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Topic: Anyone with experience with UK law school  (Read 1182 times)

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Anyone with experience with UK law school
« on: January 24, 2014, 06:48:13 AM »
So here's my best attempt to sum up my situation:

I'm currently a senior at the University of Washington graduating this spring and planning to go to law school. My ultimate goal is to practice law internationally in the UK. I had previously only considered the traditional route: going to US law school and hoping to find a job in a firm with office in the UK and get transfered. I would be practicing US law but living in the UK. The problem with this is these firms pretty much exclusively recruit at the top law schools where I can't get in. For a long time I had pretty much given up on this idea because of this.

Recently I've had the realization that if I'm not willing to take risks I'll never achieve the things I want to. This caused to start researching other routes to this goal. I have found that Bristol offers a 2 year MA in law program designed for grads with majors outside of law and qualifies you to practice in the UK. After I completed this program I would have two options: find a visa sponsor or return to the US, get an LLM, and take the NY bar. I expect that finding a sponsor will be incredibly difficult, Does anyone have any knowledge of how this might be for law grads? If I returned to the US and got an LLM I would basically only be able to sit the bar in NY or CA, which I'm okay with if I'm pursuing internationally law I should be NY bar certified anyways. What I like about this is that even if I can't find a job in the UK I ended up being able to practice in both countries making myself an very attractive candidate for firms with offices in both thus leaving open the option to return to the UK for work later. Financially given the ridiculously high cost for US law school I would probably spend the same or maybe even less by going to school in the UK.

Also I studied abroad at Bristol last year so I'm not super worried that I will move to England and then hate it. I have also realized that moving back to Bristol might be an easier transition for me than an American law school because I'll already have friends there and know the city.

Right now it seems like this might be the best choice for me but I need to make sure I'm not missing anything. Any thoughts or opinions you might have would be greatly appreciated  :)


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Re: Anyone with experience with UK law school
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 03:07:33 PM »
Without EU / EEA citizenship or Commonwealth citizenship with Ancestry visa or Right of Abode, I would have thought obtaining a training contract when you finish your studies would be quite difficult. Anecdotally, I know of British people with British law degrees, who have become paralegals instead, as they have been unable to get a training contract within the required amount of time.

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/careers/becoming-a-solicitor/training-contracts/

Further, you'd need to consider how transferable or not a foreign degree would be if you were required to return to the US and issues for practice with a foreign degree in the relevant state:

New York:
http://www.nybarexam.org/Foreign/ForeignLegalEducation.htm

Information on the legal profession here, as it differs from the US system:
http://prospects.ac.uk/types_of_jobs_legal_profession.htm



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Re: Anyone with experience with UK law school
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 07:40:42 PM »
Yeah, I'm pretty much thinking I probably wont be finding a job after I graduate in England unless I happen to make some amazing connection early on.

I mostly likely see that I will return to the US and get an LLM which does qualify me to practice in NY. But if I did it the other way and got a JD and then an LLM in the UK it wouldn't qualify me for practice in the UK.

I'm just getting kinda scared that if I don't make this decision now the possibility of ever working in the UK will go away forever....


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Re: Anyone with experience with UK law school
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 08:28:52 PM »
Also thanks for the links, they're very helpful!


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Re: Anyone with experience with UK law school
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 04:11:22 AM »
What I'm doing is getting my JD here, taking my state bar exam, then getting my LLM in the UK and sitting for the transfer test eventually. I will be marrying my British partner at some point during my LLM year. But that's basically one of the best ways to qualify as a UK solicitor. Take the bar in the US and that will qualify for you to sit their transfer exam. It's called the QLTS.
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