French LLB applying for JD

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Kimi92

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French LLB applying for JD

Postby Kimi92 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:49 am

Hi everyone,

I graduated with bachelor's degree of law in France at Pantheon Assas university-paris2.

I'd like to pursue my career in the States, but the problem is im not sure if i am eligible to apply for JD because in France, the bachelor degree takes only 3 years to finish.

Can anyone help me understand how the actual applying system works for the foreign llb graduates?

Thanks

cavalier1138

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:01 am

Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).

Kimi92

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby Kimi92 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:11 am

cavalier1138 wrote:Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).


Thank you for your reply.

No but i want to apply for a JD because i heard it is extremely hard for foreigners to settle down with LLM degree.

I just want to know if it is actually possible for a foreign student like me to get selected despite the difference of the education system..

cavalier1138

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:16 am

Kimi92 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).


Thank you for your reply.

No but i want to apply for a JD because i heard it is extremely hard for foreigners to settle down with LLM degree.

I just want to know if it is actually possible for a foreign student like me to get selected despite the difference of the education system..


This is definitely something I'd talk to another French attorney about. My understanding of the different systems is that getting your JD would be largely seen as a waste of time in both countries. I also think that your already having a legal degree in France might make it difficult to admit you, but you can always check with an admissions office.

For what it's worth, all the LLM students I know are getting their LLM precisely because it will allow them to settle down in to a more stable career track.

Kimi92

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby Kimi92 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:32 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Kimi92 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).


Thank you for your reply.

No but i want to apply for a JD because i heard it is extremely hard for foreigners to settle down with LLM degree.

I just want to know if it is actually possible for a foreign student like me to get selected despite the difference of the education system..


This is definitely something I'd talk to another French attorney about. My understanding of the different systems is that getting your JD would be largely seen as a waste of time in both countries. I also think that your already having a legal degree in France might make it difficult to admit you, but you can always check with an admissions office.

For what it's worth, all the LLM students I know are getting their LLM precisely because it will allow them to settle down in to a more stable career track.
cavalier1138 wrote:
Kimi92 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).


Thank you for your reply.

No but i want to apply for a JD because i heard it is extremely hard for foreigners to settle down with LLM degree.

I just want to know if it is actually possible for a foreign student like me to get selected despite the difference of the education system..


This is definitely something I'd talk to another French attorney about. My understanding of the different systems is that getting your JD would be largely seen as a waste of time in both countries. I also think that your already having a legal degree in France might make it difficult to admit you, but you can always check with an admissions office.

For what it's worth, all the LLM students I know are getting their LLM precisely because it will allow them to settle down in to a more stable career track.


Ok, you said me already having a legal degree in France and doing a JD would be largely seen as a waste of time, but can you explain this? I'm sorry it's just everything is so new to me..

cavalier1138

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:59 am

Kimi92 wrote:Ok, you said me already having a legal degree in France and doing a JD would be largely seen as a waste of time, but can you explain this? I'm sorry it's just everything is so new to me..


It's totally fine. I'm only a little familiar with this stuff because I'm interested in working internationally.

So in France (and literally everywhere in the world that isn't America), you get your legal education as an undergraduate. My understanding is that in most European countries, you then practice for a few years before sitting for your country's bar exam. However, if you want to work for larger international firms or groups (or if you just want to be able to specialize), European countries want you to have a graduate degree in law, which is the LLM.

The reason that a JD would seem silly in Europe is that you already have your general legal degree. Most European employers don't understand that the American JD is a graduate degree, so they would treat it the same way they treat your LLB (possibly even worse, because you would be studying the American common law system, which has very little to do with France). And American employers would be confused about why you went for the JD when you could have gotten an LLM and become a really good international asset.

In short, there's no need to double up. An American LLM is an appropriate degree for someone who is already a lawyer in a foreign country, because it's an accelerated course specifically designed to help you specialize and quickly learn about the American system.

Again, all this is based on my limited exposure to the different educational tracks for lawyers. Your best resource here will be any French lawyer in the general field you want to work in. They will have a much better idea of how a JD would be viewed in France.

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby seaside2013 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:59 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Kimi92 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).


Thank you for your reply.

No but i want to apply for a JD because i heard it is extremely hard for foreigners to settle down with LLM degree.

I just want to know if it is actually possible for a foreign student like me to get selected despite the difference of the education system..


This is definitely something I'd talk to another French attorney about. My understanding of the different systems is that getting your JD would be largely seen as a waste of time in both countries. I also think that your already having a legal degree in France might make it difficult to admit you, but you can always check with an admissions office.

For what it's worth, all the LLM students I know are getting their LLM precisely because it will allow them to settle down in to a more stable career track.


I think OP is saying they are interested in working longterm in the U.S., which as far as all the LLMs I know is actually pretty rare (though not unheard of). The majority of corporate LLMs get 1 year foreign associate positions on their OPT work permits and then return to their country of origin (many I know may be interested in staying longer but it is hard to find a permanent position that will sponsor a longterm work visa). So while I can't respond to the question of the feasibility of getting a JD or the feasibility of getting an employer to sponsor your work visa post-JD (you'd still be competing for jobs against US citizens, although I bet there are non-U.S. citizen JDs on TLS that can speak to that) it is a bit misleading to suggest that LLMs can easily settle for a longterm career in the US (not to say its never done, but definitely not the norm as far as I can see).

cavalier1138

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:01 am

seaside2013 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Kimi92 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).


Thank you for your reply.

No but i want to apply for a JD because i heard it is extremely hard for foreigners to settle down with LLM degree.

I just want to know if it is actually possible for a foreign student like me to get selected despite the difference of the education system..


This is definitely something I'd talk to another French attorney about. My understanding of the different systems is that getting your JD would be largely seen as a waste of time in both countries. I also think that your already having a legal degree in France might make it difficult to admit you, but you can always check with an admissions office.

For what it's worth, all the LLM students I know are getting their LLM precisely because it will allow them to settle down in to a more stable career track.


I think OP is saying they are interested in working longterm in the U.S., which as far as all the LLMs I know is actually pretty rare (though not unheard of). The majority of corporate LLMs get 1 year foreign associate positions on their OPT work permits and then return to their country of origin (many I know may be interested in staying longer but it is hard to find a permanent position that will sponsor a longterm work visa). So while I can't respond to the question of the feasibility of getting a JD or the feasibility of getting an employer to sponsor your work visa post-JD (you'd still be competing for jobs against US citizens, although I bet there are non-U.S. citizen JDs on TLS that can speak to that) it is a bit misleading to suggest that LLMs can easily settle for a longterm career in the US (not to say its never done, but definitely not the norm as far as I can see).


That's true. Although I know a few LLMs who are specifically getting the degree because their firm wants to be able to send them to the US.

seaside2013

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby seaside2013 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:02 am

seaside2013 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Kimi92 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Talk with a French attorney who works internationally, but I'm guessing you want to pursue an LLM, not a JD. A JD is considered the equivalent of LLB in most of Europe (even though it isn't, but because America insists on doing things differently...).


Thank you for your reply.

No but i want to apply for a JD because i heard it is extremely hard for foreigners to settle down with LLM degree.

I just want to know if it is actually possible for a foreign student like me to get selected despite the difference of the education system..


This is definitely something I'd talk to another French attorney about. My understanding of the different systems is that getting your JD would be largely seen as a waste of time in both countries. I also think that your already having a legal degree in France might make it difficult to admit you, but you can always check with an admissions office.

For what it's worth, all the LLM students I know are getting their LLM precisely because it will allow them to settle down in to a more stable career track.


I think OP is saying they are interested in working longterm in the U.S., which as far as all the LLMs I know is actually pretty rare (though not unheard of). The majority of corporate LLMs get 1 year foreign associate positions on their OPT work permits and then return to their country of origin (many I know may be interested in staying longer but it is hard to find a permanent position that will sponsor a longterm work visa). So while I can't respond to the question of the feasibility of getting a JD or the feasibility of getting an employer to sponsor your work visa post-JD (you'd still be competing for jobs against US citizens, although I bet there are non-U.S. citizen JDs on TLS that can speak to that) it is a bit misleading to suggest that LLMs can easily settle for a longterm career in the US (not to say its never done, but definitely not the norm as far as I can see).


For >1 year though? I have known LLMs whose firms send them for the 1 year position, to build the relationship between partner firms/get to know clientele. But the few cases I know who got a permanent position it was more like they got one once in the US, and usually because of some special expertise/knowledge area.

If I am mistaken and OP is just interested in a shortterm stint in the US before returning to France, then an LLM is unquetionably appropriate, as it is indeed designed for foreign students that already have the LLb-equivalent to familiarize with the US system. But if the goal is longterm I do think its more complicated.

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Strangeland

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby Strangeland » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:19 pm

You should probably ask LSAC directly about your 3-year degree
LSACinfo@LSAC.org or here http://www.lsac.org/jd/help/contact-candidate-services

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jbagelboy

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:53 pm

Assas is a great school. Congrats.

Usually the people I see in your position got their masters (for example, the sciences po masters in law, the kings college second LLB, or the cambridge LLM) before getting their degree in the states. I think your degree would be sufficient to apply for a J.D., but keep in mind 1) you will be treated as an international student, which means your grades will not be considered to your advantage; 2) you will not be able to receive financial aid from the US government, so unless your family is independently wealthy, you will have to receive a full tuition scholarship and borrow money from the French government for living expenses, which could be complicated; and 3) you will have to sit for the US LSAT, which is a challenging exam for a non-native english speaker. For these reasons, it's rare for French students to successfully apply to JD programs in the US, and they much more commonly get a UK masters or joint LLB and a US one-year LLM.

Another thing to consider is that really the only employers that would be able to hire you are large, international law firms that would sponsor your visa. This essentially limits you to the 13 law schools that provide a strong chance at working at one of these firms, which in turn are expensive (so you need a scholarship) and require a strong LSAT (and an even stronger one to receive such a scholarship). There are very few situations in which getting the US JD makes sense for someone like you.

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby throwaway_ » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:11 am

jbagelboy wrote:Assas is a great school. Congrats.

Usually the people I see in your position got their masters (for example, the sciences po masters in law, the kings college second LLB, or the cambridge LLM) before getting their degree in the states. I think your degree would be sufficient to apply for a J.D., but keep in mind 1) you will be treated as an international student, which means your grades will not be considered to your advantage; 2) you will not be able to receive financial aid from the US government, so unless your family is independently wealthy, you will have to receive a full tuition scholarship and borrow money from the French government for living expenses, which could be complicated; and 3) you will have to sit for the US LSAT, which is a challenging exam for a non-native english speaker. For these reasons, it's rare for French students to successfully apply to JD programs in the US, and they much more commonly get a UK masters or joint LLB and a US one-year LLM.

Another thing to consider is that really the only employers that would be able to hire you are large, international law firms that would sponsor your visa. This essentially limits you to the 13 law schools that provide a strong chance at working at one of these firms, which in turn are expensive (so you need a scholarship) and require a strong LSAT (and an even stronger one to receive such a scholarship). There are very few situations in which getting the US JD makes sense for someone like you.


Couple of points I'd throw in here:

1) International grades are obviously on LSAC's Superior/Above Average/Average scale. I've no idea how French university grades map on to this, but if he slots in at a high tier his grades will count in his favor.

2) At H, the LLB->JD situation is actually quite common among Chinese students. I can imagine why this is the case (different earning power in U.S. vis-a-vis China), but no idea to what extent it holds true between U.S. and France. Still, getting a 3-year JD is clearly less ideal compared to doing doing a 1-year LLM.

3) H, and I'm pretty sure YS, offer financial need aid to internationals (and all schools offer merit scholarships). But there's still possibly a gap between that and the cost of attendance that can't be filled by the U.S. government, and is very difficult to fill with private lenders.

4) Agree that you're locked in to doing biglaw. Would add as well that the H-1B lottery is a huge clusterfuck (you're more likely than not not going to receive a visa). Some firms will stash you in a foreign office while it sorts out, but if you were going to start your career in France anyway ... it probably doesn't make that much sense to do a JD in the first place?

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jbagelboy

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:38 am

throwaway_ wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Assas is a great school. Congrats.

Usually the people I see in your position got their masters (for example, the sciences po masters in law, the kings college second LLB, or the cambridge LLM) before getting their degree in the states. I think your degree would be sufficient to apply for a J.D., but keep in mind 1) you will be treated as an international student, which means your grades will not be considered to your advantage; 2) you will not be able to receive financial aid from the US government, so unless your family is independently wealthy, you will have to receive a full tuition scholarship and borrow money from the French government for living expenses, which could be complicated; and 3) you will have to sit for the US LSAT, which is a challenging exam for a non-native english speaker. For these reasons, it's rare for French students to successfully apply to JD programs in the US, and they much more commonly get a UK masters or joint LLB and a US one-year LLM.

Another thing to consider is that really the only employers that would be able to hire you are large, international law firms that would sponsor your visa. This essentially limits you to the 13 law schools that provide a strong chance at working at one of these firms, which in turn are expensive (so you need a scholarship) and require a strong LSAT (and an even stronger one to receive such a scholarship). There are very few situations in which getting the US JD makes sense for someone like you.


Couple of points I'd throw in here:

1) International grades are obviously on LSAC's Superior/Above Average/Average scale. I've no idea how French university grades map on to this, but if he slots in at a high tier his grades will count in his favor.

2) At H, the LLB->JD situation is actually quite common among Chinese students. I can imagine why this is the case (different earning power in U.S. vis-a-vis China), but no idea to what extent it holds true between U.S. and France. Still, getting a 3-year JD is clearly less ideal compared to doing doing a 1-year LLM.

3) H, and I'm pretty sure YS, offer financial need aid to internationals (and all schools offer merit scholarships). But there's still possibly a gap between that and the cost of attendance that can't be filled by the U.S. government, and is very difficult to fill with private lenders.

4) Agree that you're locked in to doing biglaw. Would add as well that the H-1B lottery is a huge clusterfuck (you're more likely than not not going to receive a visa). Some firms will stash you in a foreign office while it sorts out, but if you were going to start your career in France anyway ... it probably doesn't make that much sense to do a JD in the first place?


Grades in the "superior" category will qualify you for admission to a top US law program, but since they aren't reported to US News, they won't be much of an asset. It's always better to have a 3.9+ from a US university than a "superior" from a foreign school (in the abstract--obviously prestigious schools like Assas, Sciences Po, Kings or Oxford are not the same as less renowned universities). Still, a foreign student cannot depend on their grades for admission; its more of a check mark than a strength. That's what I'm getting at here, regardless of how OP's transcript is evaluated.

I'm not suggesting there are *no* international students or that none of them can pay for law school. Obviously institutions like Harvard and Columbia attract top talent from abroad, and those two at least offer some institutional loans to foreigners. It's not easy, though, and there's a definite edge for English-trained lawyers and students (many of those Chinese LLBs were earned at Hong Kong universities in joint programs with UK or Australian schools, and Canada/UK/Australian undergraduate degrees are best represented among foreign students at Ivy league law schools). Also, while instutional loans cover the freight for some students, many foreigners studying in the US come from privileged backgrounds in their home countries, and they have parents willing to pay for US schooling. It's a little unrealistic to expect this to hold generally for international candidates.

runinthefront

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby runinthefront » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:55 am

Message me, OP.
Last edited by runinthefront on Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kimi92

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby Kimi92 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:16 am

runinthefront wrote:Message me, OP.


How can i send u a message??

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Re: French LLB applying for JD

Postby snapdragon25 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:32 pm

Kimi92 wrote:
runinthefront wrote:Message me, OP.


How can i send u a message??


Click on their username or photo, then click the link that says "PM: send private message"

Also, I know lots of foreign-educated lawyers get LLMs, then take the New York bar exam. You don't have to have a JD to take the NY bar, and if you pass you can practice law in NY. I think the same is true for California.

Bonne chance!



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