Law School Discussion

Law Students => Pursuing an LLM => Topic started by: sand787 on December 16, 2008, 07:27:23 PM

Title: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: sand787 on December 16, 2008, 07:27:23 PM

  I am a US citizen who has completed all my education including my bachelor's and Masters (MBA) from US. I have a thought to do law degree (LLB) from Pakistan, and come back to US and do LLM over here and then take the state bar. In my view, by doing so I can get around with LSAT and also I can save thousands of dollars by doing JD, as LLM cost only $34,000 and it is for only one year (full time).  The LLB in Pakistan is under British common law and it is a 3 years program and taught in English.
  Please advice if it is a good idea or not, and what challenges or disadvantages I could have by having LLM from US but having foreign law degree instead of JD?
I would appreciate your advice.
Thanks
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: baileypicks24 on December 18, 2008, 01:39:02 PM
I know several lawyers how have JDs from abroad (LLB) and an LLM from the United States. No big deal.

But what is your plan? You say you want to go back to Pakistan to get your LLB, and then come to the United States for the LLM. First, do you have the money for all that lengthy education? Second, why do you want an LLM, and why will a LLB not suffice for now? Third, are you ok with not working for several years when you're working on those two degrees? Fourth, have you considered getting your LLB, working for a few years, and then going to get your LLM? Why the rush?
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: ths2 on February 26, 2009, 09:49:36 AM
I'm actually thinking of doing the same thing.  I'm a US citizen and I'm thinking of doing an LLB in the UK, followed by an LLM in the U.S.  Since I already have an undergraduate degree from an American University, I can do an accelerated, 2-yr. LLB program (at University of Edinburgh for instance) and then the 1-yr LLM in the U.S.  The years of schooling would be exactly the same.

Can anyone else please confirm there are no ramifications for taking this path, as opposed to the traditional JD?  I think the life experience, plus the international law perspective, is a much better option.


Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: CTL on February 26, 2009, 10:13:31 AM
My guess is that firms will not view this favorably if you are just attempting to game law school.  If, on the other hand, you have significant ties to businesses/legal communities in the country that you received your foreign degree, that can be an asset.  There are plenty of foreign educated lawyers with American LLMs; however, I get the sense that the reason they received a foreign degree is because that is their country of origin and they have significant ties to that country. 

If you are just an American looking to get around the competition in American schools, good luck.  You may be stuck without job offers in the country that you get your LLB or in the States.  If you were Canadian and went to school in the UK, that's a slightly different story.  Canada is a commonwealth country, so the degree is more transportable.  As an American, you might just be viewed as someone who can't hack it in the States - think medical school in the Caribbean. 
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: thegourmetpig on February 26, 2009, 11:24:50 AM
I'm a dual citizen (US/Canada), and I'm starting law school in the US next year, but I seriously considered going to McGill because of the difference in cost. My brother is there, and he intends to work in the US post law-school. Biglaw firms recruit heavily at McGill, especially because they get LLB/BCL degrees. It's not just like getting your medical degree in the Caribbean. I don't really know much about Pakistan, however.

Basically, after doing a lot of research on the subject and talking to a lot of people, I think it just depends what you want to do. You won't even need an LLM to practice, depending on the state. However, if your goal is to get a clerkship or to work at a firm that prizes where you went as opposed to who you are, you might want to reconsider Pakistan. Ultimately, it just depends on your grades, how well you interview, and who you know.
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: CTL on February 26, 2009, 11:34:31 AM
I'm a dual citizen (US/Canada), and I'm starting law school in the US next year, but I seriously considered going to McGill because of the difference in cost. My brother is there, and he intends to work in the US post law-school. Biglaw firms recruit heavily at McGill, especially because they get LLB/BCL degrees. It's not just like getting your medical degree in the Caribbean. I don't really know much about Pakistan, however.

Basically, after doing a lot of research on the subject and talking to a lot of people, I think it just depends what you want to do. You won't even need an LLM to practice, depending on the state. However, if your goal is to get a clerkship or to work at a firm that prizes where you went as opposed to who you are, you might want to reconsider Pakistan. Ultimately, it just depends on your grades, how well you interview, and who you know.

I guess I should have clarified: depending on where you go and its relationship to where you want to work, it CAN be like going to medical school in the Caribbean.
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: ths2 on February 26, 2009, 11:34:58 AM
thegourmetpig,

To your point about firms who are "just concerned with where you went": would an LLM from Colubmia, after a UK LLB, not assuage any qualms they have?  Do big law firms not recruit LLM students?  I think this route would make an applicant attractive and unique.  Also, it would give them greater mobility to work between different offices (e.g. New York and London).

Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: CTL on February 26, 2009, 11:57:11 AM
thegourmetpig,

To your point about firms who are "just concerned with where you went": would an LLM from Colubmia, after a UK LLB, not assuage any qualms they have?  Do big law firms not recruit LLM students?  I think this route would make an applicant attractive and unique.  Also, it would give them greater mobility to work between different offices (e.g. New York and London).


Check out this discussion:

http://www.llm-guide.com/board/10921 (http://www.llm-guide.com/board/10921)
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: ths2 on February 26, 2009, 12:08:53 PM
Thanks for the post, but it seems to be mostly about Golden Gate University.

I'm still terribly confused as to which is the best route to take.  Do BigLaw firms recruit at U.S. LLM programs?
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: CTL on February 26, 2009, 12:22:45 PM
First of all, you have to consider a few things:

- will you perform well enough at your LLB program to get accepted to a LLM program worth attending?  If you have a foreign LLB but you don't have a LLM from a T14, I think you can safely say goodbye to American biglaw (unless you have some very valuable language skills).
- will you be happy with the opportunities afforded by the LLB alone?  If not, then it's not worth doing.  You can't count on getting a good LLM, and you can't expect to leverage a LLB into an American biglaw job (obvious exceptions would be finishing in the top of your class at certain Canadian/UK schools). 

Basically, a main reason why the T14 is so highly desired is because a T14 JD mitigates risk.  A foreign LLB MIGHT get you the job you want, but it might not.  It's a LOT harder to judge what your options be, so it's probably better to go to the best American law school you can get into if you want to work in the States. 

Thegourmetpig is in a pretty unique situation.  He's a dual citizen and McGill is a fairly desirable school to NYC biglaw.  McGill also gives you great options in Canada, so it's not really risky. 
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: thegourmetpig on February 26, 2009, 01:35:58 PM
I agree. Again, it just depends on how you view risk. If you want to be safe, go to a T14. If you think you have something that will make you tops in your class somewhere else, and know that you may want to practice a specific type of law (for which the LLM is needed), then maybe).
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: ths2 on February 26, 2009, 01:36:09 PM
Your feedback is greatly appreciated.  

Do I think I'll be able to get into a good LLM?  Yes.  I have 4 years experience in a major investment bank and a high undergrad GPA, so I think that will help me get into a top LLB program in UK and subsequently a T14 LLM program in the states.

I should also add that becoming a professor is of great interest to me, as well.  LLMs are the norm in academia, right?

And to best honest, working insane hours in a BigLaw NY firm isn't too enticing to me.  Working in a smaller firm would suit me just fine.
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: CTL on February 26, 2009, 01:44:06 PM
LLMs are not necessarily the norm at all.  Clerkships and published papers ARE. 

Getting into a good LLB does not mean getting into a good LLM.  You have to do VERY WELL in that LLB.  Keep in mind that most LLM programs are only a few dozen students.  That means maybe 500-600 LLMs are accepted in T14 programs every year!  Those aren't great odds...

If being a professor is what interests you, you should definitely go to a T10 American law school.

I'm not trying to be a male private part; I just think you should know what you're getting into before taking a very unconventional path to your goals.
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: ths2 on February 26, 2009, 02:10:48 PM
You're not at all.  Thanks for all the great advice.  I will continue to do more research and keep all of my options open.
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: 06boya on March 10, 2009, 08:08:44 AM
as a foreign student majoring in law, let me be straight with this.
In the foreign lawyers' eyes, a JD is much more valuable than LLM, all the way from the the education itself to the prospective employment.
therefore, why don't you make it so complicated? if you were to have that 4 more years in LLB, I think you would pass the LSAT with a high score already!
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: edbtz on May 05, 2009, 12:39:51 PM
ths2,

I have been seriously considering doing the same thing (accelerated LLB program) and then coming back to the US for an LLM (or potentially staying in the UK). I was curious to see what you ended up doing? Or what conclusions you came to in your research.

Here is what I found
1. Work Permits are probably the biggest obstacle in securing a training contract
2. From my research only NY and CA bars will accept people without JDs (if you have at least 3 years of studying law). - So an LLM would be al most necessary if you do the 2 year program.
3. Law firms are less likely to offer you a training contract (need at least 2 years to complete become a solicitor) if you are an international student - given the unnecesary work of filing for a worker's permit.
4. If you are not at the top of your class (2:1) and you are not an EU citizen you are screwed 

With that being said I am still considering the option.
Thoughts?
Title: Re: Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.
Post by: has10 on March 20, 2014, 09:20:02 PM
This is what I actually found in the rules and regulations of the American Bar Association of different states

http://www.mmu.ac.uk/careers/students-and-graduates/resources/guides/american-bar-examination.pdf