I’ve Lost the H-1B Visa Lottery – What Now?
Talk to Your Firm
You will – or should – know quickly whether your firm is able to accommodate its H-1B visa casualties, with transfers or secondments to overseas offices. Unfortunately, we are realizing already that a number of top firms this year will not accommodate, due mainly to the global COVID-19 crisis.
Consider a Tax LLM
We recognize that not everyone has the willingness or ability to pay for another year of school, but if you are in a position to consider a Tax LLM, it could be a useful way to maintain career continuity. The top four Tax LLM programs in the US according to U.S. News & World Report are (1) NYU, (2) Georgetown, (3) Florida, and (4) Northwestern.
- NYU: Part-Time Tax LLM – June 1, 2020 (full-time Tax LLM program deadline has already passed on April 1, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask for an exception)
- Georgetown: Full-Time Tax LLM deadline has already passed, but they continue to accept applications on a rolling basis until April 15.
- Florida: Applications currently accepted
- Northwestern: June 1
Why a Tax LLM? It’s easily the most respected (by hiring partners) LLM program, especially if you can land in one of the top four Tax programs aforementioned. This is true whether or not you may ever consider a tax practice as a career. An LLM in Tax will be great on your resume and also be applicable to any transactional practice, especially corporate and fund formation. Our co-founder Evan Jowers attended both the NYU and Florida LLM Tax programs in the early 2000s. If finances are understandably a concern when considering these options, please note that the University of Florida LLM Tax tuition and housing / living costs are a fraction of the other 3 programs listed. During the 2008 / 2009 brutal recession, our team convinced a number of suddenly out of work junior associates to enter into one of these Tax LLM programs and for many it saved their career.
Talk to Us
Our Asia team at Jowers Vargas will offer any H-1B casualty who is a junior associate at a major firm our representation and career advice until you land back at a major international firm, regardless of how long it takes (and it may take a year or more). We will not be charging our client firms any recruiting fee to submit you to firms, considering the global pandemic crisis. Over the years we have helped many H-1B casualties get job offers in overseas markets, including at top tier US firms, especially in Asia. It’s always a challenge considering that most top firms do in good times accommodate their own H-1B visa lottery losers, further closing up the market for very junior associate lateral hiring, especially in the Asia markets. It is necessary to open your search to include top local firms, as well as consultant positions and other roles that do not pay on the Cravath scale, yet will still keep your international law firm career future very viable. Even in the just completed long run of boom years, H-1B casualties in many cases had to resort to landing in local law firms in their home countries before they could in a year or two land back in an international firm. This year the vast majority of H-1B casualties (who are unable to transfer within their current firms) will not land in US or UK firms unfortunately. We recognize that the timing during the COVID-19 crisis couldn’t be worse, which is why we are suggesting more “outside of the box” solutions such as applying for a Tax LLM.