Can I take a J.D. abroad, or should I not bother coming back to get one?
September 2, 2008 5:27 PM Subscribe
Can I export my law degree from the USA? If not, where else should I consider going to law school?
I've just decided that I would like to go to law school. I'm going to apply at Columbia and NYU because of their high caliber and the fact that I'd love to spend some time in Manhattan; it would also be most convenient for me to finance graduate school in US$ in the near future. I have an American BA as well. I am relatively confident that I could be successful as a lawyer and tolerate working long hours under pressure, so this question isn't really about whether I should go to law school, except insofar as this is influenced by geography (and I am open to suggestions of other similar career paths that would accommodate my geographic inclinations).
I have been living abroad for several years and currently have no expectation that I will ever wish to permanently resettle in the USA. I would like to get my J.D. and take it overseas to embark on a wildly successful international career in law; is this possible? How and where can I make it happen?
If so, who are my potential employers, and what might I end up doing? Should I have a focus in international law, or are other areas viable for positions overseas? Would I have any hope of working in the EU? Currently I'd prefer to be in the developing world, but I wouldn't like to rule out settling in Europe by going to law school in the USA.
If not, where else should I study law? German is my best second language, and I'd be enthusiastic about studying in Germany; however, I'm equally hesitant to make a permanent commitment to any country at this point. I would be open to getting a law degree in a reputable program in just about any interesting country; I am aware that I may not be qualified to walk into a graduate program in another academic system, though I'd like to explore this complication here as well. I do not intend to live in any country whose only official language is English, so the UK, Canada, Australia and NZ are not preferable alternatives.
Have any lawyers or former law students out there gone on to an interesting international career? Please tell me your story along with any advice you can offer!