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Why Get an LL.M. Degree?

March 17, 2021

Obtaining your Juris Doctorate (J.D.) is a feat worth celebrating. Many lawyers are satisfied with the opportunities afforded them with this initial post-secondary law degree, and plenty of them go on to lead outstanding and distinctive careers.

But there are other educational opportunities available to lawyers who want to boost their career, explore more specific areas of law, or enter the world of academia. The field of law has also become increasingly competitive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that competition for jobs over the next 10 years will increase because more students graduate from law school each year than there are jobs available.1

If you’re interested in setting yourself apart from other lawyers, or if you’re an international lawyer seeking to practice in the U.S., you may want to consider a Master of Laws degree, also known as an M.L. or LL.M.

But why get an LL.M. degree? Is an LL.M. degree worth it? Here are some of the benefits you could enjoy.

Develop a Law Specialization

If you’re interested in a particular facet of the field of law, a J.D. program can only take you so far. Most J.D. programs focus on studying the bar, so you can pass the exam and obtain the ability to practice law in the United States.

Obtaining an LL.M. is an important part of developing a law specialization. Even if you’ve already chosen a specialization, an LL.M can help you deepen your understanding of the topic and open new career opportunities.

With an LL.M., you can specialize in topics like employment law, immigration law, intellectual property law, and more. If there is a specific area of law that you’re passionate about, an LL.M. could be just what you need to turn that passion into a career.

Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market

Simply put, an LL.M. can make your resume stand out, especially if you feel that your current law school isn’t giving you an edge against other job candidates in this competitive market.

HR professionals and hiring managers pay close attention to schools on resumes. A degree from a prestigious school like the Cardozo School of Law could be just what you need to get hired at the firm you want. There may be salary benefits to having an LL.M. as well.

Even if you’re already employed, you can take most LL.M. programs either full-time or part-time. Many law school programs are now flexible, allowing you to complete some or all the program remotely. For example, Cardozo School of Law offers an online LL.M. in intellectual property that you can complete in as little as 12 months. It’s also the #2 intellectual property program in New York City.2

Give Yourself a Chance to Research and Publish

Many LL.M. programs are research-based programs that allow you to explore a chosen topic at length. With the help of faculty, you can even emerge from your program with research that is publishable. This could be a serious boost to your resume.

If you’re interested in pursuing a Ph.D., a research-oriented LL.M. could be an ideal way to get your feet wet. Professionals with Ph.D.’s in law work at some of the most prestigious firms in the world.

Improve Your Standing in the U.S.

If you’re an international practitioner of law, an LL.M. can help you improve your standing in the U.S. law environment. Subsequently, it can also help you improve your English skills and gain a better understanding of what it’s like to practice law in the States.

Several law schools offering LL.M. programs now cater specifically to graduates of foreign law schools. For example, Cardozo School of Law provides graduates of foreign law schools with resources and guidance in applying to the school’s LL.M. program.

Practice Law Internationally

Even if you don’t plan to stay in the U.S. to practice law, hiring law firms and other types of organizations worldwide appreciate candidates who have English speaking experience and an understanding of the U.S. legal system. This type of degree could open opportunities to take on specialized roles at multinational businesses and organizations.

For example, intellectual property law can vary depending on the country. Firms that practice international intellectual property law stand to benefit from any candidate who understands U.S. intellectual property law, especially if they serve clients that do business with the U.S. or other English-speaking nations.

Become an Educator

Just as an LL.M. is often a path to Ph.D. work, it can be a path to a career in academics and education. While not every Ph.D. candidate and Ph.D. recipient is employed as a professor, it is common for candidates to teach classes while working on their degrees.

If you’ve ever been interested in teaching at the college level, pursuing an LL.M. is a great stepping stone into the world of academia.

Grow Your Network

Perhaps one of the most unsurprising benefits of pursuing an LL.M. is the opportunity to enhance your professional network. In an LL.M. program, you can form meaningful relationships with professors, students, and past alumni that will help you find opportunities throughout your career.

After graduating from the program, you can use school resources to help build your resume and apply for jobs. The people you meet in your program can even introduce you to firms that are hiring.

Furthermore, LL.M. programs like the one at Cardozo School of Law attract students from all over the world. You can meet lawyers and other law experts from different walks of life and learn about their experiences to inform your perspective on the law.

Start Your LL.M. Journey at Cardozo Law

If you’re ready to jumpstart your law career, explore a new specialization in intellectual property law, or just get some extra accolades on your resume, you should consider an LL.M. program. The Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program at Cardozo School of Law can provide you with all the in-depth knowledge you need to pursue the next phase of your career.

Apply to Cardozo Law’s LL.M program today to get started.

  1. Retrieved on January 18, 2021, from bls.gov/ooh/legal/lawyers.htm
  2. Retrieved on January 18, 2021, from premium.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/yeshiva-university-03103