How lawyers can find jobs in the US

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Back in 2013, like many young Indian lawyers, I considered pursuing a Master of Laws (LLM) abroad. My motivations for doing so were to specialize in intellectual property and technology law, and gather some international experience. Before I knew it, I landed in Berkeley Law, which successfully helped me meet both goals. I am now a tech lawyer in Silicon Valley happily representing disruptive technology brands and working on transformative deals.

I am often asked whether an LLM is worth it, and whether you can be guaranteed a job after. Whether your personal motivations for doing the LLM make the time, money and effort “worth it” is very subjective. With respect to jobs, sadly nothing is guaranteed (much like anything else in life), but getting a legal job abroad is not impossible and is becoming less uncommon in my experience. Having said that, here is my advice to increase your chances of getting that coveted first job in the US.

  1. Pick your school wisely. While looking for jobs, consider the area you are going to and the need for legal expertise. For example, LA would be the perfect spot for jobs in media and entertainment. The San Francisco Bay Area has a greater concentration of jobs in technology. Target a practice area and legal market early to be well prepared when you arrive. Also, if you know you want to live and work in state A, don’t go and pick a school in state B that is on the opposite coast. It will be much harder to keep flying in and out for interviews and networking.
  2. Networking. Start making friends and connections right away. The best thing is to try and immerse yourself in the local events and law school activities. They will open doors and you will end up having a more enriching experience during the year. Don’t spend your entire LLM in the library (no matter how tempting it is).

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