LLM vs JD: What’s the Difference?

LLM or JD
The decision of whether to pursue an LLM (Master of Laws) in U.S. law or a JD (Juris Doctor) may be a difficult one for foreign attorneys, especially if their career goals are still taking shape. The purpose of this post is to help foreign practitioners understand the basic differences between the two degrees when considering whether to study for an LLM vs JD, and to highlight the potential advantages of obtaining an LLM in U.S. law that make it an attractive option for those who want to expand their practices internationally and begin professional dealings for which a knowledge of U.S. law would be beneficial.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a JD

  • Admission requirements are high. Admission to a JD program at a U.S. law school requires a bachelor’s degree or an acceptable equivalent. Applicants must also take the dreaded LSAT exam, and acceptance into a particular program is determined in great part by the resulting score.
  • Time and financial investment are high. Obtaining a JD degree takes three years of education, and program costs are generally higher than those for an LLM program, especially taking into account the longer time commitment.
  • Benefits. After having obtained a JD, graduates have a solid foundation to begin practicing U.S. law, and will generally be eligible to sit for the bar exam in any U.S. state of their choosing.

 Advantages and Disadvantages of an LLM

  • Investment is comparatively low. Though tuition per year for LLM vs JD programs are typically similar, an LLM can be obtained in one year of instruction, as opposed to three, and as such saves the costs these two additional years.
  • Convenience is high, especially with online LLM program options. Students can earn an LLM online through universities such as @WashULaw. They never have to leave their home countries, bear the disruption to their work and family lives and expense of traveling abroad for a year and can obtain their new credential with minimal inconvenience.
  • Partial drawback. Having an LLM does not qualify graduates to sit for the bar exam in every state. Attorneys should carefully research the requirements in their state of choice if they are expecting to work in the United States after graduation. Most LLM programs offer options to LLM students to tailor their academic track for bar preparation in major states, such as New York and California.

LLM vs JD – Which degree is right for me?

The answer to this question depends on what your career goals are. If you already practice law in your home country, and you intend to continue your practice there, the disruption and expense of obtaining a JD over the course of three years is a heavy cost to pay. In those situations, a one-year or online LLM is likely the better option. For those who wish to immigrate to the United States and practice law here on a long-term basis, however, a JD may be worth the investment (and may be required for taking the bar exam in your state of choice). Another option, if you are not sure which degree is right for you, is to start an LLM degree and then transfer to a JD program, as some LLM programs offer an LLM to JD transfer.

LLM or JD for bar exam?

For attorneys who can spare the time and money, a JD is generally better preparation for taking the bar exam in the United States. For other practitioners who intend to eventually return to their home countries, an LLM is the best option (and for those who hope to maintain ongoing careers and home lives while studying, however, an online LLM ). Keep in mind that in some cases, an LLM may be all that is needed in order to take the bar exam in a given state and obtain a license to practice in the United States.

In short, the answer to which degree is best for you depends on your own personal preferences, situation, geographical limitations and career goals.

International Law Degrees Explained

International Law DegreesThere are several different types of degrees available that might be considered international law degrees. Typically, these sorts of degrees allow a lawyer to practice across country borders, and with multinational and international clients and entities. In order to help clear up some of the differences between them, below are descriptions of several relevant degrees. Each should be considered by a foreign practitioner looking to expand his or her practice internationally, especially through interaction with U.S.-based clients.

LLM in International Law

An LLM (Master of Laws) in International Law is a degree generally pursued by those who have already obtained a primary legal degree in their home country, and who want to increase their legal knowledge in the specific area of international law. Different programs may have different focuses, or students may be allowed to select courses of their choosing. For example, a student interested in international business might take classes on topics such as international IP, taxation, and mergers and acquisitions. A student interested in human rights work would focus instead on international criminal issues, laws regarding refugees and similar topics.

What type of attorney is this degree most useful to? This degree is most useful to attorneys whose practice will primarily involve cross-border issues or international clientele. This is especially true if his or her area of specialization is inherently international (e.g. import/export).

LLM in U.S. Law

To some practitioners, an “international law degree” is a degree that enables them to increase their involvement with legal affairs outside of their home country, such as international transactions between entities in their home country and entities abroad. For those who are specifically interested in the United States, a one-year LLM in U.S. Law program (like @WashULaw) is a good choice to consider. Students learn the basics regarding the structure of the U.S. legal system, core topics such as contract law and corporate law and also critical skills like how to perform legal research and common legal writing techniques.

What type of attorney is this degree most useful to? This degree is best for attorneys who wish to represent foreign clients with respect to matters involving activity in the United States or with respect to interactions with U.S.-based parties. International business advisors often find this degree to be the option most well suited to their goals.

J.D.

A J.D. (Juris Doctor) is a three-year degree that U.S. natives traditionally pursue prior to becoming attorneys. The program is lengthy and costly, but provides students with an extensive base of knowledge and skills that enable them to enter the practice of law. Having a J.D. generally entitles a graduate to sit for the bar exam in any U.S. state and become a licensed attorney. For foreign practitioners that want to continue practicing law in their home country, an LLM is typically the more practical and convenient option. For those who wish to pursue more intensive activities with respect to U.S. law, however, and who are targeting a state jurisdiction that doesn’t accept an LLM for licensing purposes, this may be the better option.

What type of attorney is this degree most useful to? Though perhaps not strictly considered an international law degree, this degree is most helpful for attorneys that seek to primarily practice in the U.S. or take a lead role in representing U.S.-based clients or foreign clients with heavy U.S. involvement. For international litigators that want to be able to make appearances and represent clients in U.S. courts, for example, a J.D. may be necessary.

LL.B.

Decades ago, this was the main law degree offered by law schools in many common law countries such as the United States. Many law schools have since switched to alternative degrees (U.S.law schools now offer the J.D. degree), but in other countries such as South Africa, it is still offered. Thus, an LL.B. may be the appropriate degree to enable a foreign practitioner to become qualified to sit for the bar in another country. In addition, if your jurisdiction confers LL.B.s, some locations abroad may accept your credential if you’re seeking to expand your practice internationally. It is also a prerequisite (in lieu of a JD) for most LLM programs.

What type of attorney is this degree most useful to? Much like J.D.s offered in the United States, this degree is best for an attorney who would like to become heavily involved in the practice of law with respect to a particular foreign country that recognizes the primacy of this degree.

Considering the variety of degrees available, students and legal professionals must carefully consider their own career goals and available resources before selecting an international law degree to pursue.  Those who earn the above credentials, however, will find their practice options, expertise, and potential client base greatly expanded as a result.

LLM Scholarships for Women

Money Tree

International women legal professionals looking to earn an LLM may be interested in LLM scholarships for women. Fortunately, there are a number of these scholarships provided by institutions aiming to help women, who are often underrepresented in law, earn the advanced degrees in order to further their careers. There are LLM scholarships for women lawyers and law students from countries all around the world. Below, we have compiled a list of scholarships that should be considered by women who want assistance with the expenses associated with obtaining the degree in the U.S. (Note: You can see more LLM scholarships for women and men at our LLM Scholarships page.)

American Association of University Women 

Provider: AAUW

Amount: $18,000 for Master’s / First Professional Degree

Eligibility:

  • Women that are non-U.S. citizens or residents
  • Must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree
  • Must have applied to proposed institution

Application Requirements

  • Application form
  • Filing fee of $30 (nonrefundable)
  • Supporting documents
  • Official transcripts
  • Proof of bachelor’s degree
  • Proof of doctorate degree (postdoctoral applicants only)
  • Official report of TOEFL test scores or request for waiver
  • Letter of admission
  • Acknowledgment postcard

Contact information: 

AAUW Fellowships and Grants
C/O ACT, Inc.
P.O. Box 4030
Iowa City, IA 52243-4030
Website


Dorothy Marcus Senesh Fellowship

Provider: International Peace Research Association Foundation

Amount: $5,000/yr for two years

Eligibility

  • Women who are following a program of “peace studies”
  • Must be a resident or citizen of a country in the “developing world”

Application Requirements

  • Application form
  • Letter of acceptance into desired program of study

Contact information:

Dr. Linda M. Johnston, President of the IPRA Foundation
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road
Mail Drop #9114
Town Point, Room 2400, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591
Email: seneshfellowship@iprafoundation.org
Website

College Women’s Association of Japan 

Provider: CWAJ

Amount: ¥3 Million

Eligibility

  • Women who are citizens or special permanent residents of Japan
  • Must have a 4-year degree from a Japanese university
  • Applicants must be accepted in a graduate degree program at an accredited, English speaking university or research institution abroad.
  • Applicants who have studied abroad at the college level in an English-speaking institution for more than a total of two (2) academic years are ineligible.
  • Holders of scholarships greater than ¥1.5 million from other scholarship programs (kigyo ryugaku) are ineligible.
  • Former recipients of CWAJ awards and CWAJ members are ineligible.

Application Requirements

  • Must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score from a test taken after October 1, 2011 of at least 600 (CBT 250, IBT 98) for TOEFL and 7.0 for IELTS.
  • Interviews for selected candidates

Contact information: 

CWAJ SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE SA PROGRAM
CWAJ Center
2-24-13-703 Kami-Osaki,
Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0021
Email: scholarship@cwaj.org
Website

Yvonne Smith Scholarship

Provider: Yvonne A.M. Smith Charitable Trust

Amount:  $50,000

Eligibility

  • The applicant must be either a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident in New Zealand. The tertiary institution to be studied at may be situated overseas.
  • The applicant should demonstrate the likelihood of the qualification being sought to be of benefit to New Zealand.

Application Requirements

  • Application form
  • Character and academic ability references
  • Personal statement

Contact information:

Yvonne A M Smith Charitable Trust Limited
C/- Fortune Manning
P O Box 4139
Auckland 1010 
New Zealand
Attention: W A Duncan
Phone: 915 2425
Fax: 915 2402
Website

CFUW Dr. Alice E. Wilson Awards 

Provider: Canadian Federation of University Women

Amount: $5,000

Eligibility

  • Women who are residents or citizens of Canada

Application Requirements

  • Letter of acceptance into desired program
  • Other requirements to be posted after May 1, 2014 at this link.

Contact information: 

CFUW National Office
331 Cooper Street, Suite 502
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P 0G5
Phone: 613-234-8252
Fax: 613-234-8221

Betty Dunlop, Fellowships Program Manager
fellowships@cfuw.org, 613-234-8252, ext. 104

Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund Grants

Provider: Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund

Amount:  $12,000

Eligibility:
Must be a woman who:

  • Has a record of service to women and children and a commitment to improve the lives of women and children in developing countries
  • Resides in the U.S. or Canada at the time she submits the application
  • Is enrolled (in residence) at an accredited U.S. or Canadian educational institution for the academic year 2013-14, and intends to be enrolled for the 2014-15 academic year
  • Will use the grant toward the completion of her degree
  • Is a national of a lower or middle income developing member country, as designated by the MMMF Country Eligibility List
  • Is not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, permanent U.S. resident or Canadian Landed Immigrant
  • Intends to return to her country (or other developing country) within two years of completing use of the MMMF grant and perform at least two years of service
  • Demonstrates financial need and satisfactory academic performance
  • Is at least 25 years old by December 31, 2013
  • Is not related to a World Bank Group staff member or his/her spouse

Application Requirements

  • Application form
  • Two recommendations
  • Copy of your passport picture page;
  • Copy of your U.S. or Canada visa/study permit;
  • Copy of your official transcript from your current university only (if your program is for research and without grades, a progress report from a supervising professor must be submitted), with institutional seal and Registrar’s signature;
  • Official confirmation of registration in your academic institution for the current semester, with institutional seal and Registrar’s signature. Acceptance letters are not needed and do not substitute proof of registration/enrollment documents.
  • One (1) passport-size photograph.

Contact information: 

What Does LLM Mean?

What Does LLM MeanMany law students and legal practitioners know what an LLM is, but some who are new to the law have a simple question in mind when researching the various legal degrees: “What does LLM mean?”

LLM is an abbreviation derived from the Latin phrase, “Legum Magister,” which means “Master of Laws.” Much like the main legal degree, the Juris Doctor, an LLM takes its name from a Latin phrase. In addition to French and Greek, Latin was one of the foundational languages of Western thought and education, and many formal programs and titles retain Latin honorifics as a matter of tradition.

Thus, the answer to the question, “What does LLM mean?” is both “Legum Magister” (in Latin) and “Master of Laws” (in English).

What is an LLM?

An LLM is a one-year legal degree offered by a law school that is usually obtained in addition to other prior degrees (such as a J.D. or bachelor’s degree). Topics studied depend on the type of LLM sought.

Many LLM students are already attorneys in a particular country, and are seeking to understand the laws of another country. For example, a lawyer in Japan might seek an LLM in U.S. law (such as the @WashULaw online LLM in U.S. Law) in order to expand his or her practice abroad. The course of study would include classes in American legal research and writing, the structure of the U.S. legal system and basic topics like contracts, torts and more. Other LLM students will study a specialized topic area like taxation, securities or human rights law.

In short: What does LLM mean? Advanced legal education.

Why do people get LLMs?

LLM students seek the degree to pursue a variety of goals. Some students are focused on non-legal disciplines, but need a bit of legal knowledge to round out their expertise. For example, a healthcare administrator who needs a better understanding of the extensive regulations that exist with respect to the provision of medicine might obtain an LLM.

As stated above, other students are legal practitioners that are seeking to improve their knowledge of a specialty practice area. These students are generally seeking to improve their resumes, advance their careers and offer service to a specific client base.

Still more students are foreign practitioners looking to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of another country’s legal system. Many of the early LLM degrees offered in the world were of this type.

For foreign practitioners, the advantages of obtaining an LLM are many. The degree opens up new client bases and can help with career and practice development. An LLM can also, in certain jurisdictions (including some U.S. states), enable a student to sit for the bar exam. This means that obtaining an LLM can be a critical step on the path to becoming licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. Thus, the LLM can open up a world of practice opportunities without requiring an attorney to go through a lengthy legal education all over again.

Put another way: What does LLM mean? Professional development, expanded practice opportunities and new skills!

Mexico Business Etiquette and Dress Code

Business Etiquette and Dress Code in MexicoThis is the third part of LLM Info’s series on international business etiquette and customs. Previously, we covered Brazil Business Etiquette and Dress Code and UK Business Etiquette and Dress Code.

If you are planning to travel to Mexico on business, it is critical to learn as much as possible about the the country’s business etiquette and appropriate dress code to avoid offending anyone and to handle your business matters as a consummate professional. Here are some key cultural norms and traditions that are important to keep in mind for Mexico business etiquette to ensure that you make the most efficient use of your time there.

Proper Etiquette

Mexican culture places emphasis on hierarchy and rank, so paying attention to these unspoken rules are an important part of Mexico business etiquette. Those who work in highly ranked positions demand respect, and anyone who attempts to break tradition is considered very disrespectful.

Your first meeting will likely involve the most highly ranked business people or officials in the country. With rank being such a significant part of Mexican culture, it is important to shake hands firmly or bow slightly upon meeting someone for the first time. Men should always bow to women unless she offers her hand first.

Once you’ve been introduced to everyone, it is the cultural norm to stand in close proximity to the people you are talking to. In addition, it is important to stand with your hands out of your pockets.  Never stand with your hands on your hips either, as that is considered rude.

Meetings typically begin 15 minutes after casual conversation, and negotiations are often slow. Always get any promises in writing, rather than relying on verbal agreements. Most deals are made in person.

Gift Giving Etiquette

If you are invited to a business dinner at someone’s home, you should always send flowers to the home prior to your arrival or bring the flowers with you. Avoid giving red flowers (associated with spells), yellow flowers and marigolds, which represent death, and purple flowers, which symbolize funerals. White is the ideal color because it represents purity and positive feelings.

During the dinner, always keep your hands above the table, and do not get up immediately after eating. Instead, eat slowly and take your time, making sure to leave some food on your place when you are done, while avoiding too much alcohol.

Additionally, if you’ve been invited to a dinner, it is appropriate to take the hosts out to dinner another time to show your appreciation. Other gifts are not necessary, though they are appreciated, especially non-personal, company-branded gifts.

Business Dress

Lastly, it is important to dress for success. The way you dress not only reveals your status in society but also offers a good first impression. Men should wear a dress shirt and tie for every occasion, unless it is a casual occasion. Women should also dress conservatively. Navy blue and dark gray are the most appropriate colors.

In sum, any business trip to Mexico should be a successful one, so long as you keep the aforementioned cultural traditions and Mexico business etiquette rules in mind.

Is an LLM Worth It?

LLM Worth ItMany law students and practitioners around the world have heard of the benefits of obtaining an LLM, but more than anything, they want one simple question answered: is an LLM worth it?

An LLM is an investment of time, money, and energy, so before committing to a significant educational program, students want to get a sense of the value proposition it entails. As with many aspects of education, the value to be gained through an LLM varies depending upon a number of factors, including career goals, experience, age, the type of LLM sought, and more.  In this post, we’ll examine some of the main considerations people should think about when trying to figure out the answer to the question, “Is an LLM worth it?”

Costs

  • Financial. Because an LLM is a one-year program, it costs far less than obtaining a JD. Compare the average total JD tuition of about $96,000 with the cost of an LLM, even at a top-ranked school, of about $50,000. That said, an LLM is still a major expense to bear, and many schools also require proof of ability to pay.  With online LLM programs, however (like the @WashULaw LLM in U.S. Law program), you won’t have to pay for the requirements of living on campus, which can include relocation expenses, rent, and more. In addition, some employers may have programs to assist employees with tuition expenses, and there are many sources of significant scholarships available, making it easier to bear the cost of attendance.
  • Time. As opposed to a three-year JD program, an LLM takes only about a year to earn, which can still be a big commitment for many practitioners.  A year away from practice and family is, for many, out of the question.  However, online LLMs allow students to earn a degree without having to disrupt family and professional obligations.  Online courses allow students to watch lectures anytime, anywhere, and do coursework on a more flexible schedule.  This minimizes the impact of the time needed in a given day to pursue an LLM.

Benefits

  • Skills and knowledge. Obtaining an LLM allows a practitioner to learn new information and strengthen practice skills.  With specialized topics, including U.S. law, taxation, bankruptcy, securities, and more, an LLM can be a great way to develop the knowledge needed to address a new practice area.
  • Practice development.  For many practitioners, practice development is a great benefit of obtaining an LLM.  Young attorneys can bolster their credentials and improve their resumes by obtaining an LLM in a specialty topic area that interests them. For foreign practitioners, an LLM in U.S. law can open a number of doors in terms of expanding practice abroad and representing clients in connection with projects and issues that touch on U.S. law.
  • Licensing. Some U.S. jurisdictions will allow foreign practitioners to sit for the bar exam (in the states of New York and California, specifically) after obtaining an LLM, thus facilitating licensing.

Value

Now that you’ve taken some of the benefits into account, is an LLM worth it?  An LLM serves to advance careers, open up new practice areas, and help attorneys serve new client bases. And with the possibility of obtaining an LLM online, many can do it with little disruption in their everyday lives, which include other obligations. For many, an LLM is indeed worth it. That said, students must take multiple factors into account and decide for themselves whether the benefits of obtaining an LLM are worth the costs, given their own unique situation and goals.

20 U.S. Presidents Who Had a Major Impact on International Law

George Washington
George Washington

Lived: 1732–1799
President: 1789–1797 (1st)

Little introduction is necessary for the first president. From a foreign policy perspective, Washington strove to stay neutral in the war between the French and British, but did enter into a minor trade treaty with England, provoking French allies. He also entered into treaties with Algiers (to protect American ships from piracy) and Spain (to gain access to the Mississippi River and improve relations with natives in Spanish-controlled Florida).

James Monroe
James Monroe

Lived: 1758–1831
President: 1817–1825 (5th)

Ultimately, Monroe is best remembered for the Monroe Doctrine, the policy that the U.S. would not tolerate further colonization or re-colonization in the Western Hemisphere by European powers (but would not seek to intervene in existing colonies, either). This policy would guide America’s ascent to becoming the dominant power in the West.

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Lived: 1809–1865
President: 1861–1865 (16th)

Lincoln’s actions during the Civil War provide an important case study for those seeking to understand the historical underpinnings of modern international policies regarding formal recognition of rebel powers in countries torn apart by civil war. By blockading the Confederacy as an act of war, he legitimized the nascent power, leading other nations to adopt formal positions on the Confederacy as well. And in accordance with certain international laws adopted pursuant to the Crimean War, the Confederacy thus was also entitled to take out loans and purchase arms on international markets, and enjoy safe harbor when in foreign ports.

William McKinley
William McKinley

Lived: 1843–1901
President: 1897–1901 (25th)

William McKinley is often thought of as the president who initiated American overseas imperialism. Through conflict with Spain during his presidency, he ultimately brought the U.S. into the Paris Peace Treaty, which provided for the American acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. He also oversaw the taking of Hawaii, and establishment of a U.S. protectorate in Cuba. In addition, his Open Door policy in China, by which all nations would be accorded equal economic footing there, and the Chinese would remain independent, is still one of the most significant statements ever made by the U.S. Department of State. He also arguably expanded presidential power significantly when he dispatched troops during the Boxer rebellion in China without prior congressional approval.

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt

Lived: 1858–1919
President: 1901–1909 (26th)

Known for “speaking softly” but for also “carrying a big stick,” Teddy Roosevelt used force as he saw fit, but was also an active arbitrator of many disputes, making him the first U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He helped put a civil government in place in the Philippines, gained the Panama Canal through military and economic means, and also put forth the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. Ostensibly to prevent the need for European intervention in the Western Hemisphere, the Roosevelt Corollary stated that the U.S. would intervene in Latin countries if they displayed critical economic problems. This cemented the U.S.’s role as the “policeman of the West,” a policy which would be heavily criticized over the years.

William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft

Lived: 1857–1930
President: 1909–1913 (27th)

President Taft is best known for his policy of “Dollar Diplomacy,” or seeking to advance American economic interests internationally, especially through the use of government officials abroad. He also sought to stabilize Latin American powers when rebel forces or economic instability threatened the peace there (e.g. Honduras, Nicaragua). When he positioned troops outside Mexico, but then withdrew them, he earned the nickname “Peaceful Bill.”

Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson

Lived: 1856–1924
President: 1913–1921 (28th)

President Wilson is remembered for pursuing a more moralistic, and less materialistic, approach to international law and relations. He presided over U.S. involvement and success in checking the Germans in World War I and is remembered for his “Fourteen Points” speech. In it, he called for open treaties (not secret alliances), reduction of imperialism, disarmament and increased freedom worldwide. He also helped create the League of Nations, but unfortunately suffered heavy compromise of his desired goals in the process, and the U.S. never joined the organization, which would ultimately be replaced by the United Nations.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Lived: 1882–1945
President: 1933–1945 (32nd)

While battling the economic crisis of the Great Depression absorbed much of F.D.R.’s attention in his early years as president, his actions in World War II would become equally important to his legacy. After pursuing non-intervention agreements with nations in the Western Hemisphere, he ultimately had to turn his focus to the conflict in Europe and the East. He ultimately helped lead the Allied Powers to victory, even as his health was failing, and also laid the groundwork for the United Nations, which plays a key role in international law to this day.

Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman

Lived: 1884–1972
President: 1945–1953 (33rd)

In Truman’s presidency are many of the roots of modern American foreign policy. He will always be known, however, as the decision-maker who first unleashed the tragic power of the atomic bomb. After the end of World War II, much of Truman’s influence on international matters was directed at Soviet and communist containment (the Cold War; the Korean War) and solidification of the United Nations. Truman also made the U.S. the first country to officially recognize the existence of Israel.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Lived: 1890–1969
President: 1953–1961 (34th)

Eisenhower’s foreign policy was to some extent a continuation of previous principles — the Cold War still simmered on, while key alliances were strengthened where possible. An inability to put issues with Russia and China to bed was also undermined by further expansion of the U.S.’s nuclear and spy programs. Covert actions in Latin America, and involvement in the affairs of countries in the Middle East would set the stage for coming phases of American internationalism. Lastly, Eisenhower’s commitment to support of South Vietnam would ultimately lead to a painful disaster that would unfortunately be something of a template for several problematic international occupations and interventions by the U.S. in the decades to follow.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

Lived: 1917–1963
President: 1961–1963 (35th)

A Soviet buildup of troops and materiel in Cuba led to a tense event known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the U.S. blockaded the island and threatened invasion. Fortunately, Kennedy’s administration was able to resolve the standoff through diplomatic means — the Soviets withdrew and the U.S. blockade was lifted. J.F.K. created the humanitarian volunteer organization known as the Peace Corps by Executive Order, and also founded the Alliance for Progress to improve relations with Latin America. He considered an agreement with Great Britain and the USSR to limit nuclear testing to be his greatest achievement as president, however.

Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson

Lived: 1908–1973
President: 1963–1969 (36th)

President’s Johnson’s legacy abroad is largely defined by the Vietnam War. As a matter of foreign policy, the reason for America’s heavy involvement in the conflict between North and South Vietnam was generally explained to be the containment of the spread of communism and Soviet influence in developing nations. Johnson and his advisors subscribed to the “Domino Theory,” which stated that if one nation “fell to communism,” its neighbors would become more likely to do so as well. The policy deeply divided the nation and the world at large.

Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon

Lived: 1913–1994
President: 1969–1974 (37th)

Nixon is often remembered for commencing the warming of relations with China and the USSR. His Strategic Arms Limitation and Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaties were not aimed at stopping further buildup, but laid the groundwork for future, more meaningful disarmament treaties. Nixon also presided over the completion of the American ground campaign in Vietnam with the Paris Peace Accords.

Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford

Lived: 1913–2006
President: 1974–1977 (38th)

During his presidency, Ford pursued a number of diplomatic initiatives aimed at easing longstanding tensions. First, he signed the Helsinki Accords, which cemented European boundaries and included human rights acknowledgements. His efforts to produce the Vladivostock Accords also furthered the objectives of the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty regarding disarmament, but did not lead to a new agreement during Ford’s administration. Activities in Vietnam were limited to humanitarian aid only, and the final phase of Vietnam War came to an end while Ford was in office. Unfortunately, however, war in Angola, in which China, Russia and the U.S. would remain in conflict through local factions, further established the template for proxy conflicts that are still taking place in many other locations worldwide.

Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter

Human rights worldwide were a focus of President Carter’s administration, and he also sought often to avoid military conflict where possible. One of his most acclaimed negotiations was the Camp David Accords, which ended a military conflict between Egypt and Israel, and reaching de facto agreement with the USSR regarding SALT II disarmament. Blame apportioned to him during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, however, would tarnish his international legacy, despite ultimately reaching an agreement concluding the matter.

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan

Reagan’s early policies served to combat and antagonize a number of powers around the world. His military buildup and the nickname, the “Evil Empire,” provoked the Soviets as the nations argued over compliance with disarmament objectives. The Reagan Doctrine of military support for any forces fighting Marxist or leftist regimes or factions in nations around the world also led to a number of controversial international incidents during his term. These activities reached a public peak in the Iran-Contra scandal. By the end of his presidency however, Reagan had reconciled measurably with the Gorbachev-led Soviet Union, leading to a warming of the ongoing Cold War.

George H.W. Bush
George H.W. Bush

Lived: 1924-
President: 1989–1993 (41st)

Before the rosy glow of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall had subsided, the first President Bush’s foreign policy would take the country in a far less genial direction. After the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, President Bush sought to build an international coalition and gain the approval of Congress prior to military intervention. These steps would, for later presidents, not be considered preconditions to major actions, a significant point from an international law perspective.

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton

Failure to intervene aggressively in a crisis in Rwanda marred the early years of Clinton’s presidency from a foreign policy perspective, but he remained committed to America’s role as an international activist. This “doctrine of enlargement” was aimed at bringing additional nations into the free market, but also required the U.S. to continue to intervene in various world crises where necessary. Clinton oversaw the finalization of both NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the revised GATT (General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade), which both had major international economic impact. From a military perspective, President Clinton achieved meaningful consensus on certain actions internationally, most notably the combined U.S./NATO actions in the Balkans.

The tension between unilateral action by the U.S. internationally and consensus building would play a major role in U.S. interventions in later years.

George W. Bush
George W. Bush

Lived: 1946–
President: 2001–2009 (43rd)

Most of the world is familiar with the event that crystallized George W. Bush’s foreign policy — the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2011 — as well as his response. Internationally, Bush conducted military campaigns in Afghanistan (to interdict terrorist activity) and Iraq (to overthrow a controversial regime). American intervention reached something of a peak during his administration, as large numbers of forces were committed to significant action in each country. The issues of torture, violation of the Geneva Convention, war crimes and the holding of prisoners without proper process or representation in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, all played a large role in Bush’s heavily criticized presidency.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Lived: 1961–
President: 2009– (44th)

President Obama inherited the prior administration’s conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and campaigned on plans to complete the transitions of power in both countries to more stable governments than previous regimes. He oversaw the withdrawal of large numbers of troops from both locations, and has since been able to turn his attention to other matters, like the New START arms reduction treaty signed in 2010 with Russia. In addition, the killing of terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces was a key success of his administration internationally. U.S. activities relating to international spying, data collection and drone attacks are expected to play a significant role in his ultimate impact on international law.

Every year, the U.S. holds a national holiday called Presidents’ Day. Presidents’ Day, which is located in the month of February (this year, February 17, 2014) between the birthdays of two of the country’s most famous presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, celebrates the contributions these leaders have made in service of the nation.

The responsibilities of the President of the United States of America are many. But while a president’s focus is often on domestic issues, his (and hopefully someday, her!) powers with respect to foreign affairs are quite significant. As commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces, he has the power to intervene to a very significant degree in matters involving foreign countries. And pursuant to the “Treaty Clause” of the Constitution, the President is also empowered to act as the primary negotiator when it comes to agreements with other nations. As a result, a president’s foreign policy is often a key issue during his campaign for election.

Once elected, a president can have a major impact on international law. Working through international institutions or leveraging the economic and military power of the U.S. to bring about various agreements, a president can shape international relations to a tremendous degree. The U.S. presidents selected for this slideshow are those that have had a significant effect on foreign affairs, as well as the legal relationship between the U.S. and other nations. Over the course of American history, these presidents have, for better or worse, left a mark on the world that extended far beyond U.S. borders.

Some were wartime leaders, while others preferred to pursue primarily diplomatic means to achieve their goals, but all will be remembered for a long time to come for their impact on the world at large.

George Washington
Lived: 1732–1799
President: 1789–1797 (1st)

Little introduction is necessary for the man who was already an important American leader in the years when America’s very existence was still a matter to be resolved. After his successful military campaign as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War against Britain, Washington voluntarily resigned his position while the first United States government was formed, pursuant to the Articles of Confederation. When they were replaced with the current Constitution, Washington was elected as the first president of the newly incorporated United States.

From a foreign policy perspective, Washington strived to stay neutral in the war between the French and British, but did enter into a minor trade treaty with England, provoking French allies. He also entered into treaties with Algiers (to protect American ships from piracy) and Spain (to gain access to the Mississippi River and improve relations with natives in Spanish-controlled Florida).

James Monroe
Lived: 1758–1831
President: 1817–1825 (5th)

In the early 1800s, President Monroe pursued important treaties that shaped the borders of the still-forming United States. One agreement with Britain, made to resolve disputes linked to the War of 1812, led to significant disarmament in the Great Lakes region. Another set the northern border of the western U.S. at the 49th parallel. He also presided over an important treaty negotiated by John Quincy Adams with Spain, which led to the sale of Florida to the U.S. in exchange for assumption of debt and relinquishing of claims to Texas.

Ultimately, Monroe is best remembered for the Monroe Doctrine, the policy that the U.S. would not tolerate further colonization or re-colonization in the Western Hemisphere by European powers (but would not seek to intervene in existing colonies, either). This policy would guide America’s ascent to becoming the dominant power in the West.

Abraham Lincoln
Lived: 1809–1865
President: 1861–1865 (16th)

Abraham Lincoln’s impact on domestic law — leading the charge on the abolishment of slavery — is without doubt his greatest legacy. However, as a wartime president striving to subdue the Confederacy and remake the United States, Lincoln’s foreign policy was also important. By blockading the Confederacy as an act of war, he legitimized the nascent power, leading other nations to adopt formal positions on the Confederacy as well. Also, in accordance with certain international laws adopted pursuant to the Crimean War, the Confederacy thus was also entitled to take out loans and purchase arms on international markets, and enjoy safe harbor when in foreign ports.

These actions provide an important case study for those seeking to understand the historical underpinnings of modern international policies regarding formal recognition of rebel powers in countries torn apart by civil war.

William McKinley
Lived: 1843–1901
President: 1897–1901 (25th)

William McKinley is often thought of as the president who initiated American overseas imperialism. Through conflict with Spain during his presidency, he ultimately brought the U.S. into the Paris Peace Treaty, which provided for the American acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. He also oversaw the taking of Hawaii, and establishment of a U.S. protectorate in Cuba. In addition, his Open Door policy in China, by which all nations would be accorded equal economic footing there, and the Chinese would remain independent, is still one of the most significant statements ever made by the U.S. Department of State. He also arguably expanded presidential power significantly when he dispatched troops during the Boxer rebellion in China without prior congressional approval.

Theodore Roosevelt
Lived: 1858–1919
President: 1901–1909 (26th)

Known for “speaking softly” but for also “carrying a big stick,” Teddy Roosevelt used force as he saw fit, but was also an active arbitrator of many disputes, making him the first U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He helped put a civil government in place in the Philippines, gained the Panama Canal through military and economic means, and also put forth the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. Ostensibly to prevent the need for European intervention in the Western Hemisphere, the Roosevelt Corollary stated that the U.S. would intervene in Latin countries if they displayed critical economic problems. This cemented the U.S.’s role as the “policeman of the West,” a policy which would be heavily criticized over the years.

William Howard Taft
Lived: 1857–1930
President: 1909–1913 (27th)

President Taft is best known for his policy of “Dollar Diplomacy,” or seeking to advance American economic interests internationally, especially through the use of government officials abroad. He also sought to stabilize Latin American powers when rebel forces or economic instability threatened the peace there (e.g. Honduras, Nicaragua). When he positioned troops outside Mexico, but then withdrew them, he earned the nickname “Peaceful Bill.”

Woodrow Wilson
Lived: 1856–1924
President: 1913–1921 (28th)

President Wilson is remembered for pursuing a more moralistic, and less materialistic, approach to international law and relations. He encouraged many nations to become self-directed, especially in Latin America, although he was criticized for demanding that they do so through democratic systems. He presided over U.S. involvement and success in checking the Germans in World War I and is remembered for his “Fourteen Points” speech. In it, he called for open treaties (not secret alliances), reduction of imperialism, disarmament and increased freedom worldwide. He also helped create the League of Nations, but unfortunately suffered heavy compromise of his desired goals in the process, and the U.S. never joined the organization, which would ultimately be replaced by the United Nations.

Franklin Roosevelt
Lived: 1882–1945
President: 1933–1945 (32nd)

While battling the economic crisis of the Great Depression absorbed much of F.D.R.’s attention in his early years as president, his actions in World War II would become equally important to his legacy. After pursuing non-intervention agreements with nations in the Western Hemisphere, he ultimately had to turn his focus to the conflict in Europe and the East. He ultimately helped lead the Allied Powers to victory, even as his health was failing, and also laid the groundwork for the United Nations, which plays a key role in international law to this day.

Harry S. Truman
Lived: 1884–1972
President: 1945–1953 (33rd)

In Truman’s presidency are many of the roots of modern American foreign policy. He will always be known, however, as the decision-maker who first unleashed the tragic power of the atomic bomb. After the end of World War II, much of Truman’s influence on international matters was directed at Soviet and communist containment (the Cold War; the Korean War) and solidification of the United Nations. Truman also made the U.S. the first country to officially recognize the existence of Israel.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lived: 1890–1969
President: 1953–1961 (34th)

Eisenhower’s foreign policy was to some extent a continuation of previous principles — the Cold War still simmered on, while key alliances were strengthened where possible. An inability to put issues with Russia and China to bed was also undermined by further expansion of the U.S.’s nuclear and spy programs. Covert actions in Latin America, and involvement in the affairs of countries in the Middle East would set the stage for coming phases of American internationalism. Lastly, Eisenhower’s commitment to support of South Vietnam would ultimately lead to a painful disaster that would unfortunately be something of a template for several problematic international occupations and interventions by the U.S. in the decades to follow.

John F. Kennedy
Lived: 1917–1963
President: 1961–1963 (35th)

Kennedy’s impact on international issues and international law largely arose from his attempts to check Soviet expansion in the Western Hemisphere and with respect to nuclear weapons. A Soviet buildup of troops and materiel in Cuba led to a tense event known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which the U.S. blockaded the island and threatened invasion. Fortunately, Kennedy’s administration was able to resolve the standoff through diplomatic means — the Soviets withdrew and the U.S. blockade was lifted.

J.F.K. created the humanitarian volunteer organization known as the Peace Corps by Executive Order, and also founded the Alliance for Progress to improve relations with Latin America. He considered an agreement with Great Britain and the USSR to limit nuclear testing to be his greatest achievement as president, however. The agreement would be one of several that the world would see over the years as leading powers negotiated over the issue of nuclear disarmament.

Lyndon B. Johnson
Lived: 1908–1973
President: 1963–1969 (36th)

President’s Johnson’s legacy abroad is largely defined by the Vietnam War. As a matter of foreign policy, the reason for America’s heavy involvement in the conflict between North and South Vietnam was generally explained to be the containment of the spread of communism and Soviet influence in developing nations. Johnson and his advisors subscribed to the “Domino Theory,” which stated that if one nation “fell to communism,” its neighbors would become more likely to do so as well. The policy deeply divided the nation and the world at large.

Johnson did, however, ultimately make further progress on reducing nuclear activity through the Outer Space Treaty with the USSR (banning nuclear weapons in space), and the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (prohibiting the sale of nuclear weapons and the provision of nuclear assistance to non-nuclear nations).

Richard Nixon
Lived: 1913–1994
President: 1969–1974 (37th)

Nixon is often remembered for commencing the warming of relations with China and the USSR. His Strategic Arms Limitation and Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaties were not aimed at stopping further buildup, but laid the groundwork for future, more meaningful disarmament treaties. Nixon also presided over the completion of the American ground campaign in Vietnam with the Paris Peace Accords.

Nixon and his top advisor, Henry Kissinger, also expanded the U.S.’s military and economic support of Israel, and also continued to negotiate with nations in the Middle East over energy issues. These matters would become very significant to American foreign policy and international law in the coming decades.

Gerald Ford
Lived: 1913–2006
President: 1974–1977 (38th)

During his presidency, Ford pursued a number of diplomatic initiatives aimed at easing longstanding tensions. First, he signed the Helsinki Accords, which cemented European boundaries and included human rights acknowledgements. His efforts to produce the Vladivostock Accords also furthered the objectives of the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty regarding disarmament, but did not lead to a new agreement during Ford’s administration. Activities in Vietnam were limited to humanitarian aid only, and the final phase of Vietnam War came to an end while Ford was in office. Unfortunately, however, war in Angola, in which China, Russia and the U.S. would remain in conflict through local factions, further established the template for proxy conflicts that are still taking place in many other locations worldwide.

Jimmy Carter
Lived: 1924–
President: 1977–1981 (39th)

Human rights worldwide were a focus of President Carter’s administration, and he also sought often to avoid military conflict where possible. While he suspended military and economic aid for human rights reasons in Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Uganda, he chose not to take a similarly hard line in the USSR and Iran. A heavily criticized agreement to give Panama control over the Panama Canal also left Carter looking somewhat vulnerable.

He redeemed himself significantly with the Camp David Accords, which ended a military conflict between Egypt and Israel, and reaching de facto agreement with the USSR regarding SALT II disarmament. Blame apportioned to him during the Iranian Hostage Crisis, however, would further tarnish his international legacy, despite ultimately reaching an agreement concluding the matter.

Ronald Reagan
Lived: 1911–2004
President: 1981–1989 (40th)

Reagan’s early policies served to combat and antagonize a number of powers around the world. His military buildup and the nickname, the “Evil Empire,” provoked the Soviets as the nations argued over compliance with disarmament objectives. The Reagan Doctrine of military support for any forces fighting Marxist or leftist regimes or factions in nations around the world also led to a number of controversial international incidents during his term. These activities reached a public peak in the Iran-Contra scandal. By the end of his presidency however, Reagan had reconciled measurably with the Gorbachev-led Soviet Union, leading to a warming of the ongoing Cold War.

George H.W. Bush
Lived: 1924-
President: 1989–1993 (41st)

Before the rosy glow of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall had subsided, the first President Bush’s foreign policy would take the country in a far less genial direction. After the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, President Bush sought to build an international coalition and gain the approval of Congress prior to military intervention. These steps would, for later presidents, not be considered preconditions to major actions, a significant point from an international law perspective.

Success in the Persian Gulf, however, at least bolstered the credibility of America’s military strength, for a time. Bush also used U.S. troops in Somalia to ease a humanitarian crisis, which served as precedent for considering small-scale interventions in a variety of countries around the world. He did not, however, commit the armed forces to action in Yugoslavia, where fears of “another Vietnam” may have played a role in staying his hand.

Bill Clinton
Lived: 1946–
President: 1993–2001 (42nd)

Failure to intervene aggressively in a crisis in Rwanda marred the early years of Clinton’s presidency from a foreign policy perspective, but he remained committed to America’s role as an international activist. This “doctrine of enlargement” was aimed at bringing additional nations into the free market, but also required the U.S. to continue to intervene in various world crises where necessary. Clinton oversaw the finalization of both NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the revised GATT (General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade), which both had major international economic impact. From a military perspective, President Clinton achieved meaningful consensus on certain actions internationally, most notably the combined U.S./NATO actions in the Balkans.

The tension between unilateral action by the U.S. internationally and consensus building would play a major role in U.S. interventions in later years.

George W. Bush
Lived: 1946–
President: 2001–2009 (43rd)

Most of the world is familiar with the event that crystallized George W. Bush’s foreign policy — the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2011 — as well as his response. Internationally, Bush conducted military campaigns in Afghanistan (to interdict terrorist activity) and Iraq (to overthrow a controversial regime). American intervention reached something of a peak during his administration, as large numbers of forces were committed to significant action in each country. The issues of torture, violation of the Geneva Convention, war crimes and the holding of prisoners without proper process or representation in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, all played a large role in Bush’s heavily criticized presidency.

Barack Obama
Lived: 1961–
President: 2009– (44th)

President Obama inherited the prior administration’s conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and campaigned on plans to complete the transitions of power in both countries to more stable governments than previous regimes. He oversaw the withdrawal of large numbers of troops from both locations, and has since been able to turn his attention to other matters, like the New START arms reduction treaty signed in 2010 with Russia. In addition, the killing of terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden by U.S. Special Forces was a key success of his administration internationally. U.S. activities relating to international spying, data collection and drone attacks are expected to play a significant role in his ultimate impact on international law.

UK Business Etiquette and Dress Code

Business Etiquette and Dress Code in the UKThis is the second part of LLM Info’s series on International Business Etiquette. Last week, we covered Brazil Business Etiquette and Dress Code. This week we cover the UK.

The UK is made up of four separate countries: Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but everyone is considered British. Each country has its own cultural nuances, values, and standards. For instance, the English tend to be polite and reserved; Scots tend to be aloof; the Welsh strongly emphasize the importance of family; and the Irish value friendship and sincerity. Therefore, it is important to understand varying social norms in each country in order to best follow UK business etiquette.

Conducting Business in the UK

Following proper etiquette when conducting your business in the UK is critical. Always set up meetings in advance and arrive on time. When you arrive, shake hands with everyone, including any children. Women should extend their hand first in greeting. You must also shake hands upon your departure.

Handshakes in the UK are light and brief. Address each person with their appropriate title and last name unless you are asked to use their first name.

The British prefer their personal space, so keep a respectable amount of room between you and the rest of the party.

In the UK, a congenial business relationship is the norm. This means meetings start after an exchange of pleasantries and friendly conversation.

Most companies have a board of directors who make the final decision on all deals, which can result in slower deals than Americans are familiar with. Each meeting will have a primary objective. If you will be presenting at a meeting, keep your presentation subdued, yet detailed.

Gifts should not be given in a business setting.

In most cases, business is conducted during lunch at a pub or restaurant. It is customary for the host to cover the costs. You may also be invited to attend a cricket match or regatta. Be sure to wear a blue blazer or tweed sport coat to these events.

If you will be attending dinner at a person’s home, send flowers ahead of time or bring a small gift with you. Do not discuss business unless the host begins the conversation.

If dinner meetings occur at a restaurant in England, you should arrive on time. Generally, the English value punctuality, though it is not a big deal if you are 10 to 20 minutes late (however, note that you should call ahead if you know you will arrive after the scheduled time). Arrive on time if you are in Scotland or Wales. A written thank you note should be sent after the dinner, and a reciprocal invitation should be extended.

Tips for Women in the UK

In general, many executives and other high-level employees are men, but women from outside the UK are not at a disadvantage when doing business in the UK.

While it is acceptable for a woman to ask a British man to dinner, it is best to choose lunch to avoid any misunderstanding. If the woman intends to pay for the meal, she must state this at the beginning of the meal. It is also important for a woman to understand that she may be called “dearie,” “darling” or “love,” which are terms that are completely acceptable in British society.

Business Dress in the UK

If you will be working in a larger city, such as London, dress more formally. For business meetings, it is best for men to wear dark-colored suits and for women to wear a business suit, dress, or skirt and blouse.

Blazers are considered casual clothing and should not be worn in a business setting in the UK. Before attending a formal event, men should inquire about which type of suit is most appropriate. Avoid wearing striped ties that resemble any British regimentals.

Additional Cultural Traditions

  • Keep your speaking subdued and do not accompany your speech with excessive hand gestures. Use proper English as much as possible.
  • Do not ask to tour a home or ask personal questions. Never talk about money.
  • Honor rank, allowing those with higher ranks to enter a room first.

Brazil Business Etiquette and Dress Code

Business Etiquette and Dress Code in BrazilAre you planning on traveling to Brazil for a business trip? If so, it’s important to know the fundamental cultural traditions and norms to ensure your trip is successful and smooth. Follow these tips for proper Brazil business etiquette.

Meetings and Gift Giving

In Brazil, being a well-socialized team player is key to successfully develop business relationships. According to Brazilian etiquette expert Sandra Branco, it is important to shake hands firmly and maintain direct eye contact with people you meet. Brazilian culture involves close physical contact, so if you are reserved in these situations you may come across as untrustworthy. In addition, while leaving, it is important to shake everyone’s hand to avoid offending anyone. In Brazil, an insult to one member of a group is seen as an insult against the group as a whole.

Business etiquette in Brazil also involves frequent communication. Face-to-face meetings are preferred over email exchanges or conference calls. Important meetings should be scheduled in advance and confirmed two days ahead of time. Expect to arrive on time instead of coming early, and don’t be surprised if it takes a while for business to start. Simply showing up and expecting a meeting with someone is considered presumptuous and rude.

Investing a few minutes in casual conversation will go a long way in forming business relationships. Let your host begin the business discussions. Conversations should focus on light topics, such as sports, family and the natural beauty of Brazil’s beaches. Avoid politics, religion, the rainforest or any personal questions about age and salary.

On occasion, you might have a meeting in a restaurant or other public venue. These meetings are typically less formal and meant for forging friendships. It is best to leave business discussions for formal settings.

If you are the host of the meeting, you should pay the check. Get-togethers that take place in someone’s home should be followed up with a thank you note and flowers. Avoid giving any purple and black gifts as those colors represent mourning in Brazil.

Looking Your Best

While being well mannered and comfortable with some invasion of personal space are important, it is also essential to look presentable. This means you need to be well dressed. Women and men should be conservative, with women wearing a skirt and jacket or dress, and men wearing dark-colored suits. Excessive jewelry or accessories should be avoided.

Being well-dressed, however, isn’t the most important factor in being successful. Staying in a good hotel, networking, hiring a reputable local translator and hosting lavish presentations will help impress business people and close deals.

Business Women in Brazil

The majority of women in Brazil are progressive and assertive, especially in the work place. Foreign women doing business in this country should do their best to exude the same confidence. Foreigners should also understand that having drinks after work is a sign of friendship.

Key Points to Doing Business in Brazil

  • Put effort into your appearance.
  • Focus on building friendships first.
  • Respect the team/collectivist approach in Brazil, especially when solving problems.

NYU Job Fair is Today!

Today is the NYU LLM Job Fair, more officially referred to as the International Student Interview Program (ISIP), one of two major LLM job fairs in the U.S. (the other being the West Coast LLM International Job Fair, which is hosted by UCLA and takes place in February). More than 1600 LLM students, representing 75 countries, enrolled at the 32 law schools which are part of the ISIP consortium around the United States will trek to NYU’s Manhattan campus in the historic Greenwich Village to meet with over 150 employers to interview for global employment and internship opportunities. The event runs a full day, from 9 am to 5:40 pm, consisting of eighteen interviews lasting 20 minutes each (with brief 5-minute breaks in between).

Registration for the event begins months in advance–the initial deadline for employers to register for the event on September 27, and by November 7 student resumes begin to roll in, After two rounds of resume submissions and candidate selections, a schedule is finalized for candidate-employer meetings.

A full list of the 32 participating schools, as well as additional details, including past employers, can be found in the ISIP brochure here. You can also find out more about the participating schools’ LLM programs, including employment prospects for each, here.

 

Read more:

So How do LLMs Get Jobs Anyway?