Foreign Attorney and Big Law

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Pavla
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:19 pm

Foreign Attorney and Big Law

Postby Pavla » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:42 pm

Hi guys,

I would like your view.
I am a foreign trained attorney (green card) with MBA from good school. I was practicing and taught law at high profile Univ. When I moved here (1 year ago) I thought I should go for law career because this is the only thing I know how to do (and love it).
I got in LLM program (top 5), passed on it after understanding that if I want to be USA lawyer I would be better off with JD. I work on LSAT (will be taking it in October). I score 170+ ( I need 178) for top LS.
I will love to do the Supreme Court clerkship and teach in some good school. Maybe practice in Big LAw for a while.
But no matter how much I practice writing and /or speaking, English will always be my second language. I understand that I will not be able to do litigation and criminal law (that is fine). I wanna do corporate law and finances.
Does the person with accent and obviously foreign born has a chances for a successful career in big law and teaching law at good University? Or this kind of people are always looked at as outsiders and passed on for the good opportunity no matter how fancy degree they have?

I have my doubts whether to spend my time and go on with law, or look at pure financial sphere, where math talks.

Any thoughts?

User avatar
reasonable_man
Posts: 2200
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:41 pm

Re: Foreign Attorney and Big Law

Postby reasonable_man » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:51 pm

Pavla wrote:Hi guys,

I would like your view.
I am a foreign trained attorney (green card) with MBA from good school. I was practicing and taught law at high profile Univ. When I moved here (1 year ago) I thought I should go for law career because this is the only thing I know how to do (and love it).
I got in LLM program (top 5), passed on it after understanding that if I want to be USA lawyer I would be better off with JD. I work on LSAT (will be taking it in October). I score 170+ ( I need 178) for top LS.
I will love to do the Supreme Court clerkship and teach in some good school. Maybe practice in Big LAw for a while.
But no matter how much I practice writing and /or speaking, English will always be my second language. I understand that I will not be able to do litigation and criminal law (that is fine). I wanna do corporate law and finances.
Does the person with accent and obviously foreign born has a chances for a successful career in big law and teaching law at good University? Or this kind of people are always looked at as outsiders and passed on for the good opportunity no matter how fancy degree they have?

I have my doubts whether to spend my time and go on with law, or look at pure financial sphere, where math talks.

Any thoughts?



Funny... All broken, but formal word usage, except for "wanna" ... A bit suspect if you ask me.

Pavla
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Foreign Attorney and Big Law

Postby Pavla » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:58 pm

reasonable_man wrote:
Funny... All broken, but formal word usage, except for "wanna" ... A bit suspect if you ask me.

do you have anything to say about the topic?

User avatar
Alex-Trof
Posts: 528
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:42 am

Re: Foreign Attorney and Big Law

Postby Alex-Trof » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Pavla wrote:Hi guys,

I would like your view.
I am a foreign trained attorney (green card) with MBA from good school. I was practicing and taught law at high profile Univ. When I moved here (1 year ago) I thought I should go for law career because this is the only thing I know how to do (and love it).
I got in LLM program (top 5), passed on it after understanding that if I want to be USA lawyer I would be better off with JD. I work on LSAT (will be taking it in October). I score 170+ ( I need 178) for top LS.
I will love to do the Supreme Court clerkship and teach in some good school. Maybe practice in Big LAw for a while.
But no matter how much I practice writing and /or speaking, English will always be my second language. I understand that I will not be able to do litigation and criminal law (that is fine). I wanna do corporate law and finances.
Does the person with accent and obviously foreign born has a chances for a successful career in big law and teaching law at good University? Or this kind of people are always looked at as outsiders and passed on for the good opportunity no matter how fancy degree they have?

I have my doubts whether to spend my time and go on with law, or look at pure financial sphere, where math talks.

Any thoughts?

American employers love foreigners. As long as your credentials are at least as good as those of Americans, many places will take you even before they take a native speaker. I think there is a stereotype that foreigners work harder. Make sure you have legal papers allowing you to work in this country thou.

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: Foreign Attorney and Big Law

Postby Patriot1208 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:21 pm

American employers love foreigners. As long as your credentials are at least as good as those of Americans, many places will take you even before they take a native speaker. I think there is a stereotype that foreigners work harder. Make sure you have legal papers allowing you to work in this country thou.

For almost every professional job this is false. I can't speak specifically to law.

rose711
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm

Re: Foreign Attorney and Big Law

Postby rose711 » Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:42 pm

Pavla wrote:Hi guys,

I would like your view.
I am a foreign trained attorney (green card) with MBA from good school. I was practicing and taught law at high profile Univ. When I moved here (1 year ago) I thought I should go for law career because this is the only thing I know how to do (and love it).
I got in LLM program (top 5), passed on it after understanding that if I want to be USA lawyer I would be better off with JD. I work on LSAT (will be taking it in October). I score 170+ ( I need 178) for top LS.
I will love to do the Supreme Court clerkship and teach in some good school. Maybe practice in Big LAw for a while.
But no matter how much I practice writing and /or speaking, English will always be my second language. I understand that I will not be able to do litigation and criminal law (that is fine). I wanna do corporate law and finances.
Does the person with accent and obviously foreign born has a chances for a successful career in big law and teaching law at good University? Or this kind of people are always looked at as outsiders and passed on for the good opportunity no matter how fancy degree they have?

I have my doubts whether to spend my time and go on with law, or look at pure financial sphere, where math talks.

Any thoughts?


This is a difficult question to answer and probably depends heavily on the individual. I don't think that people with accents are automatically passed on for good opportunities. Law prizes prestige, so if you have prestige you are valuable and not automatically discounted.

I think that if you have in-depth knowledge of a legal system where a firm has an office you would be highly valued. With a good financial background, you might be very valuable in a transactional practice.

As for teaching, I don't know. If you already have a green card and don't need to get sponsored by your employer it would help.

If you want to make money easily - you might look into finance. If you are only going to be judged on results and quantitative performance, and if you already have the credentials you need, it might be the faster and better move.

If I were you I would try to sell my background as a positive that I could bring to a firm or school. You have actual experience in another legal system and probably language skills that could be a big benefit to the right firm.

Your post is a little all over the place, so it is a little difficult to tell what your actual goals are - you mention clerking, biglaw, teaching and then finance. Maybe you aren't sure what you want to do, but it does make it a bit more challenging to come up with an answer to your questions.

thescienceguy
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: Foreign Attorney and Big Law

Postby thescienceguy » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:42 pm

Pavla wrote:Hi guys,

I would like your view.
I am a foreign trained attorney (green card) with MBA from good school. I was practicing and taught law at high profile Univ. When I moved here (1 year ago) I thought I should go for law career because this is the only thing I know how to do (and love it).
I got in LLM program (top 5), passed on it after understanding that if I want to be USA lawyer I would be better off with JD. I work on LSAT (will be taking it in October). I score 170+ ( I need 178) for top LS.
I will love to do the Supreme Court clerkship and teach in some good school. Maybe practice in Big LAw for a while.
But no matter how much I practice writing and /or speaking, English will always be my second language. I understand that I will not be able to do litigation and criminal law (that is fine). I wanna do corporate law and finances.
Does the person with accent and obviously foreign born has a chances for a successful career in big law and teaching law at good University? Or this kind of people are always looked at as outsiders and passed on for the good opportunity no matter how fancy degree they have?

I have my doubts whether to spend my time and go on with law, or look at pure financial sphere, where math talks.

Any thoughts?


It's only slightly harder to get a job as a foreigner in the legal field, I've heard. If you have a JD, then you'll be treated the same as everyone else. So, basically, if you have the grades & school to get a biglaw job, being a foreigner isn't going to weigh you down. Things are a lot more difficult for a LLM student. Also, as a foreigner, you won't be able to clerk for any federal judges.

I don't know how difficult it is to advance once you're actually hired, but I'm guessing that unless your foreign-ness somehow detracts from your productivity and work product, nobody will care.




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