International students - some questions

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Rieux
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:22 pm

International students - some questions

Postby Rieux » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:08 pm

Hi, I'm turning twenty this year, and will hopefully start college this year. I took a gap year after high school to try and figure things out, and while I'm very comfortable with myself on an emotional/philosophical level, I wasn't able to figure out much in the way of academics. My interests are still rather broad. I really just want to know as much as I can (more actually...) about as many things as possible.

I applied to some colleges in the US, but with financial aid being so competitive and my grades being crap (I was too busy reading Camus and being all existential to care about those...), I probably won't get in anywhere. But it was worth a shot. My teachers liked me, and my essays are pretty cool.

Unless otherwise specified, when I say international student, I mean one who has also studied at a non-US university.

Anyway, that's the little intro out of the way. To the actual purpose of this thread.

1) Are applicants from US colleges assessed during admissions like domestic applicants for everything financial aid? For physics PhDs, the answer would be yes, but what about law school? Or is there really no "quota" for international students? I've been lurking on and off for a few months, and I noticed one poster who claimed that.

2) How hard is it to get in with a scholarship at a t-14, or t-20 school, as an international student? Is "superior" and 175 LSAT an absolute requirement? Would say, having a novel (fiction) published help at all, for e.g?

3) How should the essays be for an international student? For e.g, in my college essay, I described what was essentially a ten minute scene with lots of interesting thoughts flowing about. Now that I think of it, this may have been mighty hipster of me. But oh well. I guess that really won't fly for law school?

4) This scares the **** out of me. memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=13715

How the hell does this happen? 3.5 GPA from a Canadian school and 180 LSAT. HOW.

5) Those loans. How difficult are they to *get and pay back*?

6) As an international student who's not very rich, if I don't get into a top 25 school, should I perhaps consider doing something else with my life? Or maybe shooting for a second degree in the UK (again, loans but Oxbridge have a 2-year degree option for graduates) in law?

Note: In all likelihood, I will be studying in Europe. Most probably Germany or France. I will apply to the ECLA of Bard, and some public universities with programs taught in English. The grading system in Europe is generally incredibly harsh. How would that pan out for me? A previous poster here mentioned that in France, it's next to impossible to get above a 15/20. At least, it's not in his university. That is in line with what I've heard.

7) In the event I go to France, I probably won't major in law, and would do something interdisciplinary. Like science and social sciences. Or a combination of social sciences and humanities. For e.g: economics and history. Or history-philosophy. Will that be held against me when applying to law school in the US? Or could it actually be more of an advantage? i.e, "I knew I wanted to practice in the US, and as such, preferred to broaden my knowledge through so and so fields instead..."

Right, I know this is a long thread, and I really hope you guys can take a few minutes to help out.

Thank you!

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AntipodeanPhil
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: International students - some questions

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:42 am

Rieux wrote:1) Are applicants from US colleges assessed during admissions like domestic applicants for everything financial aid? For physics PhDs, the answer would be yes, but what about law school? Or is there really no "quota" for international students? I've been lurking on and off for a few months, and I noticed one poster who claimed that.

International students can and do get significant financial aid. But, unless you're Canadian, or did your undergrad in the US, it is very, very unlikely you will get more than a half-scholarship.

Rieux wrote:2) How hard is it to get in with a scholarship at a t-14, or t-20 school, as an international student? Is "superior" and 175 LSAT an absolute requirement? Would say, having a novel (fiction) published help at all, for e.g?

It's mostly about numbers, so a novel won't help much at all. It would very difficult to get into HYS without a "superior," but the other schools are less picky. The most important thing, by far, is to get an above-median LSAT score.

Rieux wrote:3) How should the essays be for an international student? For e.g, in my college essay, I described what was essentially a ten minute scene with lots of interesting thoughts flowing about. Now that I think of it, this may have been mighty hipster of me. But oh well. I guess that really won't fly for law school?

Think about this in 3-4 years.

Rieux wrote:4) This scares the **** out of me. memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=13715

How the hell does this happen? 3.5 GPA from a Canadian school and 180 LSAT. HOW.

Easy: HYS don't accept students with 3.5 GPAs. Keep in mind that 3.5 isn't that great, by North American standards.

Rieux wrote:5) Those loans. How difficult are they to *get and pay back*?

For internationals, they are very, very difficult to get - unless you have a US co-signer. They are also very difficult to pay back, unless you get a big law job (then it's only somewhat difficult).

Rieux wrote:6) As an international student who's not very rich, if I don't get into a top 25 school, should I perhaps consider doing something else with my life? Or maybe shooting for a second degree in the UK (again, loans but Oxbridge have a 2-year degree option for graduates) in law?

If you don't get into a top 14 school, consider something else. Even a lower top 14 school is risky for internationals.

M458
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:58 pm

Re: International students - some questions

Postby M458 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:25 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Rieux wrote:6) As an international student who's not very rich, if I don't get into a top 25 school, should I perhaps consider doing something else with my life? Or maybe shooting for a second degree in the UK (again, loans but Oxbridge have a 2-year degree option for graduates) in law?

If you don't get into a top 14 school, consider something else. Even a lower top 14 school is risky for internationals.


Hey, Antipodean--see that you're an International at H. I'm all set to go to Northwestern in the Fall and am also an International, though I've lived in the US since I was in elementary school and have worked here for a few years as well (I've always been here on some sort of visa or another, now on a work visa).

Could you expand on why the lower T-14 is risky specifically for Internationals (I already know they can be risky w/ a lot of debt b/c the employment numbers are still not stellar outside of HYS)? I did ED at Northwestern, so I won't be graduating with much, if any, debt (between my own savings from having worked the past two and a half years and a slight bit of help from parents).

Is it hard to be sponsored by employers? How does being an International affect getting an SA and interviewing throughout OCI?

I had spoken with two other friends currently in law school and they said not to worry about it since BigLaw would likely sponsor work visas, but this is something I'm definitely worried about as I gear up to attend in the Fall. Appreciate the help.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: International students - some questions

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:16 pm

M458 wrote:Could you expand on why the lower T-14 is risky specifically for Internationals (I already know they can be risky w/ a lot of debt b/c the employment numbers are still not stellar outside of HYS)? I did ED at Northwestern, so I won't be graduating with much, if any, debt (between my own savings from having worked the past two and a half years and a slight bit of help from parents).

A couple of big issues:

1. Regional (i.e., non-NYC) biglaw and midlaw are harder. For jobs that aren't in NYC, most employers want to know why you want to live in their city and work for them (they want 'ties,' in TLS lingo). They don't want to hire someone as a summer associate (which costs them at least $20,000), and then have that person leave them as soon as a better job comes up in NY, DC, etc. Internationals don't have ties. I've been living in the US for a few years, and recently interviewed for a 1L position at a firm in a city I'd been living in. I got absolutely grilled about ties, despite having lived there for 3+ years, and having most of my US friends there.

2. You can't work for the federal government. This means no federal clerkship. There are some complications here, though - apparently you can work without pay (which might be worth it for a court of appeals clerkship, for example), and you can work outside the mainland US (Hawaii, Alaska, etc). Also, you can work for state government, and there are some fairly desirable state positions - like the Delaware Chancery Court.

This means you won't have the same back-up plans US students have, if NYC big law doesn't work out. And some minor issues for NYC big law:

1. Big law will get you a work visa, but it's expensive, and at least a few big law firms seem to prefer not to. Also, I've heard some big law firms will not sponsor you for a green card (even if they'll get you a work visa), and you can only be on work visas for so long.

2. I have a suspicion that big law firms are a little anxious about internationals with strong accents. After all, you have to convince their (mostly American) clients that you are an expert on American law.

Of course, some of this might not apply to you - perhaps you have better ties to a region than me, and less of an accent. And speaking a foreign language can be to your advantage, depending on what it is.

Also, Northwestern seems to have much better employment data than a lot of the lower t14 schools. If you get decent grades, I'm sure you stand a very good chance at big law. And with a full scholarship, you're risking so much less. In your shoes, I certainly wouldn't turn a full scholarship down.

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crazyrobin
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Re: International students - some questions

Postby crazyrobin » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:55 pm

Hi AntipodeanPhil,

Couple questions.

1, For international students, do we have significant chances at biglaw if we graduate from HYS than other T14?

2, If a law firm sponsors your work visa, is it likely that your wage get affected due to the fact they have to sponsor your visa which cost them a lot?

3, Seeing you mention the ties and green card part, I get really anxious. How does your interview go? Does international students get any SA job?

4, I think I read here someone cited that you may even go to internship at DA's office? Does this apply to international students?

Thank you for your time.

M458
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:58 pm

Re: International students - some questions

Postby M458 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:12 am

crazyrobin wrote:Hi AntipodeanPhil,

Couple questions.

1, For international students, do we have significant chances at biglaw if we graduate from HYS than other T14?

2, If a law firm sponsors your work visa, is it likely that your wage get affected due to the fact they have to sponsor your visa which cost them a lot?

3, Seeing you mention the ties and green card part, I get really anxious. How does your interview go? Does international students get any SA job?

4, I think I read here someone cited that you may even go to internship at DA's office? Does this apply to international students?

Thank you for your time.


Can't comment on your other questions, but in regards to #2, your salary will not and cannot get affected. They legally have to prove they are paying you the exact amount they would pay a US citizen. This is to prevent US companies from getting "cheap labor" through International employees.

M458
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:58 pm

Re: International students - some questions

Postby M458 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:16 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:A couple of big issues:

1. Regional (i.e., non-NYC) biglaw and midlaw are harder. For jobs that aren't in NYC, most employers want to know why you want to live in their city and work for them (they want 'ties,' in TLS lingo). They don't want to hire someone as a summer associate (which costs them at least $20,000), and then have that person leave them as soon as a better job comes up in NY, DC, etc. Internationals don't have ties. I've been living in the US for a few years, and recently interviewed for a 1L position at a firm in a city I'd been living in. I got absolutely grilled about ties, despite having lived there for 3+ years, and having most of my US friends there.

2. You can't work for the federal government. This means no federal clerkship. There are some complications here, though - apparently you can work without pay (which might be worth it for a court of appeals clerkship, for example), and you can work outside the mainland US (Hawaii, Alaska, etc). Also, you can work for state government, and there are some fairly desirable state positions - like the Delaware Chancery Court.

This means you won't have the same back-up plans US students have, if NYC big law doesn't work out. And some minor issues for NYC big law:

1. Big law will get you a work visa, but it's expensive, and at least a few big law firms seem to prefer not to. Also, I've heard some big law firms will not sponsor you for a green card (even if they'll get you a work visa), and you can only be on work visas for so long.

2. I have a suspicion that big law firms are a little anxious about internationals with strong accents. After all, you have to convince their (mostly American) clients that you are an expert on American law.

Of course, some of this might not apply to you - perhaps you have better ties to a region than me, and less of an accent. And speaking a foreign language can be to your advantage, depending on what it is.

Also, Northwestern seems to have much better employment data than a lot of the lower t14 schools. If you get decent grades, I'm sure you stand a very good chance at big law. And with a full scholarship, you're risking so much less. In your shoes, I certainly wouldn't turn a full scholarship down.


Awesome--that makes me feel a lot better! I actually have ties to two major non-NYC markets. I grew up and went to high school in California and have lived in Chicago for 3 years, plus will be going to NU which should help with the Chicago ties. Kind of surprised you'd get grilled so much about your ties even after having lived there for 3 years. Was it a much smaller market?

I did suspect that about clerkships, though I'm thinking that's really not a huge drawback; the way I see it, if I would've had the grades to get a clerkship, I'm likely in the range to feel pretty good about getting Big Law.

No issue with the accent.

At what point does all the visa stuff come up? You wouldn't be able to tell I'm International from my resume or even from speaking with me, so is this something you bring up during screeners/applying/CBs?

Thanks again for all your help on this.




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