The advice that you should “always go to the best law school you can get into” is helpful up to a point. But it's also true that some law schools have strengths in terms of faculty, curriculum, and links to industry. And since many prospective LL.M. applicants have plans for what they want to do after their LL.M. programs, it's good for them to know what law schools to look at.
So, how can those future students quickly survey some of the most suitable LL.M. programs on the market?
LLM GUIDE's Top 10 Lists of top law schools and LL.M. programs in specific areas are designed for just this purpose. They are not intended as definitive or scientific rankings; rather they are un-ordered editorial lists compiled by taking a few factors into consideration:
Concentrations - Just because a law school offers a concentration in a particular subject does not necessarily make it the "best" school to go to in that field. (That's one reason we created these Top 10 Lists.) But if a school does offer an LL.M. specialization in a particular area, this sometimes suggests depth in faculty expertise, available electives, and possibly strong links to industry.
Research Capacity - If a law school has a research center or strong research capacity in a particular area of law, this can also suggest that the school has solid roots in that area, and this intellectual capacity will often trickle down into LL.M. offerings.
Existing Rankings - We look at how schools have been ranked in subject-specific and general rankings, as these often give an indication of overall reputation and specific strengths.
International Balance - Many of the available rankings are geographically focused, for example, on US or UK law schools. Wherever possible, we have tried to take a broader view of the strengths of law schools globally.
Location – A law school’s proximity to local companies and organizations is another thing we look at, since this affects LL.M. internship opportunities, as well as recruiting and hiring activities.