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What are my chances of getting employment as a Lawyer after doing the LLM?

zigglrzigglr Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
I am currently studying my 3 year Law LLB degree in the UK, after which I aim to do the LLM at a good University in the US. I have a family member who works for his father's Law firm who may be able to hire me as a Lawyer, or otherwise I would have to search for a job elsewhere.

How likely am I to be able to get a work permit, and find employment as a Lawyer in the US?

Replies to: What are my chances of getting employment as a Lawyer after doing the LLM?

  • HRSMomHRSMom Registered User Posts: 4,632 Senior Member
    Honestly, with so many US law students looking for jobs, I'm afraid it would be harder to get the visa unless it is a big company that gets an "allotment" of them,
  • zigglrzigglr Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Hey, thanks for the reply, I just looked up getting the green card, and it says this:

    Job or Employment Based

    People who want to become immigrants based on employment or a job offer may apply for permanent residence or an immigrant visa abroad, when an immigrant visa number becomes available according to the following employment based preferences:

    First Preference: Priority Workers, including aliens with extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers
    Second Preference: Members of professions holding an advanced degree or persons of exceptional ability (including individuals seeking a National Interest Waiver)
    Third Preference: Skilled Workers, professionals and other qualified workers
    Fourth Preference: Certain special immigrants including those in religious vocations
    Fifth Preference: Employment creation immigrants (investors or entrepreneurs)

    I would be second or third preference, correct?
  • HRSMomHRSMom Registered User Posts: 4,632 Senior Member
    Third I would think. But it could be 2nd. Anyone else know?

    I want you to have your eyes wide open on this, not being a downer. google the visa allotment. They typically run out early each year...
  • jackrabbit14jackrabbit14 Registered User Posts: 534 Member
    If an LLM is only is 3rd preference what kind of degree is advanced enough for second?
  • HRSMomHRSMom Registered User Posts: 4,632 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    I have an LLM, there are literally thousands and thousands of us. Plus, this would just be the equivalent 7th year for this candidate as UK only requires 6.

    I think they are talking about actual rocket scientists and such, Ph.Ds in areas they are most needed. Lawyers hardly fit the category of "needed" in the US.

    Look at this, indicates JD as 2nd, so I would presume that includes you OP

    http://lawmh.com/uploads/files/Permanent (Immigrant)%20Visas%20Green%20Cards.pdf
  • mommyrocksmommyrocks Registered User Posts: 1,218 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    I think the problem is you're from the UK and are a native English speaker. If you were Chinese, Korean or Brazilian, e.g., you might have a better shot because someone with skills in those laws, cultures and languages are needed for international law matters for global corporations.

    Even if you're in the second category for a visa, an employer would still need to show that they can't find anyone in the US with your skill set/knowledge and so they need to hire you instead of an American. That would be a stretch at most places.

    Your best bet would be to use connections as you already described, but even then, they will need to get you the visa. If I were you, I would look at U.S. law firms that have a branch in London or elsewhere in the UK, and see if you can get hired on there and then transfer abroad to the US.
  • zigglrzigglr Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    Is it recommended for me to do the JD instead of the LLM?
  • HRSMomHRSMom Registered User Posts: 4,632 Senior Member
    No difference. With your llb and an llm, you qualify to sit for most state bar exams. Neither would give you and advantage over the other in the visa process.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 25,356 Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    I'm afraid it would be harder to get the visa unless it is a big company that gets an "allotment" of them.

    btw, OP: just in case its not clear, you don't get the visa; a company must sponsor you. Your friend's firm might work,, but its a long shot, and they'd have to pay the application fees.
  • HappyAlumnusHappyAlumnus Registered User Posts: 1,190 Senior Member
    I don't think that getting a UK law degree and then an LLM, and hitting the US job market, is a good idea.

    In your case, you'd be competing with slews of new US law graduates. There are lots more of them than there are jobs available. Unfortunately, there isn't anything "exotic" about the UK that would fit you into a track that some large firms have for foreign lawyers, or would differentiate you from the slews of new US law graduates, even if you get an LLM from somewhere like Yale.

    I would work with the family member's father's law firm, build a client base through that and then, if you want, transition to another law firm in the US. When it's time to make that transition, then it'll be useful to have a US LLM since other firms may require that you be admitted to a US bar.
  • sattutsattut Registered User Posts: 907 Member
    ypoYou are better off getting an LLM, which takes one year, rather than a JD (which used to be called an LLB) and which would be 3 years from scratch, really another LLB. You still would only be able to practice in certain states. Obviously, you need to pass the bar exam. Not sure about getting a work permit though.
This discussion has been closed.