Take your legal expertise to new heights at these 3 US universities

Take your legal expertise to new heights at these 3 US universities
Source: Shutterstock

The world is changing — and so are the customs, practices, and rules of conduct that we are bound to. How should lawyers and the courts respond to the advent of ChatGPT-style software?

With a looming climate crisis, what should they do if most of their clients are fossil fuel companies? What are the implications of an increasing body of environmental, social, and governance-related (ESG) law? 

A Master of Laws (LLM) can be illuminating in your quest to answer such questions. For many foreign-trained lawyers, an LLM in the US is the ideal avenue to update one’s expertise in the law and in its applications in this changing world. It also stands out as the preferred degree to turn a legal professional into an expert in a specialised field of law, for example in the area of tax law or international law.

Can’t pause your career or life to return to school? Consider an online LLM, especially those offered by the top-ranked US universities below:

Michigan State University

Michigan State University College of Law (MSU Law), steeped in over 100 years of history and prestige, offers LLM programmes that open doors to a world of opportunities. MSU Law graduates serve clients in every type of legal practice — from private firms and Fortune 100 companies to global non-profits and government agencies. Alumni practise law in all 50 US states and across the globe. 

If your goal is to advance your career with the world’s leading food brands, join MSU Law’s Global Food Law online master’s programme. It is the only programme of its kind in the US that explores the legal complexities of food laws and regulations, and their impact on the flow of food and agricultural products across national boundaries. The programme is designed for professionals working in the food and agriculture industries, food safety, law, government, and other areas involving international food law. As it’s virtual, you can continue excelling in your career and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, all while gaining knowledge that can be used immediately to influence food safety policy, interpret international laws and regulations, and bridge the gap between regulators and industry.

As the programme admits both lawyers and non-lawyers, expect discussions and debates to be vibrant. You’ll benefit from the insights of experienced professionals from diverse educational backgrounds. Previous cohorts held degrees in business, food science, food safety, nutrition, microbiology, global leadership, and a range of other areas. When they join the online programme, many are senior lawyers, VPs, directors, and analysts in regulatory affairs, compliance, quality assurance, risk assessment, food safety, labelling, and more. You’ll not only learn loads from each other but also build crucial relationships with other experts in your field. To learn more about the Global Food Law online master’s programme, click here.

Boston University

Source: Boston University
Law Moot Court Competition at the School of Law on April 12, 2018.
Photo by BryceVickmark/Vickmark.com for Boston University Photography

Boston University

As one of only 17 US law schools ranked among the top 100 academic institutions globally,  Boston University School of Law (BU Law) has a longstanding legacy of excellence that boasts 25,000 alumni living in all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world. Now, you too could join this exciting learning environment from any corner of the world thanks to the university’s online graduate law degree offerings.

Unique in design, the specialised LLM in Taxation degree is designed for legal professionals who want to sharpen their niche in tax law through in-depth discussions, lectures, and community events. It is one of the oldest programmes in the country, with over 60 years of alumni to add to your network. You can pursue the same high-quality LLM degree online if you are unable to be in Boston.

“I used to think that I needed to know everything coming out of law school about my career — but you don’t. Everything is about building on my pre-existing foundation. BU Law had the tools to help me build that foundation for a tax law career,” shared graduate Nicholas Scher, now an M&A Associate at PwC Boston.

The Graduate Tax Programme’s online option allows students to begin their course of study in any of three sessions — fall, spring or summer — and enroll in a variety of specialised tax courses. The 24 credits required for the LLM in Taxation degree can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. The same high-quality instruction from renowned faculty that the programme is known for is experienced by online students. And although you can’t be in Boston physically, you can still access individualised academic advising, professional development resources and employer recruiting events.

University of Miami

The University of Miami is one of America’s top research universities located in one of the most dynamic and multicultural cities in the world. Source: University of Miami

University of Miami

Effectively responding to the industry demands of modern law and contemporary business challenges, the School of Law at the University of Miami enables aspiring legal practitioners to become agile professionals.

With experience teaching international lawyers for over 60 years, the University of Miami School of Law fuses an international perspective with career-building and externship opportunities in courts, corporations and clinics.

Miami Law’s online LLM programmes help foreign-trained and US students and lawyers raise their practice to new heights and engage in career-building initiatives. One such programme is the LLM in Real Estate Development. This specialised degree dives into the complexities of real estate development to equip students with the necessary breadth and depth of expertise to thrive in this niche field.

The distance learning format was a perfect fit for Joe Ivey when he left his tax and corporate law practice to help his grandfather grow his real estate company, GHI Venture. Ivey is based in Atlanta, Georgia and did not want to give up his full-time job.

With Miami Law’s RPD programme, he did not have to. The flexible and innovative format allowed Ivey to grow GHI Ventures from three to over 50 employees, and from a portfolio of nine to almost thirty properties — and purse his LL.M. at the same time. He credits this career milestone to the RPD curriculum and the expertise of its faculty members. “Every semester — without fail — there has been something I’m working on in class where a situation comes up in our business that directly parallels what’s happening in class,” he says.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International