A question from international student

<p>Are international students allowed to enroll in US law schools and are they allowed to take loans ?</p>

<p>Yes and, so far as I know, yes.</p>

<p>That`s what I thought.
The problem comes next == > getting a VISA to work is harder, but I have read somewhere that if one is competitive and a law firm (especially a big one) likes him/her, VISA can be arranged.</p>

<p>Okay, don't count on it. REALLY don't count on it. </p>

<p>First, understand that in the US law is a GRADUATE degree. You must already have a college degree. </p>

<p>Second, you can NOT borrow money from the US federal government to pay for your education. Most law schools require applicants who borrow to borrow the maximum possible from the federal government. The rest will be borrowed from commercial lenders, e.g., banks. Many of them will not lend to students from nations other than the US, Canada and Mexico. I know there are some exceptions, but essentially if your home nation won't let a US bank collect $150,000 + for student loans from you in its court system, you won't get the loan. The usual way around this is for a US citizen or green card holder to co-sign your loan. If you don't have someone who will do this for you, you probably won't get the loan. </p>

<p>In the past, <em>star</em> foreign students could get large law firms to sponsor them for visas. However, law firms themselves cannot promise you a visa--they just sponsor you. With the current glut of US attorneys, the incentive for any large law firm to do this for a foreign national is greatly reduced UNLESS you are a major "rain maker," that is business generator. If you have no reason to think you can bring in lots of business to the firm, don't count on beiing able to get a sponsor. Personally, I certainly would not go $150,000+ into debt based on the belief that you will get a large firm to offer you a job and agree to sponsor you. You will find that a very high percentage of foreign lawyers who do this have some other way of getting a visa--one of the most common is being married to a US citizen or green card holder. </p>

<p>This is not legal advice. Immigration isn't my area. However, I really don't think that anyone should go $150,000 into debt--assuming they can borrow the money--without being sure that (s)he can stay in the US when (s)he finishes law school.</p>

<p>Understand thet the climate for lawyers in the US has changed greatly in the last few years. It's much tougher to get a job coming out of law school now that it was as little as 3 years ago.</p>

<p>So, you are suggesting that it is possible to get a loan, but very difficult to get a VISA to work and therefore return the loan ?
For the record, I am a citizen of the European Union.
P.S
It won`t be particularly hard for me to charm a US girl while being in Law school ;P and I know I need a college degree before law school.I am starting my International relations degree in the fall.</p>

<p>Charming a girl is your best shot, go for it!</p>

<p>No, that's not at all what I am "suggesting." I am saying that if you don't have an American or US green card holder who is willing to co-sign the loan--meaning (s)he will pay it off if you fail to do so--it is unlikely that you will be able to borrow money from an American bank. You are not eligible for federal (government) student loans, which constitute a large part of how American law students pay for their educations. </p>

<p>This source, while it applies to UNDERGRADUATE degrees, may help you understand. Your best bet is to try to find a bank if your OWN nation which will loan you $150,000+ to attend a US law school. </p>

<p>eduPASS</a> | Financial Aid for International Students | Loans for International Students</p>

<p>Well, if I am not able to borrow the money, my family can pay my legal education.Once I get in and start law school, I will try to get a VISA :) ALthough, this is very risky.
BTW, I am currently holding an offer for a top 5 UK law school, where I will be able to practise without problems after graduating.
I just prefer to work in the States though.It`s not entirely about the money.I just like the life in the USA more.I have been to a few student exchange programs in San Francisco, Pomona and Seatle and I liked it ;)</p>

<p>Hey, what if I win a green card or marry a girl who did ?How do things change ?Will I be allowed to practise law after finishing law school and passing the bar ?</p>

<p>
[quote]
With the current glut of US attorneys, the incentive for any large law firm to do this for a foreign national is greatly reduced UNLESS you are a major "rain maker," that is business generator. If you have no reason to think you can bring in lots of business to the firm, don't count on beiing able to get a sponsor.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>While I agree that one shouldn't count on getting a biglaw offer, this bit is simply untrue. Biglaw firms routinely sponsor H-1B visas for international students they hire. These firms virtually never look for "rainmaking" ability in potential associates, whatever country they're from. The cost of sponsoring an H-1B is pretty minimal (certainly compared to what biglaw firms spend on recruiting), so I don't think it's something they even really think about. A non-US student is probably going to have about the same employment prospects as an American student from a similar school with similar grades.</p>

<p>Thank you for your responses guys.I will try to get as high GPA and LSAT score as possible and then I will apply.If I get in, I am sure I will find a way to pay the fees.However, this is four years from now.I need to focus on college now :)</p>