Is LL.M. Really Necessary?

The abbreviation LL.M. stands for a Latin Legum Magister, which is a Master’s degree in Law

People are usually willing to obtain it because is serves as a great boost to the career in a legal sphere and allows enriching knowledge in a specific sphere of law, for example, International Business Law or Human Right Law. To be eligible for an LL.M. program, one should hold a relevant undergraduate degree, namely be Juris Doctor (the US) or a Bachelor of Law (the UK). In rare cases, people with no relevant degree are admitted as LL.M. students. It happens when the person has extensive practical experience in dealing with legal sphere but does not have the theoretical knowledge of the corresponding concepts. As an exception, these people might be given a chance to fill in the gaps in their education.

Students often consider LL.M. what it actually is not

It is not a study program that enables one to be a barrister or an attorney, which is surprising considering that the majority of people pursuing legal career want to practice law rather than just have a strong theoretical background. Nevertheless, more and more people choose to get a Master’s degree in law since it can positively influence their career. An employer who sees the record, for example, “LL.M. in European Law,” in one’s CV knows that the person has very specific knowledge in this area and can be exceptionally helpful if the relevant case arises. In other words, LL.M. is a great addition to the general legal education and a big boost in the workplace, but the absence of this degree is not diminishing to a lawyer’s career.

LL.M. is recommended not for the undergraduates who have just received their Bachelor’s degree but rather for people who have been practicing law for a while and have their legal interests formulated. In this case, LL.M. program serves as the means to find out more about and deepen own expertise in this sphere. For this reason, many highly specific programs for practicing lawyers appear these days. Besides, they usually combine a couple of legal aspects in one curriculum. This way, the College of Law, along with the International Bar Association, channeled their efforts to create several programs like that. Interestingly, many international law firms were engaged in the process in order to maximize the effectiveness of the newly designed courses.

A peculiar feature of LL.M. degree is that it is internationally recognized

It often happens that that some countries consider the diplomas of the other states invalid and, thus, prohibit a person to practice law regardless of the qualification. However, a LL.M. degree enables people to be recognized practitioners under no circumstances. For instance, in the United States, a person, who has completed LL.M. program is eligible to pass the bar exam without Juris Doctor degree. For LL.M. graduates, it means an infinite number of opportunities to carve out a successful career.

One should not forget that LL.M. program has a great academic value as well

If an undergraduate student is interested in law as a scholar, not a practitioner, and is willing to obtain a Ph.D. one day, it is a must. It is an obligatory step in scientific career and an important stage in becoming a scientist. Therefore, a LL.M. curriculum, which can revolve around a variety of subjects, requires studying a lot of theory but entails little practice. A student will have to undertake a number of courses, write papers, pass modules, and, of course, submit a dissertation at the end. Each of the activities will be assessed by a tutor. To sum up, the studying as LL.M student is not be easy, but it is definitely a life-changing experience regardless of whether one wants to be a legal practitioner or Ph.D. in law.