I'm new to the board, obviously...but I've already done much of my research (and I'm considering different law schools for Fall '11). I do know that the L.L.B. is far from the equivalent of a J.D., due to the fact that an L.L.B. places no emphasis on American law (unless you choose a joint study program) and is not offered by ABA-approved institutions. Likewise, I'm aware that L.L.B. graduates can only take the bar exam initially in California (with the requirement of an L.L.M?) and New York (no further requirements). I understand they are the same degree esoterically (save for emphasis of study) yet inevitably different, at least professionally. The L.L.B. costs substantially less to obtain though, even from a "prestigious" university. I have also heard (though only from Cardiff College) that many of the universities will accept a bachelor's in lieu of the liberal arts studies required of a typical 1st year L.L.B student. I have also been told by a number of foreign students that they have found it exceptionally difficult to find employment in the U.S. with an L.L.B. (even with adequate study in American law), and likewise found the application of legal theory in the U.S. to be "unintuitive" and "somewhat frustrating" to use their own words. Incidentally, many of them are not native English-speakers, and mentioned the issue of language and cultural issues as much as the lack of formal training or experience in American law as barriers to entry.
Given that I'm already aware of these basic discrepancies between the two, what else am I missing? Is anyone an American that has studied abroad and came back to practice in the U.S.? If so, what are some of the primary difficulties in doing so other than the state of examination requirements for the bar? Is there actually a professional stigma attached to the L.L.B. in the U.S. now? Would a joint study program (L.L.B), such as the one offered by the University of London/Columbia, suffice for studies in American Law? (I know that this is "technically" true, but what about realistically in the professional world OUTSIDE of academia?) Does undergraduate work in American law (Political Science minor) make a substantial difference? Did you find the LNAT to be more or less onerous than the LSAT? Did you consider the option then decide to stay in the U.S.?
Thanks to anyone that can provide some insight,