Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

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New_Englander

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Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

Postby New_Englander » Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:22 pm

Hello TLS. Just curious as to how common and/or useful it may be for an American JD to get a BCL/LLM from Oxbridge after earning their JD. I know people usually say that getting an LLM is useless (at least in the American legal market), but I was wondering if there may be any particular advantages to getting an Oxbridge one. Perhaps there are certain fields where it may be useful? If I were interested in transnational, government, NGO, ect sort of work could this be more advantageous? Thank you.

QContinuum

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Re: Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

Postby QContinuum » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:57 pm

If your J.D. is from a T13, and you're interested in doing trans-Atlantic/UK/EU NGO work, there might be a minor advantage to having the Oxbridge degree for the name recognition in Europe (you probably wouldn't need the boost with a Yale/Harvard J.D., but maybe with a "lower T13" J.D. the Oxbridge credential might help). But if it'd cost a lot of $ I don't think it'd be worth it. How much time would it take?

If your J.D. isn't from a T13, you should probably not realistically anticipate doing that kind of international NGO work, so I wouldn't recommend investing in the degree unless you actually want to move to the UK and become a UK lawyer.

Zero advantage for U.S. BigLaw - they'll be hiring you as an American lawyer practicing U.S. law, not as a UK lawyer practicing UK law.

New_Englander

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Re: Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

Postby New_Englander » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:17 am

QContinuum wrote:If your J.D. is from a T13, and you're interested in doing trans-Atlantic/UK/EU NGO work, there might be a minor advantage to having the Oxbridge degree for the name recognition in Europe (you probably wouldn't need the boost with a Yale/Harvard J.D., but maybe with a "lower T13" J.D. the Oxbridge credential might help). But if it'd cost a lot of $ I don't think it'd be worth it. How much time would it take?

If your J.D. isn't from a T13, you should probably not realistically anticipate doing that kind of international NGO work, so I wouldn't recommend investing in the degree unless you actually want to move to the UK and become a UK lawyer.

Zero advantage for U.S. BigLaw - they'll be hiring you as an American lawyer practicing U.S. law, not as a UK lawyer practicing UK law.


Thank you for the response. It would take a year, and would cost between $30,000 and $40,000 without any funding.

Lancair

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Re: Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

Postby Lancair » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:56 pm

New_Englander wrote:Hello TLS. Just curious as to how common and/or useful it may be for an American JD to get a BCL/LLM from Oxbridge after earning their JD. I know people usually say that getting an LLM is useless (at least in the American legal market), but I was wondering if there may be any particular advantages to getting an Oxbridge one. Perhaps there are certain fields where it may be useful? If I were interested in transnational, government, NGO, ect sort of work could this be more advantageous? Thank you.


There is basically one point, and one point only, to getting a BCL from Oxford - to qualify you to get into a good barrister's chambers in a Commonwealth legal centre (London, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong). It would also be helpful if you were trying to become an associate (clerk) to the High Court of Australia (e.g. SCOTUS equivalent here). Not sure if they have clerks/associates in the UK like we do in Aus/US actually, but I assume it would be useful for that too if they did.

Apart from that, there is not much utility to getting one. A degree from a good US law school would let you walk in to a British or Commonwealth firm if that's what you wanted to do and unlike in the US, the process to getting locally qualified in the UK/Australia isn't tied to having a local masters' degree.

If you just want to work in London or Europe, just call up a Magic Circle firm - they are desperate for talent at the moment with the U.S. firms sucking up the local UK talent. Plenty of Australians with far less impressive creds than the T13 are heading over there now - you wouldn't have a problem getting in if that is what you wanted to do.

New_Englander

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Re: Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

Postby New_Englander » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:23 pm

Lancair wrote:
New_Englander wrote:Hello TLS. Just curious as to how common and/or useful it may be for an American JD to get a BCL/LLM from Oxbridge after earning their JD. I know people usually say that getting an LLM is useless (at least in the American legal market), but I was wondering if there may be any particular advantages to getting an Oxbridge one. Perhaps there are certain fields where it may be useful? If I were interested in transnational, government, NGO, ect sort of work could this be more advantageous? Thank you.


There is basically one point, and one point only, to getting a BCL from Oxford - to qualify you to get into a good barrister's chambers in a Commonwealth legal centre (London, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong). It would also be helpful if you were trying to become an associate (clerk) to the High Court of Australia (e.g. SCOTUS equivalent here). Not sure if they have clerks/associates in the UK like we do in Aus/US actually, but I assume it would be useful for that too if they did.

Apart from that, there is not much utility to getting one. A degree from a good US law school would let you walk in to a British or Commonwealth firm if that's what you wanted to do and unlike in the US, the process to getting locally qualified in the UK/Australia isn't tied to having a local masters' degree.

If you just want to work in London or Europe, just call up a Magic Circle firm - they are desperate for talent at the moment with the U.S. firms sucking up the local UK talent. Plenty of Australians with far less impressive creds than the T13 are heading over there now - you wouldn't have a problem getting in if that is what you wanted to do.


Thank you for your response, this is quite insightful. So you don't think the BCL would be of any use if trying to get an elusive international gov't, NGO, or UN job? From what you've said already it doesn't seem that why, but you did focus primarily upon international private law. You don't think it would give me any advantage in international public law?

Lancair

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Re: Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

Postby Lancair » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:45 pm

New_Englander wrote:
Lancair wrote:
New_Englander wrote:Hello TLS. Just curious as to how common and/or useful it may be for an American JD to get a BCL/LLM from Oxbridge after earning their JD. I know people usually say that getting an LLM is useless (at least in the American legal market), but I was wondering if there may be any particular advantages to getting an Oxbridge one. Perhaps there are certain fields where it may be useful? If I were interested in transnational, government, NGO, ect sort of work could this be more advantageous? Thank you.


There is basically one point, and one point only, to getting a BCL from Oxford - to qualify you to get into a good barrister's chambers in a Commonwealth legal centre (London, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong). It would also be helpful if you were trying to become an associate (clerk) to the High Court of Australia (e.g. SCOTUS equivalent here). Not sure if they have clerks/associates in the UK like we do in Aus/US actually, but I assume it would be useful for that too if they did.

Apart from that, there is not much utility to getting one. A degree from a good US law school would let you walk in to a British or Commonwealth firm if that's what you wanted to do and unlike in the US, the process to getting locally qualified in the UK/Australia isn't tied to having a local masters' degree.

If you just want to work in London or Europe, just call up a Magic Circle firm - they are desperate for talent at the moment with the U.S. firms sucking up the local UK talent. Plenty of Australians with far less impressive creds than the T13 are heading over there now - you wouldn't have a problem getting in if that is what you wanted to do.


Thank you for your response, this is quite insightful. So you don't think the BCL would be of any use if trying to get an elusive international gov't, NGO, or UN job? From what you've said already it doesn't seem that why, but you did focus primarily upon international private law. You don't think it would give me any advantage in international public law?


What sort of government/NGO/UN job? If you want to actually practice international public law as a lawyer, an Oxford BCL wouldn't be the worst thing, but the entry level paths into that world are essentially through domestic government agencies, for which a BCL may or may not help. I imagine it wouldn't be a huge amount of assistance in getting a job at the U.S. DOJ if you already had a prestigious undergrad.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a quasi-legal/policy job (i.e., what someone classically thinks of as a "UN/NGO job"), I think you would be better off looking into MPP (or similar programs) which have good track records of placing people into that sort of role. Somewhere like HKS, or maybe one of the universities in Switzerland/Brussels/Hauge which feed into the international agencies there.

All my friends who did BCLs, are, or are becoming barristers. The exception to this are Rhodes Scholars who trade off the Rhodes to do something more funky (which is often, dully enough, is just working for McKinsey) The people I know otherwise doing the more funky international stuff tend to either to do an MPP or do a US LLM (which will probably be of limited utility for a US JD, unless you could trade up in prestige substantially).

New_Englander

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Re: Oxford BCL and Cambridge LLM for Americans

Postby New_Englander » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:58 pm

Lancair wrote:
New_Englander wrote:
Lancair wrote:
New_Englander wrote:Hello TLS. Just curious as to how common and/or useful it may be for an American JD to get a BCL/LLM from Oxbridge after earning their JD. I know people usually say that getting an LLM is useless (at least in the American legal market), but I was wondering if there may be any particular advantages to getting an Oxbridge one. Perhaps there are certain fields where it may be useful? If I were interested in transnational, government, NGO, ect sort of work could this be more advantageous? Thank you.


There is basically one point, and one point only, to getting a BCL from Oxford - to qualify you to get into a good barrister's chambers in a Commonwealth legal centre (London, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong). It would also be helpful if you were trying to become an associate (clerk) to the High Court of Australia (e.g. SCOTUS equivalent here). Not sure if they have clerks/associates in the UK like we do in Aus/US actually, but I assume it would be useful for that too if they did.

Apart from that, there is not much utility to getting one. A degree from a good US law school would let you walk in to a British or Commonwealth firm if that's what you wanted to do and unlike in the US, the process to getting locally qualified in the UK/Australia isn't tied to having a local masters' degree.

If you just want to work in London or Europe, just call up a Magic Circle firm - they are desperate for talent at the moment with the U.S. firms sucking up the local UK talent. Plenty of Australians with far less impressive creds than the T13 are heading over there now - you wouldn't have a problem getting in if that is what you wanted to do.


Thank you for your response, this is quite insightful. So you don't think the BCL would be of any use if trying to get an elusive international gov't, NGO, or UN job? From what you've said already it doesn't seem that why, but you did focus primarily upon international private law. You don't think it would give me any advantage in international public law?


What sort of government/NGO/UN job? If you want to actually practice international public law as a lawyer, an Oxford BCL wouldn't be the worst thing, but the entry level paths into that world are essentially through domestic government agencies, for which a BCL may or may not help. I imagine it wouldn't be a huge amount of assistance in getting a job at the U.S. DOJ if you already had a prestigious undergrad.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a quasi-legal/policy job (i.e., what someone classically thinks of as a "UN/NGO job"), I think you would be better off looking into MPP (or similar programs) which have good track records of placing people into that sort of role. Somewhere like HKS, or maybe one of the universities in Switzerland/Brussels/Hauge which feed into the international agencies there.

All my friends who did BCLs, are, or are becoming barristers. The exception to this are Rhodes Scholars who trade off the Rhodes to do something more funky (which is often, dully enough, is just working for McKinsey) The people I know otherwise doing the more funky international stuff tend to either to do an MPP or do a US LLM (which will probably be of limited utility for a US JD, unless you could trade up in prestige substantially).


I'm quite interested in the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser. I am also interested in UN and other such attorney positions, as well as those with think tanks such as the Council on Foreign relations. One reason why I am more interested in the JD is I feel as if I will have more opportunities for careers if this career path isn't fruitful. I was thinking about going into biglaw, working in an transnational context of course, and then going into government or the like. Do you think this would be a feasible idea?



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