1. WHAT JOB SEARCH SUPPORT IS PROVIDED TO FOREIGN-TRAINED LL.M. STUDENTS?
Students should refer to the LL.M. Career Curriculum for a full description of services for LL.M. candidates through the Office of Career Services. In brief, the services provided to LL.M. candidates include:
• Comprehensive workshops and presentations on various aspects of the job search process
• One-on-one meetings with LL.M. Career Counselors to review individual goals and strategies
• Panels featuring LL.M. alumni and employers of international LL.M. candidates.
• Practice interview programs and other networking opportunities
• The International Student Interview Program (ISIP), attracting more than 150 legal employers from around the world
• Online job listings for global positions, online research resources, comprehensive handbooks and career counseling guides.
2. HOW MANY EMPLOYERS CONTACT NYU FOR SOMEONE WITH MY SPECIALTY AND BACKGROUND?
Foreign-trained LL.M. students participate in the annual International Student Interview Program, which takes place in late January and brings together more than 1,000 students from 31 law schools, and 150+ employers. Employers interview for permanent associate and internship positions in more than 40 countries including the United States. Employers also contact the OCS year-round to post job listings or resume collections for LL.M. candidates with specific language skills and/or legal training.
Because students’ backgrounds vary widely in terms of prior work experience, language skills, legal training, and country of legal study, we do not calculate a total number of employers who request resumes from LL.M. candidates, as the employer requirements differ greatly from year-to-year.
3. HOW DO STUDENTS IN THE GRADUATE DIVISION OBTAIN JOBS?
Foreign-trained students obtain employment in a variety of ways including: individual mailings, networking, job fairs such as the International Student Interview Program, NYU’s job listings, and personal referrals. The most frequently reported source of employment (i.e., the way in which a student initially learned of or made contact with the employer) is through a referral or other self-initiated contact with the employer, and networking.
All students are advised to use a variety of job search strategies including networking, targeted mail campaigns, providing resumes to the OCS for resume directories, responding to advertised positions published by this office and elsewhere, notifying previous contacts of one’s current academic endeavors and employment goals, and seeking referrals from NYU faculty, alumni, and students. The international LL.M. job search is a very individualized search, and the OCS provides career counselors to work with each student in reaching his or her career goals.
During the fall and spring semesters, the Office of Career Services provides career planning seminars, individual counseling, panels, and workshops on all aspects of the job search. The success of a student’s efforts strongly correlates to his or her academic performance at NYU, utilization of resources available through the OCS, and traditional job-search activities outside of the OCS office. There is no specific or foolproof means for obtaining a position; the approaches vary and should reflect each student’s individual ambitions and qualifications. OCS Career Counselors work with students to provide the tools for success in the legal market and determine a job search strategy that best suits each individual’s needs.
4. WHEN DO LL.M. STUDENTS OBTAIN JOB OFFERS?
A small percentage of students obtain their jobs in the Fall, however, most students obtain positions in the Spring. A large number of employers, particularly large international law firms, wait until a student completes at least one semester of academic work at NYU before making final hiring decisions. Accordingly, these employers may treat a Fall interview as a brief meeting to be reviewed in the Spring. Others, however, make offers based upon a student’s prior law school credentials, especially when hiring for international offices. Students from some countries may find that legal employers in their home jurisdiction are eager to recruit LL.M. candidates and may be contacted by those local employers as early as September.
For most students, the job search will not be limited to the Fall or Spring seasons, but will involve year-round effort on the part of the student and may extend beyond the completion of the LL.M. program. Although formal hiring programs such as the International Student Interview Program may not take place until January, all students are encouraged to actively participate in OCS programs, panels, and receptions in the Fall to begin developing a strong professional network and knowledge base for the job search early on.
5. WHERE DO LL.M. GRADUATES WORK?
The vast majority of graduates, in all specialties, work in private practice at law firms. Increasingly, students are exploring a wider range of opportunities including management consulting, public accounting, investment banking, and in-house opportunities at corporations. Corporations usually seek to hire attorneys with experience; therefore, very few corporations interview on campus or request resumes of entry-level graduates.
Each year, approximately 10% of foreign-trained LL.M.s, in all specialties, obtain positions (internships or permanent positions) in the U.S.; the remainder find positions with top legal employers globally. This figure changes with market conditions globally.
Please contact the Office of Career Services at email@example.com to request the “Prospective Student Information Packet” with more information about employers who have recruited from NYU School of Law’s LL.M. programs in the past.
6. ARE FOREIGN-TRAINED LL.M. STUDENTS ELIGIBLE TO WORK IN THE U.S.?
LL.M. students should consult with the Office of Global Services (OGS) which coordinates services for international students, scholars, and their dependents. OGS staff provides direct support with United States immigration, employment, personal cross-cultural and financial matters.
In addition to visa advising, the office sponsors a comprehensive orientation for new international students; U.S. Fest, over a dozen special events in March highlighting the diversity of American culture; the NYU International Friendship Program; trips; international coffee hours; workshops and seminars; English language classes for spouses of international students and scholars; and an international alumni network. Students are encouraged to maintain close ties with the OGS throughout their stay at the University and to visit their Web site at the Office for International Students and Scholars for more information.
Graduates of foreign law schools should keep in mind that the bar admission requirements vary from state to state and, to date, only some states allow graduates of the LL.M. to sit for the bar examination. It is often difficult for a foreign-trained attorney to obtain employment outside of NY due to bar admission restrictions. For more information on bar admission requirements, view the the American Bar Association’s “Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements” at http://www.ncbex.org/publications/.
7. WHAT ARE CONSIDERED “RESPECTABLE” GRADES IN THE LL.M. PROGRAM?
Academic performance in an LL.M. program is an integral component of hiring decisions and grading is based on a competitive bell-curve (wherein the vast majority of students receive grades in the mid-range, few students receive “below-average” and few students receive “outstanding” marks). The NYU degree alone will not get you a job. For the most part, large international law firms prefer grades above a B+ average. Students who are accepted to the LL.M. program are familiar with this grading curve prior to starting their LL.M. and this G.P.A. does not seem difficult to obtain. However, keep in mind that students who are accepted to NYU usually graduate in the top 25% of their first law school classes and, therefore, the level of competition increases. To achieve the abovementioned G.P.A., the student should expect to commit a great deal of time and effort to his or her studies.
Again, thank you for your interest in New York University School of Law’s LL.M. program. We look forward to continued contact should you join NYU School of Law!