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T6 Chances for UK Student

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:57 am
by Santi0302
Hi everyone,

UK undergrad here, studying STEM at somewhere that's consistently ranked third or fourth in the UK. GPA is on the low end for T6, hard to directly translate but it works out about 3.75/4.0 I believe (3.9 first year, but dragged down by double weighting of second year, though I do have mitigating circumstances for that).

I have got a relatively good amount of related work experience, including a consultancy internship in summer 2019 where the main deliverable was on an international energy arbitration of sizeable value. I am also part of a US law firm's accelerated recruitment pathway, and am currently working remotely as a Summer Research Assistant for a research center at a HYS Law School. The Director of the Center would also write me a recommendation. Extracurriculars are also decent, I believe. I realise that such "softs" don't really count for much, however.

In September, I'm also undertaking a "Vacation Scheme" (to translate, basically a short summer internship, which will hopefully lead to a training contract offer) with a Magic Circle firm. If I get the Training Contract with them, they would pay for two years of education for the SQE (formerly GDL and LPC), followed by a two-year Training Contract (paid, but at £50,000 p.a.). After four years, NQ associate salaries are £100,000/$130,000, though some of the US firms such as the one I'm currently on the pathway for are closer to New York salaries ($150,000-180,000).

I do, however, have personal reasons for wanting to be in the States. However, with the potential to secure Training Contracts this year at the types of firms I'd be targeting anyway, I think only T6 would really justify the expense and extra effort. Obviously the extra pay is nice too, and I understand that it might be possible to return to London at some point as a US-qualified associate, complete with a COLA.

Needless to say I would have to do exceptionally well on any standardised tests. However, there's a few hesitations I have. Firstly, I can't now take the LSAT until October in the UK. As a STEM student, GRE appears to be a desirable alternative, but am I too much of a "risk" as a foreign student with no directly reported GPA (and a relatively low one at that)? Or would I really need to wait until the LSAT? Furthermore, probably more of an employment-forum question, but how equal an opportunity would I get in the "BigLaw" recruitment process as a non-American citizen? Seen very mixed things on that front, both on here and other forums. Any help is much appreciated - thanks!

Re: T6 Chances for UK Student

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:24 pm
by BEng,MBA,FRM,JD(?)
Santi0302 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:57 am
Hi everyone,

UK undergrad here, studying STEM at somewhere that's consistently ranked third or fourth in the UK. GPA is on the low end for T6, hard to directly translate but it works out about 3.75/4.0 I believe (3.9 first year, but dragged down by double weighting of second year, though I do have mitigating circumstances for that).

I have got a relatively good amount of related work experience, including a consultancy internship in summer 2019 where the main deliverable was on an international energy arbitration of sizeable value. I am also part of a US law firm's accelerated recruitment pathway, and am currently working remotely as a Summer Research Assistant for a research center at a HYS Law School. The Director of the Center would also write me a recommendation. Extracurriculars are also decent, I believe. I realise that such "softs" don't really count for much, however.

In September, I'm also undertaking a "Vacation Scheme" (to translate, basically a short summer internship, which will hopefully lead to a training contract offer) with a Magic Circle firm. If I get the Training Contract with them, they would pay for two years of education for the SQE (formerly GDL and LPC), followed by a two-year Training Contract (paid, but at £50,000 p.a.). After four years, NQ associate salaries are £100,000/$130,000, though some of the US firms such as the one I'm currently on the pathway for are closer to New York salaries ($150,000-180,000).

I do, however, have personal reasons for wanting to be in the States. However, with the potential to secure Training Contracts this year at the types of firms I'd be targeting anyway, I think only T6 would really justify the expense and extra effort. Obviously the extra pay is nice too, and I understand that it might be possible to return to London at some point as a US-qualified associate, complete with a COLA.

Needless to say I would have to do exceptionally well on any standardised tests. However, there's a few hesitations I have. Firstly, I can't now take the LSAT until October in the UK. As a STEM student, GRE appears to be a desirable alternative, but am I too much of a "risk" as a foreign student with no directly reported GPA (and a relatively low one at that)? Or would I really need to wait until the LSAT? Furthermore, probably more of an employment-forum question, but how equal an opportunity would I get in the "BigLaw" recruitment process as a non-American citizen? Seen very mixed things on that front, both on here and other forums. Any help is much appreciated - thanks!
Re: the GPA, have you gotten your CAS evaluation done? Is it superior? If yes, there is nothing else to worry about. Your GPA doesn't affect their median GPA and so an AA or S may just be a necessary condition at HYS. However high it is, it certainly would never be dispositive in your admission process.

Re: the standardized test, I suggest you take the LSAT. Last I checked GRE doesn't factor into US News rankings of schools. If that's still the case, neither your GPA nor the GRE score helps the schools boost their medians. So, the GRE is useless.

Re: Biglaw recruitment, I am only a rising 2L. But I have read all relevant threads on TLS. If you don't need visa sponsorship and have a British accent, you should be fine (i.e., broadly treated on par with American citizens). That said, this is an over-simplification and I am happy to discuss further over pm.

Good luck!