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 Post subject: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:52 pm 
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I'm wondering how transferable the GDL+LPC route is, in terms of working in the US.

My situation:
I received a non-law B.A. in the US. Now in the UK, I am considering obtaining a GDL and then completing the LPC, after which I would be eligible to train as a solicitor in the UK. Although I may practice as a solicitor in the UK initially, I would like to have the option to transfer to a US firm after the bar, without having to do the whole JD biz. I am eligible to work in both the US and the UK.

Can anyone here advise on the process, in terms of any additional qualifications required, etc.?

Presumably it would be easier to transfer between the UK and the US within a US-based firm, but it seems uncertain at this stage that I would work in a US-based firm in the UK.

Thanks for any help!


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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:10 am 
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You'll basically need to earn an LLM in the US after getting licensed in the UK.


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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:10 am 
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lukertin wrote:
You'll basically need to earn an LLM in the US after getting licensed in the UK.


Not true if he graduated from Oxbridge. They can take the NY bar without having to have a US LLM.


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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:28 am 
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As a practical matter, even if you don't need one (and I don't know the rules) it is a lot easier to find employment as a lawyer in the US if you have an LLM. If you work for a UK firm that has a New York office to which you can transfer, that may be the irrelevant, but if you're looking to apply to a US firm, these things are important. It is hard for foreign-trained LLMs to find a job (because most firms prefer to hire JDs), but without an LLM it seems almost impossible.

I know my firm hires some foreign LLMs, but it seems to do so only reluctantly (a very small number each year, and only people who truly stand out). I have two friends with LLMs (both from great schools and having earned their foreign law degree from good universities in English-speaking countries) and they both left the US after looking for a job unsuccessfully. Without an LLM it wouldn't have been easier.


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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 11:56 am 
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I faced a similar question(brit who did undergrad in the US, not sure where I wanted to end up long term) and the absolutely universal advice I received was that if you are unsure where you want to live between the US and the UK, you should do a JD. After doing said JD, I believe this advice was correct. Getting a job in the US is very very hard without going to school here(not impossible, but hard). Not to say it is easy the other way around, but after two years of working in the US you could take the QLT and cross qualify in the UK.


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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:13 pm 
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http://www.nybarexam.org/Foreign/ForeignLegalEducation.htm

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/oxford_grad_blames_uk_law_school_for_failing_ny_bar_exam_sues_for_162k


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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:45 pm 
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Anonymous User wrote:
Getting a job in the US is very very hard without going to school here(not impossible, but hard). Not to say it is easy the other way around, but after two years of working in the US you could take the QLT and cross qualify in the UK.


I personally know a partner at an international firm who recently transferred from its US branch to its UK branch, and immediately started working as a solicitor there, without having to take the QLTR/QLTS/QLTT or obtain any additional qualifications. I assume that it's somewhat easier to transfer between branches within an international firm, although I suppose that there may still be some challenge in finding some reason(s) to transfer that the firm agrees with.

Has anyone here heard of similar cases - particularly the other way around: i.e. UK to US?


Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:50 pm 
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So with a JD what does it take to get qualified in the UK? What about British overseas territories, like Cayman Islands, Bermuda, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: UK law qualifications, US law firm?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:37 pm 
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wuduhel wrote:
So with a JD what does it take to get qualified in the UK? What about British overseas territories, like Cayman Islands, Bermuda, etc.?

You just have to take the QLTT (not sure if there is still a practice years requirement). Going the other way (UK --> US) is much harder and involves school and stuff.

Also, the GDL will not qualify you to take any bar exam. Not NY, not anywhere (to my knowledge). You need a three year common law degree to take NY (i.e. an LLB). It doesn't matter whether you're qualified in any jurisdiction, what matters is your degree.


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