UT vs UH (LLM)

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xgroza
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UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby xgroza » Sun May 21, 2017 8:08 pm

Hey there! I have quite a dilemma.

First, some background, which I consider important. I'm permanent resident alien and got my initial law degree not in the US, but in civil law system country (Ukraine). According to legislation, 1 year LLM is enough for me to be able to pass the bar. I would like to go to law school to get LLM degree to be able eventually to pass bar and become an attorney. I'm NOT coming back to my original country, nor I'm trying to pursue a career in some international environment.I'm living in Houston, TX and ok here, would love to continue my career in Texas, or at least in the US. While choosing LLM I would stick to general US law program without any specialization.

So I applied to UT and UH. Price per year is absolutely the same (30K), which I will pay myself. Got acceptance letter from UH and still waiting for UT decision. But do you think these two law schools are even comparable? If I'm not accepted to UT should I wait another year and apply again, or UH fits the purpose? I kinda don't wanna miss the whole year, but spending hard earned cash for something not good enough seems like bad idea too. Does UH LLM give fewer opportunities for future employment? Would love to hear any RATIONAL and GROUNDED ideas.

P.S. I also applied to Harvard LLM but got refused.

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UVA2B
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby UVA2B » Sun May 21, 2017 9:44 pm

What kind of law practice do you want domestically? And will you be looking to get an H1B employment visa following graduation? The bigger issue here isn't which LLM is better, especially considering LLMs generally do not give a boost in hiring outside of a few special ones (namely, in tax at NYU, GULC, UF), it's about how you plan to use your LLM to practice law in this country. If you need an H1B sponsor, you're looking at very few employers who will sponsor you in a political environment where H1B visas are being heavily scrutinized.

What are your plans following the LLM in practicing in the US exactly?

Lawl_Schoolz
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby Lawl_Schoolz » Sun May 21, 2017 10:19 pm

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Last edited by Lawl_Schoolz on Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

IExistedOnceBefore
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Sun May 21, 2017 10:30 pm

Unless you have a job already lined up for yourself, which it sounds like you don't, you want to just get a JD. If you wanted to return home the LLM is fine, but I've seen a lot of LLMs come back for their traditional JD because it's so hard to get hired in the US without one.

So my vote is, neither.

xgroza
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby xgroza » Sun May 21, 2017 10:35 pm

UVA2B wrote:
What are your plans following the LLM in practicing in the US exactly?


To pass the bar and find a job as an attorney.

Npret
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby Npret » Sun May 21, 2017 10:36 pm

UVA2B wrote:What kind of law practice do you want domestically? And will you be looking to get an H1B employment visa following graduation? The bigger issue here isn't which LLM is better, especially considering LLMs generally do not give a boost in hiring outside of a few special ones (namely, in tax at NYU, GULC, UF), it's about how you plan to use your LLM to practice law in this country. If you need an H1B sponsor, you're looking at very few employers who will sponsor you in a political environment where H1B visas are being heavily scrutinized.

What are your plans following the LLM in practicing in the US exactly?

OP doesn't need a visa or a sponsor.
The questions that you asked are good: what jobs are you considering? Do you have anything lined up?

xgroza
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby xgroza » Sun May 21, 2017 10:40 pm

IExistedOnceBefore wrote:Unless you have a job already lined up for yourself, which it sounds like you don't, you want to just get a JD. If you wanted to return home the LLM is fine, but I've seen a lot of LLMs come back for their traditional JD because it's so hard to get hired in the US without one.

So my vote is, neither.


I can definitely see a strong point here, but how often you met a person without JD degree, that passed a bar exam? I bet not too often if ever. And I guess (I might be wrong but that's why a started this topic) once you pass bar exam and can be practicing law, you would be considered by employer as a someone who can potentially be hired vs a person without that didn't pass/doesn't have the bar even holding LLM degree, and not a JD. Don't forget that I already have 5 years of legal studies, just not US ones. And LLM and bar in my understanding prove to the employer that the holder of those complies with all the necessary requirements for practicing law in the US.
Last edited by xgroza on Sun May 21, 2017 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

xgroza
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby xgroza » Sun May 21, 2017 10:42 pm

Npret wrote:OP doesn't need a visa or a sponsor.
The questions that you asked are good: what jobs are you considering? Do you have anything lined up?


I have absolutely nothing lined up. I wanna be an attorney, not sure what other possibilities are if any after law school.

IExistedOnceBefore
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Sun May 21, 2017 10:44 pm

xgroza wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:Unless you have a job already lined up for yourself, which it sounds like you don't, you want to just get a JD. If you wanted to return home the LLM is fine, but I've seen a lot of LLMs come back for their traditional JD because it's so hard to get hired in the US without one.

So my vote is, neither.


I can definitely see a strong point here, but how often you met a person without JD degree, that passed a bar exam? I bet not too often if ever. And I guess (I might be wrong but that's why a started this topic) once you pass bar exam and can be practicing law, you would be considered by employer as a someone who can potentially be hired vs a person without that didn't pass/doesn't have the bar.


That's part of the problem. What is your desire after law school? A lot of jobs are secured 1 or 2 years prior to law school graduation and in the US legal hiring is very much a "pipeline" system. At smaller firms you're likely to get some interviews, but besides the longer education it puts you in the proper pipeline.

Also, I mean. The LLM system exists. Lots of them take the Bar in one state or another, so people do pass it without a JD. What are your career goals?

Edit: The career goal of just passing the bar and being an attorney isn't good enough. Big law, mid law, hang your own shingle? In house?

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heythatslife
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby heythatslife » Sun May 21, 2017 10:47 pm

Foreign LLMs from even the very top tier of law schools struggle to get jobs in the US. The ones that succeed tend to be those that have their original law degree and work experience in another Anglophone common law jurisdiction (UK, Australia, Singapore, etc.) or have desirable and specialized work experience that fits a particular niche that some firm is looking for. And it's not just due to the law firms' willingness to sponsor H-1Bs, because a lot of them will go through the trouble to do it for the right JD candidates who happen not to be US citizens/PRs.

If you're looking to stay in the US, I would advise against doing an LLM, and especially from UH.

xgroza wrote:And LLM and bar in my understanding prove to the employer that the holder of those complies with all the necessary requirements for practicing law in the US.

Being admitted to the bar is merely having a license to practice. It doesn't automatically make you valuable to employers. The US law school system produces more lawyers each year than the legal industry can put to work.

xgroza
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby xgroza » Sun May 21, 2017 10:50 pm

IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
xgroza wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:Unless you have a job already lined up for yourself, which it sounds like you don't, you want to just get a JD. If you wanted to return home the LLM is fine, but I've seen a lot of LLMs come back for their traditional JD because it's so hard to get hired in the US without one.

So my vote is, neither.


I can definitely see a strong point here, but how often you met a person without JD degree, that passed a bar exam? I bet not too often if ever. And I guess (I might be wrong but that's why a started this topic) once you pass bar exam and can be practicing law, you would be considered by employer as a someone who can potentially be hired vs a person without that didn't pass/doesn't have the bar.


That's part of the problem. What is your desire after law school? A lot of jobs are secured 1 or 2 years prior to law school graduation and in the US legal hiring is very much a "pipeline" system. At smaller firms you're likely to get some interviews, but besides the longer education it puts you in the proper pipeline.

Also, I mean. The LLM system exists. Lots of them take the Bar in one state or another, so people do pass it without a JD. What are your career goals?

Edit: The career goal of just passing the bar and being an attorney isn't good enough. Big law, mid law, hang your own shingle? In house?


Ideally, would be a biglaw, but probably would settle for midlaw on the beginning to get experience. Own practice is a possibility but probably not sooner than 10 years after graduation.

IExistedOnceBefore
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby IExistedOnceBefore » Sun May 21, 2017 10:52 pm

xgroza wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:
xgroza wrote:
IExistedOnceBefore wrote:Unless you have a job already lined up for yourself, which it sounds like you don't, you want to just get a JD. If you wanted to return home the LLM is fine, but I've seen a lot of LLMs come back for their traditional JD because it's so hard to get hired in the US without one.

So my vote is, neither.


I can definitely see a strong point here, but how often you met a person without JD degree, that passed a bar exam? I bet not too often if ever. And I guess (I might be wrong but that's why a started this topic) once you pass bar exam and can be practicing law, you would be considered by employer as a someone who can potentially be hired vs a person without that didn't pass/doesn't have the bar.


That's part of the problem. What is your desire after law school? A lot of jobs are secured 1 or 2 years prior to law school graduation and in the US legal hiring is very much a "pipeline" system. At smaller firms you're likely to get some interviews, but besides the longer education it puts you in the proper pipeline.

Also, I mean. The LLM system exists. Lots of them take the Bar in one state or another, so people do pass it without a JD. What are your career goals?

Edit: The career goal of just passing the bar and being an attorney isn't good enough. Big law, mid law, hang your own shingle? In house?


Ideally, would be a biglaw, but probably would settle for midlaw on the beginning to get experience. Own practice is a possibility but probably not sooner than 10 years after graduation.


If you want big law you need a JD. I can't think of any LLMs I've met who've gotten into big law straight from the LLM, in fact there's an LLM in my year whose getting his JD because he couldn't get a job, and I'm at a T13. There are hundreds of graduates who come out of top schools each year with offers from big law firms that they received a year prior, big law doesn't have any reason to reach into an LLM class to pull lawyers.

UT for a JD is honestly going to be your best option, and what I would recommend since you want to stay in TX.

xgroza
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby xgroza » Sun May 21, 2017 10:53 pm

heythatslife wrote:And it's not just due to the law firms' willingness to sponsor H-1Bs, because a lot of them will go through the trouble to do it for the right JD candidates who happen not to be US citizens/PRs.



I don't need any visa, I have a green card, and by the time I graduate I will be US citizen, so that's not an issue at all.

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heythatslife
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby heythatslife » Sun May 21, 2017 10:54 pm

xgroza wrote:
heythatslife wrote:And it's not just due to the law firms' willingness to sponsor H-1Bs, because a lot of them will go through the trouble to do it for the right JD candidates who happen not to be US citizens/PRs.



I don't need any visa, I have a green card, and by the time I graduate I will be US citizen, so that's not an issue at all.

My point was that LLMs struggle greatly in the US job market and it's not because of visas.

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UVA2B
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Re: UT vs UH (LLM)

Postby UVA2B » Sun May 21, 2017 11:14 pm

Npret wrote:
UVA2B wrote:What kind of law practice do you want domestically? And will you be looking to get an H1B employment visa following graduation? The bigger issue here isn't which LLM is better, especially considering LLMs generally do not give a boost in hiring outside of a few special ones (namely, in tax at NYU, GULC, UF), it's about how you plan to use your LLM to practice law in this country. If you need an H1B sponsor, you're looking at very few employers who will sponsor you in a political environment where H1B visas are being heavily scrutinized.

What are your plans following the LLM in practicing in the US exactly?

OP doesn't need a visa or a sponsor.
The questions that you asked are good: what jobs are you considering? Do you have anything lined up?


I probably went too far in not assuming they meant resident alien=green card automatically. I just wanted it to be established by OP that they are indeed on a green card visa and wouldn't need sponsorship.

That said, OP do you understand how Big law and Midlaw hiring works generally? It happens in two waves: first, they hire based on people recruited through law school hiring (OCI, etc.). Since you won't have that option, you'd have to rely on the other avenue, which would require you have some relevant experience where they would hire you as a de facto lateral hire from another firm. What kind of experience as an attorney could you bring to a firm that they would value? You come from a civil system in Ukraine, but what was your experience practicing as an attorney before you came to the US?

Getting an LLM and passing the bar will get you through the gate, but you're going to have a hard time convincing a firm to bring you on if you don't bring relevant experience they can rely on.

What you'd likely need to do, as has been mentioned, is go through a JD program and try to go through the conventional hiring process as a JD vice being an LLM.




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