Law School Discussion

Going to law school in the UK and coming back to North America to practice

I am interested in applying to British law schools in addition to North American ones. However, I want to be sure about the convenience of transferring my lawyer status from England to Ontario, New York and California.

I've tried contacting the British schools, and they told me to call/email the respective bar associations to inquire about transferring. Upon contacting each of the bar associations (ON, CA and NY), I realized that no one would give me a straight answer to my question, in order to leave their options of rejecting applicants open. However, I don't want to go ahead with it, if I'll have to go through more schooling upon passing the England bar school, upon my return to North America to practise. The standard reply I got from North American bar associations was "We evaluate it on a case-by-case basis, and can't let you know of a potential decision until you apply."

Does anyone have any idea of the feasibility of transferring law designations from England to Ontario, California and New York? I'm interested in the following law schools: Oxford, Cambridge, King's, UCL, LSE and SOAS.

Thanks in advance!


You'd probably need an LLM from a US school in order to practice in the US...

I really wouldn't recommend it for a couple of reasons.

1) You don't need a full bachelor's to study law in England and so it's not quite as prestigious - in fact in England it's all about where you went to undergrad and not law school when applying for legal jobs (food for thought even if you're coming back here to the US); and

2) You will learn tons of statutory law and some common law in England but you will not be learning our system.  I imagine you will be quite far behind when it comes to American style research and writing skills and unless you are an absolute standout i.e. Harvard undergrad etc., legal employers will be hesitant to take a risk on you.

Meanwhile I know Pepperidne has a school over there that it's students can go to for a year.  Maybe you could visit for your third year...

krisace is absolutely right.

i've researched studying in the uk as well, but if you intend to come back stateside, it's far better to study law here.

note in the uk, one doesn't even need a law degree, per se, to obtain a training contract at a law firm.

by the way, getting into oxbridge is no walk in the park. of course, stats vary from college to college, but in the main getting into oxbridge is roughly as difficult as getting into a school like columbia (e.g. ask each college for their minimum GPA cut-off). i believe taking the lnat is necessary, too (not just for oxbridge), although it's not weighted nearly as heavily as american schools weight the lsat. but, again, it varies from college to college, and your chances are probably better if you apply to a mature college (e.g. harris manchester, oxford; st. edmunds, cambridge). apart from contacting each college's admissions tutor, which goes without saying, also try looking at the univeristy-wide as well as each college's alternative prospectus and perhaps the norrington or tompkins tables would likewise prove useful.

as for your specific question, you might consider checking out roll on friday and asking your question there?