An LLM from the University of Houston Law Center is impactful!
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An LLM from the University of Houston Law Center is impactful!

Daria Abolins Rojas from Venezuela pursued the LLM in US Law (for foreign lawyers) at the University of Houston Law Center (UHLC). Like all graduates before her, she considers the program more than just a stepping stone to be eligible to sit for the Texas Bar Exam. Rojas calls her time there the “best experience” of her academic life.

Likewise, Jorge Velasco Fernandez , another LLM in US Law (for foreign lawyers) graduate, agrees. “I have very good memories of that year, really profitable from a personal and professional perspective,” Fernandez shares.

Located in one of the most internationally diverse cities in the US, the University of Houston (UH) is a full-scale Carnegie R1 international research university. In the US, universities with R1 status are institutions of higher education well known for their prolific research activity. This is the home of UHLC, a law school with several top-ranked LLM programs, a large number of foreign-trained lawyers, and special programs to support international students.

The LLM in US Law (for foreign lawyers), which can be completed full-time within two semesters or up to three years on a part-time basis, stands out for good reasons. “The LLM in US Law (for foreign lawyers) at the University of Houston helps foreign lawyers meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the Texas Bar Exam,” shares Karen Jones, Executive Director of Global and Graduate Programs. “Texas is now a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) state, so your UBE score is transferable to other UBE states.”

That’s not all. Those who do end up enrolling in the LLM in US Law can access several other programs that are designed to help foreign lawyers succeed.

The Legal English Certificate Program and US Legal Skills course help international students adapt to the US legal system. Source: University of Houston Law Center

Why University of Houston Law Center LLM graduates stand out in the legal industry.

The Legal English Certificate Program is specifically designed to help foreign-trained lawyers and law students learn the legal English used in studying and practising law in the US. “This is a four-week intensive course that is fully online,” Jones explains.

Learning the ins and outs of legal terminologies used in the country can be exceptionally handy when completing a US-based LLM program. Apart from the legal English program, UHLC offers an optional one-week orientation course for students accepted into the LLM in US Law program. The course focuses on concepts of professionalism, tools used in preparation for legal study, and law school exam preparation in the US, among others.

“Students accepted into the LLM in US Law program are required to take Legal Writing and Introduction to American Law,” says Jones. “These two required courses will help meet some of the eligibility requirements to sit for the Texas Bar Exam.”

Support is available for all students every step of the way. You’ll work closely with a faculty advisor to design your LLM to meet your professional interests and satisfy the program requirements. Legal writing fellows, a personal tutor, bar preparation assistance, a career development office, and a career development representative for LLM students are other services or support personnel available to students.

In class, your peers will consist of JD and LLM students. This diverse academic environment will foster collaboration and opportunities to network with one another. “It was not only the formal education I got; it was all the access I got, the relationships, and learnings I had from that time,” Rojas shares.

UHLC focuses on developing the skills that will make you a highly employable and upskilled legal professional after graduation. Source: University of Houston Law Center

Preparing for life beyond university

Outside the classroom, you can put your legal knowledge and newfound skills to the test by joining an advocacy competition  picking up essential lawyering skills, and serving in legal clinics.

Legal clinics, for example, are a great avenue to gain valuable hands-on, practice experience while still in law school. Under the guidance and supervision of faculty members, you get the chance to handle all aspects of a case, such as interviewing clients, filing motions, or even, in some cases, conducting trials in court. Foreign trained lawyers will often need to complete at least one additional semester to participate in a legal clinic.

What’s more, the Blakely Advocacy Institute offers a wide spectrum of legal skills training courses. They cover the entire dispute resolution process, from the initial client interview through the appeals process. These classes are taught by some of Houston’s most distinguished judges and lawyers.

Beyond this, the Center’s location in Houston — the fourth largest city in the US — gives students and graduates access to one of the world’s largest legal markets. The city is home to the world’s largest healthcare and medical complex, is recognised as the world’s energy capital, houses multiple Fortune 500 companies’ headquarters and international law firms.

To level up your law career with an LLM, check out what the University of Houston Law Center offers here.

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