Is it worth it?


feydruss

I've been lurking for a while, but I think I need some advice now from all you talented, friendly people. :)

I'm in a peculiar situation in that I have been admitted to an Ivy LLM program without a previous law degree (I'm currently in a social sciences PhD program). Unfortunately, because I'm not being sponsored by a specific company or country, I will be on the hook for the tuition (my PhD fellowship won't cover it). My long term plans are teaching and consulting (not practicing law).

Bottom line: is the US$40K for the LLM worth it for my goals? Would I be ill-advised to turn down this relatively unique opportunity?

I've been lurking for a while, but I think I need some advice now from all you talented, friendly people. :)

I'm in a peculiar situation in that I have been admitted to an Ivy LLM program without a previous law degree (I'm currently in a social sciences PhD program). Unfortunately, because I'm not being sponsored by a specific company or country, I will be on the hook for the tuition (my PhD fellowship won't cover it). My long term plans are teaching and consulting (not practicing law).

Bottom line: is the US$40K for the LLM worth it for my goals? Would I be ill-advised to turn down this relatively unique opportunity?
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sage

Well, my friend, you just posed the million dollar question, or should I say, the $40 000 question. I'm in the same predicament as I suspect many others on this board are?


Well, my friend, you just posed the million dollar question, or should I say, the $40 000 question. I'm in the same predicament as I suspect many others on this board are?
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Emme

Still,everybody's saying all these universities are the best way to spend your time and/or money.One can do no wrong if they go to such places.
I understand your concerns,but these places are a great way to not only built but also reorganize and reapproach your future.However,I am not exactly in that place.
But I truly think you can do no wrong by going after all.
Best of luck at deciding!

Still,everybody's saying all these universities are the best way to spend your time and/or money.One can do no wrong if they go to such places.
I understand your concerns,but these places are a great way to not only built but also reorganize and reapproach your future.However,I am not exactly in that place.
But I truly think you can do no wrong by going after all.
Best of luck at deciding!
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Marks

feydruss, which program are you admitted to?

feydruss, which program are you admitted to?
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feydruss

Actually, at this point I would prefer not to say what program to which I am referring.

My interest in the LLM is genuine, and I've worked hard to be considered for admission despite my lack of an undergrad law degree. I guess I'm just getting hung up on the money. It is a big investment.

Ultimately, the reason I applied to the program was because I'm interested in the curriculum, not because I'm trying to get a job in the US. I also want to give more depth to my doctorate, for the purposes of future teaching and research.

I've been thinking about this opportunity a lot, and I suspect that the bottom line is that I would regret NOT taking it far more than I would regret any experiences in the program.

How is the LLM valued outside the law profession (teaching, consulting)? Any feedback?

Actually, at this point I would prefer not to say what program to which I am referring.

My interest in the LLM is genuine, and I've worked hard to be considered for admission despite my lack of an undergrad law degree. I guess I'm just getting hung up on the money. It is a big investment.

Ultimately, the reason I applied to the program was because I'm interested in the curriculum, not because I'm trying to get a job in the US. I also want to give more depth to my doctorate, for the purposes of future teaching and research.

I've been thinking about this opportunity a lot, and I suspect that the bottom line is that I would regret NOT taking it far more than I would regret any experiences in the program.

How is the LLM valued outside the law profession (teaching, consulting)? Any feedback?
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Lanny

This is also the question I am debating. I have been admitted to the LSE LL.M. program and I am very excited about going. The only problem is the cost - since I have started university I have always wanted to go to LSE. Another option would be to defer and try go next year. Problem with that is that when you are into your practice I have been told that for monetary and other reasons it is tough to leave.

This is also the question I am debating. I have been admitted to the LSE LL.M. program and I am very excited about going. The only problem is the cost - since I have started university I have always wanted to go to LSE. Another option would be to defer and try go next year. Problem with that is that when you are into your practice I have been told that for monetary and other reasons it is tough to leave.
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Joseph1

I think it's worth it. I still hope to get a scholarship but have basically decided to go no matter what.

Cost will be a factor and I will probably go to Oxford rather than Columbia as a result of not having funding but I am still keen to go.

I think it's worth it. I still hope to get a scholarship but have basically decided to go no matter what.

Cost will be a factor and I will probably go to Oxford rather than Columbia as a result of not having funding but I am still keen to go.
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legaldocs

go, man, go.

go, man, go.

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gatogus

it is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done.

it is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't done.
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matreshka

I am sorry "to add a spoon of tar into this bowl of honey" (it is a Russian saying). However, I do no think that LL.M program will be a good experience, taking into account your present qualifications and future prospective.

LL.M. program is designed for people who: (i) have basic knowledge of law; and (ii) have a goal to practice law with a certain international perspective in the future. The teaching starts with an assumption of certain level of knowledge in the field of law. Therefore, it will be almost impossible for you to understand what the professors are talking about given the fact that you do not have any previous legal education. I hope that you do not get me wrong, not for a second I doubt the intellectual abilities of PH.D here. But I am sure that I would be unable to understand the subjects taught in the third or even second year in math, for example, not having studied math during the first to years.

Also as you want to conduct research and teach in the future and not practice law I think that only Yale LL.M as a very academic one could be useful for your goals. However, if you have already made up your mind to study law in the States I would advise you to consider applying to other programs that would definitely be more rewarding for you. For example, the SPILS Program at Stanford or S.J.D. programs in other universities. However, I am not sure that you can apply there without prior legal education.

Please note that I am not trying to talk you out of going for an LL.M. but I am just saying that you should consider you decision very carefully as indeed it is a big investment.

I am sorry "to add a spoon of tar into this bowl of honey" (it is a Russian saying). However, I do no think that LL.M program will be a good experience, taking into account your present qualifications and future prospective.

LL.M. program is designed for people who: (i) have basic knowledge of law; and (ii) have a goal to practice law with a certain international perspective in the future. The teaching starts with an assumption of certain level of knowledge in the field of law. Therefore, it will be almost impossible for you to understand what the professors are talking about given the fact that you do not have any previous legal education. I hope that you do not get me wrong, not for a second I doubt the intellectual abilities of PH.D here. But I am sure that I would be unable to understand the subjects taught in the third or even second year in math, for example, not having studied math during the first to years.

Also as you want to conduct research and teach in the future and not practice law I think that only Yale LL.M as a very academic one could be useful for your goals. However, if you have already made up your mind to study law in the States I would advise you to consider applying to other programs that would definitely be more rewarding for you. For example, the SPILS Program at Stanford or S.J.D. programs in other universities. However, I am not sure that you can apply there without prior legal education.

Please note that I am not trying to talk you out of going for an LL.M. but I am just saying that you should consider you decision very carefully as indeed it is a big investment.
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feydruss

I appreciate your honesty, matreshka. FWIW, I do have some experience with law, both as part of my doctorate and previous research positions. You are correct in that I will have to work harder to integrate into the program, but no harder (I suspect) than fellow students for whom English is not their first language. I have the benefit of already being at the school in question and having already taken classes from some of these professors, which will help (I hope!).

Deferring is not really an option. I've already spent two years living 3000 miles away from my spouse, with one more to go. Adding *another* year to that is unacceptable to me for many reasons.

I think a previous poster put it best--better to regret action than inaction. Ultimately I can afford to do it and I want to do it. I think in the long run I would kick myself for not taking the opportunity...

I appreciate your honesty, matreshka. FWIW, I do have some experience with law, both as part of my doctorate and previous research positions. You are correct in that I will have to work harder to integrate into the program, but no harder (I suspect) than fellow students for whom English is not their first language. I have the benefit of already being at the school in question and having already taken classes from some of these professors, which will help (I hope!).

Deferring is not really an option. I've already spent two years living 3000 miles away from my spouse, with one more to go. Adding *another* year to that is unacceptable to me for many reasons.

I think a previous poster put it best--better to regret action than inaction. Ultimately I can afford to do it and I want to do it. I think in the long run I would kick myself for not taking the opportunity...
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Hyugo

Hi,
I guess I could already see that u wanted to go for the program from the way u put your position b4 I saw ur last post. I was chatting with my cousin a couple of weeks ago who's studying in Sweden (I'm in Nigeria) and we hit on the subject of intellectual property. He could well appreciate the issues involved. Yet, there's something always missing from a non-legal mind analysing a particular legal subject. Without a doubt, you'll be able to cope in the LLM and u mite even excel. But I believe that this will only be on an academic level. With respect to the essence of legal courses, something will largely be missing from your analysis of positions bcos there's no deep background in the law. This may be good, by adding a new angle to the breadth of thought existing within the law presently. And since u want to be an academic, then it's probably fine.
I do agree with Matreshka that an LLM is not the most ideal course u could have selected but... Give it a shot. We may all be pleasantly surprised!

Hi,
I guess I could already see that u wanted to go for the program from the way u put your position b4 I saw ur last post. I was chatting with my cousin a couple of weeks ago who's studying in Sweden (I'm in Nigeria) and we hit on the subject of intellectual property. He could well appreciate the issues involved. Yet, there's something always missing from a non-legal mind analysing a particular legal subject. Without a doubt, you'll be able to cope in the LLM and u mite even excel. But I believe that this will only be on an academic level. With respect to the essence of legal courses, something will largely be missing from your analysis of positions bcos there's no deep background in the law. This may be good, by adding a new angle to the breadth of thought existing within the law presently. And since u want to be an academic, then it's probably fine.
I do agree with Matreshka that an LLM is not the most ideal course u could have selected but... Give it a shot. We may all be pleasantly surprised!
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feydruss

Thank you, Hyugo. I hope that I can bring a different perspective to the program--presumably that's what the admissions committee thought! I'm sure that I will learn a lot from my fellow students...

Thank you, Hyugo. I hope that I can bring a different perspective to the program--presumably that's what the admissions committee thought! I'm sure that I will learn a lot from my fellow students...
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axelw

I just bumped into this discussion, I am in a similar position with the exception that I will be studying International/Human Rights Law in the Netherlands. I decided to pursue the LLM program because it offered academic courses in International and Human Rights Law that I haven't found in many Masters programs that offer more social perspectives which I have already done in Undergrad. I am also interested in an academic/research career and international organization and wanted to bring legal education to my degree. I have a degree in both Political Science and International Relations and a minor in Law and Society.

My question to all then would be: Should I complete the LLM degree in Int'l Law and H.R. I've been accepted to or should I wait to complete an MA/MSc degree that would lack the legal courses that I am interested in taking?

What are your thoughts on pursuing an LLM without a JD?

Thanks!!!!

I just bumped into this discussion, I am in a similar position with the exception that I will be studying International/Human Rights Law in the Netherlands. I decided to pursue the LLM program because it offered academic courses in International and Human Rights Law that I haven't found in many Masters programs that offer more social perspectives which I have already done in Undergrad. I am also interested in an academic/research career and international organization and wanted to bring legal education to my degree. I have a degree in both Political Science and International Relations and a minor in Law and Society.

My question to all then would be: Should I complete the LLM degree in Int'l Law and H.R. I've been accepted to or should I wait to complete an MA/MSc degree that would lack the legal courses that I am interested in taking?

What are your thoughts on pursuing an LLM without a JD?

Thanks!!!!

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Sean

axelv, I think that i may be of an help. Have you been accepted to Leiden?

axelv, I think that i may be of an help. Have you been accepted to Leiden?
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axelw

Hi Sean, Leiden and Utrecht...I'm still debating with that issue as well. Why do you ask?

Hi Sean, Leiden and Utrecht...I'm still debating with that issue as well. Why do you ask?
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Sean

Axel:

I am a Leiden graduate (LL.M in International Business Law) who happens to know a bunch of guys who are not law graduates (most of them are political science graduates like yourself) and who attended the International Public Law programme at Leiden. From what i have been told by my IPL former mates, many of those graduates have managed to find very interesting positions in NGOs/various international organisations and/or the public sectors in their home countries, following their graduation.

As far as i know, the IPL programme is very well-orgainsed, versatile, interesting and intellectually stimulating. Based on the foregoing, i am of the opinion that should you choose the Leiden programme, it well may prove as the right decision for you.

In the same breath, as things do tend to change, i reccomend that, in no event, you will rush into one decision or the other. Act wisely, try to track down current students and see what they have to contribute to your decision making process.

In short: Good luck!

Axel:

I am a Leiden graduate (LL.M in International Business Law) who happens to know a bunch of guys who are not law graduates (most of them are political science graduates like yourself) and who attended the International Public Law programme at Leiden. From what i have been told by my IPL former mates, many of those graduates have managed to find very interesting positions in NGOs/various international organisations and/or the public sectors in their home countries, following their graduation.

As far as i know, the IPL programme is very well-orgainsed, versatile, interesting and intellectually stimulating. Based on the foregoing, i am of the opinion that should you choose the Leiden programme, it well may prove as the right decision for you.

In the same breath, as things do tend to change, i reccomend that, in no event, you will rush into one decision or the other. Act wisely, try to track down current students and see what they have to contribute to your decision making process.

In short: Good luck!

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axelw

Sean, thank you very much for your response, it is very reassuring, I will track down students to make my decision, but at least I know that it might be worth giving it a shot. A future in NGO's and int'l institutions is precisely why i applied in the first place. I was unsure on whether it would be wise to pursue an LLM without a law degree. Thanks again! I will keep posting, this forum is great.

Axel W.

Sean, thank you very much for your response, it is very reassuring, I will track down students to make my decision, but at least I know that it might be worth giving it a shot. A future in NGO's and int'l institutions is precisely why i applied in the first place. I was unsure on whether it would be wise to pursue an LLM without a law degree. Thanks again! I will keep posting, this forum is great.

Axel W.
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