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Author Topic: An international student applicant asks for advice on JD application  (Read 2911 times)

Arman

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Hey guys.
I'm an international student want to apply for JD of an ABA accredited law school. I had earned my bachelor's in a top law school in my country with GPA of 3.4 and will finish my masters in international trade law by the end of September (my GPA is 3.46).
Contrasting my GPA, I got the mark of 145 in LSAT and for fall 2010 I do not have any time to retake LSAT.
I would like to ask you for advice, whether you think I should wait for one year and apply with a new LSAT score or go to a tier 3 or 4 law school and then transfer to a higher tier law school??
I had heard that it is almost impossible or extremely difficult to transfer form a tier 3/4 to a tier 1 law school and foreign nationals need to be graduated from a top law school if they want to find a job in US. Can you also clear me on this issue?


BikePilot

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If you have a law degree in your country an LLM may be sufficient.  I'm not sure what the admissions criteria are for the LLM programs, but its worth looking into. 

What specifically do you want to do with respect to work?  It is as a general matter true that you need to come from a top school to get a job at a big US law firm.  Do realize that the legal job market really sucks and even students from top 14 schools have been deferred and some are having a hard time finding biglaw employment. 

Unfortunately, I think your chances of acceptance at most any US law school will be pretty small with that lsat score.

good luck!
HLS 2010

bigs5068

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There were numerous foreign LLM students at my school, mostly from Paris. I have no idea what their LSAT scores were, but admissions at Golden Gate are not to stringent. In San Francisco if you know foreign languages the name of your school does not matter all that much and considering you are an international student I imagine you have some foreign language proficiency. If you can speak Spanish, Russian or Mandarin in California you can probably find something. There are a lot job postings everyday for a J.D. with those language skills on my school's website and we are a tier 4. A million might be a bit exaggerated, but if you know foreign languages in California and you have a J.D./LLM from anywhere you would be quite marketable.

However, as BikePilot said the legal industry is not all that great right now and even those skills it could be an uphill battle. 

Arman

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Well thanx for your replys but i would like to mention some ponits.
to bigs5068: I have some language proficiency but not in your mentioned one. I know Persian (Farsi),  French and some Arabic.

to BikePilot: I had heard that working as an attorney with LLM ia extremely difficult and almost impossible. I want to work as an attorney in business law and international l trade law

bigs5068

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I honestly think you can take the California bar without an LLM and become an attorney and knowing Farsi would be a HUGE pro in L.A. There are so many Persians there it is ridiculous. Particularly in San Fernando Valley & Calabasas.

I am almost positive you can take the California bar with your current degree and I think we are the only state that doesn't require you to be a citizen of the U.S. to be admitted to practice. Obviously check the website for that, but as I understand that is how it works.

BikePilot

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HLS has about 120 LLM graduates a year IIRC.  Most all of them that I spoke with had great jobs lined up - many doing business law/trade related stuff.  HLS may be an outlier, but I didn't get the impression that LLMs were at a disadvantage.  Do realize that almost all of these students had law degrees from their home countries and many had significant law practice experience as well.  Farsi will be a big benefit to you if you are interested in doing international work that involves english and farsi speaking countries.
HLS 2010

Morten Lund

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I honestly think you can take the California bar without an LLM and become an attorney and knowing Farsi would be a HUGE pro in L.A. There are so many Persians there it is ridiculous. Particularly in San Fernando Valley & Calabasas.

I am almost positive you can take the California bar with your current degree and I think we are the only state that doesn't require you to be a citizen of the U.S. to be admitted to practice.

The requirements do vary from state to state, but my vague recollection is that foreign degree + LLM is sufficient to sit for the NY bar, and of course California's requirements are minimal.

But I am not aware of a single state that requires US citizenship, or even permanent residency, for admission to the bar.  Certainly neither California nor NY do.

bigs5068

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California you don't even need an LLM in fact you don't even need a J.D. to sit for the bar here if you do the office study program. If you have a foreign J.D. I am sure they would let you sit for the bar and if you pass it is awesome, because you will have saved yourself 100k or more.