International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

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hyunseoki
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International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby hyunseoki » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:07 am

International/Comparative Law practice in the United States... -

I'm a foreigner interested in practicing law in the United States. The problem is that I will need to be highly specialized in order to receive a green card sponsorship from a future employer (after my six or so years of H1B visa and 1 year of OPT is over).

Since I'm bilingual and possess a strong cultural understanding of both the United States and South Korea, I am thinking about international/comparative law focused on these two countries. I was thinking on the line of international tax areas (taxation of inbound/outbound transactions, tax disputes, etc.), international intellectual property law, etc.

I have some questions:

(1) If I want to live in the United States and work in a U.S.-based law firm, does being bilingual help much at all?
(2) Is there a significant number of non-Asian law students who specialize in East Asian Law (Chinese Law, Japanese, Korean, etc.)?
(3) Would it be possible to specialize in two Asian countries? (I'd like to do both China and South Korea, if possible. Perhaps this would require an LLM???).
(4) Any advice on career options for international law would be appreciated (the more specific the better.. it's such a broad field, that I can't seem to map a feasible career path for myself).


Thank you:D

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hyunseoki
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Re: International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby hyunseoki » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:56 pm

Anyone??? I just did some reseach and thought that the Duke 3-year JD/LLM would be an excellent route for me to take if I were to specialize in international law. What do you guys think of this???

Anonymous User
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Re: International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:00 pm

Do you think that there's enough business between South Korea and the U.S.? Technically there's only a handful of companies that deal on an international scale in S.K... Also, a simple J.D. might not be enough for you to have a thorough understanding of Korean law.

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jamaicanjynx
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Re: International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby jamaicanjynx » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:26 am

I would do some more research on Duke's LLM program. I think the website states that it's designed for int'l LLMs to return to their country of origin. I never got a sense that it helped ppl get jobs in the US

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screenymcgee
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Re: International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby screenymcgee » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:46 am

i'm not sure this is the best forum to ask a question like this. i think this site can be good if you're looking for, say, lsat study tips, since most of the people here have taken or will take the exam soon. but when it comes to specific career advice, prospective law students and first years generally know less than they like to think.

Posner
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Re: International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby Posner » Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:56 am

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Last edited by Posner on Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

winniethepoop
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Re: International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby winniethepoop » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:25 am

You need to be a little more specific about your situation before I can give you any meaningful advice. Have you already completed law school in Korea? Have you taken the bar there? Or have you just completed undergrad? What did you study in undergrad (do Korean universities still offer law as an undergrad degree even after the new post-grad law schools have opened?)?

Almost all LLM programs are programs in comparative law. They are designed mostly for foreign lawyers looking to get some background in US law and obtain a credential required before sitting for US bar exam (usually NY, but you can go to any accredited US law school and take the NY bar exam). Many of these LLMs return to their home countries after passing the bar and practice with firms that advise clients on both NY law and the law of their home country. Some stay in the US, mostly to get some experience before returning home (I think the student visa automatically allows you to stay 1 yr past graduation to work - any longer and you'll need a new visa), while others choose to settle here permanently.

There's no such thing as an LLM in say "Japanese law" or "Chinese Law." There are some LLMs in specialized legal fields, tax for instance. But generally, the LLM is a generalist degree. You can make your course of study as specialized as you want (for instance by taking electives in only Asian law or corporate law), but your diploma will still just say "LLM." For that though, you need to choose your school carefully, as not all schools have extensive course offerings in Asian law or comparative law (most LLMs after all are in the US to study US law).

winniethepoop
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Re: International/Comparative Law Specialization Ideas....

Postby winniethepoop » Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:34 am

hyunseoki wrote:Anyone??? I just did some reseach and thought that the Duke 3-year JD/LLM would be an excellent route for me to take if I were to specialize in international law. What do you guys think of this???


Sorry, I didn't see this. If you're interested in that kind of program, Cornell also has a similar program.

Oddly enough, getting admitted to the Duke JD/LLM program is actually slightly easier than the JD program since fewer ppl actually apply to it. The downside is that once you're admitted, you're stuck - it's hard to transfer out to the regular JD program, and many ppl do change their minds and decide they'd rather just do the JD b/c they don't want to do the extra work on top of the already-heavy regular law school workload.

One upside is you start in the summer rather than the fall of the first yr, which apparently gives you more time to acclimate to law school than the regular students. The downside is that you also have to take courses during the summer b/w 1st and 2d yr in HK (or some European country, I think you get 2-3 options). Even if you like being in HK, your other classmates will be out doing summer interships/jobs, which is probably a better experience in the short and long run.

There probably isn't much advantage to the joint JD/LLM program unless you think you might like to become a law professor one day. Apparently, the extra work required to get the degree requires you to write more papers. Writing more gives you more chances to get something published, which is the key to getting a job as a law professor. But it doesn't sound like that's what you're after.

Full disclosure: I applied to and was admitted to Dukes JD/LLM program a few yrs back. I gave the program a good look, but ultimately chose to go to school somewhere else.

EDIT: On a side note, I don't think this thread topic belongs in this category. Should be moved to a thread discussing law schools for prospective students, not legal employment.




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