Australia vs US

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margaritalv
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Australia vs US

Postby margaritalv » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:55 pm

I'm currently trying to decide where to go to law school--Australia, where I'm from, or the US, where I live currently. Has anybody here had to decide between getting a JD here or in another country? What kind of factors helped you make your decision? How do the application processes compare? Am I the first person in history to have more than one country on the table?

usfvictor
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Re: Australia vs US

Postby usfvictor » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:04 pm

margaritalv wrote:I'm currently trying to decide where to go to law school--Australia, where I'm from, or the US, where I live currently. Has anybody here had to decide between getting a JD here or in another country? What kind of factors helped you make your decision? How do the application processes compare? Am I the first person in history to have more than one country on the table?


where do you want to practice? that should answer your question.

edit: to answer the second bolded part, probably not lol. I'm sure there are plenty of people have the right to practice in more than one country.

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hume85
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Re: Australia vs US

Postby hume85 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:12 pm

margaritalv wrote:I'm currently trying to decide where to go to law school--Australia, where I'm from, or the US, where I live currently. Has anybody here had to decide between getting a JD here or in another country? What kind of factors helped you make your decision? How do the application processes compare? Am I the first person in history to have more than one country on the table?


I didn't have both countries on the table, but I considered applying to NYU's joint degree with Melbourne Law School and looked at individual Australian programs. I couldn't find detailed employment numbers from any of the Australian schools and I figured that if I couldn't find a job in a US city without ties then I might really struggle finding a job in Australia. Australian firms also pay starting lawyers less IIRC, not that that was too important to me.

The first question I would ask myself is "Where do I want to work?" How is the Australian legal market vis-a-vis the American market right now and for the foreseeable future? Australia was booming for a while, because of exports to China. How are things now? Can you go home with an American JD? How does the COA compare?

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Rahviveh
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Re: Australia vs US

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:30 pm

hume85 wrote:
margaritalv wrote:I'm currently trying to decide where to go to law school--Australia, where I'm from, or the US, where I live currently. Has anybody here had to decide between getting a JD here or in another country? What kind of factors helped you make your decision? How do the application processes compare? Am I the first person in history to have more than one country on the table?


I didn't have both countries on the table, but I considered applying to NYU's joint degree with Melbourne Law School and looked at individual Australian programs. I couldn't find detailed employment numbers from any of the Australian schools and I figured that if I couldn't find a job in a US city without ties then I might really struggle finding a job in Australia. Australian firms also pay starting lawyers less IIRC, not that that was too important to me.

The first question I would ask myself is "Where do I want to work?" How is the Australian legal market vis-a-vis the American market right now and for the foreseeable future? Australia was booming for a while, because of exports to China. How are things now? Can you go home with an American JD? How does the COA compare?


While the economy is still strong, the legal market is not good for graduates, OP. I am a dual citizen and also considered this route. One HUGE difference though is that because of HECS and other EXCELLENT financial aid programs provided by the Australian government, you don't have to worry about soul-crushing debt ruining your life like you do here. I can't find the current figures but last I checked average university debt in Australia is less than $20k (and law is studied as an LLB over there in your undergrad).

There was ''no way'' law firms could accommodate all the graduates from Australia's 31 law schools, La Trobe University's director of undergraduate studies, Heather King, said. ''It's a well-acknowledged fact that 40-50 per cent will not end up in a traditional law practice.''
Ms King denied this was problematic, as law degrees gave students a transferable set of skills in research, writing and problem solving.


http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/gradu ... z2LHScdKAH

The caveat is that since its an LLB, there are gonna be a lot of kids doing dual degrees or otherwise not 100% committed to law, so there's more self-selection out of the practice than in the US. But the oversupply exists there as well - law school is just a lot cheaper.

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Yukos
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Re: Australia vs US

Postby Yukos » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:41 pm

From another thread:

banjo wrote:At one point I seriously considered the NYU/Melbourne dual-JD, so I know a bit about this. Basically, yes, you are crazy to consider this.

1. The vast majority of Australian schools still award LLB's to undergraduates, meaning the country graduates tons of lawyers. Firms can afford to be very grade-selective and tend to hire above median. Australian firms also do not differentiate much between schools; Melbourne and Sydney probably only receive a tiny bump over Queensland, ANU, etc. when it comes to hiring. The reason you don't hear much about the glut of lawyers in the country is because a) Australia has a tiny population with booming non-legal sectors (so who cares), and b) the LLB graduates who don't get a training contract are not crushed under debt and haven't wasted any time beyond the normal duration of a Bachelor's degree.

2. A JD in Australia is extremely expensive for international students. Tuition alone at Melbourne will cost you 100k and cost of living is very high. First-year associates at large firms earn about 70k, which only makes sense if you're a debt-free 21-year-old LLB-graduate. The truth is that international students, especially the children of wealthy elites in Honk Kong, Singapore, India etc., are a great source of revenue for these schools, just as they are at the prestigious UK schools. Melbourne and Sydney will pretty much take anyone with a pulse, as long as the applicant can pay. This is why so many Canadians with shitty LSAT scores opt to shell out tens of thousands of dollars to go to Bond or Melbourne/Sydney. Just google site:lawstudents.ca australia and read the horror stories. You should also spend some time on http://www.studyconnect.com/forums/foru ... y.php?f=48.

3. The Melbourne Law School web site has TTTT advertising ALL OVER IT, including the whole international law pitch. There isn't even a median or average LSAT score published on the site. There are no real employment statistics anywhere. The home page links to the joke QS rankings.

4. Have you seriously looked into the visa/immigration issues? Possible laws that require firms to prove they cannot find a suitable Australian for the job? These may not be huge problems individually, but together they add to the risk and uncertainty and cost associated with going to law school in Australia.

If you are going to abandon the US, you should have done so right after high school. If you're going to leave the country now, I would consider Canada before Australia.

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banjo
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Re: Australia vs US

Postby banjo » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:47 pm

^Definitely still true for internationals considering Australia, but I think OP might be a citizen/ permanent resident

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Yukos
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Re: Australia vs US

Postby Yukos » Mon Feb 18, 2013 3:49 pm

banjo wrote:^Definitely still true for internationals considering Australia, but I think OP might be a citizen/ permanent resident


Oops you're right. I'll leave it up there for future searchers though.

Needcffee
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Re: Australia vs US

Postby Needcffee » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:46 pm

Hello all,

I figure I'll revive this thread as I am also thinking about working down under. I am in a bit of a different situation, however.

I am a rising-3L at a tier one in Boston and went to an ivy for undergrad. I am a dual citizen between Australia and the US. My folks have moved back to NSW recently so I am also thinking about starting my career down under. Striking out this summer might also have contributed to this idea.

I have done a bunch of research on how to be admitted in NSW, which allows you to practice throughout AUS. I'm going to have to take a few classes (AUS con law, Property) before being allowed by the LPAB to begin Professional Legal Training. It's going to take an extra year after graduating law school here in the states.

That said, it seems that the market for JDs (not llbs) is more fruitful than in the states. This does not mean all JDs get firm jobs, but simply there is more opportunity for *a job* with a JD in Australia than in the states. The unemployment rate reflects that (5.2%) versus (7.2%).

I'd like I hear more of what you all think.




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