Hey /biz/. I have the opportunity to study in my country's best law school, which has partnerships with excellent law schools in other countries (eg. Yale).
However, I don't know if I should do it, since I don't want to build my career in my country, and that I'd rather work elsewhere (either in Canada or the US).
Would a law degree force me to work in my country, even if I specialize in something like international law? I'm certainly not going to study public or criminal law, for example, but I'm still worried. I'm not even sure that I want to work in a law firm, since careers in diplomacy, consulting or intel also interest me.
A law degree and law licence are really only useful in the country that issued them.
If you want to practice in the U.S., for example, any foreign law licence is irrelevant and does not authorize you to act as an attorney in any state. You would still need to pass the relevant state bar exam. Even before that, your academic credentials would be scrutinized to determine if you are qualified to sit for the bar. Unless your degree is from The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Israel, there's a decent chance your degree is completely worthless here.
By the way, International Law courses don't teach you the laws of other countries or how to practice as an "international lawyer" (there is no such thing). International Law teaches you how the laws of other nations interact and intersect with the laws of your own country for purposes of resolving conflicts in your own country.
That's too bad.
>If you want to practice in the US
Well, I did say that I wasn't set on becoming an attorney and working at a law firm specifically, and that I assumed a law degree would be versatile enough for a career in diplomacy or consulting (that's an example, I'm not dead-set on anything in particular).
The main advantage a law degree from a top school offers is a wide range of prospective careers and great versatility, or at least that's what I assumed and was told. Given that I don't know what exactly I'd like to do but that I would like to work abroad, it seemed like a good choice.
Am I wrong?
I won't say that having a foreign law degree would have no value in the U.S. business or diplomatic spheres, but I wouldn't put much value in it either. Since you can't practice law in the U.S. without a U.S. law licence, you wouldn't be permitted to give your U.S. employer or clients any legal advice about issues in your home country. At best, you could help issue-spot potential legal trouble areas, although your lack of practical legal experience in your home country would severely impair your usefulness in this context.
>The main advantage a law degree from a top school offers is a wide range of prospective careers and great versatility
In your home country, yes. But not elsewhere. Having a foreign law degree would certainly make you a more attractive candidate than someone equally qualified but without such credentials, but whether such an advantage is worth the 3-4 years you spent getting that degree is debateable.
Bottom line: if you'd rather work in the U.S. or Canada, then why wouldn't you aim for a law degree in the U.S. or Canada? Spending years on a degree in your home country that you don't plan to use doesn't strike me as productive.
What you're saying makes sense, however I couldn't justify getting in crippling debt to attend a law school in the US, especially since I probably couldn't get into a top university in the first place (compared to the opportunities I have in my home country).
What I forgot to mention is that the partnerships between my university and schools like Yale and Hastings are accredited, meaning that I'd obtain both a master's from my country's university and an LL.M from the foreign school I would attend.
Is that irrelevant?
>Is that irrelevant?
In the world of U.S. legal practice, yes it's largely irrelevant. LLM's have no real value to U.S. law firms, and actually, in the minds of many hiring lawyers (myself included), LLM's are actually a negative. We're not looking for brainy academic with post-doc degrees. At the end of the day, its probably a wash. But you're not really interested in U.S. law practice anyway.
In the world of U.S. business or government, I honestly can't say whether anyone would be impressed by a "LLM" from a U.S. school that you didn't actually attend. Because (no offence intended), you getting a LLM this way is not comparable to actually completing a U.S. LLM curriculum.
I'd guess that, at the end of the day, it'd have some value in the hiring process of some consultancy firms or government agencies. It certainly could get your resume a second-look, or it might elevate you over a similar candidate with lesser credentials. But again, whether that's worth the 3-4 year spent on the degree is debateable.
It sounds to me like you're trying to convince yourself to attend your home law school because it's a "bird in the hand" -- an opportunity that you're scared to pass up. You're rationalizing it by telling yourself that it'll improve your hiring chances in the U.S. or Canada, which is probably true to some degree. But what I haven't heard you acknowledge is that there's an opportunity cost of getting this law degree that may not payoff down the road.
Do you think you could get hired in the U.S. or Canada today for the kind of career you want? If so, then why not aim for that now? If not, is getting a foreign law degree and a "fake" U.S. LLM going to make the difference?
Unfortunately, I can only speculate on that last question in the context of U.S.consultancy and government work. I don't work in those fields, though I work with them often.
If the partnership isn't worth much, then I should probably forget about it.
>a U.S. school that you didn't actually attend
I think you misunderstood, I would attend that school in order to obtain the LL.M, they call it a partnership but it's an exchange as far as I know. There's a low number of spots to fill, and the admission process is supposedly tough, so I'm guessing it's worth something.
>It sounds to me like you're trying to convince yourself to attend your home law school because it's a "bird in the hand" -- an opportunity that you're scared to pass up.
There's that, and also the fact that I've been constantly told that studying law would fit me well as a person. Since I have no idea what I want to do with my life, I figured that I'd study something I could be good at, and go from there.
I'm not trying to rationalize it as much as I was truly wondering whether or not that law degree would actually help me get hired as an expat. If the answer is no, I probably shouldn't bother, because of that opportunity cost you mentioned. The problem is that I don't know where to go from there.
>Do you think you could get hired in the U.S. or Canada today
Since I don't have a degree, no. I'm currently studying economics and I highly doubt it could help me find work abroad.
Furthermore, it seems incredibly difficult to get hired in North America altogether, and that only extremely qualified foreigners could hope to be hired by an American company from the get-go. Isn't that true?
>is getting a foreign law degree and a "fake" U.S. LLM going to make the difference?
Then, let's rephrase the original question: if a law degree and LL.M aren't going to make a difference, then what will?
>it's an exchange as far as I know
If its actually an exchange program and you're attending a top U.S. school on U.S. soil, then that does potentially change the math. Not only does that place higher value on the degree, but it also gives you access to the U.S. school's job placement resources, which should help you make meaningful connections with prospective employers. Also, obviously, it'll be significantly easier to find a U.S. (or Canadian) job if you're physically in North America for a year or more, making you available for interviews, etc.
>Since I have no idea what I want to do with my life
People debate this all the time, but I do agree that a law degree can be useful for someone who hasn't quite figured out their course in life because its useful in many fields. However, this isn't really true in the case of a foreign law degree *if* you know that you plan to go abroad.
But if you're uncertain about that aspect too, and are open to the possibility that you'll stay in your home country, then I see the line of thinking.
>only extremely qualified foreigners could hope to be hired by an American company from the get-go. Isn't that true?
I don't know where you're from, and therefore can't even begin to answer this question. It would depend on the field and the employer in any event.
>if a law degree and LL.M aren't going to make a difference, then what will?
U.S. (and presumably Canadian) employees are looking to hire people who can demonstrate that they can perform the job at a high level and are committed to the job. Presumably this means not only having the requisite education but also being physically in North America (including while completing a degree program at a U.S. school), perhaps applying for citizenship, having outstanding English skills, and otherwise establishing local ties. But these are merely generalizations. Without knowing what you actually want to do, it's impossible to give specific advice.
As far as I know, it is actually an exchange program, and the fact that it's highly competitive seems to indicate that it isn't just a glorified extension school degree.
>if you're physically in North America for a year or more
Say I get rejected from an American law school and finish my degree in my home country. If physically being in America is important, wouldn't it be a viable option to apply for jobs while on a tourist visa? It's a hypothetical situation, but it would be good to know that I could fall back on something should the need arise.
>this isn't really true in the case of a foreign law degree
Is it true in the case of any foreign degree, though? The hiring process for qualified immigrants is an administrative hell, not to mention extremely selective due to high demand.
>are open to the possibility that you'll stay in your home country
I will if I have no other option, yeah. I'd like to try everything I can before considering that, though.
>I don't know where you're from
Western Europe. Not India, China or the middle east if that's what you were implicitly asking.
>It would depend on the field and the employer
Does it make that much of a difference? Are there fields and employers that are known to hire a lot of foreigners?
>having the requisite education
>completing a degree program at a U.S. school
So, in any case, going to North America for a master's or PhD would at least get me a foot in the door for job seeking?
>applying for citizenship
I was under the impression that it was impossible to do that unless one already held some sort of residency visa. I might be mistaken.
>outstanding English skills
I do consider myself as bilingual, justifiably so since I passed off as American whenever I went to an English-speaking country. At least that's one thing I don't have to worry about.
>knowing what you actually want to do
My only requirement is moving to Canada/US to work in any field loosely related to management, consulting, government...
I've posted proof of my credentials many times, including a photo of my law degree.
As for my tripcode, I am a multi-millionaire, as I have also proven with photos of my investment statements.
I realize you're new on /biz/ and, to be fair, I don't expect you to know who I am anyway. Your skepticism is natural, and probably usually correct around here.
OP can judge for himself whether my advice sounds like it's coming from someone with experience in the legal field.
>As far as I know
You need to do some serious, exhaustive research on this. This isn't the kind of thing you wait to find out the details as you go.
Furthermore, the school should be able to provide you with their insight and experience with participants obtaining foreign job placements. If it were me, I'd be scheduling a meeting with someone in their admissions or placement department to discuss these exact topics.
>Is it true in the case of any foreign degree, though?
Chemistry is chemistry, regardless of your country. Math is math, regardless of your country. Programming is programming, regardless of your country. Accounting is accounting, for the most part, regardless of your country. Etc., etc.
But law *always* varies from country to country, and law degrees never travel.
>Are there fields and employers that are known to hire a lot of foreigners?
Yes, for the reasons discussed above. Some education is universal, some is not.
> management, consulting, government
These are going to be tougher to break into as a foreign student than the sciences, for the reasons discussed above. For management, employers are going to be looking for a M.B.A., not a foreign law degree or even a U.S. LLM. Similar for consulting, although that's such a loosely defined field that there may be doors opened to you.
Government hiring is a enigma unto itself. They tend to be an employer of last resort.
I know, I'll be seeing a counselor soon to talk about the details of this partnership.
>Chemistry is chemistry, math is math, programming is programming
>Some education is universal, some is not
That's basically implying that a law degree puts me at a greater disadvantage than any other degree, since law's the only field that isn't universal in any way.
Therefore, wouldn't it actually be better for me to go on with economics? At least economy wouldn't change depending on the country I'm in.
Would you say an MBA makes it much easier for a foreigner to obtain job offers?
I've been told that an MBA is advantageous because it makes one's previous degrees much less important to the eyes of an employer (similarly to how a good PhD "overwrites" a poor BS or MS for academic positions). How true is that statement?
well, I'm speechless. tbpfh looks like you really simultaneously have a bank and post le dank memes on belorussian index-toe-knitting board.
>still clearly confuses "employees" with "employers"
also, you're giving a solid advice, but too long.
basically the /thread is "jd is the least country-mobile degree of all" and "international law is still law of your cunt".
I understand, and it is math
1) job in the bank
2) job in the research department of any shitty uni
3) easy career correction/masters in many other STEMs, particularly IT or physics
the worst degree for immigration is still law.
>the worst degree for immigration is still law
I see. Given how I'm neither interested by math nor willing to study it, would you say finishing my economics degree and attempting to get some kind of econ master's in America or the UK would give me solid opportunities?
You mean "not great but better than nothing"?
What specific subset of econ (micro-econ, macro, finance...) would you say is the most employable?
>highly depends on the colleges
The program's reputable in my country, but I guess it won't matter as long as the master's good.
opportunities-tier as in
not as good as math, but if the college is good than largely employable with very good career outlook
probably finance but there I'm talking right out of my ass tbqh.
>That's basically implying that a law degree puts me at a greater disadvantage than any other degree, since law's the only field that isn't universal in any way.
It's not the only degree with portability issues, and it's not completely non-portable, but its hard for me to imagine law is the best path for someone who knew they'd be leaving the country.
>Would you say an MBA makes it much easier for a foreigner to obtain job offers?
>How true is that statement?
100% true. An M.B.A. from a top-tier business school will likely put you on par with any other U.S. candidate with a similar degree.
>you're giving a solid advice, but too long
No one asked for your editorial review.
>it is math
Actually its chemistry. Math is a pretty-dead end degree for employment purposes. Banks don't hire math majors. There's about 1000 chemistry research positions for every 1 math research position. And chemistry and other physical sciences have scores of real-world employment paths in the private sector, unlike mathematicians.
This is actually correct.
>I'll be back after the game if there's more questions.
As you might've read above, I think I might continue studying economics since it would make it easier for me to become an expat.
Would you say it would be better, in that case, to get a MSc in economics/finance from a North American university, or to try to get into a good MBA program?
I think everyone can agree on the fact that MBA programs that aren't top-tier aren't worth it, period. However, an MBA is a huge investment, and getting into HBS or Wharton isn't exactly easy to begin with. Is a master's in econ or finance a viable fallback plan?
Thanks for your advice, by the way.
>Would you say it would be better, in that case, to get a MSc in economics/finance from a North American university, or to try to get into a good MBA program?
This is getting far afield of my personal experiences, but I think a MBA has far more value, far more opportunities, and far more upside than a masters in econ or finance.
We're talking about post-graduate degrees here, kid. Please keep up.
Besides, he asked about the universality and employability of the degrees, not the average salary. Who cares what the average salary of a math major may be if there are less than 0.1% of the jobs available as compared to a chem major, for example.
Lastly, a friendly reminder, the richest guy on 4chan was an English major. Let's refrain from posting meme-tier advice on subjects that are plainly more complicated than what might be captured in a simple graphic.