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80 Fordham Law Review 2383 (2012).


This Article draws on an empirical study of the careers of international law graduates who earned an LL.M. in the United States, and considers the role of a U.S. LL.M. as a path for building a legal career in the United States. It identifies the institutional, political, and economic forces that present challenges to graduates who attempt to stay in the United States. While U.S. law schools prize the international diversity of their graduate students, this study reveals that the U.S. legal profession is most accessible to international students from English-speaking common law countries, whose language and background allow them to blend into the U.S. legal profession because their “foreignness” is less evident than students without these characteristics. International law students also are the topic of the companion article by Swethaa Ballakrishnen that follows, in which the experience of international law students who return to their home country of India is presented as a contrast. Together, these articles offer insight into the different barriers that shape entry and access into legal markets, and suggest implications for the way we understand international credentialism and the global legal profession.