The Straus Institute is committed to helping you advance your career.
Our accomplished faculty serve as academic mentors to our students, and our Program uniquely offers one dedicated staff member, Associate Director Ms. Aparna Gupta Esq., to focus on the professional development of students in our LLM, MDR, and Certificate programs. Ms. Gupta possesses an expertise in cultivating students' careers, and she works with Straus alumni and employers in diverse industries to strategically connect students with opportunities to advance their professional goals.
Please note that while we are deeply invested in the success of our students, we do not place students directly into jobs within the United States or guarantee employment upon graduation. Rather, we implement relevant programs and effectively guide our students in their professional endeavors.
We support our students' career development by providing the following services:
One-on-one Career Advising
Ms. Gupta works individually with students to explore opportunities that align with their interests and experience. She advises students on how to search for jobs and internships and offers targeted career planning strategies and guidance. Students may make appointments by emailing her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resume and Cover Letter Review
Students may have their CV/resumes and cover letters reviewed by Ms. Gupta. Sample resumes and cover letters may be found on TWEN in the "Straus Career Resources" class folder.
Interview Preparation and Job Fairs
Ms. Gupta, as well as additional faculty and staff, equip students with essential interviewing skills. Students may also schedule mock-interviews to prepare for a potential or upcoming job interview. In addition, the Straus Institute receives information on job fairs in various cities around the world, including one specifically designed for foreign students in Los Angeles, the UCLA LLM Interview Program. We support our students who are eligible and interested in attending these fairs by offering individual appointments to consult, review resumes, and mock interview.
Individual Coaching on Networking, Salary Negotiations, and Evaluation of Offers
Students may receive coaching from Ms. Gupta on professional networking at on-campus events, conferences, and job fairs. Ms. Gupta and others in our program may also counsel students on salary negotiations and evaluating multiple job offers between employers.
Online Jobs Board and Resource Library
The Straus Institute receives job listings from alumni and employers for a variety of positions throughout the academic year. Students may search available listings on Symplicity, our web-based career management program. In addition, the Straus Institute has online and hard-copy resources, located on TWEN in the "Straus Career Resources" class folder and in Ms. Gupta's office, respectively.
Career Workshops and Special Presentations
Ms. Gupta offers a series of programs on topics including career planning, resume and cover letter preparation, interviewing techniques, and other strategies throughout the year. The Straus Institute also invites speakers, often Straus alumni, from various firms, agencies and companies to speak with our students. These presentation provide students an opportunity to learn more about various practice areas, ask questions, and network with potential employers on-campus.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are my prospects of getting a job in the US as a LLM student?
Upon graduation, there are limited short- and long-term career opportunities for foreign attorneys in the US, and these highly-competitive jobs are primarily based in New York. A great majority of our foreign students find that their LLM and/or MDR degrees can enhance and advance their professional prospects internationally, most commonly at law firms and private corporations in their countries of origin. Although we offer support to all of our students in pursuing relevant opportunities, we advise all of our incoming foreign LLM and MDR students to begin their studies with a plan to work outside the US upon graduation.
Is the bar exam a requirement to practicing law in the United States?
Yes, in order to practice any type of law on a permanent basis in the United States, bar admission is required. Each state has its own exam and bar admission requirements, and we encourage students to read more about this topic in the 2018 Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements published by the American Bar Association.
What should Foreign LLM students do to secure a job?
Identifying and securing a position in the US (or internationally) requires a great deal of effort on behalf of the student, as there is no set timeline when foreign students are hired and opportunities often arise sporadically based on employers' needs. As such, foreign students must dedicate themselves year-round, and often well beyond graduation, to a successful job search.
A small number of openings arise due to a student's networking efforts and a student's ability to align his or her skills with an employer's business prospects or current projects. Students may network and develop professional relationships with employers through events and programs at Pepperdine, off-campus professional opportunities, and job fairs. Students additionally may send unsolicited (self-initiated) emails to market their skills and experiences to employers, and our program may also connect students with relevant alumni and faculty. Lastly, students have reported securing employment by informing previous contacts in the U.S. and abroad regarding their professional goals. We advise students to use a multitude of the strategies above in securing a job, and Straus provides workshops, counseling, and resources to support your job search efforts.
Are there visa requirements to pursue Optional Practical Training and stay in the U.S. upon graduation?
Yes, it is the student's responsibility to learn about the visa regulations for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT). Pepperdine's Office of International Student Services is available to educate foreign Straus students and alumni regarding their options for working in the U.S.