Previous law degrees

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pan_kasper

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Previous law degrees

Post by pan_kasper » Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:52 pm

Hey everyone,

I got a question regarding JD applicants who already hold some previous law degrees from different countries. It seems to be very uncommon and I'm not sure how it is being looked at by the admission officers.

I am an international student from Europe and I already have two law degrees. LLB from a middle-ranked school in England (graduated with 2:1 honours), and an LLM from a very prestigous university in China. On my LLM degree I am also the no.1 student on my year. Now, i'm not really looking to get any special treatment for having 5+ years experience in studying law. On the contrary, I am worried that the law schools will look at it as a bad thing, since it's very uncommon even among international students. Does anybody have any experience with that?

I have 174 LSAT and some really strong softs. I will be looking to apply to T6/T14 schools next cycle

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cavalier1138

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by cavalier1138 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:57 pm

I can't tell you whether it will have much effect on your cycle one way or the other, but I definitely knew foreign students in my class who got their LLM before getting a JD. So this arrangement isn't going to be new for the adcomms reviewing your application.

pan_kasper

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by pan_kasper » Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:29 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:57 pm
I can't tell you whether it will have much effect on your cycle one way or the other, but I definitely knew foreign students in my class who got their LLM before getting a JD. So this arrangement isn't going to be new for the adcomms reviewing your application.
That's very useful, thanks! I guess I was worried that admission people would be curious as to why people like me would even want another law degree

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:46 pm

pan_kasper wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:29 am
cavalier1138 wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 7:57 pm
I can't tell you whether it will have much effect on your cycle one way or the other, but I definitely knew foreign students in my class who got their LLM before getting a JD. So this arrangement isn't going to be new for the adcomms reviewing your application.
That's very useful, thanks! I guess I was worried that admission people would be curious as to why people like me would even want another law degree
They won't bat an eye. It's absurd and exclusionary but the JD has become pretty much necessary to practice law in much of the USA.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by CanadianWolf » Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:57 pm

Your situation is interesting because your first law degree is from a common law jurisdiction (England).

Multiple LLMs is not a concern, but a second common law degree may be a concern for some US law schools. However, I am just guessing as I have not encountered this situation before reading your thread.

P.S. Are you willing to name the school in England from which you received your law degree ?

Any particular course of study or specialization ?

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pan_kasper

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by pan_kasper » Fri Feb 19, 2021 9:31 am

CanadianWolf wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:57 pm
Your situation is interesting because your first law degree is from a common law jurisdiction (England).

Multiple LLMs is not a concern, but a second common law degree may be a concern for some US law schools. However, I am just guessing as I have not encountered this situation before reading your thread.

P.S. Are you willing to name the school in England from which you received your law degree ?

Any particular course of study or specialization ?
Thank you! That's what I was kinda worried about. Although I did encounter some people who successfully got into the US law school having previously obtained LLB in England, so maybe that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

I went to a private uni called BPP. It wasn't too bad but wasn't the best one either and I ended up regretting it a bit over the course of my three years there when I found out that my high school stats could have probably gotten me into Oxbridge or King's. But coming from eastern europe I jumped at the first opportunity to leave the country without much thinking whether or not i'm underselling myself.

I did try to offset it by going to one of the best unis in Asia (浙大) for Master's degree. Anyway, do you think it matters to the admission committee in which foreign institution I did my undergrad?

RecruiterMan

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by RecruiterMan » Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:18 pm

Don't worry. There were people with LLBs from the UK in my class. Those degrees don't allow you to sit for the bar and practice in the US so literally no one will wonder why you are getting a JD.

CanadianWolf

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by CanadianWolf » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:18 am

RecruiterMan wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:18 pm
Don't worry. There were people with LLBs from the UK in my class. Those degrees don't allow you to sit for the bar and practice in the US so literally no one will wonder why you are getting a JD.
Nonetheless, earning an LLM degree qualifies one with a foreign law degree to sit for the state bars in about 5 or 6 jurisdictions including New York, California, & Washington state although if one is targeting biglaw jobs, then a full three year JD program may be the more realistic option assuming that one can remain in the US to work or get placed in a European office, etc. of a US based biglaw firm.

LLM degree takes about 10 months while US JD programs require three academic years of study. Very substantial difference in cost between the two options--especially when adding in 3 years of lost income for a JD.

Attending law school in Canada may be attractive to some from abroad as it is much easier to remain in Canada & work if one went to school in Canada.

pan_kasper

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Re: Previous law degrees

Post by pan_kasper » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:15 pm

RecruiterMan wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:18 pm
Don't worry. There were people with LLBs from the UK in my class. Those degrees don't allow you to sit for the bar and practice in the US so literally no one will wonder why you are getting a JD.
Thanks a lot, I'm reallyglad to hear that. You're right that I can't take a bar exam in the vast majority of the jurisdictions without a JD. But as CanadianWolf said, with my LLB and LLM I should be eligible to take it in a bunch of places, albeit my employability hopes would be little to none.

Fact is that JD is significantly more useful to have than either bachelor or masters in law, whether one wants to pursue a career in big law or public interest. Three more years is not much of a consideration for me, as I find myself really well in academic environment and I see no rush to begin an actual career. A bit more concerned with the debt but I hope my LSAT will help me get some scholarship offers.

Canadian schools are also on my list of places to apply to, mainly Toronto and McGill. Great country, though I'm a bit concerned about the cold weather :lol:

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