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If an LLM actually added real value to any given lawyer credentials, wouldn't firms pay for them?

I just saw a story indicating that my law school will be try jdcumlaude11/13/18
The only postings I have ever seen are for Tax LLMs. I've ne superttthero11/13/18
LLM is how trashbins make for the falling revenues. They are triplesix11/13/18
Largely foreigners go for this or others who think that an L wallypancake11/13/18
People doing LLMs fit into a few categories: 1) foreign t dingbat11/13/18
One more - JAGs scamming the government well. They send us plunky11/26/18
Here’s a good flowchart which will tell you if you should cheesecakes77711/14/18
Yup, that about sums it up. For a person with a US JD, it's onehell11/19/18
Agree, but your analogy is off. Imagine that the roulette ac superttthero11/19/18
Someone mentioned foreigners with regard to the LLM. Fr patenttrollnj11/26/18
I don't think that's true. A foreigner getting an LLM just e onehell11/26/18
It's a way for foreigners to take the job of Americans. It' patenttrollnj11/26/18
You don't know what you are talking about. Patenttrollnj triplesix11/26/18
The corporate is largely American or American-trained lawyer wallypancake11/26/18
If I won the lottery I'd go back and get a few LLMs. But I w thirdtierlaw11/26/18
jdcumlaude (Nov 13, 2018 - 4:36 pm)

I just saw a story indicating that my law school will be trying to expand their LLM program, which has only just begun. It is expensive, as most LLM programs are.

any thoughts on the title question?

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superttthero (Nov 13, 2018 - 4:39 pm)

The only postings I have ever seen are for Tax LLMs. I've never seen a posting requesting any other type.

So, no one pays for them because they generally add no value.

As far as tax LLMs, why would you pay to either (a) shift the focus of a non-tax associate you've trained in another field, or (b) re-train in academia a tax associate you've already had doing tax work for 1 - 2 years? It's easier, for when needed, to pluck a freshly minted grad of a top Tax LLM program (there are no shortage of those), and let them pay themselves.

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triplesix (Nov 13, 2018 - 4:43 pm)

LLM is how trashbins make for the falling revenues. They are targeted at the rich, foreigners, and idiots or some combination of these things.

It's like going back to an abuse ex after you cut your losses. It is hard to tell why someone would do it but you keep seeing it.

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wallypancake (Nov 13, 2018 - 5:06 pm)

Largely foreigners go for this or others who think that an LLM will get them over the top. If a person feels that he was on the brink of a job then may feel that an LLM will get them over the hump.

Most LLMs don't add value, no one is going after you just because of an LLM. An LLM in tax is valuable; other LLMs are not value. Firms want to add value to their assets, which LLMs generally do not provide.

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dingbat (Nov 13, 2018 - 7:46 pm)

People doing LLMs fit into a few categories:

1) foreign trailed attorneys who can get admitted in the US with an LLM (very few states allow this; NY is one of them)

2) people who just lost the big law lottery and hope that a prestigious tax LLM might make the difference

3) suckers

4) attorneys who are successful enough to pay out of pocket, and want the knowledge and the credentials (yes, there are a few)

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plunky (Nov 26, 2018 - 3:32 pm)

One more - JAGs scamming the government well. They send us to get an LLM for a year, so we're getting full pay/benefits for that year, and school's free. Then our next assignment is almost assuredly in the area we got the LLM in, and that experience is what might be valuable. If it is, then bail and go use it. If not, keep pressing on to the 20, with one of those years basically having been a vacation in school.

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cheesecakes777 (Nov 14, 2018 - 12:47 pm)

Here’s a good flowchart which will tell you if you should get an LLM.

http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w76/linguica2/lawgoons/cdc994f9474e959584a0682951251212b9f.png

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onehell (Nov 19, 2018 - 4:50 pm)

Yup, that about sums it up. For a person with a US JD, it's tax at NYU (or to a lesser extent GT or FL) or bust.

And I might add that even at NYU Tax LLM, assuming you don't already have elite JD credentials, you are basically plunking down 100k for another shot at OCI which has a 50/50 shot at best, and if you lose again it will probably add no value.

Bottom line for me is that a "good" tax LLM is like going to the Roulette wheel and putting 100k of borrowed money on black, and any other LLM is like flushing that same amount of money down the toilet.

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superttthero (Nov 19, 2018 - 11:31 pm)

Agree, but your analogy is off. Imagine that the roulette actually hits black and instead of a payout you get to work long hours in a stressful environment with very frugal living for 4 - 5 years before you get to break even (at least, given opportunity costs) and begin to cash in.

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patenttrollnj (Nov 26, 2018 - 9:48 am)

Someone mentioned foreigners with regard to the LLM.

Frankly, the LLM is analogous to what is happening in sciences and healthcare with the H-1B visas. By importing cheap foreign workers with advanced degrees, they can keep the salaries in these industries low. Well, the LLM is law's way of doing that.

The tax LLM may be a special case, but I wouldn't bother unless your firm pays for it.

Otherwise, it's a scam.

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onehell (Nov 26, 2018 - 1:27 pm)

I don't think that's true. A foreigner getting an LLM just enables them to sit for some states' bar exams. A state-issued law license, unlike an H1-B visa, conveys no immigration benefit in and of itself. Sure an employer could sponsor them the ordinary way, but if they did it wouldn't be to skimp on salary - there's no shortage of US lawyers willing to work for next to nothing as it is; there's simply no need to resort to foreigners to reach that result, and biglaw of course has no interest in cutting salaries. On the contrary, they want to attract "the best" so that they can bill accordingly. They do want to pay less on doc review, but they can fill the doc review dungeons easily without trying to pull them in from abroad, or they can offshore the work entirely. Neither case necessitates importing lawyers who get licenses via the LLM.

Where foreigners use the domestic LLM to sit for the bar, it's usually for entirely different reasons. Either they don't intend to move here at all and just want it for international work back in their home country, or biglaw is sponsoring them because of some truly unique skillset for which they are going to pay handsomely. I don't think foreigners who get a law license by way of US LLM compete with local lawyers at all. They're in special niches in biglaw somewhere; it's not like they come here and start competing with local solos for divorces or whatever.

And by the way, the same is true in reverse. A US lawyer can get a solicitor license in the UK and much of the EU by way of the QLTT. But that's not going to get you permission to live and work there. If an employer sponsors you to do that, then it's going to be biglaw and it's going to be because you are a very special snowflake indeed, not because you can somehow undercut a profession that already has a massive domestic surplus on price.

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patenttrollnj (Nov 26, 2018 - 2:13 pm)

It's a way for foreigners to take the job of Americans. It's true enough.

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triplesix (Nov 26, 2018 - 2:22 pm)

You don't know what you are talking about.

Patenttrollnj is right by making a comparison to tech. It ain't like they are taking all jobs but they are certainly working on the fringes chipping away as much as legally possible.

Also, being a child of a wealthy foreigners that likely obtain wealth via corruption and or outright crime shouldnt count as valuable skikll.

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wallypancake (Nov 26, 2018 - 3:26 pm)

The corporate is largely American or American-trained lawyers. There are very few foreign lawyers at the corporate level. Foreign lawyers at the corporate level are the ones with the absolute top credentials and they are not bringing down the wage by accepting doc review pay rates.

There are plenty of foreign lawyers sliming it out in doc review but those are not the real legal jobs. The general LLM offered at Harvard and Columbia is largely a vehicle for helping foreigners sit for the bar so they can hit the doc review circuit when they get bar results.

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thirdtierlaw (Nov 26, 2018 - 7:15 pm)

If I won the lottery I'd go back and get a few LLMs. But I wouldn't expect it to advance my career in any way. It is probably a great way to get a large over view of an area of law.

The one thing, only thing?, law school and the bar exam teaches people is how to learn the law. It's also the case that the only time an LLM crosses the mind of someone or an employer is when there is a prospective new client that is looking for work in a new practice area that'd he new for the firm. So why would an employer say, "hey Billy go disappear for a year and get an LLM so you can help us with a client that needs immediate legal help." vs. "Hey Billy go watch a couple of CLEs and learn as much as you can about this topic before our meeting with the prospective client next week."

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