British Student to NYC small/mid-law

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Anonymous User
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British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:44 pm

My SO is a British 1L at the University of Exeter, planning to move with me to NYC post-graduation. She doesn't expect or want BigLaw, just meaningful legal employment. She'll be qualified to take the NYS Bar with her degree, and so we'll be studying/taking it at the same time. She has good grades, some legal work experience (will gain more over the next few years), moot competition awards, etc. She has a preference for M&A/commercial litigation, but the primary goal is finding a job.

Several questions:
1. How is the NYC legal market for small-to-mid size firms? How do you break into it as a recent grad? There doesn't seem to be a lot of information on this.
2. How difficult will it be for a British grad to find legal employment, assuming the salary is unimportant?
3. What can she do to improve her chances?

Obviously we're not oblivious to the difficulties associated with this situation, but this is what is required for the relationship to last long-term (and no, ending the relationship is not an option :P ).

Any insights (especially from people with similar experience) are much appreciated!

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:16 pm

Will you have married her by the time she is looking for work? If not, she'll need a work visa, which costs employers thousands of dollars and lots of hassle.

Ignoring that problem, very few US employers will have heard of the University of Exeter. Why would they hire a graduate of an unknown foreign university, with a dubious understanding of US law, when there are so many thousands of well qualified US JD students begging for jobs? Have you talked to the LLMs at your school? From what I've heard, even LLMs at the best T14 schools find it very difficult to get positions at US firms - and they have one year of US law, plus a t14 brand.

IMO, your best chance for not ending the relationship is to persuade her to apply to JD programs after she finishes her LLB. There are a few Brits at my law school in that situation. If you really love her, you'll co-sign her loans :wink:

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Re: British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:53 am

Op here

To answer your question, yes we'll be married by then, so visa isn't an issue.

And she is strongly opposed to the idea of going for a JD. I've also heard that LLMs don't seem to make any difference. I assumed the market would be that difficult for someone looking for BigLaw work, but even at small boutique firms?

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Re: British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:42 pm

bump

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Re: British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:And she is strongly opposed to the idea of going for a JD. I've also heard that LLMs don't seem to make any difference. I assumed the market would be that difficult for someone looking for BigLaw work, but even at small boutique firms?


Yes, it will be difficult. Probably more so for a smaller firm, because they are less likely than a bigger firm to have a trans-atlantic practice and she presumably knows nothing about US law. Imagine you manage a law firm and are looking to hire a new grad. Would you hire one of the 20,000 unemployed US JDs who have had a minimum of three years of classes in US law, or someone from a British school you haven't heard of that doesn't even try to teach US law?

That's putting aside the issue of small boutique firms often not hiring new grads at all, given that they lack the resources and infrastructure to train them to be competent.

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Re: British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:08 am

OP's girlfriend

I am really passionate about pursuing a career in Law but if it's unlikely that I could become an attorney in NY due to not having a JD then perhaps a paralegal instead? It's not the same as being an attorney but I would still be able to work in the legal sector which is what I have always wanted to do.

Thanks.

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Re: British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:12 am

Anonymous User wrote:OP's girlfriend

I am really passionate about pursuing a career in Law but if it's unlikely that I could become an attorney in NY due to not having a JD then perhaps a paralegal instead? It's not the same as being an attorney but I would still be able to work in the legal sector which is what I have always wanted to do.

Thanks.


You could probably find a position as a paralegal, so long as you already have immigration status and they don't have to sponsor you. But there isn't really a paralegal -> attorney path that doesn't involve a US JD, so I don't know why you would finish law school knowing that you're never planning on being a lawyer. It's only your first year--why not apply to get a JD here instead of finishing school there, if you want it so badly?

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Re: British Student to NYC small/mid-law

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:52 pm

Anonymous User wrote:You could probably find a position as a paralegal, so long as you already have immigration status and they don't have to sponsor you. But there isn't really a paralegal -> attorney path that doesn't involve a US JD, so I don't know why you would finish law school knowing that you're never planning on being a lawyer. It's only your first year--why not apply to get a JD here instead of finishing school there, if you want it so badly?


I will try my very best with the position I am in to become an attorney because I am very driven. Although, all I really want is to work in the law, not the salary. So I'd happily be a paralegal, the only unfortunate thing is that I love advocacy. As much as I'd love to study in the US and believe me, I researched into it via the Fulbright Commission, I simply cannot afford it. The Unis required pictures of parent bank statements, plans on how i'd fund the three year study and neither myself nor my parents have that money. I decided I'd study in the UK and try do lots of extra-curricular activities.

Also, does anyone know the changes happening in regard to the NY Bar exam? I've heard various things such as, foreign grads having to do a few years practice before they're eligible to sit and others saying something like 30-50 hours pro bono is required. I'd have no issue with the latter but the former would be an issue




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