Professor Edwards’ 3 July 2014 presentation was titled “Law Study in the U.S.A. for Ecuadorian Students?: A Guide to U.S. Master of Laws (LL.M.) & Other Law Degree Programs”.
Professor Edwards highlighted significant information for Ecuadorian students who want to study law at a law school in the U.S.
He addressed how students should choose the best U.S. law school and LL.M. program for each student, the possibility of considering school or LL.M. program "ranking" in making decisions to apply to or attend specific schools, tips on specializing in specific law areas, the LL.M. application process and getting admitted, English language requirements, U.S. law school teaching methods, sitting for a bar exam in the U.S. after students receive their LL.M. degree, and fulfilling career aspirations after graduation.
Professor Edwards also discussed scholarships and grants available to help students defray the high costs of obtaining a U.S. law school degree.
Ms. Ana Villavicencio, Fulbright Senior Adviser, shared additional information that Ecuadorian students need to know as they explore the possibility of studying law in the U.S.
Professor Edwards said “I was very impressed by how engaged the Ecuadorian students were in our discussions about U.S. law study. The students expressed interest in a wide range of substantive areas of law, including environmental law, competition law, corporate law, international and comparative law, and international human rights law. They seem to be determined to achieve the attainable goal of receiving a U.S. law degree.”
Several students asked about taking a bar exam in the U.S. and working in the U.S. for one or more years post-LL.M. degree. Professor Edwards explained that international students who come to the U.S. to receive an LL.M. degree have no automatic right to sit for a bar exam, and have no automatic right to work in the U.S. post-LL.M. degree even if they pass a state’s bar exam.
Professor Edwards said “If you think that there is even a slim chance that you might want to sit for a U.S. bar exam after you receive your LL.M. degree from a U.S. law school, please choose an LL.M. program that will help ensure your eligibility to sit for the bar exam that interests you. It is never too early to investigate U.S. bar and work issues. Ask these questions, and have them answered, at the very latest before you accept a U.S. law school’s offer to enroll. Do not wait until you arrive in the U.S. and matriculate to inquire about bar or work eligibility.”
Furthermore, Professor Edwards said “The LL.M. Roadmap website has information about the New York and California Bar exams. The website will also direct you to resources that will inform you about bar exam prospect in other states, how to get a job post-degree, and about permission to remain in the U.S. for one year in Optional Practical Training – OPT”.
Bar and Job information can be found at this LL.M. Roadmap link: http://www.llmroadmap.com/llm-jobs.html.