two big &amp; important jurisdictions?<br><br>All the best!
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Immortal

Yes

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jwpetterch...

There’s a few. I’m English-trained and came back to NY and have had a decent career so far, but not in criminal. Criminal defense is a niche I’ve had little interaction with, but I know a few and mostly they enter that field from ABA accredited law schools and go to work in the public defender’s office and do at least a few years there before going into private practice. That said, I know the local public defender offices in NYC do hire anyone who wants to fight injustice. I talked to a guy at Queens Defenders who was Irish, I think he went to UCD or UCC. Check in with the NYC Bar Association or the borough bar associations for better career networking. Keep in mind, this practice is notoriously low paying, esp in the public defenders office. 

There’s a few. I’m English-trained and came back to NY and have had a decent career so far, but not in criminal. Criminal defense is a niche I’ve had little interaction with, but I know a few and mostly they enter that field from ABA accredited law schools and go to work in the public defender’s office and do at least a few years there before going into private practice. That said, I know the local public defender offices in NYC do hire anyone who wants to fight injustice. I talked to a guy at Queens Defenders who was Irish, I think he went to UCD or UCC. Check in with the NYC Bar Association or the borough bar associations for better career networking. Keep in mind, this practice is notoriously low paying, esp in the public defenders office.&nbsp;
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