Deciding where to apply for your Master of Law (LL.M.) degree is a complex and important decision. There are several rankings of law schools and LL.M. programs released each year that promise to guide you to right the school, but how do you know which ranking to use? This article will explain the methodology behind the rankings, and which rankings contain the information most relevant to your LL.M. application decision.
Law School Rankings
Most prospective LL.M. students look closely at the major rankings of law schools when deciding where to apply. The U. S. News and World Report’s rankings are based on quality assessment, selectivity, placement success and faculty rankings. The Princeton Review also puts out an annual ranking of U.S. law schools, measuring them in several different categories, such as best career prospects, best classroom experience and even most conservative students. While these rankings give an accurate indication of a law school’s overall quality, they do not indicate the quality of LL.M. programs specifically.
Two admissions consulting firms do produce annual rankings of the best LL.M. Weston Ivy University Admissions Consultants issues annual rankings of LL.M. organized by specialization. Weston Ivy’s rankings are based on a combination of the number of LL.M. graduates employed by the top 100 international law firms, the U.S. News ranking of the law school and the selectivity of the program.
The American University Admissions Program has also issued a yearly ranking of the top 20 LL.M. programs since 1995. Their program ranking is based on program quality, admissions rate, university reputation, average starting salary and satisfaction index of of international students.
Deciding where to apply for your Master of Law is a decision that will influence the rest of your career. Looking at general law school rankings will give you an idea of the quality of an entire school, but not the particular LL.M. program. Using LL.M. rankings in conjunction with law school rankings will give you the most comprehensive assessment, a full picture with the wide shot and all of the small details.