Many law schools are now offering LL. programs in addition to their traditional JD programs to provide students with specialized understanding of particular areas of law. As the legal market is constantly evolving in the United States, adapting to the current economic climate is an important part of getting and keeping a job in today. For lawyers looking to practice here, obtaining an LLM focused on a particular area of law may provide you with the upper hand in your career.
While each practice area is unique, there are currently some popular LLM programs that provide beneficial knowledge for attorneys looking to practice in domestic law firms. The most noteworthy LLM types are:
Taxation-focused LLMs allow students to understand the complexities of the U.S. tax code as it currently stands and interpret how future changes in the law will affect taxation rates for private citizens, as well as foreign and domestic businesses. Required taxation-based ethics courses also help students anticipate complications in a variety of situations related to taxation. An LLM in tax law is often a smart choice for attorneys interested in practicing in the United States, as laws related to taxation are always changing and are a hot topic in election cycles.
LLM International Business Law
As technology changes the way we do business and conduct ourselves within the world, many attorneys are turning to LLM programs in international business as a way to stay engaged in the business community. Specialized knowledge of international trade laws, taxation and business regulations allows an attorney to properly advise his or her clients on any number of business matters. An LLM in international business law (or related field) also helps American attorneys understand other business cultures, making them more effective advocates for their clients.
LLM programs with focuses on “green” issues are particularly relevant today. Protecting the environment, advising clients on regulations they must comply with and promoting changes in the law are all tasks an attorney with an LLM in environmental law may be responsible for. In domestic firms, as we continue to see the effects of climate change on our communities and the world as a whole, having advocates who know how the law affects the actions of a private citizen or business is more important than ever.
LLM in National Security Law
As we all know, the legal and psychological climate in the United States has changed drastically since the events of September 11, 2001. Concerns relating to security of air travel, our international borders and our interests abroad have led to an increased need for attorneys who understand national security concerns, as well as import/export laws. Domestic firms benefit from having attorneys on staff who understand the complicated nature of U.S. laws related to national security as a result of having obtained an LLM in national security law.
Ultimately, your desired practice area will help you select an appropriate LLM program. We encourage you to use the information above as a jumping-off point. Talk to people in your desired field, research the programs available to you and then get started. An LLM may open more doors for practice in a domestic firm than you anticipate.