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Message started by roman on Jan 22nd, 2004 at 1:21am

Title: post law school
Post by roman on Jan 22nd, 2004 at 1:21am
i need some info i am american who will be starting law school hopefully next year @Dundee and after i am done with my 3 years and i do my diploma in legal practice how hard will it be for me to get a trainneship and would they be willing to sponsor me  assuming that they do i really would like to become a Briton citzen and since i plan on doing both english and Scots law i would i feel id be happy in both countries( Scotland peferred)
so any help is appericated and lets talk

Title: Re: post law school
Post by meepington on Jan 26th, 2004 at 2:13am
Your question both confuses and intrigues me. Thinking about it, I have never actually met an American lawyer in Scotland. I wonder if that is because they prefer England. Fools if they do!

Anyway, back to the point. Is this going to be your first degree? If so, I would advise doing the Honours version of the degree, which is 4 years rather than 3, as it's pretty much the standard over here. If it's a second degree then ignore this paragraph!

Second point of confusion on my part - are you sure you will be allowed to stay and work in Scotland (or indeed anywhere the UK) as a lawyer once you have graduated? i.e. do you have any existing residency rights? As I understand it, foreign (non-EU) graduates can remain in the UK for a few months after graduation, but that is a limited entitlement.

After that things can get more complicated. I believe in order to gain a long term work permit in the UK you need to be able to offer skills that cannot be found within the indigenous population, and as with pretty much every country on earth we have something of an overabundance of trainee applicants!

Having said all this, I'm sure you have actually checked things out for yourself and would not be planning on spending 5 years and lots of cash studying here if you didn't have a chance of staying at the end! I'd be interested to know more about your situation, especially as I'd like to work in the States but can't see a hope in hell of getting a visa ever. Maybe we could arrange some sort of citizenshp swap? ;)

If in doubt you should contact the Home Office :

Well I intended this to be helpful but maybe it's just left you more confused than ever!

Title: Re: post law school
Post by roman on Jan 27th, 2004 at 1:21am
thanks for the info as it is right now Dundee will be my only unoversity i have done whats called junior college here and i have a 2 year tech dergree and my thinking is that id like to do only Scots law ( im not a big fan of the english)so any other idea you can think of  to grab a traineeship also im going to do the 3 year route then the diploma   so talk to me more about your ideas
kendall Barber

Title: Re: post law school
Post by roman on Jan 27th, 2004 at 1:22am
i misspelled university oops
also any other ideas?

Title: Re: post law school
Post by meepington on Jan 27th, 2004 at 5:42pm
If this is going to be your first degree and you want to work in Scotland you really need to do the 4 year Honours version. It's pretty much the basic requirement and, if you don't have a previous Honours degree, a 3 year Ordinary is going to be more or less worthless. That's true of any degree subject these days, but law is particularly competitive. I'm assuming that Dundee doesn't have some sort of fast-track 3 year Honours course, but I'm pretty sure they don't.

In England an Honours course only lasts 3 years but for some reason it takes a year longer to gain the same qualification in Scotland. This is probably because we tend to be slightly younger (17/18) when we start our degrees. Anyway, it's important not to confuse the two as a three year degree in Scotland is not the same as a three year degree in England.

The other thing is you really, really must contact the Home Office to discuss your immigration status. No matter how good a candidate you might be, UK employers won't be allowed to offer you a job if you are not eligible for a work permit  and you could end up being forced to leave the country after you graduate. Of course this wouldn't be a total waste as you'd still be able to take the New York and California bar exams and practice over there with a degree from the UK, but if you are set on working in Scotland you should check things out before you arrive.

It's important to remember that the immigration system is designed to allow entry to foreign citizens who possess skills that are in demand in this country, and lawyers sadly do not fall into that category! Unless you have British relatives it is likely to be very tough. You need to think about how you are going to convince them to let you stay - it'd be awful to spend all that cash on international student fees for no good reason (although I bet it's cheaper than lawschool in the US!).

Title: Re: post law school
Post by E Welsh on Sep 8th, 2004 at 5:38pm
I certainly wouldn't say that the 3 year degree is worthless! I completed a 3 year MA and then a two year LLB at Glasgow Uni and I managed to get a traineeship just as quickly as my friends sitting with LLB hons. I think it depends very much on your personality at interview.

Title: Re: post law school
Post by Neil on Jul 5th, 2005 at 10:35pm
I'd agree.  I have many friends who didn't do honours and have had no trouble, without a first degree.

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