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Career Planning

“I had recently changed my practice area from employment and labor law to corporate and banking law, so I made use of the wide selection of courses to gain comprehensive understanding about American corporate and financial laws and the banking system. The courses I took at Michigan have already proven to be super useful for my career as they made me a better corporate lawyer providing legal services for financial conglomerates, especially American financial institutions.”      

– Yanlin Lyu, LLM '19
Legal Counsel, Citibank China

Many of Michigan Law's most illustrious alumni are graduates of one of the Law School's advanced degree programs, and the Office of Career Planning (OCP) is frequently instrumental in helping graduates along that success path.

Services include individualized counseling, specialized group seminars and programs, and access to an excellent career library as well as online career databases and Internet resources. In addition, Michigan Law is a partner in the Overseas-Trained LLM Student Interview Program held in New York each winter. Other OCP services include: compiling and distributing a résumé book to American legal employers and maintaining a list of employers who would like to receive the résumés of international graduate students interested in temporary or permanent employment. The OCP also provides facilities for photocopying, facsimile, and telephone services. Programs and counseling emphasize orientation to the American legal employment market, the development of a professional résumé and cover letter, and interviewing and networking skills enhancement. A career handbook including information on job searching for international students is distributed to all interested graduate students.

"In lovely surroundings, without the distractions of a big city, everything came together in Ann Arbor to help me focus on my personal objectives.  Michigan Law offered all the support, guidance and motiviation I could have hoped for. I grew both professionally and individually, gained knowledge, and, more importantly, developed skills that have proven to be invaluable for my professional career. It turned out to be a stellar opportunity and a life-changing experience."


Plínio Simões Barbosa, LL.M, '83
Founding partner of Barbosa, Müssnich & Aragão
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Not infrequently, graduates of our advanced degree programs wish to obtain temporary or permanent employment in the United States. Although obtaining a law-related job in the United States can be challenging for foreign-trained lawyers—even for those who have completed advanced studies at a top American law school such as Michigan—our Office of Career Planning is committed to providing as much assistance as possible, whether they wish to stay in the United States or return to their home countries.

While international students are encouraged to use the professional contacts they may have in their own countries, the Office of Career Planning in collaboration with the Center for International and Comparative Law will also assist international graduate students in networking and establishing professional relationships with other Michigan Law graduates working domestically and throughout the world.

"Without Ann Arbor, my career as a practitioner of international business law—successively in four different continents—wouldn't have been possible. Therefore, it shouldn't be surprising that I regularly return to Michigan Law, not only to visit former professors and mentors turned friends, but also to actively recruit on behalf of my law firm."

Dr. Wolfgang Knapp, ’71
Senior Counsel, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton,
Belgium and Germany

Bar Admission

Each of the 50 U.S. states has its own criteria and procedures for admitting lawyers to practice. Achievement of an LLM degree in the United States does not qualify international lawyers to apply for admission to take the bar examination or practice law in every state. Michigan's LLM graduates are eligible to sit for the bar exam in the states of New York and California, which are generally the two most sought-after states for lawyers practicing internationally. Lawyers from foreign countries interested in taking the bar exam should seek detailed information on requirements for bar admissions by contacting the bar examiner in the state in which they wish to practice. The American Bar Association offers links to the information of all individual states and additional details at