Law School Discussion

US Law entry with UK LLB degree


US Law entry with UK LLB degree
« on: January 23, 2011, 05:10:56 AM »

I am new here and hoping perhaps some of you may be able to share some knowledge, and suggestions for my situation!

Currently I am halfway through my first year of an LLB degree at a UK University. It is not a particularly fancy University, but it does the job. I am originally from the US, and came to the UK when I was 16 and finished the last two years of high school level education here. I completed AS levels in Law, Business, and History. My results were very satisfactory, consisting of ABB. I completed the A2 levels, but did very poorly due to some personal problems in my life at that time. Following that, I took one year to complete a Foundation in Law course, I did very well and that allowed me to gain entry to my current University.

Basically, I am wondering what the best path to take to a career in the US would be. I plan on becoming a qualified solicitor in the UK before I return, and then becoming qualified in the US to have dual qualifications. I have been doing some research, and realise that perhaps employers would prefer to employ someone with a JD. I considered taking a JD after I am qualified in the UK, but it would be quite redundant and I would be over 30 by the time I completed it! My other idea would be to take an LLM, perhaps in general law, and then take the Bar exam in the desired state.

However, I realise I may not be able to take the Bar in some states without a JD? I do not really desire to live or work in NY or CA.

What would be the advantages/disadvantages of my situation? Are these routes I proposed viable? Thanks in advance!


Re: US Law entry with UK LLB degree
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 02:44:22 PM »
Hi, and thank you for the reply.

Ultimately, I am really trying to get a feel for what is the optimal path to take. Yes, my ultimate plan is to practice more in the US than in the UK. I definitely do not want to spend all of my career in the UK. I realise that might not be feasible straight away. My reason for wanting to be dual qualified, is to be enabled to work internationally. I enjoy travelling - and I thought a dual qualification would give me a good chance of being able to do that.

As for the field of law, I am not really entirely sure what interests me most yet - probably along the lines of anything international, intellectual property, real estate, litigation, and family law (although I would think that would be more country specific).

In regard to the markets, I know that there are actually a large amount of US firms in London, which are popping up frequently. I am hoping I will be attractive to those type of firms when it comes time for me to secure a training contract.

I am also interested in what entry process into US law would give me the most benefit, or edge. There is actually a UK program which leads into and awards a JD, and I am looking into more information about that. I do believe some sort of further study would give me more of a benefit in the US than simply getting an admission, or taking the NY or CA bar exam. I am more inclined to consider an LLM in the US, simply because once I gain qualification in the UK I will be about 26, and I estimate I would be about 30 by the time I would complete a JD. Although, I would be mostly inclined to do whatever was necessary in order to be able to go for the best employment opportunity of my ability. Maybe that means getting more experience while I am able, eg. before I am 30, or maybe it means continuing my study. Cost is not so much an issue to me, it is more a case of time. However, I am still quite unsure about these areas and I need to do a lot more research.

I was also considering that perhaps by the time I have completed my LLB, if I feel so inclined it may be a better idea for myself personally to go back to the States and take a JD. I would then be on the same time schedule as the others on the JD, and would be around 24-25 by the time I finished. I could always go back to the UK to do an LPC/TC if I felt I wanted to go in that direction.

- I do like your suggestion of starting with the CA or NY bar, and gaining admission to other states that way. Perhaps that would be a good area to look into as well, it would certainly be more time efficient than the other routes.

Do you think there are significant benefits to having an LLB+JD+UK qualification, over an LLB+LLM+UK qualification in terms of employability attractiveness?

Apologies if my entire question is quite vague - its a bit difficult to get much solid advice on this sort of situation, so I appreciate anything you can throw out there! Thanks!

Re: US Law entry with UK LLB degree
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 04:14:29 PM »
I haven't looked into the details, but all of the foreign laws I know who practice in the states did LLM's here then took whatever bar they needed (nearly all are NY).  My guess, and this would be best confirmed by more serious research, is that your best bet is to finish your LLB as planned, practice for a bit in the UK, then come to the US and get an LLM at the best US law school you can find (HLS has an awesome LLM community 8) fyi... ).