USC Gould - IBEL or General LLM?


Hi all, I am an international student considering USC Gould for my LLM. Could anyone advise on whether applying to the IBEL LL.M. versus the general LLM would be better? My ideal career goal is to finish the LLM and then attempt the Cali bar, which I think the general LLM is more suited for. However, as a foreigner I am aware the odds are stacked against me, which makes me think doing the IBEL LL.M. would be better for me (resume-wise) should I need or choose to return to my home country after graduating.

Also, is either application more competitive? I suspect IBEL may be harder to get into, since it is probably the broadest specialisation to be offered, but this is just me guessing.

Hi all, I am an international student considering USC Gould for my LLM. Could anyone advise on whether applying to the IBEL LL.M. versus the general LLM would be better? My ideal career goal is to finish the LLM and then attempt the Cali bar, which I think the general LLM is more suited for. However, as a foreigner I am aware the odds are stacked against me, which makes me think doing the IBEL LL.M. would be better for me (resume-wise) should I need or choose to return to my home country after graduating.

Also, is either application more competitive? I suspect IBEL may be harder to get into, since it is probably the broadest specialisation to be offered, but this is just me guessing.
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NK1703

Hey there! I’m no expert on this but I once spoke to an admissions officer (not from USC) regarding choosing a general LLM versus a specialized one. He basically told me there is no straight answer to what’s better. What he told me came down to the following: 

Finding permanent employment as an LLM graduate is first of all hard. Regarding the programs, you could argue that with a general LLM you have a more well-rounded knowledge of US law as you’ll take more general classes, making it ‘easier’ to find a job. One could also argue that if a company is looking for someone with a specific specialization and you have that, you’ll have a leg up compared to others who only have a general LLM.

I obviously cannot answer what would be better for you if you were to go back to your home country as I don’t know your resume and experiences. An employer in my home country told me she would prefer a general LLM because it gives me more of an insight into American legal reasoning in general which would he helpful if you work in an international setting.

[Edited by NK1703 on Jan 20, 2023]

Hey there! I’m no expert on this but I once spoke to an admissions officer (not from USC) regarding choosing a general LLM versus a specialized one. He basically told me there is no straight answer to what’s better. What he told me came down to the following:&nbsp;<br><br>Finding permanent employment as an LLM graduate is first of all hard. Regarding the programs, you could argue that with a general LLM you have a more well-rounded knowledge of US law as you’ll take more general classes, making it ‘easier’ to find a job. One could also argue that if a company is looking for someone with a specific specialization and you have that, you’ll have a leg up compared to others who only have a general LLM.<br><br>I obviously cannot answer what would be better for you if you were to go back to your home country as I don’t know your resume and experiences. An employer in my home country told me she would prefer a general LLM because it gives me more of an insight into American legal reasoning in general which would he helpful if you work in an international setting.
quote

Hey there! I’m no expert on this but I once spoke to an admissions officer (not from USC) regarding choosing a general LLM versus a specialized one. He basically told me there is no straight answer to what’s better. What he told me came down to the following: 

Finding permanent employment as an LLM graduate is first of all hard. Regarding the programs, you could argue that with a general LLM you have a more well-rounded knowledge of US law as you’ll take more general classes, making it ‘easier’ to find a job. One could also argue that if a company is looking for someone with a specific specialization and you have that, you’ll have a leg up compared to others who only have a general LLM.

I obviously cannot answer what would be better for you if you were to go back to your home country as I don’t know your resume and experiences. An employer in my home country told me she would prefer a general LLM because it gives me more of an insight into American legal reasoning in general which would he helpful if you work in an international setting.


Thank you for the response, very helpful points for me to consider!

[quote]Hey there! I’m no expert on this but I once spoke to an admissions officer (not from USC) regarding choosing a general LLM versus a specialized one. He basically told me there is no straight answer to what’s better. What he told me came down to the following:&nbsp;<br><br>Finding permanent employment as an LLM graduate is first of all hard. Regarding the programs, you could argue that with a general LLM you have a more well-rounded knowledge of US law as you’ll take more general classes, making it ‘easier’ to find a job. One could also argue that if a company is looking for someone with a specific specialization and you have that, you’ll have a leg up compared to others who only have a general LLM.<br><br>I obviously cannot answer what would be better for you if you were to go back to your home country as I don’t know your resume and experiences. An employer in my home country told me she would prefer a general LLM because it gives me more of an insight into American legal reasoning in general which would he helpful if you work in an international setting. [/quote]<br><br>Thank you for the response, very helpful points for me to consider!
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NK1703

You’re welcome! You can always send me a DM should you have any more questions :)

You’re welcome! You can always send me a DM should you have any more questions :)
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