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Having Law Degree from Foreign Degree but LLM from US.

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  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.

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?

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!

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. 

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.


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