What is an LLM?

LLM stands for Master of Laws, and it is an advanced law certification for lawyers that is recognized globally. Attorneys typically pursue an LLM degree to further specialize their work in certain types of law or law-related topics, including tax law, human rights law, international law, or dispute resolution.

An LLM on its own does not qualify someone for the practice of law, rather it is an additional education that helps attorneys achieve the mastery of a specific field within law. As such, LLM programs require that students have a JD or first degree in law before they can apply.

Most LLM degrees take a year to complete full time, and the course work varies greatly depending on the program.

The Benefits of Earning an LLM

There are various reasons why attorneys might pursue an LLM. Here are a few of the benefits of doing so:

Specialize Your Law Career
Earning an LLM gives you the opportunity to focus your law practice on a particular area of the law. This can help with opening up new career opportunities, as well as establishing yourself as an authority in a specific field.

Expand Your Legal Knowledge
The legal landscape is always evolving. An LLM empowers you to stay at the forefront of the field by exploring and discussing emerging law topics with expert faculty and other lawyers.

Grow Your Network
Pursuing an LLM gives you the unique opportunity to expand your network and connect with other lawyers that might work in the specific field you are interested in pursuing. While searching for programs, it’s worth considering the professional network and alumni community within each university.

Get Acquainted with U.S. Law
Are you an international attorney? If so, an LLM can help you understand US legal frameworks and can prepare you for work in law firms who need lawyers with specialization in American law.

Stand Out from the Crowd
Earning an LLM from a prestigious university won’t just look good on your resume—it can also set you apart in a highly competitive industry.

LLM Career Opportunities

Whether you are a new attorney hoping to specialize in a particular area of the law, or an established attorney looking for a change in your law career, an LLM can empower you for what’s next. Here are a few career paths you might pursue after earning your LLM:

  • Aid government agencies to help find a middle ground and push policy forward.
  • Move into a new area of expertise, like taxation law or human rights law.
  • Work around the globe helping international firms with US law.
  • Consult for organizations, and help them with law-related issues and topics.
  • Solve disputes for clients using alternative dispute resolution methods.
  • Investigate maladministration complaints made on public authorities, hospitals, prisons, or universities as an ombudsman.

Top-Ranked LLM Program in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine Law

The online LLM in Dispute Resolution program empowers you for the next phase of your career. Delivered by Pepperdine Law’s top-ranked,1 ABA-accredited Straus Institute, the program prepares you to become a successful mediator between people, organizations, and policymakers, and empowers you to solve the most pressing conflicts of today.

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1U.S. News & World Report, Best Dispute Resolution Programs