It goes without saying that eminent figures like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela have reshaped nations and inspired generations. But there’s another thing they have in common: a Master of Law degree (LLM). Their legal minds have left an indelible mark on the world, and there’s never been a better time to follow in their footsteps.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of lawyers is projected to surge by an impressive 8% from 2022 to 2032. This growth trajectory outpaces the average for all occupations, signalling a demand for legal expertise across diverse sectors.
With opportunities arising at every corner, pursuing an LLM degree not only aligns with a time-honoured tradition of effecting change through law but also positions individuals at the vanguard of a dynamic and expanding field. Simply put, it’s a chance not just to practice law, but to shape the course of history. Here are three institutions that can help you do just that.
SMU Dedman School of Law
Southern Methodist University (SMU) Dedman School of Law, steeped in 100 years of history and prestige, offers an exceptional LLM programme that opens doors to a world of opportunities. Situated in Dallas, Texas, the school is strategically positioned in one of the fastest growing areas of the world that’s drawing companies relocating from New York and the Northeast and California and the Far West. Choosing the law school of Dallas means benefiting from the same perks and privileges these companies see in this city, from its relatively low cost of living and sunny climate to the many Fortune 500 and large corporations here.
Established in 1949, this international law programme is taught by faculty members recognised nationally and internationally. In small classes, they bring a global perspective and provide personalised attention and access. Upon completion, LLM graduates can qualify to take the Uniform Bar Exam.
What sets this LLM apart is its cutting-edge Corporate Counsel Externship Programme, considered the premier offering of its kind in the country. By taking part, you’ll be based in corporate legal departments where you’ll have the chance to work alongside in-house counsel, applying the knowledge you’ve gained in class to real-world legal scenarios. This hands-on experience is invaluable, preparing you to meet the demands of employers who seek employees ready to hit the ground running.
Beyond the classroom and the corporate world, you’ll build lasting friendships and connections with fellow LLM students from around the globe. These connections are not just for the present but are investments in your future. As you progress, your classmates may become leaders in their respective fields, from law firms and general counsel positions to judgeships and even political roles — as previous LLM students have.
SMU Dedman School of Law’s commitment to your future extends to its dedicated career services and the Inns of Court Programme. The latter lets you connect with classmates, faculty, student leaders, career advisors, and alumni for a community experience that extends throughout your time at the law school and beyond. Interested to know more? Visit SMU Dedman School of Law’s website or take a virtual tour today.
Emory University, School of Law
If you’re a law student or legal professional looking to sharpen your skills and earn practical experience for the future of work, Emory University’s School of Law is a great starting point.
Here, you will find graduate law degrees that help you to build a rewarding legal career, enhance your current skill set and introduce you to tech-based trends that influence the global landscape of law such as the rise of virtual legal assistants (VLA).
A top-ranked US law school offering a world-class faculty, a diverse student body and a warm community, Emory University School of Law is set in a sophisticated urban setting in Atlanta, Georgia.
Its unique approach to experiential learning opportunities and individual career strategy services, along with its innovative curriculum, is what sets Emory’s legal graduates apart. With a multi-faceted Master of Laws (LLM) programme, complete with a customisable curriculum, students can take a broad range of courses or focus on one of Emory Law’s many signature areas of strength such as transactional/business law, human rights law or global health law.
One of the key focus areas within Emory Law’s curriculum is technological innovation and intellectual property, both of which combine to constitute an increasingly important field of legal practice. The Technological Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) programme in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology, brings together graduate students in law, business, engineering, and science to transform promising research into economically viable projects.
The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
Consistently ranked as one of the top law schools in the nation, Berkeley Law is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
Berkeley Law’s cutting-edge legal tech and innovation programmes are helping people who need it most. At the AI, Platforms, and Society Centre, students, academics, practitioners, and technology companies are exploring technical and governance strategies to support responsible technology development and use.
The school’s 14 law clinics — six at the law school and eight at the East Bay Community Law Center — offer students a foundation in law and practice while hands-on client work builds critical lawyering skills. They cover many areas of law, including seeking justice for people facing the death penalty, offering free legal advice, and addressing environmental justice.
This complements world-class programmes like the LLM (Master of Laws). From entertainment law to advanced topics in corporate governance, students can choose from a wide range of elective modules to specialise in up-and-coming fields. Guidance comes from expert faculty (including a former San Francisco district attorney), unique simulation courses, and impactful law clinics like the International Human Rights Law Clinic, one of the first human rights clinics in the country.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International