Top 10 Reasons to Hire an LLM into an Associate Role

LLM graduation

As a hiring attorney, you have your choice of eager students to hire each year. One substantially overlooked group are LLM students. Law students with LLMs typically have earned their first law degree, usually an LLB, abroad.  Some LLMs come from Common Law countries, whereas others come from Civil Law countries.  After they earn their first law degree, they travel to the United States and enroll in a Master of Laws program at a law school.  LLM programs can be 1-2 years long. These students who are already knowledgeable about legal principles then intensely study American law.  Once LLM students complete their degree, they take the bar exam and become attorneys.

Here are the Top 10 reasons you should hire an LLM into an Associate Role.

  1. LLMs are fighters.  They have had to jump through all sorts of flaming hoops to get their first degree, to get their visa, to pass the bar exam, to study another language, to network outside of their home country, to get a place at the table just like JD students. LLM students are fighters who will work hard and fight for clients.
  2. Diverse Perspectives. LLMs have a global perspective.  Many of them come from other countries and diverse backgrounds.  They can bring a new perspective as well as out-of-the-box thinking to the table.
  3. Multilingual Skills. Many LLMs are bilingual, with English as their second language.  Their mastery of English is impressive – but even more impressive is how speaking more languages is a value-add to any law firm.
  4. Many LLMs are barred in foreign countries thus increasing the global footprint of any firm.
  5. Adaptability. LLMs are highly adaptable.  They learned the law in their home country, plus the laws of another country, plus they’ve moved here to the US and they rocked the bar exam.  There isn’t anything you can’t throw at these superstars.
  6. Cost Efficiency.  In some cases, foreign attorneys, especially those new to the US legal market, may have a more flexible salary expectation compared to JD graduates, leading to potential cost savings for the firm.
  7. Alternative Dispute Resolution- Many foreign legal systems prioritize mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods. An attorney trained in these approaches can introduce these methods, which can be quicker and less confrontational than litigation
  8. Regulatory Expertise.  For firms dealing with international regulatory compliance, a foreign attorney can bring firsthand knowledge of the legal requirements in their home country.
  9. Cultural Sensitivity.  Foreign attorneys often have an innate understanding of cultural nuances, which can be essential in negotiations, client communications, and legal practices involving parties from different cultural backgrounds.
  10. Gratitude. LLMs are highly educated.  They have worked hard to get to where they are.  They are quietly clever, humble, and ready to work without the boastful, egotistical arrogance displayed by some recently graduated JDs.  LLMs practice gratitude.

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