Best School/Area to work in Japan?

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risingson
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:56 am

Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby risingson » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:29 am

Hi, new to the forum and looking for some advice, though this may be kind of a tough question to answer...

I'm a US citizen currently living in Japan, and really want to work here as a lawyer. But I also want the flexibility to work in the US as well. For that purpose, it seemed like it would be best to get a JD from a US school, then find work at a company with offices over here.

I'm interested in polling people here on 2 issues:
1) What sort of law would be best to study to get a job over here?
2) Where would be best to study it?

I'm interested in doing IP or entertainment law, but would be happy doing business if it meant better job prospects. I'm assuming that getting into one of the T14 schools is generally the best strategy, but I was hoping for some advice beyond that, say if any school is known to have good international networking or something. Sorry if this sounds kind of vague...

Here are a few vital statistics that may help: I have a BA in History from a prestigious small college, GPA 3.02/major GPA 3.46 (I was stupidly taking pre-med classes...). I also have an MA, GPA 3.79 from a larger university. My LSAT clocked in at 165 when I took it, but I hope to boost that in October. I've been working for the past couple years and am pretty fluent in Japanese. I would like to go to school in CA if possible, preferably in the LA area.

Any advice or personal experience anyone would be willing to share would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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sophia.olive
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Re: Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby sophia.olive » Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:38 am

You may be able to squeeze into hastings or irvine if you are lucky. Ideally, I would imagine apart from YHS Columbia and NYU would help with your goals. If you can get your lsat into the 170s georgetown would be a good reach for you.

Your best bet, with your numbers, is to network in japan now. Try talking to people in the law profession, intern for free, translate, whatever/anything.




http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandr ... tional-law


You want a lot of things... :o

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nealric
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Re: Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby nealric » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:47 pm

I know nothing about Japanese firm hiring, but I do know that the only American firms with Asian offices that regularly recruit US JD's are going to be of the "Biglaw" variety. To have a high probability of biglaw, you really need to go to a T14. Even then, it will be an uphill battle getting a job in a Japanese office.

My (very limited) understanding is that IP law is a separate bar in Japan- so you might take that into account. Do you have a tech background sufficient to qualify to take the patent bar in the US?

For the most part, Entertainment law is mostly just transactional business or IP law that just happens to be for an Entertainment company. Most people get into it by doing some sort of transactional business law and getting to work for entertainment clients.

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2ofspades
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Re: Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby 2ofspades » Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:08 am

I have no idea how to get a job in Japan either, but I remember that CLS and Michigan both have centers for Japanese studies, in case you're interested. Both schools are known for IP.

http://www.law.columbia.edu/focusareas/asianlegal/japan

--LinkRemoved--

risingson
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:56 am

Re: Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby risingson » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:25 am

Thanks for the info! Especially the Japanese law stuff; I had no idea those existed. Of course they're in fairly inaccessible schools for me... If I were to apply there and made a strong play in my personal statement for the Japanese connection, is there any chance it could help my chances?

Also, as far as big-law goes, would a school like USC or UCLA still give me a reasonable chance? I understand they're really good for getting connecting in SoCal, but not sure how that would translate to overseas opportunities.

Thanks again!

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sophia.olive
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:38 pm

Re: Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby sophia.olive » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:43 am

You are trying to accomplish several nearly impossible tasks at once.
You have a 3.0 and 165. You will be lucky to get into any of the schools you mentioned. And then "if" you are lucky enough to get into one of those school, you would have to be equally lucky to get the oppertunity you are looking for.
Do you want to live in socal or do you want to do transactional law in japan. Most likely to even have a shot at what you want you will have to sacrifice one.

Sorry trying to break you out of your dream world :?

Right now drop everything and study for the lsat and get a 173+ and go after the lower t14.

"If I were to apply there and made a strong play in my personal statement for the Japanese connection, is there any chance it could help my chances?" Not at all, unless you had the numbers which you dont. Get ten more points on your lsat then it may give you the slightest boost.

Put your numbers in the lawschoolcalculator.com or lawschoolpredictor.com

Oh, and your user name sounds facist.

greatfool
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:24 pm

Re: Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby greatfool » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:27 am

Putting aside the school issue, keep in mind that

1) To work in Japan for all but maybe 1 or 2 US firms you will need to get training in a home office which means at least 2 years there plus 3 years law school so you're looking at 5+ years to get back, if you even still want to by then. Most of the time firms don't want you to start out a practice overseas, thought thats not to say it never happens, but you will get pigeonholed as a country specialist and probably be unable to return to the US as a lawyer.

2) Japanese firms occasionally hire foreign attorneys (and standards are somewhat lower than US biglaw I believe) and are an option if you can stand the corporate culture, significantly lower pay, benefits, and the fact that if you leave that firm or Japan, your skills will be worthless because you are essentially a Japanese lawyer who isn't licensed to practice in Japan and has no US experience.

If its what you really want, absolutely go for it, but just be aware of the significant hurdles you face, and whatever you do, make sure to go to a T14.

BeautifulSW
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Re: Best School/Area to work in Japan?

Postby BeautifulSW » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:15 am

Just a thought:

You might contact the admissions people at the University of Washington law school. UDub is a T1 school (though well out of the T14) and it has a graduate program (LL.M. and Ph.D.) in Asian Law. I understand that the school has extensive connections with Japanese schools and therefore might be able to advise you concerning Japanese firms. It is possible to include Asian Law courses in a J.D. program and to pursue concurrent J.D./LL.M. degrees. I think that this program is unique in American law schools. Fluency in an Asian language is required.




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