For a variety of reasons, many students and professionals are eager to obtain an LLM in the United States. Given that full-time LLMs are generally one-year programs, many choose the US as their destination in order to experience American life.
Given the wide variety of states to choose from in the US, this experience can consist of living and skiing in the Rocky Mountains, enjoying the beaches in sunny California, strolling along Park Avenue in New York or frolicking among the swamps of Florida.
In the US, legal training is a professional doctorate program. For foreign lawyers, admittance to an LLM in the United States program normally requires a law degree of some sort which corresponds to the American JD (“Juris Doctor”) degree.
In general there are two types of LLM programs in the US. Some universities in the United States have LLM programs in a specialized area of law (i.e. tax, air and space, admiralty) and have specific, separate classes for their LLM students. However, these types of programs are not that common. Instead, most American universities have programs designed to expose foreign legal graduates to the American Common Law and provide an integrated university experience by having the LLM students participate in classes directly with the other JD students.
If you are planning (or hoping) to work as a lawyer in the United States, an LLM is the quickest means of achieving your goal. Provided you have had a legal education in your home country which is deemed equivalent to an American JD degree, a one-year LLM program may be enough to allow you to work as a lawyer in the US. Various states have different rules relating to the admittance of foreign-educated lawyers to state bar associations. Many states, including California and New York, generally allow foreign students who have obtained their LLM in the United States to sit for the Bar exam (i.e. become legally qualified to practice law within that state).
Of course, part of the appeal of taking an LLM in the United States is enjoying the benefits of living and studying in an English-speaking jurisdiction. For most universities at which you can obtain an LLM in the United States, if you have not carried out your prior academic work in English, you will need to take a language proficiency test to show you have the necessary command of the language to get the most out of your course.
As with other degrees, an LLM in the United States can be studied on a part-time basis at many institutions and, in some instances, by distance learning. TransLegal’s LLM guide is the best place to begin your quest for an LLM in the United States. Our guide allows you to sort and search by city and region, as well as by the type of course or program. This guarantees that you will find the LLM program in the United States which best suits you.