Prospective students with questions about employment should contact the OCS at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the Foreign-Trained LLM Prospective Student Handbook, which includes historical lists of LLM employers and other relevant information.
1. What job search support is provided to Foreign-Trained LLM students?
Students should refer to the LLM Career Curriculum for a full description of services for LLM candidates through the Office of Career Services.
2. How many employers contact NYU for someone with my specialty and background?
Foreign-Trained LLM students participate in the annual International Student Interview Program (ISIP), which takes place in late January and brings together more than 1,600 students from 33 law schools and over 160 employers. Employers review resumes from students based on their hiring needs and interview for permanent associate and internship positions in more than 50 countries including the United States. Since ISIP interviews are set by employer preference, some students will find that their backgrounds are more in demand than others based on market factors and law firm relationships. ISIP is just one tool for LLM students to use, and students should not rely on this program alone. Employers also contact the OCS year round to post job listings or resume collections for LLM candidates with specific language skills and/or legal training.
3. How do Foreign-Trained LLM students obtain jobs?
Foreign-Trained LLM 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 LLM 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 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. The 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 LLM 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 LLM 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 LLM 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 the 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 LLM 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 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. Although some LLM students have obtained positions with investment banks, these employers do not recruit law students in significant numbers.
Each year, approximately 15% of Foreign-Trained LLM students, in all specialties, obtain positions (internships or permanent positions) in the US; the remainder find positions with top legal employers globally. This figure changes with market conditions globally.
6. Are Foreign-Trained LLM students eligible to work in the United States?
LLM 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 and tax matters.
Graduates of foreign law schools should keep in mind that the bar admission requirements vary from state to state and only some states allow Foreign-Trained LLM students to sit for the bar examination. It is often difficult for a foreign-trained attorney to obtain employment outside of New York due to bar admission restrictions. For more information on bar admission requirements, view 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 LLM program?
Academic performance in an LLM 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. 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 GPA, a student should expect to commit a great deal of time and effort to his or her studies.