I have a JD from a US law school and am practicing in the US. I have been accepted to an LLM program in the UK in a niche field that I am interested in pursuing. I'm not sure whether this would add value for me and I'm having a bit of trouble getting an answer to this question. I think this is partly because in many foreign programs Law is an undergraduate degree whereas in the US it is a graduate degree. Most of the resources I have found are for international applicants who wish to practice in the country of the LLM program, or for LLM programs within the US for US JDs. My longterm intention is to live and practice in the US. Would it still add value for me to pursue the LLM program in the UK? All advice appreciated thank you!!
Value of a UK LLM after a US JD
From my point of view, it depends on some factors and hard to tell a lot without related specific background info. 1) If your JD is from a T14, I wouldn’t say you necessarily need that LLM to be one of the bests in your area. 2)However, if that LLM is from top UK law schools, e.g. Cambridge (I’m excluding Oxford as you mentioned specifically LLM and they dont offer it), LSE and maybe also UCL & King’s, then in long-term it can distinguish you from others, add value to your CV and impress someone who will look at it. 3) UK graduate law degrees either general ones or specializations are different in terms of a lot ot characteristics from US law degrees. So having a JD definitely doesn’t mean that you can’t get knowledge or anything else from an LLM in UK. Since US LLMs are mostly for foreigners, UK LLMs might make more sense for US JDs. I have seen some American lawyers who have done an LLM in UK. 4) Lastly, it depends on your concentration, financial situation and narrowed long-term career goal.
I am also a U.S. JD graduate from a T14 with intent to apply to UK LLM programs.
I think it’s a personal matter and heavily depends on your career trajectory. I made the decision to pursue a UK LLM because I intend to leave the United States and begin practice in a niche field overseas. Generally, I found UK LLMs more recognizable, especially in the part of the world I intend to eventually settle. As such, it would only make sense for me to gain acceptance into recognizable UK LLM programs, immediately leaving for my new country upon completion of the degree. I think global pedigree helps in our profession, so do choose wisely on your school of choice.
If your ultimate goal is to practice here in the US and pursue employment immediately thereafter, there will be questions on why a UK versus US LLM. Be prepared to answer this.
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