American LLM programmes preparing international students for global success

Widener University Delaware Law School
Source: Widener University Delaware Law School

LLM graduates are well-positioned to tap into a wide array of international career prospects. As businesses become more globalised, there is a growing demand for legal professionals with specialised knowledge and skills in international law. The legal profession anticipates an 8 percent growth in employment from 2022 to 2032, surpassing the average growth rate across all occupations. Around 39,100 lawyer job openings are expected yearly for the next decade.

Obtaining an LLM degree can make law graduates more competitive within the international job landscape by showcasing their expertise in a particular area of law.

Leaving your career and country to pursue an LLM (Master of Laws) in the United States can be a transformative experience with several potential benefits. You’ll have access to top-tier law schools, the opportunity to specialise in your preferred legal field, and the chance to build a global professional network. Its focus on specialisation, practical skills, exposure to US law, networking opportunities, bar exam preparation, global perspective, and research opportunities equips graduates with a competitive edge. This can open doors to diverse career opportunities both in the US and internationally.

For example, LLM graduates, Amal Clooney, Antonio Guterres, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Fareed Zakaria, have used their specialised legal education to advance in fields such as constitutional law, human rights advocacy, international diplomacy, and journalism. Their LLM experiences have enhanced their expertise and global networks, propelling them to influential careers.

Ready to follow suit? Explore these three top US law schools for your LLM journey:

Widener University Delaware Law School

Widener University Delaware Law School equips aspiring lawyers with strong academics and emphasises experiential learning in institutes, and clinics. Source: Widener University Delaware Law School

Widener University Delaware Law School

Nestled in the heart of the Corporate Capital of America, Widener University’s Delaware Law School is renowned for its expertise in corporate law. Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware, which is also home to the Chancery Court, devoted to hearing corporate disputes only.

As the only law school in the state for over five decades, Delaware Law has established a close relationship with the court. This partnership offers students valuable opportunities, including attending judge-led lectures, observing trials, and participating in educational events.

Delaware Law’s impact extends to foreign attorneys pursuing its LLM programmes. The school is recognised as one of the nation’s top law schools for attorneys from abroad. In National Jurist magazine’s honour roll of just 23 schools, Delaware Law is included — a testament to the school’s outstanding student experience and comprehensive resources.

These features attract lawyers from all over the world to join its LLM programmes with Concentrated Specialties, which cater to diverse legal interests. LLM Corporate Law stands out for providing access to the Chancery Court and what’s essentially a front-row seat to courts and law firms on the leading edge of corporate law. LLM American Legal Studies prepares students for a bar exam and legal practice in the US, led by esteemed faculty which included Joe Biden who served as an adjunct professor for 17 years before becoming the country’s vice president. The Human Rights and Dignity Law concentration includes participation in all activities of the Dignity Law Institute, unique in the nation in focusing on the inherent and equal dignity of all members of society and promoting the human rights that flow from the recognition of dignity.

Beyond its picturesque campus lie major cities like New York City, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore which are just two hours away and Philadelphia just 30 minutes away – all popular destinations with a lot of history on which the US was built. Click here to learn more about why you should choose Widener University’s Delaware Law School. Applicants are accepted on a rolling admission including in summer (May).

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, College of Law

Ranked #23 on the Go-To Law School 2023 (National Law Journal), this institution attracts talented students from all over the world and from diverse backgrounds. Source: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, College of Law

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, College of Law

Talented, ambitious, and adaptable — these are some words to describe students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) College of Law. Since its founding in 1867, UIUC has earned a reputation as a world-class leader in research, teaching, and public engagement.

To pursue an education at the College of Law is a chance for students to reap the same benefits. Its faculty consists of industry leaders, acclaimed teachers, and interdisciplinary experts with a long tradition of equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and temperament they need to achieve professional excellence within the legal industry.

The College of Law has a rich history in graduate-level education. Their Master of Laws (LLM) programme is one of the oldest in the country. The college also offers Master of Studies in Law (MSL), Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD), and Visiting Scholars programmes.

Students in the LLM course complete 32 credit hours. With only two required courses, they can customise their LLM by choosing from over 100 courses offered by the college or learning across disciplines. Those who wish to deepen their knowledge in a particular legal field can apply for an optional subject-matter concentration with their LLM degree.

Experiential learning complements classroom learning for a well-rounded legal education. Specifically, LLM students can join client counselling competitions, intern at the UIUC Office of Student Legal Services, earn pro bono notations, and many more. These will help them build the necessary practical legal skills to become competent legal professionals.

The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law / Facebook

Berkeley Law is consistently ranked as one of the top law schools in the nation. Source: The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law / Facebook

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