Employment prospects for international students

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
crazi4law
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:21 am

Employment prospects for international students

Postby crazi4law » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:53 am

Hey guys, I know that employment opportunities in the U.S. for international students are more scarce. So I was wondering, how much harder is it for international students at a top 10 law school to gain legal employment? (FYI I speak native English)

User avatar
booboo
Posts: 1032
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:39 pm

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby booboo » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:02 am

Are you looking for a LLM or a JD?

User avatar
monkey85
Posts: 394
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby monkey85 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:05 am

What kind of legal employment (firm, public interest, ngo)?

User avatar
crazi4law
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:21 am

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby crazi4law » Sun Dec 25, 2011 1:13 am

booboo wrote:Are you looking for a LLM or a JD?


JD. I'm currently studying UG in the U.S.

monkey85 wrote:What kind of legal employment (firm, public interest, ngo)?


BigLaw preferably

Anonymous User
Posts: 273546
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:09 am

crazi4law wrote:
booboo wrote:Are you looking for a LLM or a JD?


JD. I'm currently studying UG in the U.S.

monkey85 wrote:What kind of legal employment (firm, public interest, ngo)?


BigLaw preferably


For BigLaw, it's almost the same.

You face the same competition.
No one would ever ask about your immigration status before you get an offer.

The only thing you need is CPT/OPT for your summer SAs and H1B for full-time jerbs after graduation.

Some law schools do not allow CPT for summer SAs; you will have to apply for pre-completion OPT (a pain in the neck).

As for H1B, firms don't care about the marginal immigration costs in addition to your $160k salary.

* * *
But, there is always a but: If you somehow miss the BigLaw ship (poor grades, poor interview skills, bad luck), you're almost screwed.

Mid or small law firms do not like to hire foreigners (can't afford H1B fees) and your salary will probably not reach the prevailing wages requirement for H1B. Public interest jobs are close to none.

Foreigners are disqualified for government jobs and clerkships (at least federal).

* * *
So, your best bet is BigLaw. If you miss BigLaw, you lose three years and over $20K. You also get a useless degree.

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby zomginternets » Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
For BigLaw, it's almost the same.

You face the same competition.
No one would ever ask about your immigration status before you get an offer.

The only thing you need is CPT/OPT for your summer SAs and H1B for full-time jerbs after graduation.

Some law schools do not allow CPT for summer SAs; you will have to apply for pre-completion OPT (a pain in the neck).

As for H1B, firms don't care about the marginal immigration costs in addition to your $160k salary.

* * *
But, there is always a but: If you somehow miss the BigLaw ship (poor grades, poor interview skills, bad luck), you're almost screwed.

Mid or small law firms do not like to hire foreigners (can't afford H1B fees) and your salary will probably not reach the prevailing wages requirement for H1B. Public interest jobs are close to none.

Foreigners are disqualified for government jobs and clerkships (at least federal).

* * *
So, your best bet is BigLaw. If you miss BigLaw, you lose three years and over $20K. You also get a useless degree.


CPT requires you get some sort of course credit for the work, and you cannot get course credit for any compensated work per ABA rules, so you need to use pre-completion OPT. it's not really that much of a pain to get, just fill out a form around december/january and wait for your EAD in the mail.

FWIW, I'm a 2L international JD student at a T3. I know this was a huge gamble on my part, but my personal circumstances compelled me to go this route. I'm top 5% with LR (1/2 tuition scholarship this year, and hope to get LR board for additional $$ next year), and have an offer from a mid-size firm for my 2L summer which hopefully will convert into a full time offer. I worked at a midlaw firm as a legal assistant on an H1B visa prior to law school, and from my experience the additional immigration cost to obtain the H1B visa is not really that great (a few thousand at most, which you could always offer to have deducted from your salary). They gotta file a form with the department of labor and then fill out some forms for you. Keep in mind though, there will be a gap between you graduating and starting work (i.e. to study & pass the bar) that neither your F1 visa nor your H1B visa can cover--although if you have everything else set, this is really a minor concern.

However, as the above poster noted, I don't know if I would advocate taking all this risk unless you get into school that places decently in biglaw, or you get a full ride. Without a job offer upon graduation, you are completely screwed--you must leave the country within 60 days of your graduation date (you now have to have a job offer in hand in order to apply for post-completion OPT). You could take your degree back to your home country and convert it I guess, but that's usually another 1-1.5 years of school.

I knew from the outset that, at my T3, I basically had to place in the top 5% otherwise I literally would have sunk 200k and have a worthless degree--and even though I did, I still missed the biglaw boat. On the up side, the prospect of such a fate really compelled me to study hard :D. Of course, until I have a permanent offer in hand, I'm far from being able to say that my gamble paid off.

Good luck! PM me if you have any questions.

User avatar
crazi4law
Posts: 71
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:21 am

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby crazi4law » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:20 am

I see. So from a top 10 law school, going for biglaw, my chances are as good as anyone's. Thanks everyone for the responses!

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby bdubs » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For BigLaw, it's almost the same.

You face the same competition.
No one would ever ask about your immigration status before you get an offer.

The only thing you need is CPT/OPT for your summer SAs and H1B for full-time jerbs after graduation.

Some law schools do not allow CPT for summer SAs; you will have to apply for pre-completion OPT (a pain in the neck).

As for H1B, firms don't care about the marginal immigration costs in addition to your $160k salary.

* * *
But, there is always a but: If you somehow miss the BigLaw ship (poor grades, poor interview skills, bad luck), you're almost screwed.

Mid or small law firms do not like to hire foreigners (can't afford H1B fees) and your salary will probably not reach the prevailing wages requirement for H1B. Public
interest jobs are close to none.

Foreigners are disqualified for government jobs and clerkships (at least federal).

* * *
So, your best bet is BigLaw. If you miss BigLaw, you lose three years and over $20K. You also get a useless degree.


Do you actually know that this is the case? Back in the day when H1B visas were hard to get, you had to show that you could not fill the position with a qualified citizen. I find it hard to believe that law firms would be able to claim that they couldn't fill the position with a citizen.

Also, even if the firm was able to get a visa, I would be surprised if it wouldn't be considered a slight negative. Visa holders are always subject to some risk that their visa cannot be renewed. The costs are not huge, but not insignificant. They are definitely as large or larger than the "bonus" that they pay to first year associates.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273546
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:15 pm

bdubs wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:For BigLaw, it's almost the same.

You face the same competition.
No one would ever ask about your immigration status before you get an offer.

The only thing you need is CPT/OPT for your summer SAs and H1B for full-time jerbs after graduation.

Some law schools do not allow CPT for summer SAs; you will have to apply for pre-completion OPT (a pain in the neck).

As for H1B, firms don't care about the marginal immigration costs in addition to your $160k salary.

* * *
But, there is always a but: If you somehow miss the BigLaw ship (poor grades, poor interview skills, bad luck), you're almost screwed.

Mid or small law firms do not like to hire foreigners (can't afford H1B fees) and your salary will probably not reach the prevailing wages requirement for H1B. Public
interest jobs are close to none.

Foreigners are disqualified for government jobs and clerkships (at least federal).

* * *
So, your best bet is BigLaw. If you miss BigLaw, you lose three years and over $20K. You also get a useless degree.


Do you actually know that this is the case? Back in the day when H1B visas were hard to get, you had to show that you could not fill the position with a qualified citizen. I find it hard to believe that law firms would be able to claim that they couldn't fill the position with a citizen.

Also, even if the firm was able to get a visa, I would be surprised if it wouldn't be considered a slight negative. Visa holders are always subject to some risk that their visa cannot be renewed. The costs are not huge, but not insignificant. They are definitely as large or larger than the "bonus" that they pay to first year associates.



Your 1st paragraph applies only to green card, for which you have to prove no other US citizen applies for and is qualified for the job. H1B requires the firm to pay higher than the prevailing wage.

Even in the green card situation, it's fairly easy to spin off some job requirements that no US citizen would have (i.e., connections to specific countries, language skills, etc.)

BigLaws don't care. The cost is $10k top, it's nothing compared to what they have invested and will invest in a foreigner employee (OCIP, SA, bar stipend, salary, etc.).

H1B is valid for 3 years, and can be renewed (almost automatically) for another three years.

Six years are long enough for BigLaw associates, if they don't make partners.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273546
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:01 pm

are you sure the student / employee could offer to have the cost (i've checked and for firms under 25 people it's like $1600 and for firms larger than that its 2000) deducted from their salary? Is this legal at all?

User avatar
mths
Posts: 1098
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:24 am

Re: Employment prospects for international students

Postby mths » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:23 pm

zomginternets wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
For BigLaw, it's almost the same.

You face the same competition.
No one would ever ask about your immigration status before you get an offer.

The only thing you need is CPT/OPT for your summer SAs and H1B for full-time jerbs after graduation.

Some law schools do not allow CPT for summer SAs; you will have to apply for pre-completion OPT (a pain in the neck).

As for H1B, firms don't care about the marginal immigration costs in addition to your $160k salary.

* * *
But, there is always a but: If you somehow miss the BigLaw ship (poor grades, poor interview skills, bad luck), you're almost screwed.

Mid or small law firms do not like to hire foreigners (can't afford H1B fees) and your salary will probably not reach the prevailing wages requirement for H1B. Public interest jobs are close to none.

Foreigners are disqualified for government jobs and clerkships (at least federal).

* * *
So, your best bet is BigLaw. If you miss BigLaw, you lose three years and over $20K. You also get a useless degree.


CPT requires you get some sort of course credit for the work, and you cannot get course credit for any compensated work per ABA rules, so you need to use pre-completion OPT. it's not really that much of a pain to get, just fill out a form around december/january and wait for your EAD in the mail.

FWIW, I'm a 2L international JD student at a T3. I know this was a huge gamble on my part, but my personal circumstances compelled me to go this route. I'm top 5% with LR (1/2 tuition scholarship this year, and hope to get LR board for additional $$ next year), and have an offer from a mid-size firm for my 2L summer which hopefully will convert into a full time offer. I worked at a midlaw firm as a legal assistant on an H1B visa prior to law school, and from my experience the additional immigration cost to obtain the H1B visa is not really that great (a few thousand at most, which you could always offer to have deducted from your salary). They gotta file a form with the department of labor and then fill out some forms for you. Keep in mind though, there will be a gap between you graduating and starting work (i.e. to study & pass the bar) that neither your F1 visa nor your H1B visa can cover--although if you have everything else set, this is really a minor concern.

However, as the above poster noted, I don't know if I would advocate taking all this risk unless you get into school that places decently in biglaw, or you get a full ride. Without a job offer upon graduation, you are completely screwed--you must leave the country within 60 days of your graduation date (you now have to have a job offer in hand in order to apply for post-completion OPT). You could take your degree back to your home country and convert it I guess, but that's usually another 1-1.5 years of school.

I knew from the outset that, at my T3, I basically had to place in the top 5% otherwise I literally would have sunk 200k and have a worthless degree--and even though I did, I still missed the biglaw boat. On the up side, the prospect of such a fate really compelled me to study hard :D. Of course, until I have a permanent offer in hand, I'm far from being able to say that my gamble paid off.

Good luck! PM me if you have any questions.

Yep, and a lot of schools allow CPTs anyways.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.