Is having two law degrees a waste of time?

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    Hello fellow students. So I am currently enrolled at a university in England where I am reading Law LLB. Now I want to actually practice law in the states and after having done some primary and secondary research, it has become increasingly clear that a JD degree (Doctor of Juris) is much more better than an LLM (Masters of Law degree) for U.S employment.

    I plan on achieving my LLB here in England and then applying to Harvard, Yale, Michigan and Drexel in order to achieve a JD degree.

    Would having two law degrees be completely useless?
    I have thought about transferring to a different course such as sociology, but it may be too risky in case the American JD does not work out.
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    Maybe not a complete waste of time, but it's probably better to get experience in law before another degree though. Also, American universities make ours look like charities, they're ridiculously expensive lmao. Tbh as a law student, I feel like it would be more time effective to get a few years of experience, after the bar, in the field, and then try your luck at the American legal system idk
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    (Original post by MPH125)
    Maybe not a complete waste of time, but it's probably better to get experience in law before another degree though. Also, American universities make ours look like charities, they're ridiculously expensive lmao. Tbh as a law student, I feel like it would be more time effective to get a few years of experience, after the bar, in the field, and then try your luck at the American legal system idk
    Hello thank you for your response. My initial idea was to gradate with my LLB, take the LSAT and then apply to the JD. Once done with the JD go on to pass the bar and work for an American firm. In terms of cost, American law schools are extremely expensive, but compared to the UK they offer SO many scholarships, aid, loan repayment programs etc...
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    Hey, so I am coming at this from the perspective of someone who works with a lot of American lawyers. I don't know where you actually may want to practise once you're ready to take that step, but if your interests lie in private practice at an American law firm in the US, I can tell you that the JD is not necessarily that important because you are at somewhat of a disadvantage in comparison to students who did undergraduate degrees in something else and then went to law school for their graduate degrees which is the most common path in the US for lawyers.

    Having done 5-6 years of legal study with an English LLB and then an American JD will make you appear somewhat one-dimensional, according to the candid opinions I have heard from several US law firm partners. I know this because it was a path I was considering when I was a law student in England. Make of that anecdotal information what you will.

    If you utimately want to practise in the US but are pursuing an English law degree at undergraduate level, I would recommend strongly considering qualifying as an English solicitor or barrister and practising here for a few years. Thereafter, study for and sit the New York Bar and become New York qualified.

    While competitive, if you manage to get into an American law firm based in London, once you have that NY qualification, you could, potentially, use that as a springboard. Of course, there are no guarantees, but that is another way you could think about approaching it instead of spending 5+ years in law school and accumulating minimal relevant work experience in the process.
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    (Original post by arrowhead)
    Hey, so I am coming at this from the perspective of someone who works with a lot of American lawyers. I don't know where you actually may want to practise once you're ready to take that step, but if your interests lie in private practice at an American law firm in the US, I can tell you that the JD is not necessarily that important because you are at somewhat of a disadvantage in comparison to students who did undergraduate degrees in something else and then went to law school for their graduate degrees which is the most common path in the US for lawyers.

    Having done 5-6 years of legal study with an English LLB and then an American JD will make you appear somewhat one-dimensional, according to the candid opinions I have heard from several US law firm partners. I know this because it was a path I was considering when I was a law student in England. Make of that anecdotal information what you will.

    If you utimately want to practise in the US but are pursuing an English law degree at undergraduate level, I would recommend strongly considering qualifying as an English solicitor or barrister and practising here for a few years. Thereafter, study for and sit the New York Bar and become New York qualified.

    While competitive, if you manage to get into an American law firm based in London, once you have that NY qualification, you could, potentially, use that as a springboard. Of course, there are no guarantees, but that is another way you could think about approaching it instead of spending 5+ years in law school and accumulating minimal relevant work experience in the process.

    Hello thank you for the response.
    I understand that Americans will achieve another subject before their law degree, however I have spoken to several heads of recruitment at large firms in California and New York. They have all told me the same thing: 'We do not care about where you went to college or what subject you did, we are much more interested in your Law School education'

    I also confirmed with the Harvard admissions committee that they have had LLB applicants apply to their JD program. They said ANY bachelor degree is accepted, as long as it is 3 years or more in length.
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    (Original post by billy_k)
    Hello thank you for the response.
    I understand that Americans will achieve another subject before their law degree, however I have spoken to several heads of recruitment at large firms in California and New York. They have all told me the same thing: 'We do not care about where you went to college or what subject you did, we are much more interested in your Law School education'

    I also confirmed with the Harvard admissions committee that they have had LLB applicants apply to their JD program. They said ANY bachelor degree is accepted, as long as it is 3 years or more in length.
    That's all well and good and it sounds like you have done your research, but the question is: what will make you more marketable? Having two law degrees or being both English and NY qualified?

    I think that is something you should look into further and then decide, once you have all the information, what would be better for your long-term career aspirations.
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    (Original post by arrowhead)
    That's all well and good and it sounds like you have done your research, but the question is: what will make you more marketable? Having two law degrees or being both English and NY qualified?

    I think that is something you should look into further and then decide, once you have all the information, what would be better for your long-term career aspirations.
    Yes I have done hours of research. In terms of marketability a JD is essential in terms of obtaining a job in the states (I do not wish to practice law in the UK, so I do not plan on doing the LPC or bar here). Personally I believe that having two law degrees (A LLB and JD) will look better than just having a JD.
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    (Original post by arrowhead)
    Hey, so I am coming at this from the perspective of someone who works with a lot of American lawyers. I don't know where you actually may want to practise once you're ready to take that step, but if your interests lie in private practice at an American law firm in the US, I can tell you that the JD is not necessarily that important because you are at somewhat of a disadvantage in comparison to students who did undergraduate degrees in something else and then went to law school for their graduate degrees which is the most common path in the US for lawyers.

    Having done 5-6 years of legal study with an English LLB and then an American JD will make you appear somewhat one-dimensional, according to the candid opinions I have heard from several US law firm partners. I know this because it was a path I was considering when I was a law student in England. Make of that anecdotal information what you will.

    If you utimately want to practise in the US but are pursuing an English law degree at undergraduate level, I would recommend strongly considering qualifying as an English solicitor or barrister and practising here for a few years. Thereafter, study for and sit the New York Bar and become New York qualified.

    While competitive, if you manage to get into an American law firm based in London, once you have that NY qualification, you could, potentially, use that as a springboard. Of course, there are no guarantees, but that is another way you could think about approaching it instead of spending 5+ years in law school and accumulating minimal relevant work experience in the process.
    I agree with the 'one-dimensional' aspect. I'm going to be undertaking a Masters after a law degree, however it will be in the politics/policy/government area.

    I didn't feel as though having yet another law degree would add anything to my cv or help me gain new skills. Plus, a slightly different focus at masters level gives you more opportunities for working in government and consulting I should think.

    LLB - LLM just seems overkill since you don't even need the former, let alone the latter to become a lawyer.
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    (Original post by PostGrad221)
    I agree with the 'one-dimensional' aspect. I'm going to be undertaking a Masters after a law degree, however it will be in the politics/policy/government area.

    I didn't feel as though having yet another law degree would add anything to my cv or help me gain new skills. Plus, a slightly different focus at masters level gives you more opportunities for working in government and consulting I should think.

    LLB - LLM just seems overkill since you don't even need the former, let alone the latter to become a lawyer.

    Here is the issue. If I wanted to practice law in the UK, I would go for the LLM or the Oxford BCL. However I do not wish to practice here, I wish to practice in the United States. I have spoken to Michigan Law School about this too (Top law school in the U.S), and they have told me that the LLM and the JD are VERY different. The LLM is usually for academics, where as the JD is a much more practical degree. In terms of American employment, it is desired that an applicant has a JD. A JD also allows you to sit the bar in EVERY state. Whereas an LLM only allows you to sit the bar in 4-5 states, even then job opportunities are low with the LLM.

    The top schools such as Harvard and Yale have the best LLM programs in the world, however they expect graduates to return to their home country. Whereas a JD from Harvard or Yale guarantees employment in the states.
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    (Original post by billy_k)
    Here is the issue. If I wanted to practice law in the UK, I would go for the LLM or the Oxford BCL. However I do not wish to practice here, I wish to practice in the United States. I have spoken to Michigan Law School about this too (Top law school in the U.S), and they have told me that the LLM and the JD are VERY different. The LLM is usually for academics, where as the JD is a much more practical degree. In terms of American employment, it is desired that an applicant has a JD. A JD also allows you to sit the bar in EVERY state. Whereas an LLM only allows you to sit the bar in 4-5 states, even then job opportunities are low with the LLM.

    The top schools such as Harvard and Yale have the best LLM programs in the world, however they expect graduates to return to their home country. Whereas a JD from Harvard or Yale guarantees employment in the states.
    That's fair enough actually. My comment was more aimed at UK grads wanting to practice in the UK.
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    If you have the money time and desire to get asecond one its worth it as for it giving much return from what i've heard it wont be especially helpful usually. Aside from making you a more rounded individual that is.
    This being said some firms refuse to hire people without the highest honours from specific universities so having another one from a different university that might well have a better grade could help alot.
 
 
 
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