Professional and Academic Opportunities after the LL.M
An LL.M. from FIU Law will open a world of opportunities for you. Whatever your professional goals are, our highly qualified faculty advisors, and staff will be ready to help you make the best choices for your future.
Upon completion of the LL.M curriculum, a growing number of students express their interest in preparing for the Bar exam needed to obtain a license to practice law in certain United State jurisdictions. Others prefer to gain work experience through an Optional Practical Training (O.P.T.); while others, decide to pursue other academic or professional endeavors. Below, we offer important information regarding each path.
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Bar qualifications in U.S. jurisdictions
Law graduates in the United States are required to take a bar exam in order to practice law. Each of the 50 states regulates the admissions of attorneys to the practice of law within its jurisdiction. As a result, the LL.M. degree does not itself constitute a credential qualifying foreign lawyers to practice law in the United States. We strongly encourage prospective LL.M. applicants to familiarize themselves with the relevant bar admission rules that allow foreign lawyers to practice in certain U.S. jurisdictions. Below are some examples:
- Florida Bar. All applicants seeking admission to The Florida Bar must be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school that will ultimately result in the awarding of a J.D. degree. A foreign attorney receiving the LL.M. degree, without later completing a J.D., cannot sit for The Florida Bar.
- New York Bar. The New York Bar is the jurisdiction of choice for many foreign-trained attorneys. Most other state jurisdictions have requirements for the exam that either preclude or make it very difficult for foreign-trained attorneys to meet eligibility requirements to sit for the exam. The New York Bar’s rules, however, permit lawyers with foreign legal education to sit for the bar if certain requirements are met. For students who plan on sitting for the New York Bar, the College will do everything possible to provide a curriculum that meets the requirements of the New York Bar. Links to important information regarding the New York State bar examination, including examination qualification requirements for foreign-trained lawyers and bar admission rules New York State Board of Law Examiners and NY Bar Foreign Legal Education.
- Other Bar examinations. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure his or her eligibility to take bar exam in any particular state. The requirements for taking any bar exam vary greatly from state to state. Each student also presents a unique set of educational and experiential factors that may affect permission to take the bar. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure their eligibility to take any state bar exam. Foreign attorneys should communicate directly with the Board of Law Examiners of the state where they are interested in practicing. A directory of state bar admissions offices can be found on the National Conference of Bar Examiners website along with The Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admissions
Optional Practical Training (O.P.T.) for Foreign Students
OPT is recommended by an ISSS Advisor but authorization is granted through a USCIS Service center. A student completing an LL.M. who has been in valid F1 status for at least one academic year is eligible for 12 months of full-time OPT. Students on OPT should only engage in employment directly related to their field or academic program and which is commensurate with their degree level. For information and application please direct your inquiry to the International Student and Scholar Services Office at the Student Academic Success Center (SASC) Room 230; (305).348.2421
Career Services Office at FIU Law
The Career Planning and Placement Office of the College of Law is dedicated to helping all students at the College of Law, including those who are working towards their LL.M. degree. LL.M. students are welcome to meet with a career adviser to discuss job search strategies, to work on resume and cover letter writing, and to take advantage of the many resources that they have to offer. There may also be on-campus job opportunities for F-1 LL.M. students.
If you are an international student, your ability to work in the United States will depend on your immigration status, and you should investigate this fully and consult with a United States Consulate before undertaking study. Many law students also accept summer employment in legal fields. Employment rules vary depending on your immigration status and special employment rules apply to students in the United States on F-1 visas. To determine if you are eligible to accept summer legal employment under your visa, contact a United States Consulate.