Will not going to law school in my home country hurt my chances of admission to US law school? Pros and cons?

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jackieo

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Will not going to law school in my home country hurt my chances of admission to US law school? Pros and cons?

Postby jackieo » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:20 pm

Hello, I have a question and I would just need some opinions since I have no one to turn to at home. I come from a country in Central Europe and am entering college next year. Our system regarding higher education is a bit different. First of all, universities are free and good enough, so that is why I decided to stay here and not study abroad. Here, university programs usually last 3 years (more for medicine, law,..) and then postgraduate programs are mostly just for Masters and PhDs. So, you can enter law school straight out of high school (at 18/19) and after 4 years of law school, you can pass the bar and work as a lawyer. Regarding admission to US law schools, I would be eligible to apply after I finish law school or any other university program here.

The idea of studying law literally anywhere excites me, but in general, the job prospects for lawyers in my country are poor and the market for the kind of law I wish to practice is very small here. My point is, I really only wish to pursue law in the US. I want to keep this as short as possible so I will not go into detail about why I want this, but I made my research and know the risks/requirements. Naturally, I would only be interested in T10 US law shools and the goal is to get a biglaw firm sponsor me upon graduation. Also, money is not a HUGE issue and there are plenty of scholarships provided by my home country.

I, however, have no guarantee that I will get into T10 and I do not want to be stuck with a law degree from my own country (even though it wouldn't be a disaster), which brings me to my next point. I am somehow interested in physiotherapy and consider taking it for undergrad (instead of law) and then try my shot at a US law school. So, even if it doesn't work out, I will at least have a job (physiotherapists are highly employable and have a good salary). Another advantage, the programs only last 3 years which is huge for me, because I don't want to waste time.

There are some setbacks though. It is a science field and I risk lower grades + it would be near impossible to get letters of recommendation. No university here requires letters of recommendation, so students usually don't ask for them (though I am sure it happens). But asking a professor that teaches anatomy or biomechanics (no matter how close I am with them) to write me a letter for law will get me nowhere because it is just unheard of. I am worried, because when I apply to law school, LSAC will vaguely convert my grades anyway + I wont have letters of recommendation, so the school will only have my LSAT to work with. My extracurriculars or any kind of 'softs' also won't have anything to do with law, whereas in law school I could participate in moon courts, competitions and enhance my legal knowledge in summer schools.

I am really torn. So, in short: Should I study physiotherapy that will take less time and guarantee me a job, but hurt my chances of achieving my dreams OR should I study something that is a stepping stone for my dream career and really interests me, but risk unemployment and being miserable for the rest of my life. Also, would studying law here first show dedication to the profession and give me a boost?

Sorry this was so long :oops: Any help will be appreciated!
Last edited by jackieo on Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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OakBrook2021

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Re: Will not going to law school in my home country hurt my chances of admission to US law school? Pros and cons?

Postby OakBrook2021 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:24 pm

jackieo wrote:Hello, I have a question and I would just need some opinions since I have no one to turn to at home. I come from a country in Central Europe and our system regarding higher education is a bit different. First of all, universities are free and good enough, so that is why I decided to stay here and not study abroad. Here, university programs usually last 3 years (more for medicine, law,..) and then postgraduate programs are mostly just for Masters and PhDs. So, you can enter law school straight out of high school (at 18/19) and after 4 years of law school, you can pass the bar and work as a lawyer. Regarding admission to US law schools, I would be eligible to apply after I finish law school or any other university program here.

The idea of studying law literally anywhere excites me, but in general, the job prospects for lawyers in my country are poor and the market for the kind of law I wish to practice is very small here. My point is, I really only wish to pursue law in the US. I want to keep this as short as possible so I will not go into detail about why I want this, but I made my research and know the risks/requirements. Naturally, I would only be interested in T10 US law shools and the goal is to get a biglaw firm sponsor me upon graduation. Also, money is not an issue.

I, however, have no guarantee that I will get into T10 and I do not want to be stuck with a law degree from my own country (even though it wouldn't be a disaster), which brings me to my next point. I am somehow interested in physiotherapy and consider taking it in undergrad (instead of law) and then try my shot at a US law school. So, even if it doesn't work out, I will at least have a job (psysiotherapists are highly employable and have a good salary). Another advantage, the programs only last 3 years which is huge for me, because I don't want to waste time.

There are some setbacks though. It is a science field and I risk lower grades + it would be near impossible to get letters of recommendation. No university here requires letters of recommendation, so students usually don't ask for them (though I am sure it happens). But asking a professor that teaches anatomy or biomechanics (no matter how close I am with them) to write me a letter for law will get me nowhere because it is just unheard of. I am worried, because when I apply to law school, LSAC will vaguely convert my grades anyway + I wont have letters of recommendation, so the school will only have my LSAT to work with. My extracurriculars or any kind of 'softs' also won't have anything to do with law, whereas in law school I could participate in moon courts, competitions and enhance my legal knowledge in summer schools.

I am really torn. So, in short: Should I study physiotherapy that will take less time and guarantee me a job, but hurt my chances of achieving my dreams OR should I study something that is a stepping stone for my dream career and really interests me, but risk unemployment and being miserable for the rest of my life. Also, would studying law here first show dedication to the profession and give me a boost?

Sorry this was so long :oops: Any help will be appreciated!


Don't think about law school when choosing a major. You're way to ahead of yourself to be thinking about law school admissions rn. Focus on studying something you like and/or will get you a job and then think about law school later

albanach

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Re: Will not going to law school in my home country hurt my chances of admission to US law school? Pros and cons?

Postby albanach » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:34 pm

jackieo wrote:Sorry this was so long :oops: Any help will be appreciated!


The above advice is good - your major choice shouldn't be determined by something so far away. That said, graduating with high grades would be important, so work hard at whatever you do.

Getting into a US law school is probably not your biggest challenge. That's going to be immigration post law school. What value is your US law degree without a work permit? Is there a market in Europe for US qualified lawyers in the field you want to work in? If not, how do you anticipate getting work authorization?

How would you pay for law school in the US? Even assuming you can get half of tuition covered through scholarships (only happening with stellar grades and a high LSAT) you're still looking at $150k to cover the remaining tuition and cost of living.

jackieo

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Re: Will not going to law school in my home country hurt my chances of admission to US law school? Pros and cons?

Postby jackieo » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:48 pm

albanach wrote:
jackieo wrote:Sorry this was so long :oops: Any help will be appreciated!


The above advice is good - your major choice shouldn't be determined by something so far away. That said, graduating with high grades would be important, so work hard at whatever you do.

Getting into a US law school is probably not your biggest challenge. That's going to be immigration post law school. What value is your US law degree without a work permit? Is there a market in Europe for US qualified lawyers in the field you want to work in? If not, how do you anticipate getting work authorization?

How would you pay for law school in the US? Even assuming you can get half of tuition covered through scholarships (only happening with stellar grades and a high LSAT) you're still looking at $150k to cover the remaining tuition and cost of living.


Thank you for answering (: About the cost.. I am well aware of the high tuitions, but like I said money is not a big issue for me. My parents are more than willing to pay, it's more of an issue of me not wanting them to pay for everything, which is why I am hoping the scholarships in my country will at least cover the living expenses and the money I save working part-time + the scholarship money I am already receiving (and will continue to receive) will cover books, health, etc. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to get an outside scholarship either, but I wont rely on that.

Also, I agree that getting work authorization will be difficult, but there are many international students who study law in the US and as far as I know, many BigLaw firms sponsor foreign graduates for H-1B visas routinely. I mentioned I am only interested in T10 schools, because I believe they are the only schools that will be able to get me a BigLaw job as a foreigner (and therefore sponsorship). I wont bother attending unless I get into a top school and even if I do get in, I know that is only the beginning, but I wouldn't be willing to pay 90k a year if I didn't think I had the worth ethic for it.



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