Law School Discussion

Reasons for LLM

Reasons for LLM
« on: February 21, 2006, 11:56:47 AM »
In a nutshell, what would you say are the main reasons that one would pursue an LLM? Also, must one have a JD before pursuing an LLM?

Re: Reasons for LLM
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2006, 12:04:06 PM »
in a nutshell -
the vast majority of LLM students are foreign students with JDs from their own countries.  A few probably get their LLM so that they have a law degree from a more prestigious law school than their JD.  Tax is one (and, I think, the only) area of law where a LLM is beneficial.
I cannot see how, or why, an American student could get an LLM without a JD.

Re: Reasons for LLM
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2006, 03:12:53 PM »
Well said, in a nutshell.  From the point of view of an US attorney with JD pursuing an LL.M. in the USA, here is my input.  I currently I am attending Washington College of Law, American University's LL.M. in ILSP or international legal studies.  I went to a third tier law school and worked in the field of civil litigation and criminal defense for 10 years before deciding to go back to school.  I started school about 2 months ago, so I do not have the full story yet but from what I can tell, my LL.M. will give likely give me the education, internships, and contacts to refocus my career to international business law.  Without the LL.M. I would not have a prayer.  Here, at WCL, it is quite manageable, as an LL.M., to get prestigious internships with organizations and government agencies such as the World Bank, DOJ, IDB, IMF, UN, and OPIC as well as private companies and firms.  You, however, have to be very proactive, and you need good grades in the LL.M. program if you hope to, thereafter, get a job offer.  ::)  The more prestigious and connected your LL.M. program is, the better your changes are at the refocuse deal.  Of course, there are no guarantees but life is not easy.

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Re: Reasons for LLM
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 05:18:51 PM »
Do you think an LLM could help you get more connections for the town you want to work in as well as a stronger specialty? For example, if I go to Wyoming and want to work in Denver, is a LLM a way to get a job in Denver?

Re: Reasons for LLM
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2006, 10:48:00 PM »
Yes, generally almost all schools except the very top are regional in their influence. 

Re: Reasons for LLM
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2006, 08:41:33 AM »
According to a law professor of mine, LLMs are increasingly expected of those who wish to teach law in the future. He recently sat on the hiring committee for my law school and, according to him, they now won't even consider candidates who do not have LLMs in addition to JDs, unless they had Ph.D.s in another discipline as well. (This, even though all the professors at my law school either graduated from Ivy Leagues or the most prestigious public law schools, which is what the current candidate pool probably looks like as well).

This same professor has law degrees from Kenya, Tanzania and Harvard and continues to work extensively with the UN. According to him, because of differences in how legal education is structured abroad,  many foreign lawyers do not highly regard U.S. attorneys with only a JD, which is considered the bare minimum for much international/transnational legal work on par with a Bachelor's Degree (!). This is because, for European lawyers, the 2 years American undergrads spend on breadth requirements is normally done in secondary/high school. When many Europeans go on to university, they only study their major and hence tend to graduate at a slightly younger age. Thus, many European lawyers finish earlier, thus allowing them on average more years of practice. In addition, many go on to earn additional degrees in law.

For me, this was pretty sobering news, but really only applicable if you plan a career as a law professor or in the international arena for a major NGO. Hope this helps!

Re: Reasons for LLM
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2006, 01:37:21 AM »
I'm looking into studying law in France, I'll get me maitrise en droit I and then go on to do my advanced maitrise II with a specialization in corporate law (DESS-DJCE) over there. But I def want to do tax internationally so I'll be heading for an LLM right after my 4 years.


Re: Reasons for LLM
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2006, 11:43:45 PM »
L.LM for foreign students makes sense if you want to find a better job in your home country (in the U.S. company, for example). If you want to practice law here, you will probably need a J.D. Its tough to find a job with L.LM and there are not so many choices (you can practice only in couple states). In any case its not worth of 30K a year. I know some programs though give really good scholarships