Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

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Airknight
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Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby Airknight » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:08 pm

Is it a waste of time and opportunity cost to study law in the UK or a civil law country and then study JD in the US? What benefits can one get out of this?

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spleenworship
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby spleenworship » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:24 pm

The ability to practice in 2 countries. That's all I can think of. If u did this for ur undergrad it might actually be kind of worthwhile.

der_saeufer
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby der_saeufer » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:34 pm

There are also a few dual-degree programs offered jointly by the US and foreign school. I can think of five US-Canada programs and at least one each US-France, Spain and Germany dual-degree, though some of the European ones lead to the equivalent of an LLM. Canadian ones are all dual JD now that all the Canadian schools have started conferring JDs instead of LLBs.

If you want two law degrees, those programs eliminate some of the overlap--you can get US and Canadian JDs in four years (three at Detroit/Windsor) vs. six to do them separately.

Assuming you're American, be mindful of labor restrictions that might prevent you from practicing in the second country. Not an issue in Canada provided you article with a Canadian firm as required for bar admission.

KingsBench
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby KingsBench » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:32 am

der_saeufer wrote:There are also a few dual-degree programs offered jointly by the US and foreign school. I can think of five US-Canada programs and at least one each US-France, Spain and Germany dual-degree, though some of the European ones lead to the equivalent of an LLM. Canadian ones are all dual JD now that all the Canadian schools have started conferring JDs instead of LLBs.


Not entirely accurate. McGill Law School has stuck with the LLB designation, but for the most part, it is true that most Canadian schools have adopted the JD designation (semantics, really). Moreover, I believe the number of US-CAN programs is actually less than you've outlined, particularly at the JD level. Windsor is one, Alberta does one with Colorado, Ottawa-Michigan, but I believe Osgoode abolished their NYU bilateral at the JD level.

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spleenworship
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby spleenworship » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:47 am

If I had it to do over again I would have gone to England or Australia and gotten my bachelor's in law there, then come back here and applied to the lower T14. My BA in a social science is useless- fun but useless.

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dingbat
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby dingbat » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:50 pm

I can't believe no one asked the most inportant question yet.

What do you want to with your two law degrees?

Generally speaking you should know what you plan to do after law school before you go.
This is doubly true if you plan to get two law degrees.
There are legit reasons for doing this and there can be a benefit, but doing do without a plan is just a dumb idea. A law degree is difficult and time consuming (not to mention the cost) it shouldn't be done on a whim.

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banjo
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby banjo » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:22 pm

KingsBench wrote:
der_saeufer wrote:There are also a few dual-degree programs offered jointly by the US and foreign school. I can think of five US-Canada programs and at least one each US-France, Spain and Germany dual-degree, though some of the European ones lead to the equivalent of an LLM. Canadian ones are all dual JD now that all the Canadian schools have started conferring JDs instead of LLBs.


Not entirely accurate. McGill Law School has stuck with the LLB designation, but for the most part, it is true that most Canadian schools have adopted the JD designation (semantics, really). Moreover, I believe the number of US-CAN programs is actually less than you've outlined, particularly at the JD level. Windsor is one, Alberta does one with Colorado, Ottawa-Michigan, but I believe Osgoode abolished their NYU bilateral at the JD level.


Hawaii-UBC is another, but you're right that Osgoode-NYU is officially over. Thought Ottawa had one with American?

To add to the list, NYU has a dual-JD program with the University of Melbourne. Anyone who gets into NYU can also get into Melbourne (their admission requirements are a joke), so this is very doable if you are interested in practicing in Australia.

der_saeufer
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby der_saeufer » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:55 pm

KingsBench wrote:
der_saeufer wrote:There are also a few dual-degree programs offered jointly by the US and foreign school. I can think of five US-Canada programs and at least one each US-France, Spain and Germany dual-degree, though some of the European ones lead to the equivalent of an LLM. Canadian ones are all dual JD now that all the Canadian schools have started conferring JDs instead of LLBs.


Not entirely accurate. McGill Law School has stuck with the LLB designation, but for the most part, it is true that most Canadian schools have adopted the JD designation (semantics, really). Moreover, I believe the number of US-CAN programs is actually less than you've outlined, particularly at the JD level. Windsor is one, Alberta does one with Colorado, Ottawa-Michigan, but I believe Osgoode abolished their NYU bilateral at the JD level.


I missed McGill, but their degree is a BCL/LLB; I don't think it's possible to get just an LLB anywhere in Canada anymore. Ottawa's program is with Michigan State and also with American. I was thinking of NYU/Osgoode as the fifth, but UBC/UH will work too. I thought very seriously about doing a US/Canada dual-degree but decided the Canadian degree wasn't worth going to UDM or spending four years in law school. FWIW, the director of UDM/UW's program tells me that over 90% of students in their program are Canadian.

rckybbby
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby rckybbby » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:41 pm

What about summer programs abroad? I want to summer overseas. Any benefit to taking classes through a program or should I just travel and save the tuition $.

rad lulz
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby rad lulz » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:01 pm

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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spleenworship
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:48 pm

rckybbby wrote:What about summer programs abroad? I want to summer overseas. Any benefit to taking classes through a program or should I just travel and save the tuition $.


Just travel and save the tuition money.

Airknight
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby Airknight » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:59 am

Cambridge has a joint LLM with Harvard. Penn has a joint LLM with HKU. I'm sure LLM in HKU qualifies me to do the PCLL which is a British-like training course for future solicitors or barristers. Would possessing the bar qualifications in two international jurisdictions (bar in a state in the USA and bar in HK or England) be beneficial to one's career? I heard somewhere that possessing bar qualifications in two or more states is impressive. How about possessing bar qualifications in two or more countries? My career interest is cross-border transactions. I'd like to hear your opinions.

rad lulz
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby rad lulz » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:26 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Airknight
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby Airknight » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:53 am

rad lulz wrote:No because they want people versed in American law. If they want British lawyers they'll hire those dudes.


If one does cross-border deals in HK, does one need to be versed in American law or just HK law or both? Just curious.

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dingbat
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby dingbat » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:58 am

Airknight wrote:Cambridge has a joint LLM with Harvard. Penn has a joint LLM with HKU.es I'm sure LLM in HKU qualifies me to do the PCLL which is a British-like training course for future solicitors or barristers. Would possessing the bar qualifications in two international jurisdictions (bar in a state in the USA and bar in HK or England) be beneficial to one's career? I heard somewhere that possessing bar qualifications in two or more states is impressive. How about possessing bar qualifications in two or more countries? My career interest is cross-border transactions. I'd like to hear your opinions.

I currently work in finance and we do a lot of cross-border transactions. This always involves hiring local law firms in each jurisdiction. Being admitted to the bar in two separate countries doesn't matter. Two of the partners in my firm are admitted to the bar in a foreign country. Despite living and working in the US for years they haven't bothered getting admitted here.
While it might be impressive that you'be been admitted in two countries, no one will give a shit. We would rather hire the best US attorney and the best UK attorney (experience and track record) than someone who is admitted in both countries. You don't get to be an expert in two things at once.

Airknight
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby Airknight » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:27 am

dingbat wrote:I currently work in finance and we do a lot of cross-border transactions. This always involves hiring local law firms in each jurisdiction. Being admitted to the bar in two separate countries doesn't matter. Two of the partners in my firm are admitted to the bar in a foreign country. Despite living and working in the US for years they haven't bothered getting admitted here.
While it might be impressive that you'be been admitted in two countries, no one will give a shit. We would rather hire the best US attorney and the best UK attorney (experience and track record) than someone who is admitted in both countries. You don't get to be an expert in two things at once.


Fair enough. Seems like becoming an expert in US law should be my study and career goal. Since you work in finance, last question of the similar type if you please: is JD enough to do cross-border transactions, or a JD-MBA, with its broader knowledge base in not just one realm of expertise but rather two realms, would make me more competitive or effective at work? Thanks!

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dingbat
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby dingbat » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:24 am

Airknight wrote:
dingbat wrote:I currently work in finance and we do a lot of cross-border transactions. This always involves hiring local law firms in each jurisdiction. Being admitted to the bar in two separate countries doesn't matter. Two of the partners in my firm are admitted to the bar in a foreign country. Despite living and working in the US for years they haven't bothered getting admitted here.
While it might be impressive that you'be been admitted in two countries, no one will give a shit. We would rather hire the best US attorney and the best UK attorney (experience and track record) than someone who is admitted in both countries. You don't get to be an expert in two things at once.


Fair enough. Seems like becoming an expert in US law should be my study and career goal. Since you work in finance, last question of the similar type if you please: is JD enough to do cross-border transactions, or a JD-MBA, with its broader knowledge base in not just one realm of expertise but rather two realms, would make me more competitive or effective at work? Thanks!

I'm sure that the dual degree would help get your foot in the door, but in the end it is your professional accomplishments that matter. Our CEO sits on the board and the accounting committee for several companies and is prized for his business acumen, but he's a lawyer by training.
My advice is to do very good at law school, so that you have the best chance to choose your practice area. Then perform top-notch work and specidlize in cross-border transactions. If you then feel that an MBA will be helpful (from a knowledge perspective, not a career perspective) go for an Executive MBA at that time

Having both degrees will certainly help you at the starting gate (especially if you're top of tour class in both) but a year later it'll barely make a difference. Same as no one cares where a lawyer went to law school if said lawyer has published a hundred articles or argued a case in front of the supreme court - track record matters more than where someone went to school (but where you go to school will affect your opportunity to establish a good track record)

Having dual degrees (whether JD/MBA or JD/LLB) will probably give you a leg up in the hiring process, so if you can be successful at both, by all means go for it. But you're better off being top of your class with one degree than at the median with both (although this is less so at certain schools than others).
Your goal should be to be good enough to be able to get into the practice area you want. After that, only your accomplishments will matter

nugap2
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Re: Is studying law in a foreign country a waste of time?

Postby nugap2 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:54 am

i have worked in brazil and the united states at big time law firms. as long as you have a degree from a US institution and speak portuguese, people will be interested in you. it matters less whether you are formally educated and can practice. there is plenty of cross-border business that firms need help with.




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