Each year about 6,000 "international students" join approximately 125 U.S. law schools for Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees. They join LL.M. programs for many, varied reasons.
For LL.M. students to have great experiences at their U.S. schools, there must be a meeting of the minds between students and the schools. Students must have reasonable expectations, and schools must meet those reasonable expectations. Many students are concerned about receiving a high quality education and achieving post-LL.M. career goals.
Prospective students must have accurate, comprehensive information to help them decide which LL.M. program is "best" for them, that is, where they can best have their reasonable expectations met. Much of that information comes from one or more of the many stakeholder in the LL.M. marketplace. Stakeholders include law schools, law school LL.M. programs, foreign governments that fund students, the U.S. government, students (prospective, current and former - graduates), law firms that send their lawyers to receive LL.M. degrees and that recruit LL.M. graduates, and many others.
Each stakeholder has a different set of interests. For example, a school may have an interest in generating extremely high revenues from international LL.M. students, and providing a minimum level of LL.M. services, so the school will essentially make a large profit from the LL.M. program.
This article discusses reasonable expecations of LL.M. students, how schools can meet those expectations, and what students can do to help make their experiences more beneficial.
The article draws upon the new book "LL.M. Roadmap: An International Student's Guide to U.S. Law School Programs (George E. Edwards, published by Aspen / Wolters Kluwer, September 2011, 556 pages) (www.LLMRoadMap.com)
- Graduate Law Program,
- Success in Law School,
- Dysfunctional LL.M. Programs,
- Ranking and Reputation
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/george_edwards/3/