JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Do you like Japan?

Yes
10
40%
No
5
20%
Yes but I don't want to live/practice Law there
4
16%
This sounds awesome. Where do I sign up?
1
4%
God help you, because you are f****d
5
20%
 
Total votes: 25

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 am

JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:32 am

http://www.japanprobe.com/2008/05/06/ja ... lary-data/

The average Japanese lawyer is making decent pay, and the yen is only getting stronger.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/co ... 978064.htm

Granted a bit outdated, this is serious business guys.

The legal market in the U.S is horrendous.

Japan NEEDS lawyers. There is a SHORTAGE due to an increase in M&A and corporate buzz.

They are paid WELL.

Tokyo is an amazing place and MANY U.S BigLaw firms have offices there.

There is a one year exchange program called the JET Program(me) which allows ANYONE under 40 with a Bachelor's degree and a natural command of the english language to be an Assistant Language Teacher in Japan and be completely immersed in the language and culture. You are paid 3.6 million yen (around 40,000 USD after taxes are deducted) per year, with airfare and health care included on top of that. This can apparently enhance your resume for Law Schools and even potential employers if you wish to pursue a career abroad. This seems like a great opportunity for Undergrads such as myself, trying to decide what to do with their lives and lacking any kind of work experience or travel experience.

I'm a senior undergrad heading into my final semester. I really want to go to Law School. I'm taking the LSAT in December, looking to score around a 170, with about a 3.5 GPA.

However, I feel that the market is heading into abyss and mystery and I've always loved Japan. Temple Law School is, I believe, the only U.S ABA Certified Law School to have a campus in Japan.

I'm not really sure about the best way to go about anything right now.
I'm completely lost amidst my indecision and these questionable market conditions.

My ultimate goal: Make a lot of money, live an interesting life.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?


Also, If you are interested in pursuing a Law Career in Tokyo, or participating in the JET Program, or BOTH, here are some very useful links.

http://www.jetprogramme.org/
http://jetswithjds.wordpress.com/

Somehow I don't think my schools Pre-Law advisor would be of much assistance.
I need some serious help.

Is it worth it, spending a year in Japan?
Is it worth trying to land a job at a Tokyo firm?
What's the best way to go about these things?
Last edited by rickynwhyc on Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

motiontodismiss
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:36 pm

Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:52 am

I'm sure Japanese biglaw isn't handing out $500k jobs like candy, so probably should keep that in mind, and you should have read the disclosure at the bottom. The earnings are neither representative nor averages.

And you might want to make sure you're allowed to sit for the Japanese bar first (or somehow get licensed). And that you speak fluent Japanese. And that you have some American biglaw experience (I'm sure they have their pick of laterals/internals so they don't have to hire a fresh grad for their Tokyo office).

That said, except for the horrendously expensive cost of living and rapidly aging population, and their multiple dip zombie economy, I hear it's a pretty nice place to live.
Last edited by motiontodismiss on Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 am

Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:55 am

Definitely not.

See, I'm sure I'll learn to proofread better in Law School, just another reason to go lmao.

The fact that there's a shortage though, compared to an oversaturation over here.. I can't help but consider it a viable option. More research needs to be done. I can't find any concrete data on the internet, but I think I've got enough to roll with.

I'm pretty sure the BAR process is fairly simple. The process in Japan is a bit different however. I'll get back to you on that if you want to know more.

Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorneys_in_Japan

For some reason, un-reliable-pedia says the average IS 500,000. But the source is the SAME website I linked you.
Last edited by rickynwhyc on Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

motiontodismiss
Posts: 870
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:57 am

This might actually drive me to learn Japanese.

Oh BTW, please do.

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 am

Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:58 am

According to wikipedia.

With several minor exceptions, attorneys at law are required to pass a national bar examination (司法試験 shihō shiken?, lit. "legal examination") followed by one year of internship, supervised by the Legal Research and Training Institute (司法研修所 Shihō Kenshūjo?) of the Supreme Court of Japan.

Unlike other countries, having a law degree is not a prerequisite for participating in bar examinations, although changes in examination rules have introduced additional requirements for those who sit for the examination without a law degree.


Ah.. Glance over the entire wiki article. There's a lot more, about foreign attorneys, bar membership, and corporate membership towards the bottom.
Last edited by rickynwhyc on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:03 am

From what I gather, we, as foreign attorneys, cannot join the Japanese Bar.

However, that was never my intention. I want to secure a job at the Tokyo office of a U.S firm.
It sounds like we're going to need more Lawyers over there.

Which I doubt requires membership of the Japanese Bar..

I am assuming however, that you should be well versed in both U.S and Japanese international law.

So now, the question becomes, what Law School is best to accomplish this goal? Is the Temple program abroad worth it? They also have a one semester study abroad program which could be beneficial. And then there's the JET program.

motiontodismiss
Posts: 870
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:08 am

I'm guessing if you work for a Japanese office of a US firm, then you'll probably get paid on the lockstep scale.

For ex, here's MoFo Tokyo's scale, as of 2005: http://www.infirmation.com/shared/lss/o ... _id=ZZ5600

I'm sure a lot has changed since then but that's the most recent data I can get my hands on. This plus $1,500 and housing. Which I guess isn't a bad deal.

I don't know how much JET is going to help. Do JET if you want to. If you can do it for 2 years it might help for NU but I don't think I see a particular benefit besides that.
Last edited by motiontodismiss on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 am

Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:08 am

motiontodismiss wrote:I'm sure Japanese biglaw isn't handing out $500k jobs like candy, so probably should keep that in mind, and you should have read the disclosure at the bottom. The earnings are neither representative nor averages.

And you might want to make sure you're allowed to sit for the Japanese bar first (or somehow get licensed). And that you speak fluent Japanese. And that you have some American biglaw experience (I'm sure they have their pick of laterals/internals so they don't have to hire a fresh grad for their Tokyo office).

That said, except for the horrendously expensive cost of living and rapidly aging population, and their multiple dip zombie economy, I hear it's a pretty nice place to live.


I wouldn't say the cost of living is higher than NYC.

For the JET Program, you don't have to know any Japanese, and they provide free classes if you want to learn. It's a tough language but once you understand the basics and memorize the hiragana/katakana, it's just memorization of vocabulary and etiquette.

What's more difficult to get used to is the culture, customs, silent traditions, and unofficial contracts in reference to "Gaijins" or outsiders. You learn all this and more on the JET Program which is why I considered it.

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 am

Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:10 am

motiontodismiss wrote:I'm guessing if you work for a Japanese office of a US firm, then you'll probably get paid on the lockstep scale.

For ex, here's MoFo Tokyo's scale, as of 2005: http://www.infirmation.com/shared/lss/o ... _id=ZZ5600

I'm sure a lot has changed since then but that's the most recent data I can get my hands on. This plus $1,500 and housing. Which I guess isn't a bad deal.

I don't know how much JET is going to help. Do JET if you want to. If you can do it for 2 years it might help for NU but I don't think I see a particular benefit besides that.



It looks decent to me. What really leans me over more than most is my fascination with Japan and the culture. It seems like an amazing place to live. And even if the pay isn't top notch, you will most likely land a job with greater ease as you are fulfilling a niche.


heres a link to the Temple Tokyo campus website for anyone that wants to look into that.
http://www.tuj.ac.jp/newsite/main/law/p ... chool.html

They have a variety of programs. You can attend a school like NYU and choose to study abroad there for a semester as well. According to the jetswithjds blog, the Temple program increases your chance of landing a position at a Tokyo firm by 400%
Last edited by rickynwhyc on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

motiontodismiss
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:12 am

What I'd prefer is living stateside with a lot of business in Japan which would entail me spending lots of time on planes. But don't most biglaw firms fly you up front for business trips?

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 am

Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:15 am

motiontodismiss wrote:What I'd prefer is living stateside with a lot of business in Japan which would entail me spending lots of time on planes. But don't most biglaw firms fly you up front for business trips?


Yeah I would assume they would. That definitely sound's like the best of both worlds.

I'm just trying to figure out the best way to achieve my goals which I'll reiterate.
1. Lot's of Money
2. Interesting life

Maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to live in Japan for a year and put off 3 years of Hell after 15 years of relentless academic exposure.

It seems that doing your JD at Temple and then coming to NY and taking the bar exam is a solid strategy for landing a Tokyo office position with BigLaw

From the Temple website:

"Temple Law School is highly regarded and consistently ranked among the top U.S. law schools in many areas, including trial advocacy, legal research and writing, and part-time programs. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report rated Temple's trial advocacy program No. 2 among all U.S. law schools. In fact, Temple's trial advocacy program has been ranked in the top 3 among all U.S. law schools for the past decade. Also in 2009, Temple Law School was ranked No. 7 among all U.S. law schools for both its Legal Research & Writing program as well as for its part-time program which permits students to take evening classes after their work day."

"Most foreign graduates of Temple's LL.M. programs qualify to take the New York or Washington D.C. bar exams. In the United States, each state separately establishes testing and attorney licensing requirements. Bar exams are administered during February and July each year. The bar exam passage rates for the New York bar exam in July 2008 was 74.7%. While difficult for any LL.M. student, Temple students have successfully passed the New York state bar exam and become licensed as U.S. attorneys. To determine your eligibility to take a bar exam, please contact the bar association for each state. "

motiontodismiss
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:18 am

And you get the best benefit a frequent traveler can have-frequent flyer miles. Which means you get to fly up front on those miles for personal travel.

I think TCR is to go to the best school you can if you want to go overseas. IMO the way to go is 2 years JET (if you can do that) then Northwestern ED.

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:11 am

Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:22 am

Honestly, I wonder what the chances are of landing any opportunities to do Business abroad if you don't have any international experience.

motiontodismiss
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:25 am

rickynwhyc wrote:Honestly, I wonder what the chances are of landing any opportunities to do Business abroad if you don't have any international experience.


I don't think not having a campus abroad precludes you from arranging an exchange on your own.

rickynwhyc
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:28 am

motiontodismiss wrote:And you get the best benefit a frequent traveler can have-frequent flyer miles. Which means you get to fly up front on those miles for personal travel.

I think TCR is to go to the best school you can if you want to go overseas. IMO the way to go is 2 years JET (if you can do that) then Northwestern ED.


Yeah I was thinking the same thing.

Although JET is really throwing myself into the fire. But I wonder if studying abroad one semester with Temple is enough. It's probably not.

JET would allow me a year or two's time to explore the Japanese culture, study for my LSATs, and yeah, apply ED, because it's too late for any of that now.

Horror stories of Japanese discrimination and uncomfortable conditions for foreign English teachers are not so comforting. Not to mention the Japanese police just LOVE to badmouth foreigners and lock them up for no reason. And haven't we all fantasized about landing in a Japanese hospital where no one understands a word you're saying!? With JET, keep in mind, you are VERY likely to be placed in an ultra-rural town with limited access to cities like Okinawa, Osaka, and Tokyo.

Definitely sounds like an adventure to remember though. Japan is a beautiful place.
And considering I have no work/travel experience under my belt..

It's no easy decision.

rickynwhyc
Posts: 42
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:31 am

motiontodismiss wrote:
rickynwhyc wrote:Honestly, I wonder what the chances are of landing any opportunities to do Business abroad if you don't have any international experience.


I don't think not having a campus abroad precludes you from arranging an exchange on your own.


Not at all. Even if I go to NYU or Fordham, I can still study abroad at Temple via the program.
They are the only U.S ABA certified school in Japan. I don't have to attend Temple to take advantage of the program. However, is 1 semester enough?

The thing about JET is, they cover your expenses. If I had the money to take a 3 month vacation to Japan, I would just do that, haha!

Northwestern.. that's good advice. Since they weigh work experience heavily, they're T14, and they don't care as much about GPA.

The plot thickens.

fiveonthefloor
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby fiveonthefloor » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:07 am

I live in Tokyo and used to work for a biglaw, although not as an attorney, and I have many friends who did JET. I recommend doing JET if you always loved Japan. Even just for the sake of experience, you should not miss out the opportunity. You never know when they shut down such an expensive "programme" in this economy. It is an idiotic hiring practice for teachers to say the least, but it benefits Japanese governments somehow (I won't go in detail since there's no freedom of speech in Japan) and young foreign nationals, so f**k the Japs and their kids right?

Bar passage rate here is somewhere between 20-30%. It used to be like 3% before the government started to copy the American law school system like a decade ago. And yes, you can still sit for bar without a law degree, only if you don't mind taking bar twice (under the old and the new system) and passing both. Even with a law degree, you are only allowed to sit for bar 3 times within 5 years of graduation. If you don't pass during that time, you lose eligibility. You have to go to law school and do it all over again. And all these restrictions are set to chill the Japanese lawyers association who accuse the government for producing too many lawyers under the new system hence lowering the quality of legal service (or whatever they murmur). Which is something ABA supposed to be doing, but in Japan, we do have more than enough lawyers to meet the demand. This country is getting old, 1 in 4 Japanese citizens are over 65 years of age. The professions high in demand are doctors, nurses, and undertakers.

You may join the Japanese bar as a foreign attorney, who has to be licenced and has been practiced in a foreign jurisdiction for more than 3 years.

Ascend
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby Ascend » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:21 am

Great country, but the culture is quite different and that in turns drives the way law is practiced. East Asian studies (with a focus on Japan) is my minor so I've always been interested in practicing law in Japan, but from my research, I came to the conclusion that it simply wasn't a feasible prospect, for a multitude of reasons. If you want to know more, shoot me a PM.

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Noval
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby Noval » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:52 pm

Lol @ the people who now consider learning Japanese and move there just for that *Mystical* 500k/job which no one can prove to be existing.

Remember that Japanese firms are conservative, which means, if you're an American that doesn't speak Japanese perfectly and that doesn't know half the Partners in the firm in question, you will stand no single chance entering it.
Yes it's easy to say that you're going to learn it, but less than 10% of the people who talk shit will make it there, it sounds like a Premed forum full of students saying they will become Orthopedic Surgeons when they didn't even pass General Chemistry yet...

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mandobob
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby mandobob » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:07 pm

rickynwhyc wrote:
For the JET Program, you don't have to know any Japanese, and they provide free classes if you want to learn. It's a tough language but once you understand the basics and memorize the hiragana/katakana, it's just memorization of vocabulary and etiquette.

What's more difficult to get used to is the culture, customs, silent traditions, and unofficial contracts in reference to "Gaijins" or outsiders. You learn all this and more on the JET Program which is why I considered it.


The language is much more difficult than you think. Try the grammar or kanji if you want more of a challenge! haha!!!

Btw, Im applying for JET this year and I spent one year at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. Best year of my life. If you want the experience of a lifetime, you'll want to do JET before committing to a career in law.

Good Luck!

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CapHillLove
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby CapHillLove » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:17 pm

.
Last edited by CapHillLove on Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

rickynwhyc
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby rickynwhyc » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:19 pm

It's just hard for me to see the benefit of JET, especially coupled with the risks.

I know living in a new country and being exposed to a new culture is great for anyone, but for an entire YEAR? I don't need a year's vacation..

I'd rather just start working for a big law firm and travel to Japan for a 1 week vacation at some point.. but I wonder if this is even in the realm of reality ITE

It sounds like Study abroad programs such as Temple or Ritsumeikan would be more productive..

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Borhas
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby Borhas » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:59 pm

I don't like Japan

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moandersen
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby moandersen » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:21 pm

CapHillLove wrote:You should do JET, but not because of this absurd crack pot dream of getting a Japanese job. You should do JET because it pays well and is generally just one of the most awesome abroad programs you can do. That being said, isn't the deadline coming up? You should probably get on that. This is a really competitive program so don't assume it's in the bag. Odds are you won't even get an interview.


Totally agree. I have many friends (all japanese-americans) who have done JET, with one currently there, but the process is extremely hard. Everyone has had awesome things to say about it (one friend even met his wife), but learning the language is tough.

Zatarra
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Re: JAPAN. THOUGHTS?

Postby Zatarra » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:40 pm

As a former JET participant myself (two years) I can definitely recommend it -- but, the JET motto is 'every situation is different.' Your experience may differ dramatically from others depending on your placement. Still, if you've always wanted to go to Japan, and like the idea of teaching English, I would absolutely apply, regardless of whatever effect it might have on law school admissions!

And yes, Japanese is not an easy language by any stretch. I'm still taking lessons back in the States, and barely consider myself 'intermediate,' particularly when it comes to kanji (but then, my method of attack was just getting out and talking to people, grammar books be damned!).

Feel free to send me a PM if you want any more details on the program!




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