Law School for Asia

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mikecw23
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Law School for Asia

Postby mikecw23 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:26 am

I was wondering what would be the better choice for law school if I want to live and practice in Asia. What it be more beneficial to go to a top US school or would a school like National University of Singapore allow me to practice in Asia sooner?

Trequartista
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby Trequartista » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:55 am

IIRC Singapore only lets American lawyers from the T6 practice there. Plus it's almost always better to study law in the country where you want to practice.

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Fred_McGriff
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby Fred_McGriff » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:08 pm

Image

2L2011
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby 2L2011 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:13 pm

Asia is a big area. Asking that remind me of how annoying it is to hear people say "this is how they do it in Europe" when I think "yeah because Italy, England,France,Spain and Yugoslovia are all identical....."

If you want to practice in Singapore, then yeah going to school there will make it easier since you will already have your feet on the ground.

If you want to practice in the Marshall islands or any of the US current and former protectorates then an American school would get more respect.

If you can, try to attend college in the nation that you want to practice.

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niederbomb
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby niederbomb » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:21 pm

NUS and SMU are a lot cheaper than U.S. law schools. On the downside, beginning solicitors in Singapore make about as much as English teachers (about 3000 SGD per month) and other low-level white collar jobs (like mine). You'll be paying nearly 30% of your salary just towards rent; however, food (in the food courts) and other expenses (no need for a car, subway is cheap) are quite low. If you do well, you can work your way up to a decent salary. If you do really, really well academically (as a native speaker, you have an advantage here), a foreign firm (Magic Circle, U.S.) might hire you at a handsome salary.

If that's what you want, go for it. It's easy as hell to move to Singapore. Other Asian countries (*cough China * cough) not so much.

And Singapore > rest of the world in just about every respect. I work there now, transfered from China. PM if you want more details.

I think lawyers coming out of HKU make a lot more. Ideally, you would go to a top U.S. or Canadian law school and work for a foreign firm. Otherwise, unless you plan to immigrate to a country (really only feasible in the case of Singapore), why should they hire you over some local?
Last edited by niederbomb on Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

2L2011
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby 2L2011 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:25 pm

Isn't singapore a big city full or riots and corruption and pollution? Don't get me wrong, if your family lives there then I get it. Otherwise, why?

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niederbomb
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby niederbomb » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:28 pm

2L2011 wrote:Isn't singapore a big city full or riots and corruption and pollution? Don't get me wrong, if your family lives there then I get it. Otherwise, why?


Fuck no.

Singapore is about the cleanest, most orderly place on earth. Cleaner than any city just about anywhere.

Basically zero crime. Little corruption.

A guy I know left a bunch of money in his laundry, took it to the laundromat (wtf?) and got it all back.

Singapore is the 2nd wealthiest country on earth on a PPP basis, behind Monaco. It got there because of its commitment to law and order as well as its openness to skilled immigrants (listen and learn, America).

Why live there? Because Singapore is awesome. But as I said before, it's not a great place to be a lawyer.

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174
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby 174 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:33 pm

Getting to Asia out of a US school usually requires 2-5 years of US work experience before lateraling over. If getting there soon is your priority, it might be worth considering NUS or HKU.

On the other hand, I'd imagine the consequences of missing biglaw out of an Asian university would be pretty dire. Local salaries aren't great outside of large foreign firms, and you wouldn't be able to work back home.

r6_philly
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:01 pm

174 wrote:Getting to Asia out of a US school usually requires 2-5 years of US work experience before lateraling over. If getting there soon is your priority, it might be worth considering NUS or HKU.

On the other hand, I'd imagine the consequences of missing biglaw out of an Asian university would be pretty dire. Local salaries aren't great outside of large foreign firms, and you wouldn't be able to work back home.


Penn has a 3-year JD/LLM at HKU. Is it worth getting it if I'm interested in possibly working in HK? I speak Mandarin and have some family connections there.

Casey2889
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby Casey2889 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:21 pm

FWIW, singapore does take law and order seriously----the downside is that they have some of the most restrictive speech laws in the post-industrial world.

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awahoya
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby awahoya » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:45 pm

174 wrote:Getting to Asia out of a US school usually requires 2-5 years of US work experience before lateraling over. If getting there soon is your priority, it might be worth considering NUS or HKU.


I had my N'western interview in Tokyo with an American lawyer working there- this seemed to be the case with him...he decided that he didn't like the Dallas market pretty soon after graduation so had his firm transfer him over pretty easily (he said he originally intended to stay 3 months, but that was 3 years ago). He was a finance guy, so is doing a lot of corporate work for American/Japanese companies.

Ideally, I would like to work in Asia again as well, and preferrably Japan...don't mean to hijack the thread by any means, but would be interested to hear about those chances as well :)

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Smitten
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby Smitten » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:53 pm

awahoya wrote:
174 wrote:Getting to Asia out of a US school usually requires 2-5 years of US work experience before lateraling over. If getting there soon is your priority, it might be worth considering NUS or HKU.


I had my N'western interview in Tokyo with an American lawyer working there- this seemed to be the case with him...he decided that he didn't like the Dallas market pretty soon after graduation so had his firm transfer him over pretty easily (he said he originally intended to stay 3 months, but that was 3 years ago). He was a finance guy, so is doing a lot of corporate work for American/Japanese companies.

Ideally, I would like to work in Asia again as well, and preferrably Japan...don't mean to hijack the thread by any means, but would be interested to hear about those chances as well :)


Interesting! Do you know if he was primarily speaking Japanese at work?

dowon
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby dowon » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:26 pm

IIRC Singapore only lets American lawyers from the T6 practice there


So, is this true for most Asian countries or just Singapore? Do you have to come from a T6 or will other schools in the T14 suffice?

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174
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby 174 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:31 pm

dowon wrote:
IIRC Singapore only lets American lawyers from the T6 practice there


So, is this true for most Asian countries or just Singapore? Do you have to come from a T6 or will other schools in the T14 suffice?


I'm still in school, but from what I've heard, most Asia offices are going to care at least a little about your school. T14 is fine though. The biggest factors are your practice area, the prestige of the firm you are lateraling from, and your language skills.

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niederbomb
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby niederbomb » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:46 pm

dowon wrote:
IIRC Singapore only lets American lawyers from the T6 practice there


So, is this true for most Asian countries or just Singapore? Do you have to come from a T6 or will other schools in the T14 suffice?


You don't have to graduate from a T6 to work for a foreign firm in Singapore. However, to pass the bar in Singapore, you do. One wonders how someone would pay off T6 loans on a Singaporean salary...

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bigjinjapan
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby bigjinjapan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:02 am

For folks interested in Japan, I know quite a few lawyers in Tokyo, and the info I have gleaned from them is this:

It's basically impossible for a foreigner to become a lawyer through the Japanese system. Even though they've raised the bar passage rate (it had been artificially set at 3%(!) and is going up to 25%), the odds of a foreigner passing are infinitesimally small. No one I've talked to knows a single person who's done it. So the US JD is the only road. The better school you can go to, the better (duh), but I do know some people from less 'name' schools like Santa Clara who have very nice jobs.

There's something called the Gaiben registration that allows foreign-trained lawyers to give legal advice in Japan. It requires you to have worked as a lawyer a minimum of 2-3 years in your home country. You can still work as a lawyer without this certification, but my understanding is that the type of work you can do is more limited.

Many foreign lawyers in Tokyo do not speak Japanese. But one of the guys in my language program had apparently been forced to attend there by his firm. So whether this ability is required or not is unclear, and may vary by firm.

The type of law being practiced is somewhat limited. Most people I know are in corporate law, M&A or contracts, though I understand there is growing demand for IP lawyers.

Since I intend to come back for work, my plan of attack on this is to get as much foreign experience as I can in law school, intern abroad if possible, hopefully do a term abroad at Waseda as a L3, then get hired by a firm with a Tokyo office, work in the US for a few years and then transfer to the Japan office.

Pie firmly in the sky.

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awahoya
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Re: Law School for Asia

Postby awahoya » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:10 am

Smitten wrote:Interesting! Do you know if he was primarily speaking Japanese at work?


Nah, I think I remember him saying that they had translators/interpreters for all of the legalese and firm business. If you're fully bilingual, I'm sure it'd be a huge plus. I, sadly, doubt that I would be able to read briefs or argue a case in Japanese- but would be happy to come work over here again.

bigjinjapan wrote:Since I intend to come back for work, my plan of attack on this is to get as much foreign experience as I can in law school, intern abroad if possible, hopefully do a term abroad at Waseda as a L3, then get hired by a firm with a Tokyo office, work in the US for a few years and then transfer to the Japan office.

Pie firmly in the sky.


+1...and your post was super-helpful, thanks!




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