How to get hired in the United States after you graduating from an LL.M ?
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXAMINATIONS:
Regarding your qualification and academic profile, an LL.M degree enables you as a foreign lawyer to work in the United States. However, in practice, it is very hard to find a job without passing the New York or Californian bar exam. Indeed, only a few foreign lawyers are able to become foreign in-house lawyers, a new position created by the American bar Association for foreign lawyers since February 2013. In fact, as an LL.M student, while taking the required classes, you can be eligible to take a bar exam and in doing so you will significantly increase your chances to succeed in your job hunt. As you will be competing with American J.D candidates, it is important to strive to have good grades or a good GPA score during your LL.M academic year.
BUILDING A PROFESIONAL NETWORK:
As you will be looking for opportunities to get hired, you should be able to connect as much as you can with the people you will meet during your LL.M year. Not only it could give you an opportunity to obtain a job interview, but it could also give you some clues to find the work environment you are looking for. The people you should approach could simply be alumni from your law school as they could help you thoroughly knowing best the value of your education and will be able to fully recommend it. In addition, some of your LL.M professors are adjunct teachers which mean that they are still working as a partner or in-house lawyer in a firm.
PREPARING AND APPLYING FOR A JOB:
Your LL.M year should help you preparing for a job application. American law schools are renowned for their career advisors which give full time to American as well as foreign applicants. You should make the most of their counseling skills and meet them as much as possible. As to apply for a job, you can meet legal professionals at job fairs organized by law school consortiums. The most famous consortiums are organized by New York University and the University of California, Los Angeles. These job fairs have both a program dedicated to preparing and helping international students to obtain an interview with international law firms seeking for new recruitment. In addition, all American law schools organize on-campus interviews in both the fall and the spring semester with the local law firm community. On par with this program and the training offered by your career advisors, you can also apply directly for a job at law firms throughout the year. You should note that the earlier you apply the most chances you will have to have more opportunities, especially if you want to be hired after you graduate from your LL.M degree in May.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR COMMUNITY:
The best advice should probably be to stay widely connected to your native community. There are a lot of institutions that are dedicated to helping you find a job and get settled in your new city. For instance, if you are a French citizen, the Franco-American chambers of commerce are very active and organize a lot of networking events. Also, a great contact you should keep is the one of Stephan Grynwajc, the head representative in the United States of the “AFJE”, the French association of in-house lawyers - http://www.afje.org/-. The AFJE has numerous partnerships with American wide organizations such as the American Bar Association (ABA). This partnership allows French jurists to be recognized among the American legal market by delivering a certificate of good standing. In addition, Mr. Grynwajc thrives to organize meetings between international firms and French jurist in order for them to be at ease with the American job market and to be able to practice in the future as a full-time lawyer.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
These advice apply to any LL.M candidates. However, if you haven’t finished the course of your studies it might get more difficult, but still not impossible. You can pass an American state bar exam after you graduate from your LL.M in July or in February and took full advantage of a six month or a year internship. If you pass successfully a bar exam, you will then have the choice of either coming back to your home country and trying to pass an equivalency program for your native bar or trying to apply for a full-time job in the United states with your academic and practical background and experience you gained. As well, and this is the real challenge of your LL.M year, you have to be fully aware of the fact that the market is very competitive as the pool of applicant is very huge and as lawyers tend to be much more specialize than in other countries such as in France.
With these advice, you should be now aware of the challenges you will have to face while deciding to apply for a job and have a position in the United States. You should always keep in mind that the LL.M year offers you a lot of opportunities that you will be able to seize. Thus , as Mister Steve Jobs taught us, you should follow your heart and intuitions as they already know somehow what you truly want to become. You can also read more articles in our website Findyourllm.com and get ready for your LL.M life changing experience!