Sitting the New York bar exam after LLB law in UK? Watch

zigglr
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After my 3 year LLB Law degree in the UK, I aim to do the bar exam in the New York, US (which requires studying Law for 3 years in another country). Does anyone have any experience with this exam? How difficult is it? And how what was your experience like finding employment as a lawyer in the US after completing it?
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J-SP
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I can't say how difficult the assessments are but do have some idea of how difficult it will be to find work in the U.S.

You will be joining a job market where law grads have more experience and qualifications than you. They will be used to seeing candidates with an undergraduate degree and a JD. People think the New York Bar (or other state bar exams) are a way of securing work in the U.S., but it is a very saturated market, especially in New York. It really isn't that simple/straight-forward - my experience of recruiting in NY made the UK recruitment process look like child's play.

I suspect the advice most would give you is to take the bar but then return to the UK, secure a TC and then try to transfer as a dual qualified lawyer later down the line. If you really want to start your career in the U.S., then potentially look into other state bar exams as that might be an easier route.


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christianlaw
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(Original post by zigglr)
After my 3 year LLB Law degree in the UK, I aim to do the bar exam in the New York, US (which requires studying Law for 3 years in another country). Does anyone have any experience with this exam? How difficult is it? And how what was your experience like finding employment as a lawyer in the US after completing it?
The exam is difficult so your best option is to enrol in a bar preparation course e.g.
http://www.barbri-international.com
Difficult doesn't mean impossible. Foreign educated applicants have a 43% pass rate (http://www.nybarexam.org/ExamStats/2...Statistics.pdf) but don't forget that many complete a 1 year LL.M in U.S. Law.

If you compare this with California (one of the other few states to allow foreign graduates to sit for the bar) 11% (for foreign graduates) New York is much more manageable.

Now in terms of work this is a completely different story. Obtaining a work permit is not easy and local law firms will have little or no appetite for a foreign graduate. You will also need to check with the Bar if you are eligible to sit without the LL.M: in some cases the NY Bar requires that to cure some of the deficiencies.
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zigglr
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(Original post by christianlaw)
The exam is difficult so your best option is to enrol in a bar preparation course e.g.
http://www.barbri-international.com
Difficult doesn't mean impossible. Foreign educated applicants have a 43% pass rate (http://www.nybarexam.org/ExamStats/2...Statistics.pdf) but don't forget that many complete a 1 year LL.M in U.S. Law.

If you compare this with California (one of the other few states to allow foreign graduates to sit for the bar) 11% (for foreign graduates) New York is much more manageable.

Now in terms of work this is a completely different story. Obtaining a work permit is not easy and local law firms will have little or no appetite for a foreign graduate. You will also need to check with the Bar if you are eligible to sit without the LL.M: in some cases the NY Bar requires that to cure some of the deficiencies.
Yeah I have decided i'm going to do the LLM. Just worried about getting employment after the Bar. Will getting a lot of work experience during my LLM help?
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J-SP
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(Original post by zigglr)
Yeah I have decided i'm going to do the LLM. Just worried about getting employment after the Bar. Will getting a lot of work experience during my LLM help?
Will you have the right to work in the U.S or will you require a sponsored work visa?


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christianlaw
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(Original post by zigglr)
Yeah I have decided i'm going to do the LLM. Just worried about getting employment after the Bar. Will getting a lot of work experience during my LLM help?
Unless you have a permanent residency you are not likely to find any meaningful legal employment in the U.S. There are also strict limits on working while on a study visa.

I know might sound very negative but there are so many U.S. law graduates that virtually no firm will have the means to justify hiring a foreigner.
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zigglr
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(Original post by christianlaw)
Unless you have a permanent residency you are not likely to find any meaningful legal employment in the U.S. There are also strict limits on working while on a study visa.

I know might sound very negative but there are so many U.S. law graduates that virtually no firm will have the means to justify hiring a foreigner.
Ok, I do have a family member who is a Lawyer for his dad's firm in New Hampshire, I guess that would be my only way in. I'd need to do the LLM and then the Bar exam for New Hampshire first right?
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(Original post by zigglr)
Ok, I do have a family member who is a Lawyer for his dad's firm in New Hampshire, I guess that would be my only way in. I'd need to do the LLM and then the Bar exam for New Hampshire first right?
I still think it would be difficult for that person to get you the necessary work permit.


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christianlaw
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(Original post by zigglr)
Ok, I do have a family member who is a Lawyer for his dad's firm in New Hampshire, I guess that would be my only way in. I'd need to do the LLM and then the Bar exam for New Hampshire first right?
New Hampshire doesn't allow foreign graduates to sit for the bar exam
https://law.unh.edu/academics/gradua...ar-exam-tracks

the only two states that you can consider are NY and California.
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christianlaw
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Your best option is a two year JD programme e.g.
http://www.fordham.edu/info/22506/tw...ional_students
with a JD you can sit the bar in any state. The JD is 1 extra year vs. the LLM but it gives you a bigger advantage both in terms of preparing and passing the bar and, possibly, employment if you can get a permit.
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zigglr
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(Original post by christianlaw)
New Hampshire doesn't allow foreign graduates to sit for the bar exam
https://law.unh.edu/academics/gradua...ar-exam-tracks

the only two states that you can consider are NY and California.
the five US states which allow a foreign lawyer to take the bar: New York, California, Alabama, New Hampshire and Virginia. These states allow some foreign-educated lawyers to take the bar examination without earning their degree locally. In this case, however, foreign-educated lawyers must begin the process by getting their law degree reviewed and analyzed by the American Bar Association (ABA) with an option to complete either JD or LLM degree from ABA approved Law school

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/takin...-ahuja-llm-esq
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zigglr
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(Original post by J-SP)
I still think it would be difficult for that person to get you the necessary work permit.


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Ok, i'm probably confused on this but I just looked up getting a Green Card based on employment, and it says this:

Job or Employment BasedPeople 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, right?
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christianlaw
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(Original post by zigglr)
the five US states which allow a foreign lawyer to take the bar: New York, California, Alabama, New Hampshire and Virginia. These states allow some foreign-educated lawyers to take the bar examination without earning their degree locally. In this case, however, foreign-educated lawyers must begin the process by getting their law degree reviewed and analyzed by the American Bar Association (ABA) with an option to complete either JD or LLM degree from ABA approved Law school

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/takin...-ahuja-llm-esq
This is only partially correct. Some states like NH, AL would consider foreign graduates only if admitted in another jurisdiction (e.g. UK) and with a number of years of experience see:
http://www.courts.state.nh.us/nhbar/

Supreme Court Rule 42 (V)(c) sets forth the requirements for admission by exam or motion for applicants whose law degrees are from foreign countries. Among other things, the rule requires that the legal education take place in a common-law country and that the applicant be a member in good standing of the bar of that country, or of another state in the United States. The applicant must show that the legal study was substantially equivalent in substance to an education at an ABA-accredited law school. The rule requires submission of an affidavit and other documents and places the burden of proving compliance with the requirements of the rule on the applicant. Applicants with foreign legal educations should familiarize themselves with Rule 42(V)(c) before applying to the New Hampshire bar.

So as I said unless you obtain a two year JD for foreign graduates your main options are New York, California and Texas (if you complete an LLM). Two other states changed their rules to allow LLM graduates to sit for the bar: Wisconsin and Georgia.
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christianlaw
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(Original post by zigglr)
Ok, i'm probably confused on this but I just looked up getting a Green Card based on employment, and it says this:

Job or Employment BasedPeople 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, right?
The job or employment based visa requires that there is no suitable candidate in the U.S. and this isn't normally the case with lawyers. Members of the profession means that you must already be professionally qualified in your jurisdiction. I don't think would be applicable to law anyway as you can't be of execeptional ability in the field of U.S. law from outside the U.S.

The third could be possible but again no firm is going to offer you a job unless you have a green card first. If you have family in the U.S. you might have some possibilities. Someone I know obtained a visa by investment (he simply invested in his own law office) but it wasn't an easy project.

If you plan to work in the U.S. passing the bar won't change much. The majority of foreign graduates sitting for the NY or California bar do it for a matter of prestige or international practice (or if you can't find a training contract).

This doesn't mean that a Visa is impossible to obtain. You should proceed step by step: if you are 100% committed to the U.S. and want to do the LLM (and not the graduate JD) you should contact some schools that offer that programme and ask about the Visa issues too.
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zigglr
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(Original post by christianlaw)
The job or employment based visa requires that there is no suitable candidate in the U.S. and this isn't normally the case with lawyers. Members of the profession means that you must already be professionally qualified in your jurisdiction. I don't think would be applicable to law anyway as you can't be of execeptional ability in the field of U.S. law from outside the U.S.

The third could be possible but again no firm is going to offer you a job unless you have a green card first. If you have family in the U.S. you might have some possibilities. Someone I know obtained a visa by investment (he simply invested in his own law office) but it wasn't an easy project.

If you plan to work in the U.S. passing the bar won't change much. The majority of foreign graduates sitting for the NY or California bar do it for a matter of prestige or international practice (or if you can't find a training contract).

This doesn't mean that a Visa is impossible to obtain. You should proceed step by step: if you are 100% committed to the U.S. and want to do the LLM (and not the graduate JD) you should contact some schools that offer that programme and ask about the Visa issues too.
About your friend who invested in a Law office to get a Visa. So if one invests $500,000 in a Law office (http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/gree...ugh-investment) they get a Visa?
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J-SP
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(Original post by zigglr)
Ok, i'm probably confused on this but I just looked up getting a Green Card based on employment, and it says this:

Job or Employment BasedPeople 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, right?
For some reason the second half of your post doesn't show up but does when I quote it...

Anyway - I wouldn't count on it. You'd definitely wouldn't come under 1) though. Maybe the others but it isn't as simple as just applying for a visa and it simply being approved even if you meet the criteria.

First you have to secure a job and then you'd have to go through a process of applying for the green card. This can take an awfully long time and it's one that many companies/organisations can't risk waiting for.

As I mentioned earlier, if working in the U.S. Is your ultimate goal, your chances will be much stronger if you qualify in the UK and then transfer as a qualified lawyer. I've seen far more do it that way.


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christianlaw
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(Original post by zigglr)
About your friend who invested in a Law office to get a Visa. So if one invests $500,000 in a Law office (http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/gree...ugh-investment) they get a Visa?
Yes is normally much easier but obviously this is not a small amount. I think that he did invest less than that (100K). What he did thou is completing a JD (2 years) because not having one is pretty much a no go.

Have you completed your LLB ? If this is the case you can apply for the NY Bar exam and see how they evaluate your profile. If you are eligible you are one step closer. The second step is preparing with a course like http://www.barbri-international.com
You might also want to contact them as they have a lot of experience in the exam, the relevant regulations etc.

In alternative (if you want to do the LLM but that is also 50K) you can discuss with the law school that will know what to do in terms of visas etc.
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zigglr
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(Original post by christianlaw)
Yes is normally much easier but obviously this is not a small amount. I think that he did invest less than that (100K). What he did thou is completing a JD (2 years) because not having one is pretty much a no go.

Have you completed your LLB ? If this is the case you can apply for the NY Bar exam and see how they evaluate your profile. If you are eligible you are one step closer. The second step is preparing with a course like http://www.barbri-international.com
You might also want to contact them as they have a lot of experience in the exam, the relevant regulations etc.

In alternative (if you want to do the LLM but that is also 50K) you can discuss with the law school that will know what to do in terms of visas etc.
Ok so you would recommend I do the JD instead of the LLM?

I haven't finished it yet, but I am just thinking ahead
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christianlaw
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(Original post by zigglr)
Ok so you would recommend I do the JD instead of the LLM?

I haven't finished it yet, but I am just thinking ahead
A JD for foreign graduates is generally a better option yet more expensive. If is just to sit the New York Bar Exam you won't need a JD or an LLM either. I still think that qualifying in the UK first would be the best course of action.
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I was just wondering, why are you so hung up on the U.S?
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