Hi, I have some questions.
1) LLB + JD?
I'm an American citizen currently studying towards an LLB/ BCom (economics) in New Zealand undergrad, but could I apply for JD in the US after I get my LLB degree? Do they consider LLB equivalent JD and won't accept my application if I aleady have LLB?
2)LLB (NZ) + LLM (US) or JD(US)
If I wish to practice law in the US, is it better to get a JD in US or to get an LLM after my LLB in NZ?
I have always wanted to experience the US college life as I have been living outside America most of my life. I have been accepted in several US colleges for undergrad, but due to unexpected circumstances I had to stay here in NZ. I heard that I wouldn't be experiencing much of an 'american life' while studying for an LLM as 90% of the LLM students are international students?
If I decide to transfer to an US college for fall semester next year (2010), would my current GPA carry over, or would it start afresh at the new college?
I dont' really know what is the best option.
Advantages of staying in NZ: I'll be getting a law degree quicker since it's an undergrad degree (usually finish in 4 years, but it'll take me 5 years since I'm doing a double degree), and i'll have law qualification from two countries (which is not that interchangeable as they are different jurisdictions)
Disadvantages of staying in NZ: I'm paying international fees here in NZ, it's pretty expensive to do a double degree, and I don't think i'll be staying here to practice law. I have experienced while preparing for uni applications that it was really hard to get information (SAT prep, scholarship etc) to apply to US colleges while i was on the bottom of the globe. I'm afraid it'll be the same for law school appliaction in terms of LSAT etc and that i'll have less chance of getting in. Or would I stand out by applying from NZ? I don't think so. It'll come down to GPA and LSAT scores I believe (along with personal statements etc). Costs are hard to compare since I'm an international student here and cannot apply for financial aid or loans. I'm not a resident in US (unless my birthstate counts?) as I have not been living there so I don't think i'll get much in-state benefits.
So I guess my options are:
1) transfer to a college in the US and apply for law school,
2) Finish LLB/BCom in NZ + sit NZ 'bar exam', and then apply for JD (if possible)
3) Finish LLB/Bcom in NZ + sit NZ 'bar exam',, and then apply for LLM
4) Finish LLB/BCom in NZ + sit NZ 'bar exam', and then sit a bar exam in the US straight away (if possible)
I would appreciate it if you could contribute your thoughts!