Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

jonathan.atley
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Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby jonathan.atley » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:53 pm

There is no such thing as a free lunch, people say. You'll probably hear it a thousand more times on the long, arduous path to becoming a lawyer in the US. Work to work some more: you must earn top grades at a top law school to get into a top US firm. You must secure a job that allows you to pay back all that law school debt. That is in the US.

But, can you circumnavigate all that work? All that expense? All that risk? And still be wildly successful on a six-figure salary in a corner office? Yes.

The answer involves a round-trip ticket to merry old England. In England it is possible to go to law school for FREE (law firms sponsor 100% of tuition and give a maintenance grant) and in only 2 years. In fact, law school in England offers a back door to:
    - an all-expenses paid law degree recognized in the US and in most other common law jurisdictions (e.g. Australia) and in many major financial centers (e.g. Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Bermuda); and
    - a guaranteed job with a top firm before you assume the time and expense of law school.

Too good to be true?

WheatThins
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby WheatThins » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:12 pm

You don't understand opportunity cost.

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jump_man
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby jump_man » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:48 pm

jonathan.atley wrote:In fact, law school in England offers a back door to:
    - an all-expenses paid law degree recognized in the US and in most other common law jurisdictions

Too good to be true?


I'm not sure what you mean by "recognized in the United States," but as far as I know, you can't take American bar exams with only a LL.B.

You would have to earn a LL.M. at an American law school to take a bar exam.

jonathan.atley
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby jonathan.atley » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:09 pm

WheatThins wrote:You don't understand opportunity cost.


I’m familiar with opportunity cost (I read Econ at Cambridge). Of course, you can make a graduate salary for 2 years instead of going to law school – that’s an opportunity cost. However, if you get a training contract before attending law school in England for free, then not only will you have a law degree (your “free lunch”) but also a job and a higher salary that will more than make up for the lost wages.

In reality, the “Free Lunch” I’m referring to is comparing US law school to the alternative in England. In the US you spend 3 years in law school, which can easily run to $200k (even on tuition waivers you’re very likely to emerge with significant debt), but at the end you face uncertain odds of paying it back. Depending on the law school the share of graduates who land NLJ 250 jobs could be 25% or lower. It’s avoiding this unpleasant dynamic that is the point. And that’s without mentioning how easier law school is in England, lower working hours as a law grad in London, more vacation days etc.

I’m not saying it’s right for everyone, but not sure how many pre-law students are aware of this, hence the reference to a “free lunch” to make it catchy…

jonathan.atley
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby jonathan.atley » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:10 pm

jump_man wrote:
jonathan.atley wrote:In fact, law school in England offers a back door to:
    - an all-expenses paid law degree recognized in the US and in most other common law jurisdictions

Too good to be true?


I'm not sure what you mean by "recognized in the United States," but as far as I know, you can't take American bar exams with only a LL.B.

You would have to earn a LL.M. at an American law school to take a bar exam.


As to coming back to the US, there are several routes as long as you’re willing to work in England for a bit including:
(1) In 28 states, English qualified lawyers can practice in the US, without passing any additional exams, via a Foreign Legal Consultant license, this includes all the biggest legal markets. Depending on the state you have to have practiced in England for 3-5 years, but then practice in London is not that different than in New York. If you worked in a US firm in London, this is a very realistic route for corporate lawyers.
(2) In California and Texas, lawyers admitted to practice in England are eligible to sit the bar exam without the need to complete any additional legal education.
(3) In Illinois you have to practice for a few years in England first.
(4) In New York, you’d have to get a 1-year LLM to pass the bar though that probably is still a lot cheaper than a 3-year degree. There the FLC route is probably easier.

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jump_man
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby jump_man » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:49 pm

jonathan.atley wrote:
jump_man wrote:
jonathan.atley wrote:In fact, law school in England offers a back door to:
    - an all-expenses paid law degree recognized in the US and in most other common law jurisdictions

Too good to be true?


I'm not sure what you mean by "recognized in the United States," but as far as I know, you can't take American bar exams with only a LL.B.

You would have to earn a LL.M. at an American law school to take a bar exam.


As to coming back to the US, there are several routes as long as you’re willing to work in England for a bit including:
(1) In 28 states, English qualified lawyers can practice in the US, without passing any additional exams, via a Foreign Legal Consultant license, this includes all the biggest legal markets. Depending on the state you have to have practiced in England for 3-5 years, but then practice in London is not that different than in New York. If you worked in a US firm in London, this is a very realistic route for corporate lawyers.
(2) In California and Texas, lawyers admitted to practice in England are eligible to sit the bar exam without the need to complete any additional legal education.
(3) In Illinois you have to practice for a few years in England first.
(4) In New York, you’d have to get a 1-year LLM to pass the bar though that probably is still a lot cheaper than a 3-year degree. There the FLC route is probably easier.


I'm afraid that your information is incorrect. Many states do not allow students with only an English LL.B. to sit for a bar exam. In fact, roughly half of all jurisdictions do not allow graduates of foreign law schools to sit for a bar exam. For the remaining jurisdictions, most require some form of additional education at an ABA approved law school.

For a comprehensive guide to bar admissions requirements for foreign law school graduates, see page 12 of the ABA's 2014 guide for bar admissions.

jonathan.atley
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby jonathan.atley » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:20 pm

jump_man wrote:
jonathan.atley wrote:
jump_man wrote:
jonathan.atley wrote:In fact, law school in England offers a back door to:
    - an all-expenses paid law degree recognized in the US and in most other common law jurisdictions

Too good to be true?


I'm not sure what you mean by "recognized in the United States," but as far as I know, you can't take American bar exams with only a LL.B.

You would have to earn a LL.M. at an American law school to take a bar exam.


As to coming back to the US, there are several routes as long as you’re willing to work in England for a bit including:
(1) In 28 states, English qualified lawyers can practice in the US, without passing any additional exams, via a Foreign Legal Consultant license, this includes all the biggest legal markets. Depending on the state you have to have practiced in England for 3-5 years, but then practice in London is not that different than in New York. If you worked in a US firm in London, this is a very realistic route for corporate lawyers.
(2) In California and Texas, lawyers admitted to practice in England are eligible to sit the bar exam without the need to complete any additional legal education.
(3) In Illinois you have to practice for a few years in England first.
(4) In New York, you’d have to get a 1-year LLM to pass the bar though that probably is still a lot cheaper than a 3-year degree. There the FLC route is probably easier.


I'm afraid that your information is incorrect. Many states do not allow students with only an English LL.B. to sit for a bar exam. In fact, roughly half of all jurisdictions do not allow graduates of foreign law schools to sit for a bar exam. For the remaining jurisdictions, most require some form of additional education at an ABA approved law school.

For a comprehensive guide to bar admissions requirements for foreign law school graduates, see page 12 of the ABA's 2014 guide for bar admissions.


Thanks for your post. I think you misunderstood my reply. In 28 states, "English qualified lawyers" can practice in the US, without passing the bar. i.e. if you do your 2 years of law school in England and 2 years of training contract, then you can practice in the US as a FLC. With $0 in debt. Just the UK degree is not enough in most places, but working for 2 years in London is not that much to ask, is it?

jonathan.atley
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby jonathan.atley » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:21 pm

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03152016
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Re: Is there such a thing as a free lunch?

Postby 03152016 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 7:29 pm

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