This article looks at the value of a master of law degree. A LLM degree is a professional graduate program beyond a bachelor’s degree. You may hear the term LLM, when talking about a Master of Law degree. LLM is the abbreviation for the degree, in Latin. The LL.M., or Masters in Law is an internationally recognized postgraduate law degree that is generally gained by completing at least a one year full-time program.
Law Education and Training
Law students gain expertise in a specialized field of law like international law, environmental law, or tax law. Many law students go for their LLM degree, so they can specialize in one particular field of law. A tax lawyer for example, may wish to have an LLM degree. There are also other professions where an LLM degree can be merged with a business degree. You will need to have a Bachelor degree, before pursuing your LLM. However, it does not necessarily have to be in law. It can be in a field that is related to law
The requirements for your LLM degree may vary, depending on the learning institution that you attend. However, many LLM degrees can be obtained in as little as one year. You may be required to have a certain amount of credit hours, but this is not always the case. It is also important to examine the LLM guide provided by each of the law schools you are interested in as well as the laws and regulations in the state(s) that you wish to practice.
Receiving an LLM does not mean that you are qualified to practice law. You must have a bachelor degree in law and pass a state bar exam, to be qualified to practice. Yet, some people may pursue the LLM without concern for practicing law.
Some of the courses in the masters degree in law program that you may be required to take are criminal, environmental, health care, and intellectual property law. The purpose of the degree is to acquire skills in research and gathering of information. It is also for improving communication skills, needed for your profession. Areas of specialization may include:
- LLM in taxation
- Master international law
- International law masters programs
- Master of business law
- Environmental law masters
- Health law masters
Careers in Law
There are many different careers to consider, and many of them involve specialized law practice. Perhaps you wish to become involved with personal injury settlement cases. Maybe you will concentrate on legal matters with real estate. Perhaps you will want to extend your business degree with an LLM, for a career as an investment banker. The LLM can place you ahead of many applicants for important and well paying positions.
If you work as an attorney, most of your work will be in places like offices, courthouses, and perhaps in the homes of clients. About one fourth of attorneys work for themselves in private practice, and the hours can be irregular. If you work for a legal corporation, you may have regular office hours. However, a standard workweek for a lawyer is about fifty hours.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Growth
According to the United States Bureau of Labor, the average lawyer’s income is in excess of six figures. Those with an LLM degree are usually specialists and they may earn more than average, as they are also usually in private practice. Lawyers working for government agencies earn about an average of $80,000 annually. People working with LLM degrees in other professions may increase their wages considerably, but this will vary with the job.
Jobs in this field will grow at about an average of thirteen percent. As the population grows, the need for legal assistance will also grow. Those just graduating law schools may wish to consider an LLM, as job competition can be fierce in some areas, and a Master of Law degree may make it easier to obtain employment.
Law and Legal Studies Programs
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