Nelson wrote: greta wrote:
TaipeiMort wrote:My only point is that the OP wont be doing international arbitration anyway, so it wont matter, and Harvard will offer him more Magic Circle firms to try to practice any cross-border deals work, but also more and competition-- the OP is probably not getting Magics Circle anyway, and Stanford offers him a better chance at getting a biglaw job and less competition for any job (except for maybe Keker, Quinn, or another very selective CA shop).
I don't understand why this is so impossible to work in this field. I would have gone to either Harvard or Stanford Law School, I have pretty advanced proficiency in two European languages (although neither is French), and I have worked and studied in Europe. I don't say this to imply that I think that I'm entitled to get anything, but is it really almost impossible to get a spot in the international arbitration practice of a place like Freshfields or Cleary or White & Case in London or in NYC with the potential to transfer?
I think the point is not that it's impossible
to get this kind of job, but just that these jobs are so rare, so competitive, and require so much else to go right that the marginal chances of getting that kind of employment shouldn't weigh heavily on your choice of school.
If you are looking to do cross-border deals work (capital markets or M&A) in Europe, then the possibility of starting in the US or London is real. However, getting into international arbitration groups is very hard. Of the seven or so real seats of arbitration (Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, Geneva, London, NYC), you lack the language skills for four or five of them off the bat. That leaves London and NYC to start in (you may be able to lateral later). Of these offices, the number of starter positions doing this work is really, really small because the attorneys who actually end up doing to work manytimes come in as laterals for XX domestic firm. I don't think school selection will increase this chance much. However, go to Columbia or Harvard if you want to try to backdoor into these positions (eg. network, appropriately express interest through the right channels, write alumni, find work while in school, etc.). Columbia may be a bit better because they have a gigantic LLM alumni/partner base, but Harvard would be great too.
Columbia and Harvard have a huge gap in international alumni networks of schools: (Columbia>Harvard>>>NYU,Chicago>>>>Stanford>> Berkeley, Yale, Penn, others).
You are rolling the dice though. Harvard will give you a chance at a backdoor into int'l arbitration. Stanford is the safer option if you want a job. However, if you do decide on Harvard I give you props for having the moxie to fight the odds and try for something you care about (and it seems your background may qualify you for). My comments earlier were based upon the assumption you were generic "international law 0L" who lacks the background to make it. If it means anything, I am doing the same thing in another international field and am pretty happy with the results so far-- if you are qualified for the position you have a punchers chance coming from the right school to get into these rarer fields.