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Just passed the NY Bar

Just passed the NY Bar

Old May 4th 2011, 3:27 pm
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Default Just passed the NY Bar

Hi people,

Long time admirer of the site but first time poster.

I am a UK qualified solicitor and recently passed the New York Bar exam. I am going out to New York this summer for a couple of months, being part holiday and part looking into the legal market.

Has anybody had experience of doing this in New York or any other state for that matter?

I realise I won't be able to work under the VWP, and have saved up enough money for living costs while i'm over. The ideal situation would be to find a firm while I'm out there who would be prepared to sponsor my HB1 Visa. I know the market is still difficult however I am hoping that the fact that I am dual qualified will help me out somewhat.

Rosco
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Old May 4th 2011, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

The legal field in the US can be very odd, they are very much paper chasers. Quite often they just don't understand overseas qualifications or experience in lieu. Having the NY Bar under your belt is a definite plus, not having a JD will be a definite minus.

Unfortunately US colleges are churning out many more law graduates than there are jobs. NY in particular generally attracting the cream of the crop.

Do you have a particular specialty? Consider trying to join a local group in that field for networking. Try Linkedin for a group.
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Old May 4th 2011, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Good luck and welcome to BE!

But unless you've got contacts, or have experience over here, it's probably going to be a waste of time as there are loads of experienced lawyers who don't need to be sponsored.

LinkedIn and any other law group associations are probably a good place to network, as well as uni alumni connections.
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Old May 4th 2011, 6:26 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
The legal field in the US can be very odd, they are very much paper chasers. Quite often they just don't understand overseas qualifications or experience in lieu. Having the NY Bar under your belt is a definite plus, not having a JD will be a definite minus.

Unfortunately US colleges are churning out many more law graduates than there are jobs. NY in particular generally attracting the cream of the crop.

Do you have a particular specialty? Consider trying to join a local group in that field for networking. Try Linkedin for a group.
Well I specialised in Commercial Real Estate for 4 years however also have some corporate M & A experience I picked up during my traineeship back in the UK.

I am hoping that my almost 6 years in an office will count towards something when applying for an entry position withing a US firm. I am still only 27 so will be round about the same age as those coming out of law school in the US.

I am also hopeful of the fact that I am dual UK/US qualified will also help me.

Are you in legal profession??

Rosco
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Old May 4th 2011, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
Good luck and welcome to BE!

But unless you've got contacts, or have experience over here, it's probably going to be a waste of time as there are loads of experienced lawyers who don't need to be sponsored.

LinkedIn and any other law group associations are probably a good place to network, as well as uni alumni connections.
I've got a few contacts, maybe not to the extent that they would give me a job outright mind!haha

Well I'm in the fortunate position to have some $$$$ saved up so may try to get some 'volunteer work' (non paying) over the summer which would bolster my CV. Not sure what the visa issues with this would be as not getting paid so don't think this would come under work??? Maybe someone can clarify??

Cheers,

Rosco
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Old May 4th 2011, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by roscoboy View Post
I've got a few contacts, maybe not to the extent that they would give me a job outright mind!haha

Well I'm in the fortunate position to have some $$$$ saved up so may try to get some 'volunteer work' (non paying) over the summer which would bolster my CV. Not sure what the visa issues with this would be as not getting paid so don't think this would come under work??? Maybe someone can clarify??

Cheers,

Rosco
When you put "volunteering" in quotes, it indicates that you don't intend genuine volunteer work, so to clarify, just because it is unpaid work does not make it legitimate volunteer work that is allowed under the VWP or other non-work immigration status.

If you have an immigration question, please post it in our Immigration forum: http://britishexpats.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=34
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Old May 4th 2011, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
When you put "volunteering" in quotes, it indicates that you don't intend genuine volunteer work, so to clarify, just because it is unpaid work does not make it legitimate volunteer work that is allowed under the VWP or other non-work immigration status.

If you have an immigration question, please post it in our Immigration forum: http://britishexpats.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=34
the inverted comma's were simply to highlight the fact that I wasn't sure whether working for nothing as it were would come under 'work' or not in terms of my immigration status.

I will need to look into it further, was just wondering whether anyone had knew this from experience.
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Old May 4th 2011, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by roscoboy View Post
the inverted comma's were simply to highlight the fact that I wasn't sure whether working for nothing as it were would come under 'work' or not in terms of my immigration status.

I will need to look into it further, was just wondering whether anyone had knew this from experience.
No, can't do it. If it's something that would ordinarily be a paid position, or have other forms of compensation, you can't do it without work authorisation.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulask...ork_in_the_USA

Pretty much sums it up.
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Old May 4th 2011, 7:42 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
No, can't do it. If it's something that would ordinarily be a paid position, or have other forms of compensation, you can't do it without work authorisation.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulask...ork_in_the_USA

Pretty much sums it up.
ah ok, well thats not so good! Funny thing is back home, summer placements generally are not paid but in NYC it seems most firms, especially the larger firms do pay!?
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Old May 4th 2011, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

It might be more practical to look into UK firms that have an international practice that includes the States, which might eventually enable you to be transferred to their US office. The run of the mill law firm isn't going to be interested in you just because you have dual qualifications, it will be irrelevant to them -- as others have said, there are far too many well-qualified young lawyers available instantly, who don't require the expenditure of thousands of dollars to get them here.

As to volunteer work, if you want to help out at the soup kitchen or the dog pound, good for you -- but I'm not sure how it will help your CV!
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Old May 4th 2011, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by roscoboy View Post
ah ok, well thats not so good! Funny thing is back home, summer placements generally are not paid but in NYC it seems most firms, especially the larger firms do pay!?

If you're studying for a JD at a top 10 school with stellar grades and have the skills and contacts to land a highly coveted summer placement at a big law firm then yes, these placements do pay very well. Other than that, paid interships are very few and very far in between and most law students would kill for any type of internship.

I admire your efforts (congrats on the NY Bar, btw) but unfortunately you couldn't have timed it worse...the legal job market in the US has been contracting for years now and there's a huge over supply of lawyers. They could close all the law schools for 10 years and there'd still be too many lawyers chasing too few positions. New York is by far one of the most saturated markets and unless you have some serious big law contacts and proven results in a niche area then you'll be hard pressed to find anyone to sponsor you.

Take it from me as a lawyer in the New York metro area- it's that bad!

Best of luck regardless.
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Old May 5th 2011, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by deng890 View Post
If you're studying for a JD at a top 10 school with stellar grades and have the skills and contacts to land a highly coveted summer placement at a big law firm then yes, these placements do pay very well. Other than that, paid interships are very few and very far in between and most law students would kill for any type of internship.

I admire your efforts (congrats on the NY Bar, btw) but unfortunately you couldn't have timed it worse...the legal job market in the US has been contracting for years now and there's a huge over supply of lawyers. They could close all the law schools for 10 years and there'd still be too many lawyers chasing too few positions. New York is by far one of the most saturated markets and unless you have some serious big law contacts and proven results in a niche area then you'll be hard pressed to find anyone to sponsor you.

Take it from me as a lawyer in the New York metro area- it's that bad!

Best of luck regardless.
I understand that the odds are stacked firmly against me but I would regret it all my life if I didn't come over and at least try. Best case scenario is I somehow network myself into a good position withing a firm, worst case scenario I will have spent the summer in NYC hopefully meeting new friends along the way!!

On a side note, when do you think the legal market will pick up in NYC?? I am currently living in Scotland and the market is dire. I have friends in London who tell me things have picked up in the last 6 months.

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Old May 5th 2011, 6:03 pm
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

It'll be a while yet, even if things pick up, what with the number of unemployed, experienced folks, allowed to work right away get squared away.

Look at it this way, the H1B visa for quite a few years were filled up within the opening day and it became a lottery. The last couple of years has taken longer to and longer to fill, it took last fiscal year almost a full year before filling up.

Your best bet as already mentioned is working your way up in a big firm with a US presence and getting transfered...either that, or getting some very niche skills that transfer over very well such as IP stuff, patents/trade marks/copyright being able to cover it in more than one market would be an advantage. I'm sure there are other areas.

Also depending on when you graduated, there might be the J1 internship visa, but again going to be hard to find a position.

So at the end of the day, it's about long term strategy, setting yourself up in a position where this is more likely to happen. Go for a holiday, enjoy it, but don't do anything daft to scupper any future plans.
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Old May 6th 2011, 2:47 am
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

Originally Posted by roscoboy View Post
Hi people,

Long time admirer of the site but first time poster.

I am a UK qualified solicitor and recently passed the New York Bar exam. I am going out to New York this summer for a couple of months, being part holiday and part looking into the legal market.

Have you passed the bar exam, or have you been admitted as an attorney in the State of New York?
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Old May 6th 2011, 6:24 am
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Default Re: Just passed the NY Bar

I'm guessing by the title of the thread, I'd say the answer was in the affirmative.

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