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Studying Law in the USA - Advice Needed

ririnshkiririnshki 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
I am currently living in the UK but would love to study Law in the USA after A-Levels. I am unfamiliar with the US schooling system and unsure as to if GCSEs or A-Levels have any worth across the pond. Essentially, I need a step by step walkthrough on how to become a practising lawyer in the USA, including any qualifications I could need or any exams I would need to sit. Thank you!
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Replies to: Studying Law in the USA - Advice Needed

  • austinmshauriaustinmshauri 8843 replies325 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Are you a US citizen? The US is saturated with lawyers. Why don't you want to practice in the UK?
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  • ririnshkiririnshki 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Are you a US citizen? The US is saturated with lawyers. Why don't you want to practice in the UK?
    I’m not a US citizen. As for the saturation, the demand for lawyers is expected to rise. I believe there are more opportunities to make social change in the US than in the UK.

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  • Conformist1688Conformist1688 1118 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Oh dear.

    Anyway, law school in the US is graduate only - so you would do a first degree majoring in anything. I don't think this has to be in the US. However, if you do ppply to US universities they will be perfectly familiar with A levels. There are significant differences between the two countries' university systems so it may or may not be the right path for you. What stage are you at now?

    To get into law school you need (a) a very good GPA; (2) high scores in the LSAT; (3) lots of money - law school is expensive and not much financial aid is available.
    Then you need to pass the bar in the state you want to practice in.

    And then to get a job you would need a visa allowing you to work in the US, which is very hard unless you have an American spouse or some other route to a green card. If you can't you would have wasted all that study and an awful lot of money.

    There is an oversupply of people graduating US law schools in the past decade who have not been able to find jobs as lawyers.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6597 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 18
    Law school in the US is a post-graduate course, not undergraduate. There are a couple of ways to be legally allowed to practice law in the US, BUT that is NOT the same as being allowed to live (& work) in the US. The best option overall is: undergrad law in the UK / qualify / get work as a solicitor at a UK law firm with a big US practice. To up your odds, after qualifying in the UK get an LLM (1 year) in the US and take the NY Bar. Large firms can get visas move people between their offices.

    To get a work visa for the US the employer has to make the case that there is nobody with your qualifications in the US & your expertise is essential (same rule the UK / EU has for US citizens going the other way).That is a very very tough argument to make about a newly minted grad. .

    The demand for lawyers may be expected to rise, but for now the market is saturated.

    edited August 18
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  • crankyoldmancrankyoldman 621 replies55 threadsRegistered User Member
    Per the BLS:
    "Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs over the next 10 years is expected to be strong because more students graduate from law school each year than there are jobs available."
    So not sure where you're getting the idea that demand is expected to rise. And the BLS data doesn't address the continuing and growing effects of outsourcing and automation in the legal field.
    And as noted above, as a non-US citizen, getting a work visa will be a real challenge.
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  • PublisherPublisher 7783 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are two main pathways to becoming an attorney in the US.

    The traditional path is four years of undergraduate study leading to a BA or BS degree in any major area of study that is of interest to you, followed by 3 years at a US law school.

    There are about 200 law schools in the US. US News rates & ranks US law schools. Best to get attend the highest ranked law school that you can afford. Many law schools have scholarship money available. For the most part, US law schools focus on one's LSAT score and one's undergraduate GPA when making admissions decisions.

    The second path is to earn an undergraduate law degree in Europe or in any country which utilizes a bachelors of law degree for its lawyers. Then take a one year program toward an LLM degree (masters of law) at a US law school. Typically the masters would be in comparative law but other options are available.

    Earning an LLM degree at an American law school enables one to sit for the bar exam in about 5 US states including New York state (unless something has changed in the last year).
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