Frequently Asked Questions for U.S.-Trained, Non-Taxation LL.M. Students
1. WHAT JOB SEARCH SUPPORT IS PROVIDED TO DOMESTIC-TRAINED NON-TAX 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.
• Online job listings for global positions, online research resources, comprehensive handbooks and career counseling guides.
2. HOW MANY EMPLOYERS CONTACT NYU SCHOOL OF LAW FOR SOMEONE WITH MY SPECIALTY AND BACKGROUND?
Graduate students in programs other than the LL.M. in Taxation (i.e., Corporate, Traditional, International, Trade Regulation) seeking entry-level associate positions usually apply for similar positions as third year J.D. students. Due, in part, to the small number of students and specialized nature of the LL.M. programs, most employers do not actively recruit students in the same way or with the same vigor in which they recruit J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation students. They do, however, expect interested candidates to contact them directly, and to pursue opportunities listed with the Office of Career Services (OCS) and elsewhere.
All students should utilize a variety of job search strategies including networking, targeted mail campaigns, 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 School of Law faculty, alumni, and students. OCS Career Counselors are available to work with each LL.M. candidate on a one-on-one basis to determine his or her job search strategy.
3. HOW DO STUDENTS IN THE GRADUATE DIVISION OBTAIN JOBS?
Students obtain employment in a variety of ways including: individual mailings, networking, NYU School of Law’s job listings, and 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 letter or other self-initiated contact with the employer.
The success of a student’s efforts strongly correlates to his or her performance at NYU School of Law, 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. The OCS works 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?
The demand for graduate students, particularly those pursuing specialized degrees, is not seasonal and the OCS receives notices of job openings throughout the year. 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. A small percentage of students obtain their jobs in the Fall, however, students obtain positions in the Spring and later.
5. WHERE DO LL.M. GRADUATES WORK?
The majority of graduates in all specialties work in private practice. Increasingly, students are exploring a wider range of opportunities including management consulting, government, judicial clerkships, law teaching, investment banking, and in-house opportunities at corporations. Corporations usually seek to hire attorneys with experience; therefore, very few corporations request resumes of entry-level graduates through OCS job listings. Although some LL.M. students have obtained positions with management consulting firms and investment banks, these employers do not recruit law students in significant numbers. Students interested in careers in the public sector (non-profits, multilateral organizations, government, etc.) are advised to work with the Public Interest Law Center (PILC) for in-depth career guidance in this field.
The LL.M. degree opens doors for many students, but cannot be counted on completely to determine one’s job search success. Individual factors such as your J.D. institution, prior experience, and academic performance, coupled with your professional goals and the current job market all play a role in the LL.M. job search.
6. ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK OVERSEAS?
We receive frequent requests for internationally-trained attorneys to return to their home country and a small number of requests each year for U.S.-trained attorneys to work in foreign firms or foreign satellite offices of U.S. firms on a short-term basis. We also receive a handful of listings for permanent positions overseas.
7. WHAT ARE CONSIDERED “RESPECTABLE” GRADES IN THE LL.M. PROGRAM?
Academic performance in an LL.M. program is an integral component of the 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 School of Law degree alone will not get you a job. For the most part, New York City law firms prefer grades above a 3.3 grade point average (G.P.A.) for the non-Taxation specialties. Keep in mind that students who are accepted to NYU School of Law usually graduate in the top 25% of their J.D. 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.
8. WILL THE LL.M. DEGREE INCREASE MY SALARY?
Employers’ policies regarding “credit” for the LL.M. degree vary widely. While employers sometimes award credit to LL.M. graduates in the non-taxation specialty areas, the majority do not give credit to graduates with no prior legal experience. When credit is given, graduates typically begin as a second year associate, at the second year salary and credit toward partnership. (To estimate a second-year salary, add approximately 7% to the first-year associate base salary.) Please refer to the NALP Directory of Legal Employers for salary information.
9. AS A PART-TIME LL.M. STUDENT, MAY I USE THE OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES?
Yes, however students must meet a credit requirement before receiving services. A student has access to a number of services once he or she has completed 8 credits; all services become available once the student completes 16 credits and nears graduation.