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Career and Bar

Extended Master of Laws (LLM)

The Graduate and International Programs office is available to help you develop your individual job search strategies. We offer three career advisors who are dedicated to helping students and alumni with their career development by providing personalized advice and review of resumes, cover letters and job applications.

Throughout the academic year, we will host several career workshops to cover the basics of the job search process in the U.S. We organize career panels with alumni and industry leaders so you can learn more about possible career pathways. While we do not recommend that you search for jobs during the first year of the Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (LLM), you may attend any of our workshops, which cover career development topics such as networking and interview etiquette. If you hold a first degree in law from outside of the U.S., you can participate in two LLM-exclusive job fairs in New York and Los Angeles during your second year. These career fairs provide foreign-trained students from top law schools with the opportunity to interview with prospective employers from the U.S. and abroad.

You also will be able to attend USC Gould Continuing Legal Education conferences in both years of the program, at which you can make valuable connections with law professionals, USC Gould alumni and peers.

While the majority of our students choose to return to their home countries after graduation, some students seek to expand their experiences in the United States after completing their programs by looking for short-term "practical training" positions. Please note that the market for foreign-trained attorneys in the U.S. is very limited, and only a very small percentage of foreign-trained graduates from all U.S. law schools find work here. Students' citizenship or residency status can be an additional barrier to employment. Additionally, because the legal market can be very competitive, the students who are successful in obtaining employment in the U.S. typically have earned excellent grades in their graduate studies and have also passed a U.S. bar exam.

To assist you, we offer academic support resources throughout the year, bar exam preparation and help with applications, and we work with the Office of International Services to address issues regarding Optional Practical Training.

Bar Exam Preparation

3 Bar Exam Tracks

Enrollment in an LLM degree does not guarantee that you will be eligible to take a U.S. bar exam or practice law in the United States. You should review the requirements set by each state in which you wish to sit for the exam. The National Conference of Bar Examiner's Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements provides additional information.

You will start learning about core legal principles, including those tested on the bar exam, during the first year. Specifically, you will get a head start on learning bar subjects by enrolling in Introduction to U.S. Legal System. This will give you more time and flexibility to enroll in bar subjects or other elective courses during the second year.

USC Gould academic advisers can assist you with choosing courses that help prepare you for the bar exams in New YorkCalifornia and the District of Columbia. Download our Bar and Certificate Checklist for more information. Students are able to enroll in both a bar exam "track" and a certificate "track."

We also offer an Early Bar Preparation series of four daylong workshops exclusively for our students throughout the year. The workshops cover pertinent substantive law tested by the bar exam as well as guidance on essay writing, multiple choice, performance tests and general test-taking skills. As a student in the Two-Year Extended LLM, you will have the opportunity to participate in these workshops in both your first and second year.

Optional and Curricular Practical Training

Some LLM students choose to enhance their U.S. legal education by gaining short-term, practical training in a law firm or other legal setting after graduation. The Graduate & International Programs office will assist you with the application for Optional Practical Training (OPT) during the spring semester of your second year. For current rules on OPT - the authorization required for eligibility for such work experiences - visit the USC Office of International Students website.

As a Two-Year Extended LLM student, you may apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) during the second year, through which you can receive compensation for work off-campus.

LLM-JD Transfer Program

Students enrolled in the 2 Year LLM are eligible to apply to the LLM-JD Transfer Program at USC Gould at the end of their second year. For more information on the LLM-JD Transfer Program, please visit this link.

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