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Author Topic: LL.M. advice needed  (Read 9571 times)

BTMead

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LL.M. advice needed
« on: October 19, 2006, 09:06:50 AM »
Well, the moment I have feared has finally come to pass.  Let me explain via a brief history.  I graduated undergrad magna cum laude.  I took the LSAT without studying (I know, very stupid) and scored a 158.  Instead of taking it again I decided to just go to school where I could get in (again, not so smart).  I am currently a 3L at Suffulk University Law in Boston and desire to pursue a career as a constitutional scholar and hopefully law professor.  Considering Suffolk Law is not a top 15 I am very aware that I will need a LL.M. from one of the top schools in order to make myself marketable.  So, with my academic history in mind, are Yale and Harvard pretty much out of the question?  I do know Professor Akhil Amar of Yale fame and might be able to get a good rec from him.  Could this possibly counteract my lack of an Ivy J.D.?  Finally, I would prefer to go straight from law school to an LL.M. program, but am willing to work first; would my chances of admission be higher if I worked for a few years and then applied?  As far as the schools I am interested in, it seems to me that only the top LL.M. programs would serve the dual purpose of education and upgrading my pedigree, but if I a wrong in this assumption let me know.  Thanks for the help and any advice you can throw my way.

jacy85

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Re: LL.M. advice needed
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2006, 02:44:26 PM »
You may have to work for more than a "few years" to counteract the fact that you not only do not come from an Ivy school, but you in fact come from a 4th tier school (note that I'm not knocking Suffolk, I have quite a few friends that go there, and I think its seriously underrated)

From what I have seen at my school and knowing the background of my professors, I'd say the vast, vast majority of them some from prestigious school.  I've had more than a few from Harvard, Yale and Stanford.  I had one from Michigan, but she clerked on the 9th Circuit, and is brilliant and well-known in her field.

Also from what I've seen, the professors who didn't go to the T14 had pretty distinguished careers, and really made a name for themselves in their practice areas.  In fact, many of the T14 profs did this as well.

I'd say your best bet is to work and gain some recognition in a speciality, get an LLM along the way if you like, and then try to get your foot in the door by becoming an adjunct.  Be sure to try to publish and gain a decent body of academic work.

Take this all with a grain of salt as well, as I know no idea if there's something better for you to be doing, or if this would be enough to get you into academia.  This is all just from my personal observations and sort of common sense advice.

Budlaw

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Re: LL.M. advice needed
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2006, 03:21:26 PM »
Well, the moment I have feared has finally come to pass.  Let me explain via a brief history.  I graduated undergrad magna cum laude.  I took the LSAT without studying (I know, very stupid) and scored a 158.  Instead of taking it again I decided to just go to school where I could get in (again, not so smart).  I am currently a 3L at Suffulk University Law in Boston and desire to pursue a career as a constitutional scholar and hopefully law professor.  Considering Suffolk Law is not a top 15 I am very aware that I will need a LL.M. from one of the top schools in order to make myself marketable.  So, with my academic history in mind, are Yale and Harvard pretty much out of the question?  I do know Professor Akhil Amar of Yale fame and might be able to get a good rec from him.  Could this possibly counteract my lack of an Ivy J.D.?  Finally, I would prefer to go straight from law school to an LL.M. program, but am willing to work first; would my chances of admission be higher if I worked for a few years and then applied?  As far as the schools I am interested in, it seems to me that only the top LL.M. programs would serve the dual purpose of education and upgrading my pedigree, but if I a wrong in this assumption let me know.  Thanks for the help and any advice you can throw my way.

What is your class rank? If you're on law review and in the top 10 percent or so in your class I don't think that getting a LLM at a top school is really that far out of the question. They know you can do the work now. The best thing to do is just call up their admissions office and ask. Talk to your career services office as well. They should have some information on how competitive it is to get into a LLM program.

I know that for a Tax LLM ou don't have to have came from the best school in the world. All they want to see is that you've done well in Law School. I can't remember what the admissions requirement is at NYU, but the number 2 Tax Program (UF) only requires that you be in the top quarter in your class and that you made at least in your regular Tax Class. But who know's what it is for Con Law.

xferlawstudent

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Re: LL.M. advice needed
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2006, 04:36:01 PM »
Actually, I've talked to a number of professors about this and apparently, the LLM program is not very difficult to get into.  They are basically money makers for the school. (yes, even at Harvard).

If you're class rank is decent, I don't think you'll have a huge problem, according to my sources.

tenth8sphere

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Re: LL.M. advice needed
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 07:13:59 PM »
Actually, I've talked to a number of professors about this and apparently, the LLM program is not very difficult to get into.  They are basically money makers for the school. (yes, even at Harvard).

If you're class rank is decent, I don't think you'll have a huge problem, according to my sources.

I think your sources are off... LLM programs accept a very limited number of candidates each year. And by that, I think the numbers are to a tune of less than 30 at most top schools. Additionally, many schools are now placing a major focus on giving those LLM spots to people from out of the US (like U Chicago, which does so almost exclusively).

Where did you get the idea that it's such a cakewalk?

xferlawstudent

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Re: LL.M. advice needed
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2006, 07:14:41 PM »
Several Professors who have LLMs.

BTMead

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Re: LL.M. advice needed
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2006, 12:28:41 PM »
I have heard the same about Harvard's LL.M. program being a "cash cow."  However, Yale actually loses money with their LL.M. program.  That could explain why Yale has much higher standards when it come to admittance.  Several people, reputable people, have told me that Harvard is more than willing to "sell" you an LL.M. and therefore it is pretty easy to get in.  Not sure what is meant by "easy", but if a lot of people think this it doesn't seem like a Harvard LL.M. would open as many doors as other programs.

I am also considering applying to some international (outisde of the U.S. for me) programs.  Masters programs in international affairs are at the top of my list right now.  I am considering LSE (London School of Economics) and King's College in London.  I know this is a "law school" discussion baord, but does anyone have any knowledge of these programs?  Thanks again guys.

xferlawstudent

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Re: LL.M. advice needed
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2006, 12:38:59 PM »
I have heard the same about Harvard's LL.M. program being a "cash cow."  However, Yale actually loses money with their LL.M. program.  That could explain why Yale has much higher standards when it come to admittance.  Several people, reputable people, have told me that Harvard is more than willing to "sell" you an LL.M. and therefore it is pretty easy to get in.  Not sure what is meant by "easy", but if a lot of people think this it doesn't seem like a Harvard LL.M. would open as many doors as other programs.

I am also considering applying to some international (outisde of the U.S. for me) programs.  Masters programs in international affairs are at the top of my list right now.  I am considering LSE (London School of Economics) and King's College in London.  I know this is a "law school" discussion baord, but does anyone have any knowledge of these programs?  Thanks again guys.


My source specifically mentioned Harvard too.