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Question about the USA Legal rules. HELP!

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    Hello, my name is Antoaneta Rafailova and I am an undergraduate student in the University of Manchester in the UK. I have some questions and doubts about the legal system in the USA. I will be really grateful if someone spends time on reading this and answering, if possible.
    I am planning to study postgraduate degree, after finishing my undergraduate in the USA. My dream is Harvard. I know that in the UK after you graduate you should choose between working as a barrister or solicitor. But in order to work you are expected to finish the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers and a different one (cannot remember the name) for solicitors. But these courses are only if you want to practice, you pay them by yourself. So my question is whether this courses are accepted by the USA or are the same there and it doesn't matter whether I will go there or in the UK or I will need to sit the bar exam or to go to another compulsory course in order to start working? My next question is whether there is the same separation between barristors and solicitors? Or maybe there are some different separations? What courses are necessary after graduating postgraduate in order do start working?

    Thank you in advance. I am really confused and I don't know another source of information.
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    Read this thread. http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=477217
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    Hi,

    I hope the answers below answer some of your questions. I am a little bit confused as to some of what you have asked, so have provided answers to what I interpreted your question to mean. I hold a UK law degree and will be graduating from law school in the US (LL.M) this May, followed by a US bar exam shortly after. My response is based on this experience.

    1). You do not need to take any BPTC or LPC-type course to practice in the US. To practice in the US, all you have to do is graduate law school and pass the Bar Exam. Once you pass the Bar Exam (and are admitted in a State), you can start to practice- even on your own (there is no supervised practice requirement). You do not need to complete another compulsary course after law school in the US.
    -However: Do remember, that law school in the US is a postgraduate degree. To get into US law school, you must have an ungergraduate degree.
    -Also: Bar Exams in the US are State specific, i.e. only allow you to practice in that specific State.
    -You may sit for certain State bar exams (New York and California) without ever having attended law school in the US. Both New York and California States allow foreign educated lawyers (incl. those with UK LL.B's) to sit their State bar exams without any US qualifcation. However, there are many conditions for this (please seek out other threads specifically addressing this, and the NYBOLE website for examples).
    -Many foreign-educated lawyers undertake a one-year LL.M program in the US (either because they must do so in order to sit the bar exam, or out of pure academic interest in an area of law, as per myself).
    -Assitionally, you may want to take a 'Bar Exam Prep Course' to prepare you for sitting State bar exams. These are not mandatory, but HIGHLY recomended, and almost ALL US students take them. Bar Exam Prep courses are often on-line, and last around 8 weeks before you take a State bar exam.

    2). It seems like you are asking whether a 'US BPTC/LPC' would be acceptable to get you working in the UK?
    -As mentioned above, the US does not require vocational-stage courses such as BPTC or LPC to be admitted to practices in certain State jurisdictions.
    -It is unclear, but it you are suggesting qualifying in the US so that you can come back to the UK and practice (trying to avoid the BPTC and LPC), this is an interesting issue. Once qualified in the US (or any other foreign jurisdiction), there is the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test (QLTT) which under some circumstances can allow you to practice in the UK, despite not holding the BPTC or LPC.
    -BUT: many people have discussed the US Qualification + QLTT route to UK qualification and practice recently, and it is generally considered somewhat nonsense in terms of job prospects. *Personal opinion invading there, appologies for lack of objectivity.

    3). There is no official distinction b/w Solicitors and Barristers in the US. Everyone is called a 'Lawyer'.
    -However: Lawyers do of course tend to specialize. In particular, there are so-called 'Trial Lawyers', who (IMO) are the closest thing the US has to Barristers (purely due to the fact they concentrate their practice in advocacy work).
    -However: once you pass a State bar exam, you can engage in both transaction (Solicitor-type work) and advocacy (Barrister-type work). *For all Forum Members I have just offended by that horrendously crude example, a thousand appologies.

    I have tried to be comprehensive, but I am not sure if I fully understood and interpreted your questions correctly. If not, I am happy to try again if given some more clarity.
    *Handheld= spelling nightmare.

    (Original post by antoaneta_p_r)
    Hello, my name is Antoaneta Rafailova and I am an undergraduate student in the University of Manchester in the UK. I have some questions and doubts about the legal system in the USA. I will be really grateful if someone spends time on reading this and answering, if possible.
    I am planning to study postgraduate degree, after finishing my undergraduate in the USA. My dream is Harvard. I know that in the UK after you graduate you should choose between working as a barrister or solicitor. But in order to work you are expected to finish the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers and a different one (cannot remember the name) for solicitors. But these courses are only if you want to practice, you pay them by yourself. So my question is whether this courses are accepted by the USA or are the same there and it doesn't matter whether I will go there or in the UK or I will need to sit the bar exam or to go to another compulsory course in order to start working? My next question is whether there is the same separation between barristors and solicitors? Or maybe there are some different separations? What courses are necessary after graduating postgraduate in order do start working?

    Thank you in advance. I am really confused and I don't know another source of information.
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    LPC and BVC are not recognised in the US.

    Most states require a full JD law degree from a US university, a one year LLM is not enough. California and New York allow you to take their state bar exams to practice in that state on the basis of a 3-year law degree from the UK or a 1-year LLM completed in the US.

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