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LLM in the States

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My SO lives in the States so I was thinking of doing my LLM there once I get called in Ontario. Has anyone done something similar and how difficult has it been to pass the bar/find a job in the US?

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4 hours ago, wcbc said:

My SO lives in the States so I was thinking of doing my LLM there once I get called in Ontario. Has anyone done something similar and how difficult has it been to pass the bar/find a job in the US?

This is entirely anecdotal, so I am sure someone else will have a better answer, but I know a lawyer in SF and I was just discussing with him how I'd like to practice in the US in the future. I asked him if it would be better for me (cost benefit analysis basically) to go to school in the US or Canada for my JD and he said Canada and then to do an LLM in the area that you want to practice. I don't know how effective that strategy is for employment though, but he did recommend it to me.

Just my $0.02

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4 hours ago, wcbc said:

My SO lives in the States so I was thinking of doing my LLM there once I get called in Ontario. Has anyone done something similar and how difficult has it been to pass the bar/find a job in the US?

You are going to need to provide more info.  What area of law?  What schools are you looking at?  What city are you trying to work in?

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6 hours ago, ProfReader said:

You are going to need to provide more info.  What area of law?  What schools are you looking at?  What city are you trying to work in?

I’ve summered and am articling at a family law firm so hopefully family law but I also want to branch out and do civil litigation, if possible. 

As for the city, it would be Seattle and I’ve already applied to the two law schools in the city.

Edited by wcbc

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6 hours ago, NFLDFree said:

This is entirely anecdotal, so I am sure someone else will have a better answer, but I know a lawyer in SF and I was just discussing with him how I'd like to practice in the US in the future. I asked him if it would be better for me (cost benefit analysis basically) to go to school in the US or Canada for my JD and he said Canada and then to do an LLM in the area that you want to practice. I don't know how effective that strategy is for employment though, but he did recommend it to me.

Just my $0.02

Thanks for your input ☺️

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22 hours ago, wcbc said:

I’ve summered and am articling at a family law firm so hopefully family law but I also want to branch out and do civil litigation, if possible. 

As for the city, it would be Seattle and I’ve already applied to the two law schools in the city.

I'm not going to be much help...sorry. I worked on the East Coast and so I don't know much about West Coast hiring. Family law is also a pretty uncommon area for LLM studies, so I don't know much about that field either.

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The only useful LLM programs in the US are the Tax programs at NYU, Georgetown, Northwestern, and Florida. To much much lesser extent, the St. Johns Bankruptcy LLM places people into bankruptcy jobs in NYC. 

If you want to practice any kind of litigation in the states you really really need to get a top J.D.

American employers won't care about the experience you have in foreign countries unless it's substantial and on-point. I've seen a few corporate associates at the seven sisters move over to American firms, but it's rare. 

Edited by spagetti1991
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On 2/14/2019 at 1:03 PM, spagetti1991 said:

The only useful LLM programs in the US are the Tax programs at NYU, Georgetown, Northwestern, and Florida. To much much lesser extent, the St. Johns Bankruptcy LLM places people into bankruptcy jobs in NYC. 

If you want to practice any kind of litigation in the states you really really need to get a top J.D.

American employers won't care about the experience you have in foreign countries unless it's substantial and on-point. I've seen a few corporate associates at the seven sisters move over to American firms, but it's rare. 

So what would be the best road map to practicing in the US?

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7 hours ago, NFLDFree said:

So what would be the best road map to practicing in the US?

The best path is getting a JD in the US from a T14 school.

An LL.M., even from Harvard, means almost nothing in the US. 

If you want to practice tax law, NYU/Gtown tax LL.M. gives you a shot at breaking into the US market. 

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Alternatively, clerk for ONCA / BCSC / SCC and then apply to firms as a first year (well, technically second year, I guess) associate straight out of your clerkship riding just your Canadian JD. If you can swing that, it is 10000% better than trying to break through with a US LLM.

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Thank you all for your response. I do know of some lawyers in Seattle who offered to help me with my job search post-graduation but I suppose there's always a risk with doing an LLM in another country. Thanks! 😀

Edited by wcbc

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OP, most of the responses you're getting are geared towards US big law (which is all most of us have any experience with).  Family law is going to be a lot more flexible to enter, and I'm not sure that an (expensive) credential such as an LLM is going to be worth all that much in that field.  The basic family law knowledge you need will probably be on the state bar exam.  If I were you I would tie the knot with your American SO,  and work on getting admitted in the US jurisdiction while you wait on your green card.  Similar to Canada, family law in the US does not have a high barrier to entry, and once you get admitted/authorized to work you will be as marketable for those positions as most other US JD grads vying for those jobs.

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I agree that the responses you have received are mostly geared towards corporate law.  Family law is a bit more of an unknown.  One additional thing occurs to me though...can Canadians even write the Washington state bar?

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17 hours ago, habsfan93 said:

OP, most of the responses you're getting are geared towards US big law (which is all most of us have any experience with).  Family law is going to be a lot more flexible to enter, and I'm not sure that an (expensive) credential such as an LLM is going to be worth all that much in that field.  The basic family law knowledge you need will probably be on the state bar exam.  If I were you I would tie the knot with your American SO,  and work on getting admitted in the US jurisdiction while you wait on your green card.  Similar to Canada, family law in the US does not have a high barrier to entry, and once you get admitted/authorized to work you will be as marketable for those positions as most other US JD grads vying for those jobs.

Thanks for your response! The only reason why I'm considering an LLM is because then I wouldn't have to wait for 3 years to be eligible to write the Washington bar. 

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11 hours ago, ProfReader said:

I agree that the responses you have received are mostly geared towards corporate law.  Family law is a bit more of an unknown.  One additional thing occurs to me though...can Canadians even write the Washington state bar?

Canadians can if you have 3+ years of work experience or if you do the LLM program (which is 1 year)!

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