UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

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daiff

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UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:11 am

Admitted in both UCI and Fordham with comparable $, and these two are likely to be my top choices despite still waiting for a few. Others are UC Davis and UC Hastings with $. [Update: Forgot to mention waitlisted at Boston U and U of Washington]

My goal is to land a job in private firm that will sponsor my H1B work visa. I personally don't care if its big law or small law, but, given the situation that only big laws are likely to sponsor and NY market has the most openings for internationals, it seems NY big laws are the mostly likely place for international students to get the visa. So does Fordham seems to be a better option?

UCI Obviously has better ranking, but so far its been regional school. Both SoCal and Bay Area seems to have far fewer recruitments every year, not to mention sponsoring visa. (I'd be happy to see if anyone can help with more info) Another issue being UCI's ranking and alumni. It seems UCI is predicted to rise in future, but the question is how high it will rise in say 3 years, and would its alumni network help me find a job in west coast.

In addition, I had my undergraduate Socal and have relatives here; it would be a big step for me to move to NY.

With all that said, I understand the odds for international students to get sponsored and eventually get a visa is extremely low, and some of you might suggest retake to get in better schools. But retake won't be an option for me. I have to make a decision between these two schools.
Last edited by daiff on Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hand

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby Hand » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:30 am

Retake is always an option

Regardless, you should consider instead where you are most likely to find a potential spouse who holds US citizenship, which provides a much more predictable route to a green card. I recommend venturing into the FA thread in the lounge for advice. Pay special attention to the sage insights of TLS user Hikikomorist.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby icechicken » Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:53 pm

Hand wrote:Retake is always an option


This. I wouldn't even feel confident about getting H1B sponsorship out of T13 schools in the current political climate, and your current options are substantially worse.

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pancakes3

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:07 pm

gotta retake, bud. even if it means you have to go back to your home country while you study.

http://www.myvisajobs.com/H1B-Visa/Sear ... SO=Lawyers

NYC biglaw is your surest shot.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby goldenbear2020 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:02 pm

If you had to choose between the two, Fordham for better NYC biglaw chances.

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daiff

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:52 am

Hand wrote:Retake is always an option

Regardless, you should consider instead where you are most likely to find a potential spouse who holds US citizenship, which provides a much more predictable route to a green card. I recommend venturing into the FA thread in the lounge for advice. Pay special attention to the sage insights of TLS user Hikikomorist.



LOL thank you for the advice. I was actually thinking about join the army today. Don't know whether I have a better chance surviving training camp or marriage. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I've never visited the Lounge actually; definitely gonna check out that sage you mentioned.

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daiff

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:56 am

pancakes3 wrote:gotta retake, bud. even if it means you have to go back to your home country while you study.

http://www.myvisajobs.com/H1B-Visa/Sear ... SO=Lawyers

NYC biglaw is your surest shot.



In fact I am already in my home country. I've had 4 takes and don't think my score will improve on the test day. My third take came out lower than I expected and my fourth take was lower than my third. So I think I am finished with LSAT for good. I'd rather work my ass off to get high 1L GPA for transfer than sit out another year.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:17 am

daiff wrote:In fact I am already in my home country. I've had 4 takes and don't think my score will improve on the test day. My third take came out lower than I expected and my fourth take was lower than my third. So I think I am finished with LSAT for good. I'd rather work my ass off to get high 1L GPA for transfer than sit out another year.


Man, it's really gonna suck if more than 10% (disclaimer: I don't know what class placement would actually be required for a transfer from one of these schools) of your classmates also work their asses off.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:21 am

daiff wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:gotta retake, bud. even if it means you have to go back to your home country while you study.

http://www.myvisajobs.com/H1B-Visa/Sear ... SO=Lawyers

NYC biglaw is your surest shot.



In fact I am already in my home country. I've had 4 takes and don't think my score will improve on the test day. My third take came out lower than I expected and my fourth take was lower than my third. So I think I am finished with LSAT for good. I'd rather work my ass off to get high 1L GPA for transfer than sit out another year.


you have to work your ass off for 8 exams that are forced to a curve and graded much more arbitrarily, and don't get to retake vs. working your ass off for 1 test that you get multiple chances at... just to put that thought into prospective.

ask just about anyone that's gone through 1L exams and they'll say that it's much more preferable to study for the LSAT than grind through 2 semesters' worth of exams.

transfer is not that much of a help as you go through OCI with your 1L grades/transcript, not to mention that 1L grading is very unpredictable.

be smart, understand the odds, and be ok - like really really ok with what happens if the optimal path does not play out the way you hope. what happens if/when you strike out? does having a US JD, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars help with career plans back in your home country? what are the possible outcomes?

TLS can't tell you what to do - but it does give brutally genuine advice. the packaging may not be pretty but the product is sound.

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daiff

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:20 am

pancakes3 wrote:
daiff wrote:
pancakes3 wrote:gotta retake, bud. even if it means you have to go back to your home country while you study.

http://www.myvisajobs.com/H1B-Visa/Sear ... SO=Lawyers

NYC biglaw is your surest shot.



In fact I am already in my home country. I've had 4 takes and don't think my score will improve on the test day. My third take came out lower than I expected and my fourth take was lower than my third. So I think I am finished with LSAT for good. I'd rather work my ass off to get high 1L GPA for transfer than sit out another year.


you have to work your ass off for 8 exams that are forced to a curve and graded much more arbitrarily, and don't get to retake vs. working your ass off for 1 test that you get multiple chances at... just to put that thought into prospective.

ask just about anyone that's gone through 1L exams and they'll say that it's much more preferable to study for the LSAT than grind through 2 semesters' worth of exams.

transfer is not that much of a help as you go through OCI with your 1L grades/transcript, not to mention that 1L grading is very unpredictable.

be smart, understand the odds, and be ok - like really really ok with what happens if the optimal path does not play out the way you hope. what happens if/when you strike out? does having a US JD, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars help with career plans back in your home country? what are the possible outcomes?

TLS can't tell you what to do - but it does give brutally genuine advice. the packaging may not be pretty but the product is sound.



Appreciate your genuine advice, Pancake.

Here is what I think.

I understand in general people on this forum advise people to retake, which, generally speaking, will likely to put people on better odds for achieving whatever their school/career goal is.

But only on the condition that the person would score higher in retake.

When I was preparing my 3rd take, I was confident that I could score higher and reach my target score.
After I had a great test day experience on my 3rd take, the score fell short of my goal, despite some improvement from my 2nd take.

When I was preparing my 4th take, I was questioning myself, asking whether I have the ability in scoring my goal. The 3rd take went so smooth but the score was still not as good as I expected.

After I received my 4th take score, which came lower than my 3rd, I have to accept the truth that its extremely difficult for me to perform on test day what I do in practice exam.
Thinking about retaking yet another time, I simply don’t believe I have the motivation and willpower to pull it through.

The general retake advice is established on the condition that the advise-seeker has a better chance at scoring high than whatever the alternative is.
The people offering the advice do not know if that's the case.
For me, the odd for success in retaking yet another time is significantly lower than people who are retaking for the first or second time.

I’ve heard unconfirmed rumor that someone had 10 takes and still can’t pass 165.
Back then there was still the “3 attempts in 2 years” rule so presumably he wasted a lot of years too.
The question is at what point enough retake is enough, and at what point its time to move on in life.
While I was retaking in my home country, I am not working and its hard for me to find a job that's remotely legally-related, because here I don’t have the credentials legal employers are looking for.
My life has basically comes to a pause.

I’ve made my decision to move on.
For me, I look at the 1L finals as hope. I can see myself working hard in analyzing cases and writing arguments. I feel its something I’m better at instead of doing multiple choices in 60 seconds. Its something I’m looking forward to.

I understand the risk is extremely high.
It takes at least top 10% in top 30 schools to transfer to t14, and it takes at least top 10-20% for international students to get a job even in t14.
Even with a job that comes with sponsorship, the visa lottery has merely 2/3 chance for the 1 or 2 shots law graduates will get in the advanced degree pool.
Not winning the lottery put international graduates on the mercy of firm policy. Few ever transferred back from oversea office, many return home country and study for the bar there, and some might even try another lottery when they graduate from tax LLM.

I could never repay my tuition if I end up back to my home country. It’s not an investment that reasonable return can be expected; it's a gamble for a life with dignity in the land of the free. At least there is a part in this gamble that I can work towards. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby goldenbear2020 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:42 pm

How are you planning to pay the COA? If you're hoping for an H1B, are you able to get US-based loans?

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:50 am

goldenbear2020 wrote:How are you planning to pay the COA? If you're hoping for an H1B, are you able to get US-based loans?



I'll be family sponsored. I assume the majority, if not all, of federal student loans requires citizenship or permanent residency to be qualified.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby icechicken » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:58 am

If your family is wealthy enough that you can afford to spend 200,000-300,000 USD on such a low-percentage lotto ticket, you're probably better off looking into an EB-5 visa instead. There are much, much better ways of achieving your goals than going to UCI or Fordham.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:27 am

icechicken wrote:If your family is wealthy enough that you can afford to spend 200,000-300,000 USD on such a low-percentage lotto ticket, you're probably better off looking into an EB-5 visa instead. There are much, much better ways of achieving your goals than going to UCI or Fordham.



EB-5 might take more than that. Even if EB-5 gives me a green card, I won't be able to find a job with my B.A. degree that is as well paid as working in a law firm. I think the long term life prospect, comparing to law school, is doubtful.

Plus I can't just go to my parents and say "lets immigrate".
Last edited by daiff on Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby snarfing » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:55 am

how much money did you get exactly? and what was your lsat, thats the biggest indicator of how well you'll do. Have you taken the GRE? many students find it easier. Fordham puts 40% of students at big law +fed clerkships so its not such a shot in the dark, but it will be more difficult because you need sponsorship

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:51 am

snarfing wrote:how much money did you get exactly? and what was your lsat, thats the biggest indicator of how well you'll do. Have you taken the GRE? many students find it easier. Fordham puts 40% of students at big law +fed clerkships so its not such a shot in the dark, but it will be more difficult because you need sponsorship




I get $20k/year from UCI and $25k/year from Fordham. My highest score is 163, which places me on 50% for both schools. I've never study GRE. My undergrad GPA is around 75% for both school.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:59 am

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Last edited by mcmand on Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby icechicken » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:01 am

I can't just go to my parents and say "lets immigrate".


But you can ask them for $230,000, no problem? Maybe I made too big a logical leap, but it sounds like they're wealthy enough that they can afford to front you $1 million to meet the EB-5 requirement (since it'd be a real investment, not just setting the money on fire).

daiff wrote:Even EB-5 gives me a green card, I won't be able to find a job with my B.A. degree that is as well paid as working in a law firm. I think the long term life prospect, comparing to law school, is doubtful.


Last year only 36.7% of Fordham grads got the kind of job you're talking about here. The same number for UCI is 14.3%. You then need to discount that percentage for 1) the possibility that you miss out on the H1B lottery and can't stay in the country, 2) the possibility that you have trouble getting admitted to the bar, and 3) the possibility that you get fired after a year or two and can't find a new job in the 60-day grace period. Now that's a "doubtful prospect".

Please don't do this. I have close friends, extremely talented people, who are struggling to get a green card in similar circumstances. I resent that the system is as difficult as it is, but it's not changing for the better any time soon, so you need to make the best decisions possible.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:15 am

mcmand wrote:Why don't you just study finance or get a PhD in physics/computer science? Writing algorithms for trading stocks is a sure fire way to make a lot more money than you will as a lawyer.


LOL

Let's just say I followed my heart when I switched my major from physics to history & political science. I was good at math until first year in college, and after like two courses in physics I felt I'm not interested in it. I've never entertained the idea of being a PhD in physics, and I'm probably not that kind of material. I didn't have a plan for after college but I was interested in how the world really is. I made the change, which shaped my values.

If I was goal-oriented back then, I probably should study computer science and try to be a coder in one of those tech firms, which might significantly boost my odd in employment and green card. But I don't think I made the wrong decision. Because, first, I'm grateful for the values I now believe in, which I probably wouldn't have if I choose anything otherwise. Second, I see legal profession as a viable path to make positive social change, even a tiny bit, in my home country. Ask why I don't study law and practice in my home country, my short answer my American social science credential does not qualify me for master in law at home, and it's hard and dangerous to make a positive change in a malfunctioning system. I feel the need to be financially and politically secure before I dive into any rightful cause, even if that means I'll have to do transactional works for years, which I'd happily take on. Aspiring to be a lawyer was never simply about money for me.

I expect this might not be relatable or even sounds bullshit to many of you. But, believe or not, the spirit of law got me.
Last edited by daiff on Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:28 am

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Last edited by mcmand on Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:45 pm

icechicken wrote:
I can't just go to my parents and say "lets immigrate".


But you can ask them for $230,000, no problem? Maybe I made too big a logical leap, but it sounds like they're wealthy enough that they can afford to front you $1 million to meet the EB-5 requirement (since it'd be a real investment, not just setting the money on fire).


My family is not that wealthy and I have a torn relation with them. The EB-5 investment at Targeted Employment Area is as low as half a million, but even if my family has $0.5 million, they'd spent on real estate in home country as they have a different outlook on future and don't believe green card worth the hustle. But yeah, we never had a serious discussion on this issue and I probably should bring it up.


icechicken wrote:
daiff wrote:Even EB-5 gives me a green card, I won't be able to find a job with my B.A. degree that is as well paid as working in a law firm. I think the long term life prospect, comparing to law school, is doubtful.


Last year only 36.7% of Fordham grads got the kind of job you're talking about here. The same number for UCI is 14.3%. You then need to discount that percentage for 1) the possibility that you miss out on the H1B lottery and can't stay in the country, 2) the possibility that you have trouble getting admitted to the bar, and 3) the possibility that you get fired after a year or two and can't find a new job in the 60-day grace period. Now that's a "doubtful prospect".

Please don't do this. I have close friends, extremely talented people, who are struggling to get a green card in similar circumstances. I resent that the system is as difficult as it is, but it's not changing for the better any time soon, so you need to make the best decisions possible.



Btw is the 3) possibility really a thing? Laid off? For not performing the job well?

My decision is also based on my evaluation of my potential career in my home country. My B.A. degree is not much of a use here and I have to start something other than law if I choose not to attend law school. I don't have an alternative now, but If I have a U.S. J.D. and couldn't stay, I can go back, pass the bar and still be a lawyer, though not as well off as an American lawyer. J.D. from other country is not recognized as valuable as U.S. J.D.

But also I have a pessimistic outlook on the future of my country. If I opt to stay back and the dark night descends, I'll be regretting that I didn't go for the 5% chance that could land me in the land of the free, but instead made the "statistically reasonable" decision. Some part of me look at it as trying to climb over the fence before the Berlin wall is up; casualty is high but people die trying.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby mcmand » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:50 pm

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Last edited by mcmand on Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:33 pm

mcmand wrote:Which country is this? An American JD won't train you well for a country not reliant on common law.

And yes, getting laid off is absolutely a real thing here. Job security is never guaranteed, even at the highest echelons of the legal profession.



China is supposedly civil law. But from what I know American JD is highly regarded in Chinese legal market for its quality in education. Plus for the dozens of foreign, mostly UK and US, firms that have offices present in China and Hong Kong, many of their staffs are either American or America-educated, and prefer America-educated people for the international corporate works that compose the majority of their businesses.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby pancakes3 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:00 pm

you're not living in reality, bro.

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Re: UCI v. Fordham Goal: Visa Sponsorship

Postby daiff » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:11 am

snarfing wrote:how much money did you get exactly? and what was your lsat, thats the biggest indicator of how well you'll do. Have you taken the GRE? many students find it easier. Fordham puts 40% of students at big law +fed clerkships so its not such a shot in the dark, but it will be more difficult because you need sponsorship



I just re-check the ABA report and Fordham has about a quarter to a third graduates in 500+ firms, most of which are in NYC. This really doesn't look that bad :lol: :lol: :lol:



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