Ask Janet: US Citizen Attending Argentine Law School

Janet, I’ve enjoyed your blog. I’m residing in Argentina for the next few years and have an opportunity to study law here. When I return to the US, will I be able to sit for the bar, will there be opportunities for someone like me, will those opportunities be significant, or will they in fact be limited by

virtue of where I got my education? Many thanks.

Tim

Dear Tim I am glad that you have enjoyed reading my blog. In fact, by reading the posts in the “Ask Janet” category, you will see that I’ve addressed inquiries similar to yours.The January 22 post will give you the links to the states that admit foreign trained lawyers to practice in the US and the qualifications for doing so.It also gives the link to the rules on this issue from the NY Bar which, at the moment (and probably for the foreseeable future) will be the state that is most welcoming to foreign trained lawyers. Review the requirements carefully, not only now but also closer to the time that you would seek to become licensed to make sure that you have met the requirements.Your best potential employer would of course be one that would need your Argentine law expertise, like a company that does a lot of US-Argentine business, law firms that service such clients, or a governmental entity dealing on US-Argentine matters. It seems to me that getting some actual legal work experience while in Argentina would improve your resume–experience that you could even get while in school. A lawyer with practical work experience–not just the theoretical knowledge of foreign law–is much more marketable.

You asked whether your job opportunities in the US will be limited by virtue of where you got your education (Argentina rather that the US). Generally speaking, yes. A US trained lawyer with good grades from a good law school will have more job offers. However, if you can play to your strengths by emphasizing your niche (Argentine law knowledge), and find an employer who needs just that, there may be an ideal job for you.

Your ability to find a job in the US really depends on your ability to network effectively. Use your time in Argentina to make as many contacts as you can with Argentines doing business in the US. Even if they are not in a position to hire you, they can make valuable introductions to others in the US for you. Likewise, during trips to the US during the next few years, continue such networking on the US side. In fact, you might go ahead and get involved in the International Law Section of the ABA now and start building contacts. As a student, your membership rate will be lower.

By the way, I just wrote a chapter about moving up the international law career ladder for the upcoming third edition of the Careers in International Law book published by the ABA’s International Law Section. Keep your eyes peeled (or check my blog) down the road to see when the third edition is released. All of the chapters will have info. that may be useful.

All the best,

Janet

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