Monday, January 20, 2014

International Law - The Last Refuge of the Preftigious


Let's be honest: what the hell is "International Law," anyway? 

Do you remember being a 1L?  Do you remember how many of your fellow students said they were going to go into "International Law," almost as if choosing one's practice area was akin to choosing between Mercedes Benz or BMW?  Where you one of those students who proudly bandied-about the term, knowing it sounded good to family at Thanksgiving, before the need to actually earn a living took hold and "modified" your dreams and aspirations?
 
Criminal law, I could fathom.  Contracts, I could understand.  Business Organizations, IP, Torts, Environmental Law, OK, I can sort of see it.  I'm still amazed I survived Constitutional Law and the oblique tests and levels of "scrutiny" and what-not, but hey, whatever, that is a different matter entirely.  People actually do get to argue before the SCOTUS, albeit rarely.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
 
But "International Law?"  What was that, exactly?
 
If only I had the recent glossy brochure from John Marshall Law School at the time to guide me:

 


"Perhaps you see yourself working with an international agency in the human rights area, or as a large firm attorney negotiating cross-border mergers, or as a customs and trade law attorney managing the compliance issues for a large corporation.  There are infinite possibilities when you expand your education and professional life into the global sphere."

 Why yes, yes I do see myself this way!  "Infinite possibilities?"  No wonder everyone was so excited about International Law!  Even though I have no idea what the last paragraph even said, sign me up!  Makes me want to go back to school for an LLM, as my law degree and bar license has not conferred enough "JD-Advantage" upon me to suit my particular tastes currently.
 
....aaaaaand JMLS is happy to oblige, with many, many course offerings (Comparative Human Rights Law, International Business Transactions, Lawyering Skills IV: Drafting - International Practice, and Advanced Legal Research - International Law, to name a few).  And don't forget the JD Certificate in International Human Rights Law.
 
The "Hands-on" Experience includes:
 

            *  Moot Court

            *  Internships

            *  Research Assistanceships

            *  Organizations, such as the International Law Society

            *  Study Abroad

Hmmm....sounds a lot like generic "Law School" to me, but hey, what do I know.  The Internships do sound impressive, I must say - U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of the VPOTUS, the New South Wales Disability Discrimination Center in Australia, the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Palestine, and "Law Firms" in China, Taiwan, and Europe. 
 
Wait...the brochure says that the Center for International Law can HELP you RESEARCH and IDENTIFY international law internships, but does not provide them out of hand...sounds like YMMV, to me.  Not unlike the advertised success stories of the international students who went to JMLS and then went back to their countries of origin and used their built-in connections to score interesting and lucrative "international law" jobs. I'm guessing it is somewhat easier to land a law firm job in Taiwan if you are, well, originally from Taiwan, for example.
 
All in all, while the course offerings could be interesting, academically, I'm having trouble drawing the clear-cut connection between the advertised offerings, on the one hand, and success in landing the coveted "International Human Rights Attorney" job and the "infinite possibilities" that entails, on the other.  How many JMLS alumni, on a percentage basis, are actually doing these preftigious jobs?  How many, for example, are practicing before the Hague?  The brochure doesn't seem to say.

And I suspect that many, many recent graduates are wondering the same thing as well - and why they thought "International Law" was a realistic option for them in the first place, in retrospect, before Sallie Mae came knocking.  Hey, the Law Schools got paid, so live and learn, I guess.

62 comments:

  1. Human rights. Yeah sure.

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  2. This was an epic post! The pigs know that the well is running dry. You are going to see them offer "specialized" programs in "international law." After all, think of the amount of left-handed victims of human rights abuses. Why not offer an LLM in that "area"?

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  3. They are really pushing the envelope with that blurb. How many JMLS graduates work as a "large firm attorney negotiating cross-border mergers"? And yet, the following sentences strongly imply, if not offer an outright guarantee, that you will get one of these jobs:

    "You will develop the knowledge and skills to be practice ready" - Part of being ready to practice is having a job to which to report.

    "Your future in international law begins here" - Of what specifically does this future consist?

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    1. Yes, I wonder myself how many JMLS grads get jobs at large firms or with international human rights agencies. I suspect you could count them on the fingers of one had and have a few digits left over.

      Also LOL'd about "trade attorney managing compliance issues" for a corporation. No one hires in house counsel straight out of law school--they all want several years' experience with large firms or the fed. government.

      This ad is at the very least misleading, and at worst downright fraudulent.

      Delete
  4. "International law", to the typical aspirant, evokes images of rubbing elbows with diplomats over champagne at fancy hotels in Vienna and London while taking many a sunny afternoon off to dally on the Champs-Élysées. It's just another mythical professional option invented and promulgated by the law schools—not quite so bogus as "sports law", but still not realistically open, especially to people coming out of some such toilet as John Marshall "Law School".

    Those "internships" are often bought and sold (a position of that sort at the UN last summer went for more than $30k) or else given out on the basis of connections. Seldom would a student at John Marshall "Law School" have access to them. By the way, if (like me) you are foolish enough to go to law school after your mid-twenties, you should know that many of those positions come with an age limit: the International Court of "Justice", for example, won't take anyone past the age of 32. That's what I told classmates who asked why I hadn't applied for the position. (I also told them that I couldn't afford to do unpaid work on the other side of the world. Believe it or not, some of us weren't born with a silver spoon up our ass.)

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  5. "International Law." To the dumb lemming who has just backpacked across Europe after college graduation, those words are music to the ears. I'll say this for John Marshall, like any good con-man, it knows its mark.

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  6. I went to law school to work in international law. I am still waiting for that opportunity. Oh, there are plenty of unpaid positions, if you know people. But those of us who have to pay for our own food are typically ineligible for those positions, because the need to work puts us out of the running.

    After interning for free for a year at the DA's office, I left the field of law and my dreams of 'international law' far behind when I realized that I actually needed a paying job. Right now, I work for $14,000 a year in a non-legal job. Pay attention, kiddies. This is more likely to be your future than some prestigious job at the Hague if you focus on 'international law.'

    The only thing I got for my 'foray into international law' was monstrous law school debt, a job barely paying minimum wage, and years lost out of the work force, which put me behind in being able to earn a living. And of course I got three years of law school where I learned about vague international law terms that the average Joe like me will never have a chance at using. Thanks law school.

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    1. During law school, I actually won a scholarship for my work in international law. It came with a bit of money but otherwise has been useless. Now I'm applying for semi-skilled and even unskilled jobs.

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  7. Employment at the International House Of Pancakes is one of the infinite possibilities.

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    1. And you're ready to do it from Day One. You're pancake ready.

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    2. John Marshall "Law School" should start offering courses in Syrup Law.

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    3. No waffling on the outcomes. Can you really bring home the bacon? I hope. Ihop.

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  8. Perhaps you see yourself working with an international agency in the human rights area, or as a large firm attorney negotiating cross-border mergers, or as a customs and trade law attorney managing the compliance issues for a large corporation.

    If so, you should wake up and smell the coffee. Especially if you are stupid enough to attend that stinking toilet known as John Marshall "Law School".

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  9. If you want to be a diplomat for this country you either need to have twenty or so years of experience at the State Department, or have given generously to the election campaign of the current President, or be as famous as Shirley Temple. It helps if you know people who are senators, it also helps if you know multiple foreign languages. It doesn't help to have a credential from some third tier place.

    Perhaps the prosecution of war criminals is more your speed. At the Nuremberg Trials the American lawyers involved were a Supreme Court Justice, The US Attorney General, a Brigadier General, a Circuit Court judge and, and a United States Senator. Note the absence of freshly minted lawyers from John Marshall.

    Maybe you want to work at the United Nations. Alrighty then, According to 8:32 you need $30,000 up front, and the ability to work unpaid on the back end. You will also need to be less than 30 and well connected.

    How about Big deals for Big multinational firms. Big law is the place to do that sort of work. They recruit people from the T14 (Which JMLS is not a member). Top 10% grades and law review will also help here, so will being the scion of a partner. An International Law LL.M from John Marshall will not.

    Just for your curiosity, maybe your sights are slightly lower and you don't want to practice international law any more, just the highest form of national law, being a Supreme Court Judge. Obviously it is important to go to Harvard Law School, like 6 of the justices did, or Yale Law School like 3 of the justices did, Or Columbia Law School like 1 justice did. One justice has two law degrees. No justices went to John Marshall Law School.

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    1. I (8:32 and some other postings in this thread) have the multiple foreign languages, the top law school, the top grades, and the law review. None of it does me any good. Connections and money trump all of that seven days a week.


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    2. 11:56 am here. I agree wholeheartedly. I had the multiple foreign languages, great grades, and prestigious internships. None of it did me any good either. (Unless you define good as being able to work unpaid in the DA's office for a year.

      As you said, connections and money trump all of that. Don't waste your time in law if you don't have that.

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    3. In other words, it was all over before it began. I made the mistake of being born to the wrong parents.

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    4. You and many, many others, 8:06 PM. Herein lies the fundamental truth of the matter, and why ScamDeans and LawProfs can't "see" it, as many of them come from the "right" parents.

      Delete
  10. I took international law. I knew it was useless at the time but it was good balance for a semester when I took a real class about taxes and had a PT job. It was interesting enough, but hardly work the added cost of paying some bastard to teach it. There is no international law any way, just corporate raiders and hippie human rights peaceniks.

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    1. Public international law is a cotton-candy course taken for precisely that reason. Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version: Public international law is not law at all; it's just political rhetoric that the US imperialist bloc uses to justify whatever the hell it wants to do.

      Private international law (or "conflict of laws"), by contrast, actually is law, and it's worth studying to boot.

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    2. This summary statement is ignorant. Perhaps if you tried to make this point 50 years ago, it would have held some relevance; however, the fact that your are trying to claim that International Law CURRENTLY has no relevance is absurd. We live in a global world. Countries enter into binding regional and international obligations more and more frequently. You're opinion may have been relevant 50 years ago, but current circumstances clearly show that International Law does/will play a significant role in our future. One piece of advice for you: check out the Supremacy Clause. If you claim that International Law is merely political rhetoric, you must also be claiming that the supreme laws of our land are political rhetoric, since international treaties have the utmost importance in our country.

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    3. And who enforces those "binding" agreements?

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    4. Whoa, whoa, whoa, calm down, Professor 11:40 PM. No one said anything about the Supremacy Clause or that there was nothing at all to "International Law", ever.

      The point is about not loading students into the grist mill under false pretenses.

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    5. Actually professor 11:40PM, treaties have the equivalent force as Statutes, not the Constitution, and are thus not of "utmost importance." Think it through - the Constitution doesn't give the government the power to violate the Constitution, nor to change it except by prescribed means. Otherwise, we could have a treaty banning free speech, guns, etc....

      BTW, I have a CALI certificate for the top A in International law from my my TTT law school that participated in CALI.

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    6. Imagining The Open ToadJanuary 21, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Oh Yeah? Well, I slept last night in a Holiday Inn Express!

      Delete
    7. Holiday Inn Express looks better on your resume than a JD.

      Delete
  11. Ok, Ok. Maybe law school won't make me a top human rights lawyer with a dozen pending cases before the Hague... but I can still be a Sports and Entertainment Lawyer and hang out with cool Rock-and-Roll musicians by day, glamorous Movie Stars by night, and still find time to chill with my all NBA and NFL clients. Or I can train to be a Space Lawyer and become part of the Drafting Committee for the Restatement of the UCC for Uranus.

    Law Skool can be Liberal Arts, Part 2. Where do I sign on?

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    Replies
    1. John Marshall "Law School" should offer a course entitled Restatement of the UCC for Your Anus.

      Delete
  12. If you work in a practice area, you may, and it is may, get work in the international field. To get that work, you need to start in a good law job, get training in that good law job, and then as part of your job or your next job, you may get international work.

    What does not change is that you are, before you get the international work, a specialist in private equity, fund formation, tax, corporate law, or whatever field, and the work needed by the client in your practice area is wholly or partly abroad for the particular matter you are working on.

    Really not something you get into with an LLM. Something you get into with some good experience in a particular area.

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  13. International law: when you find out some foreign banks and trusts own shares of Sallie Mae/Great Lakes/whatever and that you're thoroughly getting fucked across borders.

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  14. Here's a post from someone discussing this very issue and it's place, so to speak, at one particular law school:

    http://andrewvanz.blogspot.com/2011/04/another-sign-that-iowa-is-on-downward.html
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    There is no such thing as "international law." I'll say it again, there is no such thing as "international law." This so-called area of academic focus is nothing but a smoke and mirrors (shock and awe?) marketing tool designed to rope in students who think they'll be using their law degrees to save people in Darfur.

    With regard to the law school at Iowa, the school tries to market itself as a law school with an "international focus," whatever that means, but there is positively no mentoring or guidance provided for those wanting to pursue real, viable avenues of legal practice where dealing with cross-border legal issues/interaction (say, M&A work, FDI, intellectual property rights, international trade) is a prime component.

    There was a so-called information meeting with faculty members who have an "international" orientation, and the head of the "international program" told students, flat-out, that "there are firms out there that engage in international work, but you won't get those jobs. (Iowa students, regardless of how well they may do, being told to forget about employment opportunities). But you can still be involved in international work on your own."

    Here’s a tip for you, instead of telling your students that they aren’t competitive for the jobs they want, how about getting off your rear-end and making the necessary connections with the firms out there and touting your students so that they have viable career opportunities. The faculty members who have a so-called "international" orientation have no interest in mentoring or guiding those students who want to pursue legal careers with such a focus. They either tell students that they should forget about pursuing such employment options (after all, they won’t get those jobs, anyway), or they give students the brush-off (while thinking that such students are too stupid to see that they’re being rebuffed) because they have more important things to do (like directing their efforts toward moving up the law school food chain to obtain a teaching position at a better school) than to spend time with someone who didn't get into Harvard.

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    1. Far be it from me to defend effete, fat-assed "professors". But what exactly are they supposed to do in order to promote the students at an Iowa for jobs in international law? Jobs of that sort are not available—and if they were, they still would not go to people from the U of Iowa.

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    2. I at least appreciate that faculty member's honesty. At least he was being forthright in what the students could expect. So different and refreshing from the John Marshall Ad above that makes you think that if you merely study international law at John Marshall you will have a shot at saving people in Dafur.

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  15. While at law school in the late 1970s I interviewed at a small Los Angeles "boutique" firm (Forry Golbert Singer & Gelles) that purported to have an international law practice. Alex Kozinski was an associate there at the time. (http://www.fed-soc.org/publications/author/alex-kozinski). I got to spend about ten minutes with him. He told me he was leaving because he had expected to be practicing international law but instead found himself "just practicing domestic law for clients with funny names."

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  16. This is very close to fraud. They are implicitly promising studying international law at John Marshall will give you a decent chance at a job in international law. In truth it will give you zero chance. They know it, but are lying through their teeth.

    But big colleges, and law schools, still command respect and there are many people who simply will not believe such an apparently reputable law school could lie so brazenly. Short term John Marshall may benefit from this, long term they are further eroding the reputation of all law schools. If the ABA, or any other law school trade body, gave a crap about the future of the legal education industry they would censure John Marshall over this.

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    1. The ABA is reluctant to administer a slap on the wrist even in cases of clear-cut fraud, such as lying about LSAT scores. It certainly won't do anything about statements that, though sinfully misleading, are not fraudulent.

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  17. Worth a whole posting in itself:

    http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jan/21/law-students-hard-graduating

    At the heart of the issue is that there are about 100 universities and colleges in the England, Wales and Northern Ireland offering qualifying degrees in law, a further 10 in Scotland, while the 5 in the Republic of Ireland also effectively compete in the UK market. The result is some 25-30,000 law graduates competing for what ultimately are around 3500 training contracts in solicitors' firms and at the bar - and that is before those who do "conversion courses" from other subjects are added to the mix. Inter alia, although derided as "retreads," many of those who took conversion courses, especially STEM graduates and Oxbridge PPEs, are favored by top law firms. So there is a huge annual glut of law graduates, somewhere around 7-10 times the number of law jobs - and that is before you add US law graduates, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, well connected Chinese, Singaporians, Malaysians and Indians and so on to the mix.

    The result is that unless the student graduated from a well regarded law university with a first or a 2:1, they are not going to find a training contract - or a career in law - the odd duffer with a 2:2 or third might get something, if well connected.

    In the past, in the UK and Ireland the legal profession constrained the number of new entrants , making legal practice relatively well paid for solicitors, especially has they had a monopoly of conveyancing (property sales) for which they charged a scale fee of a percentage of the property price. Barristers always had a hard time - it was posher - but you needed connections to get business and there were many "Briefless Barristers," i.e., those who after "call" never were employed by any clients (barristers are freelancers.) There were much needed reforms in the 80s and 90s but the side effect was the sudden proliferation of law faculties, commercial law training courses - lending, debt and hordes of unemployed law students. Sounds familiar?

    Now to be fair, law in the UK is often taken as a dual degree - so you see people with degrees in Law & Mathematics, Law & Economics, Law & Languages, etc. who if they are smart enough not to go on to further training, are not very stigmatized. But those who go on suffer badly if they don't get a training contract - or if they do get a training contract, but then no offer in the training solicitors' firm or tenancy in a barristers chambers.

    Some more material:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/most-students-at-law-school-have-no-hope-of-a-job-7820068.html

    http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/number-of-students-on-lpc-plummets/5039127.article

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03fb8nm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_education_in_the_United_Kingdom


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    1. Good lord, it's even worse in Blighty.

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  18. John Marshall's international law advertising is remarkable on many levels.

    First, it is hard to see how anyone could write or approve this flyer and have the underlying knowledge necessary to actually teach international law. Second, the flyer itself is mostly false information.

    Let's start with the whole issue of what is international law. It is not true to say that there is "no such thing as international law," because it does exist, but in very limited contexts. So to take public international law, this is found at for example the WTO, ICSID, the United Nations, the World Court, various other bodies in the Hague, Geneva, etc., other Bretton Woods organizations But - and it is a huge but - attending John Marshall is vanishingly unlikely to secure you a job at one of these organisations, especially in public international law.

    The first issue is that almost all public international bodies have quotas by nationality - so for example the UN and various Bretton Woods organizations are obliged to hire so many US citizens, so many Nigerians, etc. In most of these organisations certain nationalities are over-represented - US, Canadians, Irish, French, Swiss, assorted Scandinavians, Brits, etc. What that means is that, at least at the entry level, there is a de facto hiring freeze on those nationalities. Now there is a fairness issue - member countries want to know that they will get a "fair shake" when they have matters before these bodies, hence they want to know that in the permanent staff they have representation.

    The second issue is that the secretariat of these organizations is tiny in practical terms - they actually have very few permanent staff - and of those staff, very few are actually lawyers. More are economists in fact.

    The third issue is that even in their legal departments, only a proportion of the employees are in fact lawyers - a lot have other training, economics, politics, international relations - and many have come from their countries diplomatic services or militaries. It is very very unusual for an entry level lawyer to be hired at any.

    The fourth issue is that there is in many instances a lot of lobbying by governments over jobs in these organizations. Governments regard getting the right national into the right job as hugely important - so a US citizen will generally need the State Department and the US Rep (Ambassador) to the organization to push their candidacy for any opening (and other governments too as part of a quid pro quo. This rarely happens for junior lawyers - rather for senior legal figures (Fred Fielding at ICSID - after being White House Chief of Staff and a name partner in Wiley, Rein & Fielding for example.) No unknown quantity gets advanced for any of this tiny number of jobs.


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  19. So that leaves private international law - and guess what, there is private international practice - but not really private international law. That is to say, national law or national laws, practiced in an international context. This is pretty high level elite work - and for a US lawyer getting into a BigLaw firm or a international litigation boutique is the key starting point - and that depends on the usual criteria - a T-14 law degree, or a top law school outside the US in a country where the firm operates. The things that John Marshall says a graduate of their international law course might do - well I know a bunch of people that do this work - and guess what - an LLM in international law, of even a certificate is not how they got into this work. They did international merger work because they did transactional work for the client at issue and were asked to deal with a merger - they do customs work (not trade) because they worked as counsel at customs (or trained under a customs lawyer who did), they do trade (i.e., dumping and occasional countervailing duties) because they can stand the tedium (dumping is very very tedious) and they were connected with an industry like steel, that files a lot of dumping cases. They don't do it because of a degree from John Marshall - that would probably hurt.

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    1. Private international law is not an area of practice. Questions of private international law arise frequently: a typical example is the determination of the law that applies to a matter involving multiple jurisdictions. But that doesn't mean that one can build a practice in private international law.

      If a resident of Arkansas injures a resident of Tennessee when both of them are in Mississippi, the determination of the law governing the matter is a question (usually not a very difficult one) of private international law. Does that sound sexy and glamorous? Champagne on the Champs-Élysées?

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    2. It is a category of practice - there are certain distinct skills and knowledge you need - things John Marshall almost certainly cannot teach. And yes, you can build a practice as a private international lawyer - but it is very very tough - and it usually is anchored in 2-3 jurisdictions.

      Delete
  20. Worth a posting:

    How are California Law Schools different?

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116147/corinthian-colleges-lawsuit-jerry-brown-settled-will-kamala-harris

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  21. I went to a top ranked law school with a genuinely strong reputation in international law... but even then it was no guarantee of a career in international law. To succeed you need: 1) An EU passport; 2) A family who could afford to support you while you interned for 12 months in the Hague; 3) A willingness to pursue an LL.M. at the University of Paris or Sorbonne-- and the French language skills to survive the degree. Very few law grads meet these requirements, and likely only at T14 schools. I know someone who did all of the above, and ended up back here working at a mid-size firm in a mediocre associate position. In his case, the effort at pursuing an "international law career" seemed like a lot of work for something that didn't pan out as planned..

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    1. LL.M. at the University of Paris or Sorbonne - more likely Science Po or another Grandes École. EU passport must be of the right variety - preferably a country that had just acceded to the EU (they get a draft of appointments in the first 2 years to bring their representation into line in EU organisations.)

      And to work in the EU organisations you must be fluent in English, French and preferably German, the working languages.

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    2. I have the excellent French (backed by a certificate from the French government that exempts me permanently from any examinations in French required for admission to university) but not the EU passport or the family/trust fund/sugar daddy to support me for 12 months in the Hague. Pursuing an LLM on my exchequer is out of the question.

      Delete
    3. Don't discount the role of dumb luck in getting these jobs - but before John Marshall touts it, it is on the level of a lottery ticket - you bought most of one. The problem is, long odds.

      I will point out that a non-US national would not get stipends in the US like the ones that you were unable to get as a non-EU national, or national treatment as required by EU law.

      If any one asks - in the EU - it would be illegal in most respects to have "in-state" treatment for say tuition - and EU citizen is strictly an EU citizen in any EU country and cannot be discriminated against. This explains why so many US professionals are looking for EU (and particularly) Irish passports - especially because their kids can apply to any EU university as an EU citizen and get the same tuition or no-tuition as a local would get.

      Find an Irish grandparent - who was a dual citizen when you were born (or on the register of Irish births) and you can have an Irish passport. It used to be more liberal, but the Germans pushed the Irish to change it after they found out that there were 3-4 million in the Republic and 30-50 million entitled to Irish passports under the old jus sanguinis rule - which incidentally the Germans retained.

      The trouble is, only Irish, Israeli and sometimes Italian citizenship is without consequences for US citizenship. You are allowed to be dual with those countries, or at least Ireland and Israel - and neither usually raise red-flags in US security clearances.

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    4. Yes, I know all about the rules for citizenship (I've compiled them for many countries). They're arbitrary and absurd. Some Yank who couldn't find Ireland on a map of the world has an entitlement to Irish citizenship by virtue of having the right parents or grandparents, while someone of Turkish descent who has spent his whole life in Germany and speaks nothing but German may be denied German citizenship on the grounds of having the wrong great-grandparents.

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    5. Would a German living in Turkey get citizenship? If he did, only through marriage, would he be able to be hired without discrimination or even be unaccosted on streets of Instanbul--a city on the continent of Europe by a non-Euro power? Double standards you have.

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  22. One thing you learn at Harvard is there is no such thing as "international law." Countries follow certain "gentlemen's rules" and diplomatic niceties on a voluntary basis, but there is no enforcement authority anywhere. Countries don't have to consent to jurisdiction in the world court.

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    1. Sovereignty baby!

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    2. Indeed, it's all voluntary. And of course the most powerful $tate$ can usually flout "international law" with impunity. That's why I said above that "international law" is not law.

      The question of whether international law counts as law is actually the subject of a big hackademic debate that rather bores me. Anyone who is curious about it can go and do some reading; I'm not going to go into it further. My position is that it is not law but rather political rhetoric and posturing.

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    3. However you define "international law", if your law degree is from John Marshall, you aren't practicing it.

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  23. An article on CNN today asking why lawyers are so much more prone to suicide than other professions:

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/20/opinion/krill-lawyers-suicide/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

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    1. But it's so prestigious. Just watch Suits.

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    2. Imagining The Open ToadJanuary 21, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      (From an article linked in your article)

      "Lawyers ranked fourth ... compared to suicides ... come right behind dentists, pharmacists and physicians."


      Dangit! We still can't crack the "Top Three".

      (That article is at http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/19/us/lawyer-suicides/index.html)

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    3. We can't even win at failing.

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  24. As international as a house of pancakes.

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  25. Even from a top law school like Harvard or Columbia this ad is bogus. To the extent there are large firm or in house jobs with an international focus, these jobs are mostly closed to older lawyers. There is a huge problem of age discrimination and being stuck with a worthless Harvard or Columbia Law degree at age 50.


    The law schools like Harvard and Columbia recruit based on the information gap. Go to any published salary survey. Law is lower than pharmacy and at the level of a nurse practitioner. Those numbers hold true for many 50+ Harvard and Columbia Law grads. In fact the numbers are rosy because they exclude 50+ grads from those schools who are futilely searching for full time permanent work.

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  26. Honestly a LL.M in International Law from John Marshall would probably attenuate your chances of practicing international law or any other kind of law rather than augment them.

    I'm sitting here wondering if it would be considered libel to insinuate that someone has an LL.M From John Marshall Law School.

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    1. Accuse me of having an LLM from John Marshall "Law School", and I'll sue your ass.

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  27. Even as a lowly solo doing S---law, I did actually rely on international law in the following context: original service of process to a divorce defendant in Korea. You have to follow The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Convention), which both the US and South Korea are parties to. Basically you send your papers to the Central Authority with some standardized paperwork, and they serve the defendant and mail the certificate back to you. It actually worked, although it did take three months.

    Not exactly prosecuting war criminals before the ICC, granted, but it's not nothing, lol.

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