An LLM is more than just an advanced postgraduate law degree. For some, it’s a gateway to chart a new career in a foreign country. Eduardo Alvarez, who earned his law degree in Mexico, achieved this with an LLM in US Law (for foreign lawyers) from The University of Houston Law Center (UHLC).
“It’s been a thrilling experience — I’ve learned a lot. It’s really challenging trying to learn a new law system in a short amount of time in a different language, but it’s been amazing,” says Alvarez
Andrea Martínez, another LLM student at UHLC agrees. After working as an attorney who focused on areas of oil and gas and international commerce in her home country for more than a decade, she wanted to take her knowledge and skills to the US. While it has always been her dream to study international law, she did not think it would be possible for her to go to law school and resume a legal career in a new jurisdiction.
“Even though oil and gas are open for foreign attorneys, as I was searching for job opportunities, I could only aspire for a job as a paralegal unless I obtained a Master of Laws that would allow me to gain knowledge in US law and eventually take the bar examination.,” says Martínez.
“After a lot of research, I found that the University of Houston offers the best Master of Laws program in the city and is one of the best in the nation in energy and natural resources, so I did not doubt that UHLC would be my best option to resume my legal career.”
Established in 1947, UHLC has cemented its reputation as a leading law school in the nation’s fourth-largest city. Its curriculum is among the broadest offered in the Southwest. UHLC’s LLM programs, for example, are ranked in the top 50 according to the 2024 US News and World Report. Tuition and fees also compare favorably with peer schools in the region and throughout the nation.
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 just as much as UHLC. Apart from being a stepping stone for foreign lawyers to sit the Texas Bar Exam, you can access several other programs that are designed to help foreign lawyers succeed.
An experiential and impactful LLM
Mastering the terminologies commonly used in a new jurisdiction is one of the core fundamental skills you need if you aspire to practice law in a new country. The Legal English Certificate (LEC) program is an intensive four-week online course specifically designed to fill that gap. It exposes foreign-trained lawyers as well as law students to the legal English used for the study and practice of law in the US.
The four-week program addresses four key areas: Written English, Oral Communication, English Comprehension, and Legal language. You’ll complete assignments, practice language skills, and review what you’ve learned as you go. At the end of program, there will be a final assessment.
The certificate program builds a solid foundation for students to make the most of their LLM — especially the practical learning components. A key part of the LLM program, these include law clinics which give you the chance to handle all aspects of a case, such as filing motions, interviewing clients, and even conducting trials in court. There are also Student Mediation Training sessions, which train you in the skills necessary to serve as a mediator to the Justice of the Peace Courts in Harris County.
Beyond this, 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.
In class, you can expect to explore these new skills and concepts within a diverse collaborative environment. “I have met a lot of new people from different parts of the world that are now my friends,” Alvarez shares. “The professors are inspiring and challenging, and they always give their best for us to learn. If you are looking to move to the US and take the bar exam in Texas, this is the place to come.”
Why the University of Houston offers a memorable law school experience
Located in Houston, UHLC is a stone’s throw away from the center of the fourth largest city in the US — giving students and graduates access to one of the world’s largest legal markets. The city is also home to the world’s largest healthcare and medical complex and is recognized as the world’s energy capital, with multiple Fortune 500 companies headquartered here.
On campus, life is akin to the vibe of a community set amongst the urban offerings of Houston. University of Houston’s on-campus offerings include restaurants, art exhibits, activity centers, live performances, and athletic events, which make this institution much more than a place to learn — it’s a place to thrive.
For more information on program admissions, click here.