CDO SERVICES FOR LL.M. AND J.S.D. STUDENTS
Most of you are interested in an LLM or JSD as a step toward a career in research or teaching, or to enhance your law practice in your home country. Still others are looking for one of the limited number of temporary U.S. internships available to international students after graduating. A few of you intend to pursue more permanent positions with U.S. law firms or corporations. Regardless of the nature of your career counseling need, the CDO is here to assist you.
When it comes to seeking long term employment in the U.S., it is important to keep in mind that an LL.M. degree is not a substitute for the three year J.D. degree. Even for those with JDs, the current job market is extremely competitive. U.S. legal employers are often not looking to hire international LLM students for positions here in the U.S. Despite the odds, however, the CDO is committed to doing all that it can to best position you for success.
|ATTENTION Professional Track LL.M. Students|
|In addition to the extremely competitive nature of the U.S. legal job market particularly for foreign-trained attorneys, the unique structure of the summer program – combined with the legal restrictions imposed under U.S. immigration law – make it highly unlikely that professional track LLMs will be able to work in the U.S. on a permanent or even temporary basis.|
Below are some of the services available to both our domestic and international LLMs and JSDs through the CDO:
Individual Counseling Appointments
Our dedicated LL.M. career counselor, Minji Kim, is available by appointment or during her drop in hours (Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon) to help you develop an individualized career development strategy. She can also assist students with drafting or reviewing resumes and cover letters, as well as exploring career options and networking.
Also, the CDO has put together a short set of FAQ's to assist students with getting started on how to approach a job search.
The CDO's website contains a wealth of information, including several useful online "Guides and Webcasts" on a variety of legal practice areas and other subjects designed to help you build your job searching skills. You can also schedule an appointment with LLM. career counselor Minji Kim online. The "Upcoming Events" section of the homepage also lists programs and other timely career-related information.
We also maintain a library of print resources in our office, which contains a comprehensive collection of directories, periodicals, and other materials relating to the legal profession.
Students are given access to our jobs database, known as the b-Line, which is updated on a daily basis. You can use it to search for positions that interest you, view application details, and, in many cases, apply directly online.
Workshops for Refining your Job Search and Career Development Skills
Students are welcome to attend any of our career programs and panel discussions. We work to select presenters and topics that will provide you with timely information about the legal job market and to introduce you to the full spectrum of career options available. Announcements are posted in the weekly law school newsletter (the Boalt Bulletin Board, also known as the BBB) and on the CDO homepage.
In addition, students are eligible to participate in networking receptions with private and public sector employers. These are excellent opportunities to make contact with employers and learn more about their practices and culture.
Finally, we present at least three programs specifically targeted to LL.M and J.S.D. students throughout the year on topics such as resume and cover letter writing, and interviewing skills.
Job Fairs and Interview Programs
In addition to the above-listed services, the CDO also helps to facilitate the participation of interested Advanced Degree students in the following job fairs and interview programs.
- International Student Interview Program (ISIP) - International L.LM. and J.S.D. students are eligible to participate in the International Student Interview Program held each January in New York City. Nearly 130 legal employers from around the world interview over 1000 candidates from the 32 schools that participate each year.
- West Coast International LLM Job Fair - The West Coast International LLM Job Fair is held in Los Angeles each Spring. In 2007, nearly 20 employers conducted interviews for which 160 students competed. Both employer and student participation is expected to increase over the coming years.
- Fall and Spring On-Campus Interview Program - Although these Boalt-based interview programs are focused on placing U.S. J.D. students primarily in summer positions, a handful of participating employers each year express an interest in interviewing international LL.M. students for internships or more permanent positions. As these interview programs approach, the CDO will be in email contact with LL.M. students with information about these employers and instructions on how to pursue these opportunities.
Each state in the U.S. sets its own requirements for admission to practice law. In recent years, these rules have been evolving somewhat to allow more opportunities for foreign trained lawyers to sit for bar exams in the U.S. For the latest comprehensive information on state bar admissions for foreign-trained lawyers, please visit the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education (in particular, the Bar Admissions link in the Resources section of the Section's homepage).
Powerpoint Slides (PDF) from September 2011 Presentation on Bar Exam (NY & CA) Prep Tips for LLM
Visa restrictions may also have an impact on U.S. employment. UC Berkeley’s International Office (http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/) provides LLMs with assistance in navigating U.S. immigration law, including applying for optional practical training (OPT). The International Office has provided specific instructions regarding the OPT process, which you can find here.