An Online LL.M. is a great choice for busy professionals or those who otherwise may not have the time to pursue a Master of Law degree.
While law schools have been slower to adapt to the digital revolution than other schools, such as business schools, there are a growing number of Online LL.M. degrees now available for those who cannot afford to take a year or more out of work. Some of these Online LL.M. programs are blended—or delivered in a 'hybrid' format—a mixture of online and on-campus learning for part-time students who could be anywhere in the world, tuning in to classes from a laptop or smartphone whenever it is convenient for them to do so.
The best Online and Hybrid LL.M. programs also offer specializations, meaning that students can delve into subjects like finance law, human rights law, tax law, and others, from the comfort of their homes.
In terms of course delivery, Online LL.M. programs operate in various ways. In some programs, lectures are delivered in real-time, while in others, they're pre-recorded. Online degrees might also include other kinds of conent, such as discussion boards and group chats. Some Hybrid LL.M.s also offer on-campus residency sessions.
Rather than taking applications away from traditional LL.M.s, the Online LL.M. programs are actually attracting people who would not otherwise consider a graduate school education. If you’re in that camp, and want an LL.M. to advance your career without having to quit your job or forgo a salary, then here are the 10 best Online and Hybrid LL.M. programs for you:
NYU’s Executive LL.M. in Tax has been around for a long time, but until recently, it required students to decamp to Greenwich Village to study for a year or more. Technology has changed all that, opening up the course to the masses. The courses are offered via high-resolution video recordings of campus lectures, about as close to the real thing as you can get online.View School Profile
Georgetown offers three Online LL.M.s in the fields of tax and securities. What makes Georgetown’s LL.M.s unique is that online students study the same courses at the same pace as campus students, and take the final exam at the same time, too. This is known as a “cohort approach” and it ensures that students support each other, with peer learning enhancing the experience for everyone.View School Profile
USC’s Online LL.M. is distinctive not just for its flexibility, as students do not have to quit their jobs to do it, but for its customization: participants can opt to simultaneously pursue a certificate program. In doing so, they are eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam. There are a wide range of certificates to pick from, including on business law, entertainment law, healthcare compliance, and financial compliance.View School Profile
The flexible LL.M. at the University of London is also highly flexible and customizable: there are more than 30 specializations to pick from and 60 courses, helping people to build a broad range of skills or specialize in a specific field of law, for example public law to work in government, or human rights law for a career in NGOs.View School Profile
Boston University School of Law runs an Executive LL.M. in International Business Law. It is a blended course — students student online but also do two-week residency sessions in Boston and/or Budapest in Hungary. Students on the program will learn from instructors who are members of BU Law’s regular teaching faculty. So you get the same top-quality learning experience as campus students, with all the added benefits of studying whenever and wherever you want.View School Profile
Melbourne’s Online LL.M. focuses on global competition and consumer law and is taught over two years, part-time, and it accepts both domestic and international students. It’s one of the few courses in the world that specializes in this subject. Melbourne was ranked as the best law school in the Asia Pacific region by QS in 2018.View School Profile
The Online LL.M. course at Edinburgh is “asynchronous”, meaning students have the flexibility to study whenever they want, rather than at set times with peers. However, the school’s online learning environment means students still maintain a sense of community, even across time zones, as they can communicate through discussion forums, even on their mobile phones.View School Profile
Aberdeen runs several Online LL.M. degrees in a range of fields: dispute resolution, international trade law, and oil and gas. International trade law is an especially successful online program, as it has a highly international student body, which provides valuable, global perspectives. According to a survey by the law school of all LL.M. graduates, 98 percent said the degree boosted their career prospects, and 97 percent would recommend it to others. Not a bad endorsement.View School Profile
The Dickson Poon School of Law is one of the top-20 law schools in the world, and is ranked first in the UK for research excellence, which informs its teaching. It runs the International Corporate & Commercial Law LL.M., which is structured around the life cycle of a corporation, providing an in-depth understanding of the commercial world. The course has six entry points throughout the year, making it uber-flexible.View School Profile
Queen Mary, one of London’s top law schools, offers the LL.M. Flexible Study, which can be taken over a period of between two and four years. It’s a blended course, with participants able to study in London, or on a combination of Queen Mary’s international campuses (in China, Malta and Paris), plus online. The program is one of the most customizable: there are over 200 LL.M. modules and dozens of specializations, ranging from communications law to environmental law, and energy and natural resources law.View School Profile
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