Possible to move from London to California/New York?

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Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:51 am

Hi all,

I will be a UK qualified solicitor (qualified in England and Wales) working at a US firm (V15 firm if it matters) in London. My boyfriend is from Los Angeles and would not be able to move to the UK for work, so we are looking at moving to either California (LA/SF/SV) or NYC.

Does anyone have any insight on how easy it is for a UK qualified lawyer to take either the Cali or NY bars and get a job in a BigLaw firm as an already qualified lawyer? Obviously I will be working at a V15 BigLaw firm in London, so this may help smooth the process, although I am not sure of the feasibility of moving within my own firm as of yet - this might become clearer the more senior I become.

I have also got an LL.M. from a US law school (T14), if that matters, which I suspect it does not.

Many thanks!

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deepseapartners

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby deepseapartners » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:40 am

Your LLM actually matters significantly, as that is what will allow you to easily take either the California or New York bar. But, the bar passage rate for LLM students is much, much lower than for JD students. I would probably consult your law school's career services about this issue.

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:59 pm

This will be easier if you're doing corporate transactional law, e.g. Securities or banking, than if you are practicing English law (I am not fluent in the distinctions between practice for solicitors and barristers, but my sense is that solicitor is a broad category that could encompass dealmaking or civil litigation). The degree to which your non-U.S. legal skills and background are transferable to American practice is probably more relevant than what type of degree you have if you are coming in as a mid-level; big firms won't want to pay a 3rd or 4th year associate salary to litigator who doesn't understand american discovery or a corporate lawyer with no experience in due diligence and putting together deal docs.

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:09 pm

deepseapartners wrote:Your LLM actually matters significantly, as that is what will allow you to easily take either the California or New York bar. But, the bar passage rate for LLM students is much, much lower than for JD students. I would probably consult your law school's career services about this issue.


Not too concerned about my ability to pass the bar. I have seen first hand that LLM bar pass rates are lower because a) LLM students tend to be from civil law countries and are therefore more trained in civil law, b) LLM students tend to not have English as their native language and c) the Bar is pushed on to often unprepared LLM students by bar prep courses so many LLM students take the bar without any real conviction/motivation to pass.

As I come from a common law jurisdiction and English is my native language I should think I will be ok.

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby 2014 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:53 pm

It definitely happens but isn't common. Your best bet is probably discussing this with HR/Recruiting/Staffing/Whatever your firm's administrative support for associates is and saying it's something you are considering down the road and asking if it's feasible and if so whether there's a pre-ordained process.

If for whatever reason you don't want to do it that way, your next best option is going to be studying for and taking either NY or California on your own accord. When you are already talking about a situation that is exceptional, I think you will find firms mostly unwilling to accommodate your lateraling pre-bar and then needing to take the bar while employed with them.

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I will be a UK qualified solicitor (qualified in England and Wales) working at a US firm (V15 firm if it matters) in London. My boyfriend is from Los Angeles and would not be able to move to the UK for work, so we are looking at moving to either California (LA/SF/SV) or NYC.

Does anyone have any insight on how easy it is for a UK qualified lawyer to take either the Cali or NY bars and get a job in a BigLaw firm as an already qualified lawyer? Obviously I will be working at a V15 BigLaw firm in London, so this may help smooth the process, although I am not sure of the feasibility of moving within my own firm as of yet - this might become clearer the more senior I become.

I have also got an LL.M. from a US law school (T14), if that matters, which I suspect it does not.

Many thanks!


You can. But please reconsider moving to the US.

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:11 am

I'm sure it's perfectly possible... I would say most likely within your own firm

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I will be a UK qualified solicitor (qualified in England and Wales) working at a US firm (V15 firm if it matters) in London. My boyfriend is from Los Angeles and would not be able to move to the UK for work, so we are looking at moving to either California (LA/SF/SV) or NYC.

Does anyone have any insight on how easy it is for a UK qualified lawyer to take either the Cali or NY bars and get a job in a BigLaw firm as an already qualified lawyer? Obviously I will be working at a V15 BigLaw firm in London, so this may help smooth the process, although I am not sure of the feasibility of moving within my own firm as of yet - this might become clearer the more senior I become.

I have also got an LL.M. from a US law school (T14), if that matters, which I suspect it does not.

Many thanks!


You can. But please reconsider moving to the US.


I would live in NYC over London any day of the week. As has already been mentioned, just talk to your firm. if they're V15 I assume they have a huge NYC office and it would be pretty easy to move there, especially if you're corporate. I know associates who have made the opposite move a few times. Not sure about CA, but would think same thing applies

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I will be a UK qualified solicitor (qualified in England and Wales) working at a US firm (V15 firm if it matters) in London. My boyfriend is from Los Angeles and would not be able to move to the UK for work, so we are looking at moving to either California (LA/SF/SV) or NYC.

Does anyone have any insight on how easy it is for a UK qualified lawyer to take either the Cali or NY bars and get a job in a BigLaw firm as an already qualified lawyer? Obviously I will be working at a V15 BigLaw firm in London, so this may help smooth the process, although I am not sure of the feasibility of moving within my own firm as of yet - this might become clearer the more senior I become.

I have also got an LL.M. from a US law school (T14), if that matters, which I suspect it does not.

Many thanks!


You can. But please reconsider moving to the US.


I would live in NYC over London any day of the week. As has already been mentioned, just talk to your firm. if they're V15 I assume they have a huge NYC office and it would be pretty easy to move there, especially if you're corporate. I know associates who have made the opposite move a few times. Not sure about CA, but would think same thing applies


Why NYC over London any day of the week?

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 04, 2016 8:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I will be a UK qualified solicitor (qualified in England and Wales) working at a US firm (V15 firm if it matters) in London. My boyfriend is from Los Angeles and would not be able to move to the UK for work, so we are looking at moving to either California (LA/SF/SV) or NYC.

Does anyone have any insight on how easy it is for a UK qualified lawyer to take either the Cali or NY bars and get a job in a BigLaw firm as an already qualified lawyer? Obviously I will be working at a V15 BigLaw firm in London, so this may help smooth the process, although I am not sure of the feasibility of moving within my own firm as of yet - this might become clearer the more senior I become.

I have also got an LL.M. from a US law school (T14), if that matters, which I suspect it does not.

Many thanks!


You can. But please reconsider moving to the US.


I would live in NYC over London any day of the week. As has already been mentioned, just talk to your firm. if they're V15 I assume they have a huge NYC office and it would be pretty easy to move there, especially if you're corporate. I know associates who have made the opposite move a few times. Not sure about CA, but would think same thing applies


Why NYC over London any day of the week?


Better food, NYC is a little more affordable, and I prefer the nightlife of NYC exponentially more than London.

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:44 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I will be a UK qualified solicitor (qualified in England and Wales) working at a US firm (V15 firm if it matters) in London. My boyfriend is from Los Angeles and would not be able to move to the UK for work, so we are looking at moving to either California (LA/SF/SV) or NYC.

Does anyone have any insight on how easy it is for a UK qualified lawyer to take either the Cali or NY bars and get a job in a BigLaw firm as an already qualified lawyer? Obviously I will be working at a V15 BigLaw firm in London, so this may help smooth the process, although I am not sure of the feasibility of moving within my own firm as of yet - this might become clearer the more senior I become.

I have also got an LL.M. from a US law school (T14), if that matters, which I suspect it does not.

Many thanks!


You can. But please reconsider moving to the US.


I would live in NYC over London any day of the week. As has already been mentioned, just talk to your firm. if they're V15 I assume they have a huge NYC office and it would be pretty easy to move there, especially if you're corporate. I know associates who have made the opposite move a few times. Not sure about CA, but would think same thing applies


Why NYC over London any day of the week?


Better food, NYC is a little more affordable, and I prefer the nightlife of NYC exponentially more than London.


Not sure about food - London has Europe on its doorstep. Affordable, possibly. I guess it's a culture fit thing.

PDXK

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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby PDXK » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all,

I will be a UK qualified solicitor (qualified in England and Wales) working at a US firm (V15 firm if it matters) in London. My boyfriend is from Los Angeles and would not be able to move to the UK for work, so we are looking at moving to either California (LA/SF/SV) or NYC.

Does anyone have any insight on how easy it is for a UK qualified lawyer to take either the Cali or NY bars and get a job in a BigLaw firm as an already qualified lawyer? Obviously I will be working at a V15 BigLaw firm in London, so this may help smooth the process, although I am not sure of the feasibility of moving within my own firm as of yet - this might become clearer the more senior I become.

I have also got an LL.M. from a US law school (T14), if that matters, which I suspect it does not.

Many thanks!


You can. But please reconsider moving to the US.


I would live in NYC over London any day of the week. As has already been mentioned, just talk to your firm. if they're V15 I assume they have a huge NYC office and it would be pretty easy to move there, especially if you're corporate. I know associates who have made the opposite move a few times. Not sure about CA, but would think same thing applies


Why NYC over London any day of the week?


Better food, NYC is a little more affordable, and I prefer the nightlife of NYC exponentially more than London.


Not sure about food - London has Europe on its doorstep. Affordable, possibly. I guess it's a culture fit thing.


I love NYC, and miss NYC and my friends and family there a lot, but there is basically no sum of money that you could offer me to go back to NYC biglaw over London biglaw.

Anonymous User
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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:47 pm

I've done this - UK qualified lawyer moved to a US office of my firm (I don't know what V number it is and can't be bothered to check, but somewhere high up I think with a large London and international presence). I also had a US LLM and took the NY bar (which really was no big deal). I do international lit/arb and I don't actually use my NY law at all. As other posters have said, ease of movement will depend a lot on your practice area - corporate/capital markets/international arbitration will be easier. If you do pure English commercial litigation that does not really translate. Of course, the skills are very similar but there are real differences here. If you are very junior you could move here and re-start as a first or second year associate, if your firm is willing to let you.

Anonymous User
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Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've done this - UK qualified lawyer moved to a US office of my firm (I don't know what V number it is and can't be bothered to check, but somewhere high up I think with a large London and international presence). I also had a US LLM and took the NY bar (which really was no big deal). I do international lit/arb and I don't actually use my NY law at all. As other posters have said, ease of movement will depend a lot on your practice area - corporate/capital markets/international arbitration will be easier. If you do pure English commercial litigation that does not really translate. Of course, the skills are very similar but there are real differences here. If you are very junior you could move here and re-start as a first or second year associate, if your firm is willing to let you.


Thanks a lot for your reply, it's really encouraging! May I ask how this happened with your firm? Did the opportunity present itself and you took it, or did you actually request to move?

Also, did you do the NY bar before you started at your firm, or during your job?

Thanks a lot! :)

Anonymous User
Posts: 314187
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Possible to move from London to California/New York?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've done this - UK qualified lawyer moved to a US office of my firm (I don't know what V number it is and can't be bothered to check, but somewhere high up I think with a large London and international presence). I also had a US LLM and took the NY bar (which really was no big deal). I do international lit/arb and I don't actually use my NY law at all. As other posters have said, ease of movement will depend a lot on your practice area - corporate/capital markets/international arbitration will be easier. If you do pure English commercial litigation that does not really translate. Of course, the skills are very similar but there are real differences here. If you are very junior you could move here and re-start as a first or second year associate, if your firm is willing to let you.


Thanks a lot for your reply, it's really encouraging! May I ask how this happened with your firm? Did the opportunity present itself and you took it, or did you actually request to move?

Also, did you do the NY bar before you started at your firm, or during your job?

Thanks a lot! :)


I requested to move (for reasons related to my spouse). Other people within the firm had moved in the past, in the other direction, but I think I was one of the first English qualified people to go from the UK to the US. I did the NY bar while on maternity leave (at my job).



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