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How To Migrate To The US As A Lawyer



The legal system of the United States has always fascinated lawyers from around the world. For those looking for a change of pace and new career opportunities, moving to the US as a lawyer can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Here is how to move to the USA as a lawyer:

1. Legal Qualification and Accreditation

The first hurdle to clearing is ensuring your foreign law degree meets US standards. The American Bar Association (ABA) offers accreditation for foreign law schools, though it’s not mandatory for all states. Check with the bar association in your target state for specific requirements. In most cases, you’ll likely need to obtain a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from an accredited US law school. 


2. Pass the Bar Exam

Before practicing law in any US state, you must pass the bar exam. Each state administers its own bar exam, and requirements can vary. Some states offer a separate exam for foreign lawyers, while others require them to take the entire exam. California and New York are popular destinations for foreign lawyers due to their more flexible bar exam options.


3. Choose A Visa Type

It’s important to obtain the correct visa for legal residence and work in the US. There are various visa options available for lawyers, such as:

1. H-1B Visa: for specialty occupations requiring a high level of theoretical and practical knowledge. Your US employer will sponsor this visa.

2. EB-1 Visa: individuals with extraordinary ability in their field. This might be a good fit for highly accomplished lawyers.

3. O-1 Visa: Similar to the EB-1, but for individuals with outstanding ability and achievements.


4. Other Condiderations

Successfully immigrating and passing the bar exam is just the beginning. Here are some additional factors to consider:


1. Networking:Start connecting with lawyers in your field even before arriving in the US. Attend industry events and online forums to build relationships and find a job easier.

2. Language Proficiency:Ensure your English communication skills are excellent, both written and spoken. 

3. Understand State-Specific Laws: US law varies considerably by state. Focus on familiarizing yourself with the laws of your chosen state. 


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