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Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Old Mar 27th 2008, 1:43 am
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Default Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

I just wanted to put out some feelers and see if anyone has advice or can point me towards resources for helping a British solicitor land a legal job in the U.S.

Here's the background...

A good friend of mine (currently without internet access, god bless him) has for years been dreaming of working as an attorney in California. He's a qualified solicitor in London and has worked various jobs over the years, ranging from solicitor (covering mainly immigration) to a legal investigator for a large international accounting institution. He's taken the Cal Bar twice (once after also taking a barbri course while crashing with me) and so far is 0 for 2 so is a bit demoralized by that path.

Even if he were to pass the bar third time around he would still have to get a job, obviously, but in the mean time does anyone know of any resources or have any advice that might help him jump into some sort of paralegal position on the basis of his "international" experience and general legal prowess? This is a person who interviews extremely well, has extensive knowledge about the most arcane subjects and, frankly, is a brilliant legal mind (it's one reason he probably failed the bar... he tried to out-think the questioner)

What's he doing now? Renovating a Georgian townhouse in Kent! I guess he needed a break from the rat race.
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 2:17 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

You might suggest to him that he come over to the US and take a one year LLM course to brush up on some of the subjects that are likely to be covered on the bar exam. He might also consider taking the NY bar, which is a popular path for many foreign educated attorneys (though I think you need the LLM).

I think he would be banging his head as a paralegal and probably quite frustrated at making 25% of what the attorneys are making.

The other option is to work for a firm in the UK that would be willing to transfer him to the US. Might be a bit easier than trying to fight for the limited number of H-1Bs.
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 2:18 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Take a bloody good run at it?
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 2:26 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
Take a bloody good run at it?
He is a lawyer so not too good a run
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 2:27 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Maybe Folinskyinla has some ideas? He practices in California.
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 2:28 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

I'm not a lawyer, although I know many of them, so perhaps this will help.

If he had a book of business, it would be easier -- law firms like revenue.

I get the impression that he is older, which could be an issue. If that's the case, then unless there some specific need for his area of expertise, he would have to compete with a boatload of younger associates for the chance to do grunt work on behalf of clients who have been brought into the firm by the rainmakers.

Older attorneys aren't generally considered to be valuable if they don't have clients. The firms prefer to have younger people who can do the sh*t work, who then either rise up the ranks or leave. So I think he'd have a tough time winning that competition.

Given that, I would think that his best chances would be via a corporate position (i.e. inside counsel to a company) and/or as a transfer from a UK office into a US one. Or in the alternative, he needs to get a book of clients who he can bring with him, or perhaps have enough money to get an entrepreneurs visa so that he can set up his own shop. There are also government legal jobs of all sorts, but whether he qualifies for those, I don't know.
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Jump! Just make it quick at $400 per hour
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 3:00 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
Take a bloody good run at it?
I'll suggest that

I'll also have him check into the LLM option, not least because it'll enable him to make some good contacts. He knows a couple of lawyers over here (including one senior partner) but is too reserved to try bending their arm for a leg up.
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Originally Posted by wordfool View Post
I'll suggest that

I'll also have him check into the LLM option, not least because it'll enable him to make some good contacts. He knows a couple of lawyers over here (including one senior partner) but is too reserved to try bending their arm for a leg up.
He'll be alright if he falls short, it's not like the sharks will eat him professional courtesy and all that
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 3:23 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
You might suggest to him that he come over to the US and take a one year LLM course to brush up on some of the subjects that are likely to be covered on the bar exam. He might also consider taking the NY bar, which is a popular path for many foreign educated attorneys (though I think you need the LLM).

I think he would be banging his head as a paralegal and probably quite frustrated at making 25% of what the attorneys are making.

The other option is to work for a firm in the UK that would be willing to transfer him to the US. Might be a bit easier than trying to fight for the limited number of H-1Bs.
???. LLM won't cover subject covered on the Bar Exam.
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 4:00 am
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 6:35 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Originally Posted by wordfool View Post
I just wanted to put out some feelers and see if anyone has advice or can point me towards resources for helping a British solicitor land a legal job in the U.S.

Here's the background...

A good friend of mine (currently without internet access, god bless him) has for years been dreaming of working as an attorney in California. He's a qualified solicitor in London and has worked various jobs over the years, ranging from solicitor (covering mainly immigration) to a legal investigator for a large international accounting institution. He's taken the Cal Bar twice (once after also taking a barbri course while crashing with me) and so far is 0 for 2 so is a bit demoralized by that path.

Even if he were to pass the bar third time around he would still have to get a job, obviously, but in the mean time does anyone know of any resources or have any advice that might help him jump into some sort of paralegal position on the basis of his "international" experience and general legal prowess? This is a person who interviews extremely well, has extensive knowledge about the most arcane subjects and, frankly, is a brilliant legal mind (it's one reason he probably failed the bar... he tried to out-think the questioner)

What's he doing now? Renovating a Georgian townhouse in Kent! I guess he needed a break from the rat race.
Leave him where he is ! ... We have enough thieving bastards over here as it is
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 6:37 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Oh, can you feel the love in this thread?

Hehe!
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 8:54 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Hey

I have researched the opportunites to ebceom a lawyer in the U.S to as am a law student and surrently engaged to a U.S citizen. From waht I ahev found out apart from CA and NY most states require a j.d to sit the bar, however, if you have a foreigh law degree from a common law country (which he will have) and a number of years in the field (which I assume he has) you dont need a j.d to sit it (I know Illinois has this system).

One option could be that he actually look at doing a j,d because not only will he have a better chance at sitting the bar, but he may alos be more employable to U.S companies, i,e they weould have a UK trained and U.S trained lawyer on their books.

The only problem with the J.D is that it costs big $. However, there are a number of schools in the U.S that offer the J.D in two years if you have a Uk l.l.b (the J.d normally takes 3 years). I know Northwestern is one of those schools and it is also a T14 school (top 14) , but it is located in chicago so dont know if he would want to be there, but with a j.d from there I dont think he would be unemployed for long.

If he wants to practice in CA however he might want to get in contact with some of the law schools in that state and see if they will offer him a 'year of good standing' i.e a year taken off the j.d b/cos of his prior experience. While at law school he would be on the F1 student visa however so his work during his studies would be restricted so he would have to have enough money to do it all.

Anyway may have rambled on for a bit too long now, hope some of this might have been helpful
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Old Mar 27th 2008, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Advice for lawyer wanting to jump the pond

Originally Posted by wordfool View Post
I'll suggest that

I'll also have him check into the LLM option, not least because it'll enable him to make some good contacts. He knows a couple of lawyers over here (including one senior partner) but is too reserved to try bending their arm for a leg up.
He'll be eaten alive over here then...
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