getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
jaaawn
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:52 am

getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby jaaawn » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:16 am

so, here we go.

i'm currently living in beijing, china and am strongly considering coming back to the US for law school. this has always been a goal for me, but i did not feel i was ready to move directly to law school after completing my undergad, and i have loved traveling entirely too much to give it up before i absolutely had to (specifically, the ability to just get up and go at a moment's notice - which is what i did that brought me to china in the first place).

now, my question is this: my grades in undergrad were not particularly stelar, and i have been out of university for about 3 years now. i've enjoyed learning mandarin up to this point, and would like to continue doing so...but i'd also like to get a serious start on achieving my goal of studying law. does any one here know (or care to take a guess) if it would be beneficial for me to obtain a master's of law at an internationally reputable chinese university*** (which typically takes two years) before applying to law school in the states?

what i mean by beneficial is, assuming i perform well, do you think it would (a) increase my chances of being accepted in to a higher ranked school and (b) do you think scholarship offers would increase?
now, this may seem like a no brainer, but what i guess it really comes down to is cost/ benefit analysis. i'm 25 now and would be (most likely) 27 upon completion of the master's. the master's i would be applying for would be focused on both chinese civil and commercial law, so i assume it would not involve many discussions regarding american law that U.S. law schools may be uneasy about. the cost for tuition, without scholarship (which i think could obtain to some degree) is just over 10,000 USD.
so, does anyone have any opinion on whether it would be worth the time/money in terms of potential scholarship and school prestige?

thanks for your help, guys!

*** internationally reputable chinese university = a school in every 'top ten chinese law schools' list i have found online (in english).

User avatar
piccolittle
Posts: 1118
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:16 pm

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby piccolittle » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:34 am

jaaawn wrote:so, here we go.

i'm currently living in beijing, china and am strongly considering coming back to the US for law school. this has always been a goal for me, but i did not feel i was ready to move directly to law school after completing my undergad, and i have loved traveling entirely too much to give it up before i absolutely had to (specifically, the ability to just get up and go at a moment's notice - which is what i did that brought me to china in the first place).

now, my question is this: my grades in undergrad were not particularly stelar, and i have been out of university for about 3 years now. i've enjoyed learning mandarin up to this point, and would like to continue doing so...but i'd also like to get a serious start on achieving my goal of studying law. does any one here know (or care to take a guess) if it would be beneficial for me to obtain a master's of law at an internationally reputable chinese university*** (which typically takes two years) before applying to law school in the states?

what i mean by beneficial is, assuming i perform well, do you think it would (a) increase my chances of being accepted in to a higher ranked school and (b) do you think scholarship offers would increase?
now, this may seem like a no brainer, but what i guess it really comes down to is cost/ benefit analysis. i'm 25 now and would be (most likely) 27 upon completion of the master's. the master's i would be applying for would be focused on both chinese civil and commercial law, so i assume it would not involve many discussions regarding american law that U.S. law schools may be uneasy about. the cost for tuition, without scholarship (which i think could obtain to some degree) is just over 10,000 USD.
so, does anyone have any opinion on whether it would be worth the time/money in terms of potential scholarship and school prestige?

thanks for your help, guys!

*** internationally reputable chinese university = a school in every 'top ten chinese law schools' list i have found online (in english).

Doesn't sound worth it. Your undergrad stuff is settled and the thing that will make the most difference at this point is the LSAT followed by work experience. Also, can you even do a masters in law without getting a first law degree in China?

Others might feel differently, though.

User avatar
DildaMan
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:03 pm

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby DildaMan » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:49 am

jaaawn wrote:
does any one here know (or care to take a guess) if it would be beneficial for me to obtain a master's of law at an internationally reputable chinese university*** (which typically takes two years) before applying to law school in the states?



I doubt it would be useful. If you want to practice in the US, you probably should get your JD here. If you finish a masters in law in another country, I would assumed you'd be doing a LLM in the US.

jaaawn wrote:
what i mean by beneficial is, assuming i perform well, do you think it would (a) increase my chances of being accepted in to a higher ranked school and (b) do you think scholarship offers would increase?



If you're applying for a JD, conventional wisdom is that LSAT/UGPA matter. The rest of your softs wouldn't make a difference unless they're highly unique. Speaking Mandarin and having a foreign law degree would not qualify as highly unique. Again, it probably won't help you get into a better school than your numbers would suggest.

If you're applying for a LLM, maybe? I have no clue.

jaaawn wrote:
now, this may seem like a no brainer, but what i guess it really comes down to is cost/ benefit analysis. i'm 25 now and would be (most likely) 27 upon completion of the master's. the master's i would be applying for would be focused on both chinese civil and commercial law, so i assume it would not involve many discussions regarding american law that U.S. law schools may be uneasy about. the cost for tuition, without scholarship (which i think could obtain to some degree) is just over 10,000 USD.
so, does anyone have any opinion on whether it would be worth the time/money in terms of potential scholarship and school prestige?

thanks for your help, guys!

*** internationally reputable chinese university = a school in every 'top ten chinese law schools' list i have found online (in english).


If you want to practice in the US, kill the LSAT and go to school here. I doubt doing the masters of law will help you prestige wise in the US.

jaaawn
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:52 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby jaaawn » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:50 am

piccolittle wrote:
jaaawn wrote:so, here we go.

i'm currently living in beijing, china and am strongly considering coming back to the US for law school. this has always been a goal for me, but i did not feel i was ready to move directly to law school after completing my undergad, and i have loved traveling entirely too much to give it up before i absolutely had to (specifically, the ability to just get up and go at a moment's notice - which is what i did that brought me to china in the first place).

now, my question is this: my grades in undergrad were not particularly stelar, and i have been out of university for about 3 years now. i've enjoyed learning mandarin up to this point, and would like to continue doing so...but i'd also like to get a serious start on achieving my goal of studying law. does any one here know (or care to take a guess) if it would be beneficial for me to obtain a master's of law at an internationally reputable chinese university*** (which typically takes two years) before applying to law school in the states?

what i mean by beneficial is, assuming i perform well, do you think it would (a) increase my chances of being accepted in to a higher ranked school and (b) do you think scholarship offers would increase?
now, this may seem like a no brainer, but what i guess it really comes down to is cost/ benefit analysis. i'm 25 now and would be (most likely) 27 upon completion of the master's. the master's i would be applying for would be focused on both chinese civil and commercial law, so i assume it would not involve many discussions regarding american law that U.S. law schools may be uneasy about. the cost for tuition, without scholarship (which i think could obtain to some degree) is just over 10,000 USD.
so, does anyone have any opinion on whether it would be worth the time/money in terms of potential scholarship and school prestige?

thanks for your help, guys!

*** internationally reputable chinese university = a school in every 'top ten chinese law schools' list i have found online (in english).

Doesn't sound worth it. Your undergrad stuff is settled and the thing that will make the most difference at this point is the LSAT followed by work experience. Also, can you even do a masters in law without getting a first law degree in China?

Others might feel differently, though.


so, legal education in china is somewhat similar to legal education in the states, if you just substitute an American J.D. for a Chinese master's. You can only practice law in China if you pass their version of the bar (written in chinese characters....nope!), but you can obtain a master's in law just like you would obtain a J.D. in the states. for what its worth, you don't even have to obtain any sort of degree in law in order to take the Chinese equivalent of the bar ...

i'm just wondering if law schools would appreciate the work i've put in and consider it proof that i am both serious about law and will perform well if given the chance (assuming i perform well in china).

User avatar
koalatriste
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby koalatriste » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:12 am

No.

If your undergrad grades are poor, HYS are out. From that point on down, law schools care purely about the math, with MAYBE a few "soft" factors mattering (query: would HYS even really care? who knows. it's irrelevant here). The fact that you worked in China and speak some Chinese is your "soft" factor coming out of this equation and the marginal benefit of a master's to law school admissions is zero. However, there may be benefits from the master's beyond admissions (possibly? but are there really benefits to a non-terminal degree from some Chinese institution that nobody has ever heard of outside of some rando top ten lists? are there benefits to ANY non-terminal degrees within the legal field or generally?).

BUT your question here purely focuses on getting in. That answer is a resounding no.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby 20141023 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:25 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jaaawn
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:52 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby jaaawn » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:31 am

thanks guys for your feedback so far.

haven't looked at the website the poster above mentioned YET, but will do. when i say not stellar, i mean around a 3.0 (probably just shy of), but i would have to check the website mentioned above by the previous poster to get a real concrete figure.

anyways, thanks for the responses. surprising that this is not beneficial, but this must just be the way it goes.

i was also considering another bachelor's degree in mandarin at one of the top schools here, but i assume this would give me just about the same in term of results?

thanks again for the help.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby 20141023 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:53 am

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
crazyrobin
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:52 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby crazyrobin » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:12 pm

You know you can practice in china if you pass the bar in the states. I have couple friends who go to china to practice while passing the NY bar. But I think you can only practice civil law. ( Not sure, they told me so)

As for pursuing a MA in law in china, NO.

Rock the LSAT and enjoy law school.

a-quad
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:15 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby a-quad » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:38 pm

If you are going to do it to get into a better law school/with better scholarship money, then don't do it- won't help.

BUT if you want to do it so you can practice trade/commerce law between the US and China, then I think it is worthwhile. There are very few lawyers well versed in both US and Chinese law, and you would probably be very sought after. (See if after getting this Master's you could go straight into an American LLM program, instead of doing a JD program.)
I've thought about getting my law degree abroad, and I've talked to a lot of lawyers who have passed the bar in both the US and a foreign country, and are now living abroad- they don't make American salaries (lawyers in foreign countries do not get paid the massive salaries that US lawyers get), but for the country they live in they do very well.

User avatar
RhymesLikeDimes
Posts: 403
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:58 pm

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:13 pm

Chinese universities are notoriously shit, don't bother.

20141023
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby 20141023 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:34 pm

.
Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

voytek
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:06 pm

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby voytek » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:00 pm

jaaawn wrote:so, legal education in china is somewhat similar to legal education in the states, if you just substitute an American J.D. for a Chinese master's. You can only practice law in China if you pass their version of the bar (written in chinese characters....nope!)


Unless you're a Chinese national, don't even consider trying to go the PRC lawyer path of taking the Chinese bar after a masters. I worked in a US firm in China for a bit and had colleagues from the most prestigious Chinese law schools who were grinding out document reviews or transactional work as "legal consultants," which was basically just a catch-all position for lower-paid PRC nationals who had a slight chance of becoming an associate after years of really hard work. It is a pretty messed up and unequal system, but it's just the reality right now.

I agree with others on here in that it won't boost your admissions chances that much. I mean, if you already speak Chinese and have been working there or whatever you already have the "China card" on your application... no need to waste another two years pursuing an LLM there unless you were really interested in China's legal system from some perspective other than actually practicing.

User avatar
crazyrobin
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:52 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby crazyrobin » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:13 am

RhymesLikeDimes wrote:Chinese universities are notoriously shit, don't bother.

:lol:
I second this.

User avatar
crazyrobin
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:52 am

Re: getting a chinese master's of law BEFORE law school? yes/no?

Postby crazyrobin » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:36 am

kappycaft1 wrote:I've heard that Peking University is actually pretty good, but either way, going to one of these universities wouldn't do anything to help the OP achieve his goal of going to an American law school to get a JD.


Let me elaborate for you why chinese universities ( including peking university ) are so bad.
China has a standard test called college entrance examination ( they call it Gaokao ). All the universities admission is based on the score alone. Peking University is among the top 2 ( the other is Tsing Hua ), so basically Peking university and Tsing Hua have all the highest score students, which somewhat shows students' academic potential. Yet, with the finest students and government funding this two universities still can't stand out especially comparing to top universities in the states. I do not even want to delve into their education system. Have some friends who go to China to tell you all the story.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], KatCoco and 2 guests