Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

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jmkelly
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby jmkelly » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:58 pm

It's worth mentioning that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford don't require foreign students to have a US cosigner for their loans.

Also, it's not at all true that you need unique skills to be eligible for sponsorship. A firm needs to be able to prove that the job was advertised, and that the pay is the same as for US citizens. Biglaw firms sponsor H1Bs all the time, it's really not a big deal for them.

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deadpoetnsp
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby deadpoetnsp » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:36 pm

jmkelly wrote:It's worth mentioning that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford don't require foreign students to have a US cosigner for their loans.

Also, it's not at all true that you need unique skills to be eligible for sponsorship. A firm needs to be able to prove that the job was advertised, and that the pay is the same as for US citizens. Biglaw firms sponsor H1Bs all the time, it's really not a big deal for them.


+1. It agrees with what I've read too.

tvt86
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby tvt86 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:48 pm

deadpoetnsp wrote:
jmkelly wrote:Also, it's not at all true that you need unique skills to be eligible for sponsorship. A firm needs to be able to prove that the job was advertised, and that the pay is the same as for US citizens. Biglaw firms sponsor H1Bs all the time, it's really not a big deal for them.


+1. It agrees with what I've read too.



Right. The more stringent requirements that the earlier poster mentioned are for getting a green card. The H-1B standards are significantly lower, but you can only stay on that for a maximum of 7 years.

jmkelly
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby jmkelly » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

tvt86 wrote:

Right. The more stringent requirements that the earlier poster mentioned are for getting a green card. The H-1B standards are significantly lower, but you can only stay on that for a maximum of 7 years.


So the 'advertise and pay the prevailing wage' requirement is actually for the green card. H1Bs don't require the position to have been advertised.

Anyway, the answer to the OP is that it's quite routine for foreigners to get biglaw jobs in the US, which can last up to 6 years without needing to worry about a green card. Beyond that, it's probably better to talk to an immigration attorney than random strangers on the internet.

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deadpoetnsp
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby deadpoetnsp » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:53 pm

jmkelly wrote:Beyond that, it's probably better to talk to an immigration attorney than random strangers on the internet.


LOL, applies to a lot of TLS advice :)

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Veyron
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby Veyron » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:55 pm

If you have to get sponsored, probably not. If you don't and you get into a T-14, go for it.

wewillsee2011
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby wewillsee2011 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:38 pm

So reading through all your replies it seems that I have a decent shot at getting into one of the Big Law firms if I manage to get an admit to one of the T14. So I think I am going to give it a shot.

cchen815
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby cchen815 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:56 am

I am not sure about patent law, but foreigners are allowed to practice law in the United States in general. Specifically:

1. Foreigners are allowed to work at any law firm (this doesn't mean you will actually GET the job given this economy, and if English is not your first language and you're not in patent prosecution, which apparently some people above have said you cannot easily do). While you are in law school, you are allowed to work part-time using your F-1 Visa if, and only if, it is legal related. After graduating, you can work for up to one year without a H1-B visa using your OPT. After one year since graduation, you must have a H1-B Visa or if you are from Canada or Mexico, be eligible under the TN-Visa.

2. Foreigners are allowed to clerk in the federal district courts for the districts of of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, or the Nothern Mariana islands, but not anywhere else.

3. Foreigners are allowed to clerk in most state courts.

4. Again, having the legal status to work does not mean you will actually get a job. So please think about it realistically before you spend a SH@T LOAD OF MONEY. I really wouldn't go if: (a) English is not your first language and (b) you did not get into YHS. If English is your first language, I still would not go unless you got into a T14 (at least T20 if you want to take the risk).

Good luck.

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Veyron
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:28 am

jmkelly wrote:It's worth mentioning that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford don't require foreign students to have a US cosigner for their loans.

Also, it's not at all true that you need unique skills to be eligible for sponsorship. A firm needs to be able to prove that the job was advertised, and that the pay is the same as for US citizens. Biglaw firms sponsor H1Bs all the time, it's really not a big deal for them.


I think firms sponsoring H1Bs was more prevalent prior to ITE. Why would a firm jump thru the extra hoop and face the uncertainty of maybe not being able to hire you if it has lots of other candidates with similar credentials to choose from?

wewillsee2011
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby wewillsee2011 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:31 am

What is ITE?
_________
EDIT - Opinions here are so polarizing that I am totally lost now :roll:

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deadpoetnsp
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby deadpoetnsp » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:25 am

You should know in your heart whether you want to go to law school and why do you want to go to a US law school. If you really know why, then you will not be swayed by the posts here. If you are swayed by the posts here, then you really don't know why.

jmkelly
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby jmkelly » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:42 pm

Veyron wrote:
I think firms sponsoring H1Bs was more prevalent prior to ITE. Why would a firm jump thru the extra hoop and face the uncertainty of maybe not being able to hire you if it has lots of other candidates with similar credentials to choose from?


Sure, they probably were more prevalent prior to ITE, just like biglaw jobs in general were. But compared to what they already spend on new associates, the time and money needed to get an H1B is a drop in the bucket. Also, law firms are institutionally better prepared to jump through those hoops than most employers.

And even if you couldn't see any logical reason why law firms would bother sponsoring H1Bs, who cares? You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Law firms still routinely sponsor foreign students, and they don't care if you think it's irrational.

EDIT: For 0Ls who are concerned about this: Don't listen to Veyron. Also don't listen to me, or anyone else on this thread. Call the careers office at whatever schools you're considering and ask them. Ask to be put in touch with international students who have gone through oci. TLS is great for some things, but it's really not suited to this kind of question.

wewillsee2011
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby wewillsee2011 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:18 pm

Thank you both jmkelly and deadpoetnsp on helping me get back perspective on things. It may be a very hard journey but totally worth every second.

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deadpoetnsp
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby deadpoetnsp » Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:16 pm

wewillsee2011 wrote:Thank you both jmkelly and deadpoetnsp on helping me get back perspective on things. It may be a very hard journey but totally worth every second.


Think for a while, talk to people, read up a bit on the law school experience itself, and about a legal career in general. I strongly recommend the book "Law School Confidential" -- it will give you a good glimpse at law school and help with the decision making process. Feel free to PM me with specific questions/details.

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Veyron
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:18 pm

wewillsee2011 wrote:What is ITE?
_________
EDIT - Opinions here are so polarizing that I am totally lost now :roll:


ITE = In this economy (basically the post crash economy).

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tome
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby tome » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:11 am

cchen815 wrote:
2. Foreigners are allowed to clerk in the federal district courts for the districts of of Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, or the Nothern Mariana islands, but not anywhere else.




Weird. This is the second time I have heard this today. A friend of mine clerked as a foreigner two years ago at a regular old Federal Circuit Court. Did something change?

BTW, although this should be obvious from the above, if you have a greencard you might as well be a citizen for almost everything related to getting a law job.

Fun Fact: you do not need to be a citizen to be a Supreme Court Justice.

jmkelly
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby jmkelly » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:36 am

tome wrote:
Weird. This is the second time I have heard this today. A friend of mine clerked as a foreigner two years ago at a regular old Federal Circuit Court. Did something change?



Yes. :x

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/09/clerkshi ... en-clerks/

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thexfactor
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby thexfactor » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:18 pm

In the past it was possible. I have a friend who has a LLM from china and graduated from a t1/t2 was top 1/3 during 2L recruiting and ended up getting a v50 job. He was not alone. He did recruiting in 2007 though.

I dont know about now..... Prob a lot harder.

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NDJ
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby NDJ » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:12 am

I know it's 2 years since this thread was active, but does anyone know how much of this applies to Canadians? Do Canadians ever get hired for non-biglaw gigs in the us or is it biglaw/bust for us? If I go to a T6 school is it something I should be worried about? I have a visa to work here but it's in another field.

M458
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby M458 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:17 pm

NDJ wrote:I know it's 2 years since this thread was active, but does anyone know how much of this applies to Canadians? Do Canadians ever get hired for non-biglaw gigs in the us or is it biglaw/bust for us? If I go to a T6 school is it something I should be worried about? I have a visa to work here but it's in another field.


Hey, NDJ; 0L over here, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but as a Canadian you'll be eligible for a TN visa which is substantially cheaper, quicker, and easier to get than an H1-B. On one of the "associate answering questions" threads over on the Legal Employment board a V-15 associate mentioned that he noticed a good chunk of the Internationals they hired were Canadian and I suspect this (along with the fact that you will likely fit into American culture more easily/speak the language better) plays a role in it. Curious to see what others have to say though.

I'm in the same situation as you with currently working here, under that TN visa I just mentioned (just that I'm Mexican).

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NDJ
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby NDJ » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:49 pm

M458 wrote:
NDJ wrote:I know it's 2 years since this thread was active, but does anyone know how much of this applies to Canadians? Do Canadians ever get hired for non-biglaw gigs in the us or is it biglaw/bust for us? If I go to a T6 school is it something I should be worried about? I have a visa to work here but it's in another field.


Hey, NDJ; 0L over here, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but as a Canadian you'll be eligible for a TN visa which is substantially cheaper, quicker, and easier to get than an H1-B. On one of the "associate answering questions" threads over on the Legal Employment board a V-15 associate mentioned that he noticed a good chunk of the Internationals they hired were Canadian and I suspect this (along with the fact that you will likely fit into American culture more easily/speak the language better) plays a role in it. Curious to see what others have to say though.

I'm in the same situation as you with currently working here, under that TN visa I just mentioned (just that I'm Mexican).


cool, thanks bud. i guess ill start another thread to get some more input on firms being willing to sponsor the TN vs H1B....

Pokemon
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby Pokemon » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:50 pm

There are foreign students at my t-14 getting biglaw. But overall, those students seem better equipped than your traditional US student. I think it is difficult for a foreign t-14 student, without IP, without being a grades-superstar, or without being an awesome lawyer already in his home country, to make it into biglaw.
It has nothing to do with H-1B expenses (though unpredictability can be a factor) as much as it has to do with there are plenty of qualified people out there, more than the firms can hire, so why go with the foreign one.

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NDJ
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby NDJ » Tue Feb 19, 2013 6:48 pm

makes sense, i guess im wondering how much I'd be affected as a Canadian.....

bmi264
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby bmi264 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:48 pm

So can you work as a federal clerk with a TN visa?

TN visas are available for the professions including that of a "lawyer" and the minimum education requirement is a J.D (or equivalent) or bar membership.

To be able to clerk, you need at minimum, a J.D as seen here:http://www.uscourts.gov/Careers/CareerProfiles/StaffAttorney_LawClerk.aspx.

So does the job of a federal clerk fall under the profession of "lawyer"? lol

BenJ
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Re: Can foreigners get jobs in Biglaw firms in the US?

Postby BenJ » Sat Apr 06, 2013 5:42 pm

I'm not a foreign student, but I know multiple foreign JDs at NYU who graduated last year or are graduating with me this year who are going on to biglaw jobs in the US with American firms. Maybe it's more difficult than getting hired as a citizen, but it's clearly not exceptionally more difficult (and I don't know any foreign JDs at NYU who wanted biglaw and didn't get it, though I know a few citizens who didn't).




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