In most countries around the world, lawyers are not required to have an LL.M. degree, and therefore, many do not choose to get one. If a candidate obtains an LL.M. degree by itself, this does not really qualify a graduate to practice law. In just about every case, LL.M. students must first get a professional degree in law, that is, the Bachelor of Laws or LL.B. in Great Britain or the Juris Doctor, which is J.D., in the United States. They must also pass a bar exam or its equivalent. While the general studies of the J.D. and the LL.B. are designed to give students basic knowledge and skills to become lawyers
, law students who wish to specialize in a certain area can continue on with their studies with an LL.M. program. Some universities will consider students for their LL.M. program who already hold degrees in other related areas, or who have expertise in a certain area of law.
Depending on different university guidelines, the graduation requirements for an LL.M. program may vary. Some programs are research-oriented, and students must write a thesis. Some of the other programs require you to take specific courses of study. Many LL.M. programs require both research and coursework. For professionals who wish to complete their LL.M. as they work full-time, there are part-time programs available for these individuals.
Students who are seeking to get an LL.M. degree should realize that there isn't any universal definition for LL.M. All around the globe it is used differently. Especially in Germany and the U.S., LL.M. programs are sometimes designed to teach foreign lawyers some of the basic legal principles of the country in which the student is staying. For instance, LL.M. can help lawyers for those who are seeking to relocate and to practice law in another country
, or they may even want to expand their expertise to multinational issues. When a student completes the LL.M. program, this does not automatically qualify the foreign student to take the bar exam
in the country they are staying in. For example, in the United States, some states allow foreign lawyers upon completing their LL.M. to seek admission to the bar and in other states, the student must have a J.D.
LL.M. takes on the meaning of the Latin phrase Legum Magister. This means Master of Laws.
LL.M. DEGREE PROGRAM
The top law schools in the United States provide two kinds of LL.M. programs - the general LL.M. as well as the specialized LL.M. Both types of these degrees, although they differ significantly in structure, result in the student obtaining a Masters of Law. The general LL.M. programs allow students to attend any course that is offered by the law school. However, it may be that access to basic courses may be limited.
The generalized course of study is ideal for those students who are interested in getting a universal understanding of the legal system here in the United States. It would also be good for those students who want to focus on a specific area of practice with a broad based consideration of the American legal system as a whole.
This kind of LL.M. program proves to be not as useful for lawyers who have been outside of a college-type setting for some years and who are, at the same time, maintaining extensive practical experience.
The specific Masters Degree program, which would include an LL.M. in taxation, concentrates in one special area of law. The courses are more specialized and advanced and are much more appropriate to those who already have a clear vision of what field they wish to pursue.
It is usually rare for an American lawyer to pursue a general LL.M. degree
. They tend to pursue the specialized LL.M. because it is then that they are considered a valuable addition to professional and educational development.
Do you know why an LL.M. is important? Find out.
AN INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
When a student pursues a Masters Degree, it provides a platform in which all of the students have an opportunity to develop valuable relationships as well as knowledge. This can lead to long lasting relationships with professionals all across the globe. There is also considerable professional growth that goes along with a Masters Degree. Law schools often organize events for alumni, promote contacts between the schools and alumni and facilitate local clubs.
This is what a Masters Degree that is obtained in the United States will provide:
- A unique intellectual and cultural experience
- A very real possibility to engage in pursuing further studies within an academic setting
- It will create a network of professionally interesting as well as globally minded contacts
- The student has the unique opportunity to meet and to interact with the finest International and American legal scholars
- The student has the ability to attend outstanding facilities. For instance, libraries are usually open 24 hours a day and they are equipped with technologically advanced resources.
A Masters Degree that is obtained in the United State will not provide the following:
- Perfect English language skills.
- You are only able to master a language through continuous practice. However, it does provide a good opportunity to improve one's English language skills.
- A student may not have the ability to make American friends. Creating contact with American students may take patience and time.
- It may not provide the opportunity to work in the United States. Despite what you may think, an LL.M. is not the equivalent to a J.D. The law firms in American have limited interest in hiring a graduate who has an LL.M. Therefore, it is extremely competitive and difficult to find work in the United States.
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