What can I do with comparative constitutional law

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What can I do with comparative constitutional law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:19 am

...other than teaching and researching?

I've been thinking of postponing my application to law school for 2 years. Instead, I'm planning to attend a graduate school of law in a Chinese-speaking country to research East Asian comparative constitutional law. This is like a continuation of my undergraduate major, which is East Asian Studies. I'm considering this option out of pure interest in learning more about Asian institutions, cultures, and legal development. Plus I think that once i'm in law school, I won't have time to pursue my other interest, so that's why I'm giving this option careful consideration.

I have a few questions. Please advise me.

1. Will a Master's degree in Law from a civil law country, coursework taken in both Chinese and English, and a substantial thesis in the area of EA comparative constitutional law be a strong soft when it comes to applying for the T14? Quite a few of the T14 have strong programs in Asian law which interest me.

2. The professors who do research in this area at the graduate school I'm applying to graduated from Yale Law School JSD, and one of them even taught at Harvard comparative constitutional laws class and Duke Transnational law program. Other professors whose classes I can take graduated with JSD from other T14. As an international graduate research student I have better access to these professors and therefore can get to know them personally. Will LORs that are tailored for Yale and other T14 impress the adcomm come time for my JD application?

3. I also have the option of taking courses on international trade and financial and economic laws in the LLM program. I don't really know how marketable the comparative constitutional law background will be for OCI and Big Law. Do you recommend that I take courses in other areas of law, too? Are there comparative constitutional lawyers at Big Law? I shouldn't just limit myself to Big Law -- what other career options are available/suitable to this background?

4. I'm interested in the 3-year MBA/JD programs but other than fundamental of accounting, financial management, and economic theory courses, my transcript doesn't exactly look like someone who are fit for the MBA. I know I want to be in an area of law at an international level, something like transnational corporate practices. Would the MBA/JD coupled with an LLM background in a civil law country help? I'm intrigued by the managerial preparation from the MBA side and the legal knowledge from the JD side.

Thanks in advance!

ETA: This long quote summarizes nicely what I think comp con law will help me in the long run:

But the reasons for studying constitutional law comparatively are not only reasons of self-interest. Comparative study does teach American lawyers a great deal about America, its achievements and eccentricities, its commonalities and its exceptionalism. It helps us ask what we should stick to, and what might possibly be changed. But we should not concede that the only point of legal education, and legal scholarship, in the United States, is to develop an understanding of US law. All nations are increasingly close to one another, through modern communications, through the power of international institutions, agencies, and treaties, and through the global economy, which constructs complex relations of interdependence linking the United States with virtually every other nation. Law students may work for multinational clients; law firms themselves are increasingly multinational. This means that a knowledge of the legal and constitutional systems of other nations, intellectually valuable in itself, is also an urgent necessity, if American lawyers are to deal responsibly and sensibly with clients and associates at a distance. Comparative constitutional law cannot teach the young lawyer all he or she will ultimately need to know about the complex world in which law firms now do business; but it can impart techniques of inquiry and reveal how much there is to learn. -- Martha C. Nussbaum―Introduction to Comparative Constitutionalism,‖ Chicago Journal of International Law 3 (2002) 429-34.

But of course it's better for me to hear from more opinions. The more, the better. Please.

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Re: What can I do with comparative constitutional law

Postby Danteshek » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:46 pm

Depends on your LSAT/GPA

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Re: What can I do with comparative constitutional law

Postby Anonymous Loser » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:16 pm

Comparative constitutional law has no application outside of academia.

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Re: What can I do with comparative constitutional law

Postby JeNeRegretteRien » Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:33 pm

Like ConLaw generally, CompConLaw has no material day-to-day relevance to transactional corporate work or to a JD/MBA. CompConLaw might be interesting trivia for OCI / BigLaw, but I doubt it would be a selling point.

I could imagine Comparative ConLaw being used at the Dept of State (indirectly / infrequently), International Orgs (e.g. the UN), at NGOs (esp. those doing human rights, law & development, and capacity/capabilities building work), or maybe at the ICC / Hague (indirectly / infrequently). But those are all ridiculously tough jobs to get, and I imagine they often draw from or lean on the ranks of established/accomplished academics (e.g. Harold Koh at State), or on the judiciary for substantive expertise (in a consulting capacity).

Having said that, if you absolutely LOVE CompConLaw, do it. But do it because you love it and with your eyes wide open. Don't do it instrumentally - because it's a narrow field, even WITHIN academia.

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Re: What can I do with comparative constitutional law

Postby underdawg » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:03 pm

it's not like teaching will be easy to do. think of how many assholes want to teach conlaw.

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Re: What can I do with comparative constitutional law

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:13 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:Comparative constitutional law has no application outside of academia.


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