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Author Topic: Going to law school in England and coming to North America to practice  (Read 1380 times)

UKapplicant

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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!

nealric

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Generally speaking, you will need a LLM from a U.S. law school to practice law with a out of country degree.
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Ravynous Elegance

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Not true, I know someone with a law degree from Cambridge that works in NYC... as long as you pass the Bar, you should be fine. At least thats what I understand she did.
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njmiller4

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If you want to practice in the states, you ought to get a J.D.  An LLB does not travel well at all, I hear.  This probably has alot to do w/ the fact that the LLB is an undergraduate degree, and the J.D. is graduate work.  I have done a little research in to this area as well, because I'm interested in getting a degree from Scotland.  However, if I choose to go to school there, I know I shouldn't be too ambitious in terms of practicing outside scotland. 

good luck.  i applied to soas too.

UKapplicant

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So it turns out that if I go to LSE, Oxford, Cambridge or any of the University of London schools, I can actually write the New York bar without any problems. However, my question is this: To become a lawyer in the UK, you go to school for 3 years, then do the LPC (Legal Practice Course) for a year, and then work as a trainee for a year or two. SO at what point can I write the New York bar? Right after the 3-year school term? Or do I have to wait until I become a solicitor or a barrister after going through the LPC and the trainee period?

bamf

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OP, we get it, england is cool.  take a year off, work some random job in london get blasted at local pubs every night.  make some friends, have some laughs, then come back to the states and get a degree.  don't screw yourself over with a degree that wont work in the US.  This isn't like saying "I want to work in Chicago but got into BU, will my degree travel there?"  ... you're talking about two different nations.  Yeah, sure a few JDs head over to London every year but this is an exception.  If you are really serious about going between the states and the uk look for a US law school that does an exchange program in 2 or 3L (of the schools I applied to I know that at least BC and ND have such programs).  But I think the time off/ drinking option sounds the best.
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UKapplicant

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Actually, it's not that I definitely want to work in NY or North America for that matter. Europe is where I want to end up in (I grew up there). I just wanted to 'keep my options open'. So yeah, it's the OTHER WAY AROUND.

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A U.S. JD is the most portable credential an aspiring international lawyer can obtain, short of a post-JD LL.M. I'd look into a U.S. law school with a well-established international reputation and/or joint degree program (Columbia and Cornell come to mind).

A US law degree will give ou the freedom to range throughout Europe and the globe. Even the best UK degree is much less mobile.

h2xblive

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A U.S. JD is the most portable credential an aspiring international lawyer can obtain, short of a post-JD LL.M. I'd look into a U.S. law school with a well-established international reputation and/or joint degree program (Columbia and Cornell come to mind).

A US law degree will give ou the freedom to range throughout Europe and the globe. Even the best UK degree is much less mobile.

What makes you so sure?  (Not that I don't believe you, but I'm just wondering how you've drawn that conclusion).

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Actually, it's not that I definitely want to work in NY or North America for that matter. Europe is where I want to end up in (I grew up there). I just wanted to 'keep my options open'. So yeah, it's the OTHER WAY AROUND.

I'm thinking of going the other way: getting a JD in the US then potentially practicing law in London (either right out of school or after a few years in NYC). My understanding is that JDs are much better compensated by London branch US firms and also by the magic circle firms.

Do you already have a BA/BS from the US?