Practice areas where an LL.M. is most valuable

An LL.M. degree in almost any subject can help lawyers advance their careers. But some practice areas are so complex or evolving that a graduate degree is almost required for new attorneys.

You want to find meaningful work after graduation. Something challenging, cutting edge and engaging. Your law degree will get you one step closer to realizing this goal, but a J.D. alone (especially one fresh off the press) may not demonstrate the baseline knowledge you need to break into complex and rapidly evolving practice areas.

Enter the LL.M.

Karen Thornton, Director of Government Procurement Law Program at The George Washington University Law School, said specialized LL.M. degrees could help lawyers develop a level of professional stature that is rarely achieved without years of professional experience.

“Students seek an LL.M. out of intellectual curiosity, a desire to advance their careers, or to make the switch from one sector to another,” Thornton said. “They succeed in the job market because they are able to join the conversation as equals when faculty introduce them to employers at conferences and networking events.”

There are over 450 LL.M. programs in more than 100 practice areas. An LL.M. is not for every lawyer, but for lawyers working in complex and rapidly evolving practice areas the additional education could be a career accelerator. We identified ten complex practice areas where an LL.M. degree is most valuable to new attorneys. 

To see the full list of LL.M. offerings and learn more about these complex practice areas, read the full article in the digital version of the National Jurist Back to School 2017 issue.