JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

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brownpride
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JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby brownpride » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:44 am

I know that TLS feels that LLMs are useless, and I am NOT thinking about getting one. I'm simply asking this out of curiosity. I've heard of some people opting to do their JD at a lower-ranked school where they can get a full ride, and then choosing to do an LLM at a top school like Yale of Harvard, because the cost of one year is manageable. That way, they can say that they attended Harvard Law or Yale Law. For people wanting to teach or internationals it makes sense, but I'm wondering about how this is viewed as opposed to having a HYS JD. Aside from the opportunity cost of a year, is this still perceived as quite prestigious?

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cinephile
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby cinephile » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:29 am

I've heard second hand of people who've done this. They ended up jobless. It looks like a desperate move after not being able to get a real job.

rad lulz
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby rad lulz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:38 am

brownpride wrote:I know that TLS feels that LLMs are useless, and I am NOT thinking about getting one. I'm simply asking this out of curiosity. I've heard of some people opting to do their JD at a lower-ranked school where they can get a full ride, and then choosing to do an LLM at a top school like Yale of Harvard, because the cost of one year is manageable. That way, they can say that they attended Harvard Law or Yale Law. For people wanting to teach or internationals it makes sense, but I'm wondering about how this is viewed as opposed to having a HYS JD. Aside from the opportunity cost of a year, is this still perceived as quite prestigious?

No one cares because LLMs (outside tax LLMs from NYU, GULC, and UF) are useless.

brownpride
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby brownpride » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:02 am

The reason I ask is because I'm Canadian, so many people from here go to the best law school in Canada (Toronto) and then get an LLM from Harvard/Yale/Columbia/Stanford/NYU. Going to Toronto is WAY cheaper than an American school (half the tuition). Seeing as there's a big part of me that may want to work in Canada, I'm wondering why I don't just do this rather than going to HLS, and save myself the money. So confused :S

rad lulz
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby rad lulz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:04 am

brownpride wrote:The reason I ask is because I'm Canadian, so many people from here go to the best law school in Canada (Toronto) and then get an LLM from Harvard/Yale/Columbia/Stanford/NYU. Going to Toronto is WAY cheaper than an American school (half the tuition). Seeing as there's a big part of me that may want to work in Canada, I'm wondering why I don't just do this rather than going to HLS, and save myself the money. So confused :S

Oh so you are in fact a foreign law student. Your OP made it seem like you weren't.

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bk1
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby bk1 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:21 am

brownpride wrote:The reason I ask is because I'm Canadian, so many people from here go to the best law school in Canada (Toronto) and then get an LLM from Harvard/Yale/Columbia/Stanford/NYU. Going to Toronto is WAY cheaper than an American school (half the tuition). Seeing as there's a big part of me that may want to work in Canada, I'm wondering why I don't just do this rather than going to HLS, and save myself the money. So confused :S


Aren't LLMs pretty expensive too? It seems like you wouldn't really be saving money in the long run, especially considering the opportunity cost of the extra time spent in school. I would also imagine that US employers would look more favorably upon hiring the JD rather than JD-->LLM.

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twenty
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby twenty » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:44 am

A Canadian JD and an H/Y/Cambridge/Oxford LLM has the potential to be a really great combo for practicing in Canada or internationally, but you probably won't accomplish much more than what you would have with just the Canadian JD.

In terms of what you could end up doing, it's awesome. In terms of what you'll probably actually end doing, meh.

brownpride
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby brownpride » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:07 pm

So then what would be better for me, a Canadian wanting to work in Canada (and a little bit internationally), but focused on international affairs:
- A Canadian JD with an HYS LLM - much cheaper to go to law school in Canada, but extra year for LLM
- A Harvard JD (already have acceptance) - far more expensive, and have to pass exams to qualify as a lawyer in Canada

rad lulz
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby rad lulz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:12 pm

brownpride wrote:So then what would be better for me, a Canadian wanting to work in Canada (and a little bit internationally), but focused on international affairs:
- A Canadian JD with an HYS LLM - much cheaper to go to law school in Canada, but extra year for LLM
- A Harvard JD (already have acceptance) - far more expensive, and have to pass exams to qualify as a lawyer in Canada

What do you envision as a practice focusing on international affairs.

brownpride
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby brownpride » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:47 pm

I don't have a clue at this point. My interests span a bunch of stuff in IR, but I don't have super strong interests, so these are likely to change as I go through school. Current interests focus on political dimensions of human rights, but again I'm pretty open to anything. All I know is that in the long term (i.e. by the end of my life) I'd like to have worked in a capacity that enables me to make a substantial contribution to bettering peoples' lives. This doesn't necessarily have to be through PI work though.

CanadianWolf
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:05 pm

International law in a civil law or common law jurisdiction ?

Ask Harvard if you qualify for any financial aid grant money as an international student with your financials.

At sticker price, what is the cost for Harvard and for Toronto ?

As an international law student, a Toronto JD combined with a Harvard LLM could help for one wishing to work in a firm with offices on both sides of the border. A degree from UToronto, however, will get you as many opportunities in Canada as will a Harvard JD.
Several US biglaw firms recruit at Toronto. If you get a position in NYC, your firm may pay LLM courses part-time which should also satisfy your state bar continuing legal education requirement.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby rad lulz » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:13 pm

brownpride wrote:I don't have a clue at this point. My interests span a bunch of stuff in IR, but I don't have super strong interests, so these are likely to change as I go through school. Current interests focus on political dimensions of human rights, but again I'm pretty open to anything. All I know is that in the long term (i.e. by the end of my life) I'd like to have worked in a capacity that enables me to make a substantial contribution to bettering peoples' lives. This doesn't necessarily have to be through PI work though.

Reexamine why you want to go to law school. Jobs in human rights and "international law" are practically nonexistent.

CanadianWolf
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:18 pm

McGill civil law grads get recruited by international firms.

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TheThriller
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby TheThriller » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:23 pm

rad lulz wrote:
brownpride wrote:I don't have a clue at this point. My interests span a bunch of stuff in IR, but I don't have super strong interests, so these are likely to change as I go through school. Current interests focus on political dimensions of human rights, but again I'm pretty open to anything. All I know is that in the long term (i.e. by the end of my life) I'd like to have worked in a capacity that enables me to make a substantial contribution to bettering peoples' lives. This doesn't necessarily have to be through PI work though.

Reexamine why you want to go to law school. Jobs in human rights and "international law" are practically nonexistent.


I agree with this statement but would like to add that Harvard is one of 3 law schools that would get you anywhere near this as a career goal.

CanadianWolf
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:27 pm

OP: For more knowledgeable sources, try http://www.lawstudents.ca

brownpride
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby brownpride » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:38 pm

TheThriller wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
brownpride wrote:I don't have a clue at this point. My interests span a bunch of stuff in IR, but I don't have super strong interests, so these are likely to change as I go through school. Current interests focus on political dimensions of human rights, but again I'm pretty open to anything. All I know is that in the long term (i.e. by the end of my life) I'd like to have worked in a capacity that enables me to make a substantial contribution to bettering peoples' lives. This doesn't necessarily have to be through PI work though.

Reexamine why you want to go to law school. Jobs in human rights and "international law" are practically nonexistent.


I agree with this statement but would like to add that Harvard is one of 3 law schools that would get you anywhere near this as a career goal.



Precisely why I chose HLS. Alongside many other reasons, because I don't know what I'll want to do/where far down the road, it'll ensure that any door will be open for me.

brownpride
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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby brownpride » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:52 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:International law in a civil law or common law jurisdiction ?

Ask Harvard if you qualify for any financial aid grant money as an international student with your financials.

At sticker price, what is the cost for Harvard and for Toronto ?

As an international law student, a Toronto JD combined with a Harvard LLM could help for one wishing to work in a firm with offices on both sides of the border. A degree from UToronto, however, will get you as many opportunities in Canada as will a Harvard JD.
Several US biglaw firms recruit at Toronto. If you get a position in NYC, your firm may pay LLM courses part-time which should also satisfy your state bar continuing legal education requirement.


Sticker for Harvard: 50k/year
Sticker for Toronto: 27k/year

Unfortunately, at HLS I'll get a negligible amount of aid (2k/year - already inquired). Also, Toronto lets you take up to 33k/yr in loans from them which you don't pay interest on until after law school. Harvard lends you loans too, but interest (around 7-8%) accrues the moment you take out loans at the beginning of law school.

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Re: JD at a top school vs LLM at a top school

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:53 pm

The reason an HYS JD (as well as JDs from other very good schools) are more impressive than HYS LLMs is because it is substantially harder to get into JD programs than LLM programs generally. For a lot of schools, LLM programs are simply cash cows, and they are willing to admit much less qualified students for the LLM program just to fill seats. That is one of the reasons the curve may be easier in 2L and 3L (LLMs are in 2L and 3L classes but not 1L classes generally).

I am not trying to hate on LLMs. I have met several that I really like and are very smart. But in general admissions standards are much less rigorous, and since degrees are often used as signaling/credentialing mechanisms, a HYS (or really any good school) JD is more impressive than an HYS LLM.

All of that said, if you can stomach the debt, the benefit of an HLS LLM may be just making connections with other people in the human rights field that may help you get a job down the line. But don't expect the rare-as-unicorn human rights organizations hiring young lawyers to be reeling at the prestige of your HLS LLM.




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