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    Hi there!

    I've tried speaking to my personal tutor and various people at my law school, but I haven't been able to find any concrete answers yet so I thought I'd perhaps try a forum where someone may be in the same situation as I am or have been in this situation!

    So - here's my situation: I am currently completing my LLB degree at a Scottish university. I am only doing Scots law. I was told that if I wanted to be a practicing lawyer in Scotland, I would have to do 5th year and there was a time limit to this. I was thinking of perhaps doing my diploma year in Glasgow (UoG) since it was relatively cheap but I honestly do not want to stay in Scotland to be a lawyer.

    I am from Europe and I mostly chose Scotland because for me, tuition fees are free, and my law school is in the top 20 in the UK so I thought that would help me stand out. However, after being in Scotland for almost 2 years now, I've realized that I want to be a practicing lawyer in America.

    The root of my question is this: is it possible to forego 5th year and just go to America? Do I have to do a law conversion course and then pass the Bar? Do I even have to take the Bar? I'm willing to do a conversion course but I just want to know what exactly it is I have to do if I want to go to America to work in a law firm.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
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    The requirements differ depending on what state you want to practice in.

    In New York you would have to pass the bar and they judge whether the uni you studied at is of sufficient caliber.
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    (Original post by kkellycat)
    The root of my question is this: is it possible to forego 5th year and just go to America? Do I have to do a law conversion course and then pass the Bar? Do I even have to take the Bar? I'm willing to do a conversion course but I just want to know what exactly it is I have to do if I want to go to America to work in a law firm.
    Your best bet would probably be to complete the LLB first. Foreign-educated lawyers have taken the Bar exam in the US (primarily limited to California and New York), but only after the American Bar Association (ABA) has audited the degree.

    However, it might be better to finish the LLB, get qualified in Scotland, and join a firm and transfer to a US office rather than jump at a US Bar exam and apply for a job. I have friends who attempted the latter, but were rejected by US firms.

    More info here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3539381
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    (Original post by joecphillips)
    The requirements differ depending on what state you want to practice in.

    In New York you would have to pass the bar and they judge whether the uni you studied at is of sufficient caliber.
    (Original post by zombiejon)
    Your best bet would probably be to complete the LLB first. Foreign-educated lawyers have taken the Bar exam in the US (primarily limited to California and New York), but only after the American Bar Association (ABA) has audited the degree.

    However, it might be better to finish the LLB, get qualified in Scotland, and join a firm and transfer to a US office rather than jump at a US Bar exam and apply for a job. I have friends who attempted the latter, but were rejected by US firms.

    More info here: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3539381

    I'm looking at major cities (primarily Chicago & DC) - would both of those cities only require taking the Bar or is there another requirement? Do I even have to take a conversion course at all?

    Honestly, I'm looking to get out of here as soon as possible. I'd rather not spend another 4 years (or more) in Scotland so this is why I'm kind of rushing the whole process. Also, I'm not entirely sure how 5th year works either? My personal tutor says it's 2 years and you have to do a traineeship in order to be qualified and all of this other stuff but it didn't really make any sense.

    I'm just looking to graduate, maybe earn some money at a law firm here, then go to America and pass the Bar. US firms are bound to reject loads of people anyways but in major cities there are tons of law firms. Even if I only get accepted to a 'crappy' law firm, I can always make my way up. I'm just looking to be a practicing lawyer in America.
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    (Original post by kkellycat)
    I'm looking at major cities (primarily Chicago & DC) - would both of those cities only require taking the Bar or is there another requirement? Do I even have to take a conversion course at all?

    Honestly, I'm looking to get out of here as soon as possible. I'd rather not spend another 4 years (or more) in Scotland so this is why I'm kind of rushing the whole process. Also, I'm not entirely sure how 5th year works either? My personal tutor says it's 2 years and you have to do a traineeship in order to be qualified and all of this other stuff but it didn't really make any sense.

    I'm just looking to graduate, maybe earn some money at a law firm here, then go to America and pass the Bar. US firms are bound to reject loads of people anyways but in major cities there are tons of law firms. Even if I only get accepted to a 'crappy' law firm, I can always make my way up. I'm just looking to be a practicing lawyer in America.
    Because the US has so many jurisdictions, their requirements for who can and can't sit the specific state bar vary. As of late, only California and NY jurisdictions allow foreign law degree holders to sit the their respective bar exams without having to do a JD. Every other state would deem your education as insufficient to qualify for a chance to sit the bar.

    There's also the fact that the US legal market is swamped already with an oversupply of thousands of law grads per year, whilst places remain scarce. It's unlikely that a firm would take on a foreigner (i.e they'd need to pay for your immigration visa application) with no experience over a US educated lawyer.

    As above, your best bet would be to qualify into English and Welsh law at a firm down south, first then ask for a transfer over to a US office. A lot of top law firms here have 1 year secondments abroad built into their training schemes. The issue with this is that you'd be restricted to only advising on international/cross border cases involving English law - especially so if you end up in a state outside of NY/Cali where you wouldn't even have a path to qualify to advise on US law.

    A JD is definitely NOT worth the $250k tuition + $50-100k living costs for a slim chance at a career in the US.
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    NY is your only option until you qualify, then Cali becomes available. You should be fine for it being a qualifying degree.

    If you are going to try an move to the Uk and then ask for a transfer you will have to do the GDL and then the LPC and then a TC.
    You then have to be good enough to get into a firm with a US office.
    You then have to be relevant enough for them to transfer you as an NQ.

    The alternative of doing the NY Bar as peiman points out is you will have to compete with US lawyers and theres a massive oversupply.
    The biggest hurdle is will you have a visa to work there?

    I think in DC you can be qualified in any US Bar.
 
 
 
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