International Students Beware

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International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:51 pm

For international students trying to see which firms are more H1B friendly:

Ropes & Gray straight up asked students during OCI screeners what their visa status was. To make matters worse, they asked Asian students, and only Asian students, that question. Foley Hoag did the same thing, except they tried to lie about it and got caught red-handed.

Of course, visa sponsorship is a valid business concern for firms, and it's possible that these firms were simply trying to see if they need to prepare for additional paperwork down the road. However, it still doesn't bode well, and regardless they seem straight up racist so there's that too.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:For international students trying to see which firms are more H1B friendly:

Ropes & Gray straight up asked students during OCI screeners what their visa status was. To make matters worse, they asked Asian students, and only Asian students, that question. Foley Hoag did the same thing, except they tried to lie about it and got caught red-handed.

Of course, visa sponsorship is a valid business concern for firms, and it's possible that these firms were simply trying to see if they need to prepare for additional paperwork down the road. However, it still doesn't bode well, and regardless they seem straight up racist so there's that too.


Cadwalader too. They just issued auto dings to Asian students who need H1B support.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:26 pm

As a diverse Boston based attorney, why am I not surprised these are both Boston firms? Diversity in the legal profession is laughable here. Seriously I got to bar events and can count the number of diverse attorneys on one hand sometimes.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:11 am

I know that several Asian international students struggled and left empty empty handed at our OCI. I’m not sure if it was a visa issue or language barrier that influenced this outcome but I felt pretty bad for them especially since I don’t believe they qualify for financial aid often. However, I do understand the concern on the side of the firms. It’s simply much easier for them to pick a candidate that doesn’t require sponsorship. Also, for those with language barriers, there may be concerns regarding their future interactions with clients. Like I said though, I still feel for these students and hope they come out fine. Even with a language barrier some of these students easily outperform native speakers, including myself.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:24 am

This happened to me in NY (as an Asian who grew up in the US, and who worked for a law enforcement component of the DOJ prior to law school so obviously a citizen). It was awkward being pulled aside and asked to fill out the form while other (non-Asian) candidates were casually chatting with each other before the callbacks.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Wild Card » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:56 am

Ropes NY has hired many Korean nationals from my law school: and here I thought they were doing so purposefully. Unfortunate. TTT.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:50 am

Many Korean students are born in the U.S, so they dont need sponsorship. I believe this has something to do with the H1B lottery process. You are not guaranteed a H1B visa even if the firm would like to sponsor you. From the perspective of the firms, they are more likely to pick a native candidate due to the concern that you may not be able to work in the states. Typically, some firms may just send you to the Asian office and give you one more chance to get the H1B visa (DPW), but for Ropes, the HK office no longer takes people who cannot obtain the visa and instead just hire people that meet their own needs. I have been told that some firms will just fire you if you cannot obtain the H1B visa (Ropes and Debe).

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:15 am

I personally knew someone who was kicked out of Ropes after losing H1B lottery. Don't go there if you have a choice.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:16 am

I had a similar experience during a callback at JD NY (non-Asian). One of the partners bluntly asked me if I needed sponsorship (I had already filled out their form). When I said I did, he asked if I would be willing to move back to my country, where they had an office. I was surprised and said, "my goal is to work in the US for a longer period of time, though I would be open to the possibility of going back." Otherwise an excellent callback - still got dinged. I later found out that JD usually have internationals work for a year, under OPT, and then send them to one of their offices abroad. They don't usually sponsor. Fortunately, I got an offer elsewhere, but it was awful to be put on the spot like that.

If there are any 0Ls reading this: make sure you have something that sets you apart (be realistic!) before deciding to come to the US. I had a very unique background and still had a very hard time finding a firm that would sponsor me.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:20 am

What other firms are known for firing people if they don't win the H1B lottery?

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:45 am

I got asked that question by Kirkland Chicago at the callback and later REJECTED — of course they did not say that’s the reason for the rejection. If you need one more hint to make things even more interesting, this was 2016, BEFORE Trump got elected.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:What other firms are known for firing people if they don't win the H1B lottery?


Opposite of your question, but:

HYS international, summered with two different v10 firms 1L and 2L. Both firms explicitly mentioned in recruiting me that they would be happy to place me in an appropriate foreign office if their were any problems with my H1B.

The firm I ultimately chose successfully sponsored me, has been enormously supportive, and this experience is shared by other friends working for firms in the v10 realm.

My takeaway is that if you are an international student, you should be looking for a very large, experienced firm with good HR support, and a good spread of offices in other countries. A large summer class will make it easier for them to accept that you may only make it through the OPT period with them before leaving.

I would not recommend being an international student and an otherwise marginal candidate, but if you were competitive anyway, I wouldn’t worry any more than anyone else about recruiting if you are already in the game. However, visa issues are always stressful and gambling your future on lottery outcomes is never good for the soul, so for 0Ls, I would think twice about the risks you are taking in getting your JD in the USA and relying on a pretty broken system to see a return on that investment.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:26 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:What other firms are known for firing people if they don't win the H1B lottery?


Opposite of your question, but:

HYS international, summered with two different v10 firms 1L and 2L. Both firms explicitly mentioned in recruiting me that they would be happy to place me in an appropriate foreign office if their were any problems with my H1B.

The firm I ultimately chose successfully sponsored me, has been enormously supportive, and this experience is shared by other friends working for firms in the v10 realm.

My takeaway is that if you are an international student, you should be looking for a very large, experienced firm with good HR support, and a good spread of offices in other countries. A large summer class will make it easier for them to accept that you may only make it through the OPT period with them before leaving.

I would not recommend being an international student and an otherwise marginal candidate, but if you were competitive anyway, I wouldn’t worry any more than anyone else about recruiting if you are already in the game. However, visa issues are always stressful and gambling your future on lottery outcomes is never good for the soul, so for 0Ls, I would think twice about the risks you are taking in getting your JD in the USA and relying on a pretty broken system to see a return on that investment.


Can 100% agree with this, current rising 2L choosing between a bunch of firms. AFTER EVERY OFFER AND NOT BEFORE I ask someone who I can speak to regarding visa issues. I have a foreign accent and it is clear I'm foreign but it hasn't seemed to bother the firms.

It may be useful for future internationals above OP if we list firms and their policies as portrayed to us? I can tell you that Kirkland and Milbank have both said they will apply for the H-1B once, if unsuccessful, send you to a foreign office as long as their is business need (which they said is almost a given) and then do an intra-company transfer on the L visa. DPW has said the same but they will keep doing the H-1B lottery while you're abroad "as long as it takes" (no idea why they don't do the L visa but the person I spoke to seemed to think that it was only for more senior attorneys). Weil Gotshalls on the flip side is less forgiving, they will try once, and no guarantee of being able to go abroad because each office does its hiring independently.

YMMV but that is the info I've found out so far. Look for firms with a high number of US attorneys abroad so that there are alternate options if need be, but who also are big, established players who know the system.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:27 am

I got my green card recently but in my "tell me about yourself" answer I always mentioned that I grew up abroad and only came to the US for undergrad. I'm at a CCN and have otherwise good WE. Should I proactively bring up the fact that I don't need sponsorship? I know firms might refrain from asking the question outright, but I'm afraid that they would make assumptions and ding me before I have a chance to explain. Am I being paranoid? Any advice is appreciated--heading to my third cb and really do not want to mess up :/

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:42 am

I had to leave my previous firm because I did not win the H1B lottery. It sucks but there really isn’t much a firm can do in that situation. I feel like we should be thankful they’re at least willing to sponsor H1B where many firms straight up refuse to sponsor.

Takeaway: if you are a PR or a citizen, ALWAYS put that on your resume and bring it up during the interview so they know you don’t need sponsorship.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:51 am

Anonymous User wrote:I had to leave my previous firm because I did not win the H1B lottery. It sucks but there really isn’t much a firm can do in that situation. I feel like we should be thankful they’re at least willing to sponsor H1B where many firms straight up refuse to sponsor.

Takeaway: if you are a PR or a citizen, ALWAYS put that on your resume and bring it up during the interview so they know you don’t need sponsorship.


Thank you for this. What would you advise if I didn't mention this in my previous callbacks? Is it necessary to send another email to the hiring partner (who I interviewed with) to clarify before they make a decision?

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for this. What would you advise if I didn't mention this in my previous callbacks? Is it necessary to send another email to the hiring partner (who I interviewed with) to clarify before they make a decision?


Write to the Partners, telling them you would like to "update" them on that fact that you recently received your GC and would not need sponsorship if you end up working for them (and how much you love their firm, blah blah blah).

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:03 am

As somebody with an Asian first and last name, this is news to me, and I wonder if my resume gets auto-dinged because recruiters wonder if I'll need sponsorship. As a natural-born citizen, that's really frustrating to consider.

For context, I'm not a rising 2L. I'm looking to go in-house, so I imagine that smaller companies and start-ups certainly can't afford to sponsor. (This feels absurd to me - literally never considered that somebody might look at my name and assume that I'm not a citizen...)

I've never put my citizenship status on my resume. How would you recommend doing it?

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:As somebody with an Asian first and last name, this is news to me, and I wonder if my resume gets auto-dinged because recruiters wonder if I'll need sponsorship. As a natural-born citizen, that's really frustrating to consider.

For context, I'm not a rising 2L. I'm looking to go in-house, so I imagine that smaller companies and start-ups certainly can't afford to sponsor. (This feels absurd to me - literally never considered that somebody might look at my name and assume that I'm not a citizen...)

I've never put my citizenship status on my resume. How would you recommend doing it?


1. In-house straight out of law school is a very difficult proposition.

2. Having a "foreign" name automatically make people assume you're foreign, rightly or wrongly.

3. Just put U.S. citizen somewhere on your resume. I personally bold it and put it in the footer like *Permanent Resident or *U.S. Citizen.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:19 am

Again, not a rising 2L, not coming out of law school. But thanks!

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Npret » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:What other firms are known for firing people if they don't win the H1B lottery?

No firm can guarantee employment if you can’t work in the US. Most overseas offices hire for their need. I’m not sure what you expect if you can’t work in the US legally. It sucks, but that’s the way it is.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had to leave my previous firm because I did not win the H1B lottery. It sucks but there really isn’t much a firm can do in that situation. I feel like we should be thankful they’re at least willing to sponsor H1B where many firms straight up refuse to sponsor.

Takeaway: if you are a PR or a citizen, ALWAYS put that on your resume and bring it up during the interview so they know you don’t need sponsorship.


Thank you for this. What would you advise if I didn't mention this in my previous callbacks? Is it necessary to send another email to the hiring partner (who I interviewed with) to clarify before they make a decision?


HOLY COW THIS IS HORRENDOUS ADVICE. ABSOLUTELY 100% DO NOT PUT ON YOUR RESUME THAT YOU'RE A CITIZEN. WOW. NO. NO. NO. Yes, you can bring it up in your interview if the discussion allows for it. BUT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES PUT 'I AM A US CITIZEN OR PERMANENT RESIDENT ON YOUR FRICKIN RESUME'. Firm's are not allowed to discriminate based on these things (between citizen and green card) hence, they ask "do you have work authorization" because they can discriminate based on that. If a firm sees that they will run a mile if you're a marginal candidate because they don't want to be put in an awkward position. E.g. you have green card on your resume, get rejected, you might think it's discrimination because you're an immigrant not a citizen. Guess what, they reject everyone who might not appear to be a natural born US citizen so as to not appear discriminatory vis a vis citizen / green card.

Have had this info backed up by career services, as well as HR at, to date, 15 of the V50.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had to leave my previous firm because I did not win the H1B lottery. It sucks but there really isn’t much a firm can do in that situation. I feel like we should be thankful they’re at least willing to sponsor H1B where many firms straight up refuse to sponsor.

Takeaway: if you are a PR or a citizen, ALWAYS put that on your resume and bring it up during the interview so they know you don’t need sponsorship.


Thank you for this. What would you advise if I didn't mention this in my previous callbacks? Is it necessary to send another email to the hiring partner (who I interviewed with) to clarify before they make a decision?


No. How weird would that be. Wait until you get an offer, then say, hey, btw, what is your policy regarding the H-1B?

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I had to leave my previous firm because I did not win the H1B lottery. It sucks but there really isn’t much a firm can do in that situation. I feel like we should be thankful they’re at least willing to sponsor H1B where many firms straight up refuse to sponsor.

Takeaway: if you are a PR or a citizen, ALWAYS put that on your resume and bring it up during the interview so they know you don’t need sponsorship.


Thank you for this. What would you advise if I didn't mention this in my previous callbacks? Is it necessary to send another email to the hiring partner (who I interviewed with) to clarify before they make a decision?


No. How weird would that be. Wait until you get an offer, then say, hey, btw, what is your policy regarding the H-1B?


I'm the previous anon who told everyone at cb that I grew up abroad and moved to the US for college. I have obtained my green card only recently. My main concern is that they would ding me assuming I need sponsorship before I have a chance to explain. What else can I do? Thanks.

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Re: International Students Beware

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:HOLY COW THIS IS HORRENDOUS ADVICE. ABSOLUTELY 100% DO NOT PUT ON YOUR RESUME THAT YOU'RE A CITIZEN. WOW. NO. NO. NO. Yes, you can bring it up in your interview if the discussion allows for it. BUT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES PUT 'I AM A US CITIZEN OR PERMANENT RESIDENT ON YOUR FRICKIN RESUME'. Firm's are not allowed to discriminate based on these things (between citizen and green card) hence, they ask "do you have work authorization" because they can discriminate based on that. If a firm sees that they will run a mile if you're a marginal candidate because they don't want to be put in an awkward position. E.g. you have green card on your resume, get rejected, you might think it's discrimination because you're an immigrant not a citizen. Guess what, they reject everyone who might not appear to be a natural born US citizen so as to not appear discriminatory vis a vis citizen / green card.

Have had this info backed up by career services, as well as HR at, to date, 15 of the V50.


If that works for you, great. I rather it be beyond shadow of a doubt that I don't need sponsorship. Employers are not allow to discriminate, but they do anyway; all you can do is to make yourself as marketable as possible, and knowing you don't need sponsorship make you more marketable.

Our career service told us to absolutely put PR/Citizenship on the resume especially if your name look foreign. And maybe V50 are used to sponsoring, but majority of law firms don't, and certainly not smaller firms outside of major markets.



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