LLM by Distance Learning

As you research the different LLM programs available to you, you may come across both traditional LLM programs (all classes are attended in person) and distance learning LLM  programs (coursework may be completed online with no need to attend classes on campus). While many international attorneys are torn between attending a traditional program and stepping outside of their comfort zone to pursue an LLM online, there are many advantages to attending a web-based program. Below are some tips to help you decide if a distance learning LLM is right for you.

What to Consider in a Distance Learning LLM Program

Keep the following things in mind as you evaluate the different distance learning LLM programs:

  • Reputation – The reputation of both the school and the program are extremely important for both on-campus programs and distance learning LLM programs. To learn more about how your prospective law school ranks, you can take a look at the U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings.
  • Program Resources – In addition to the program’s reputation, you should look into the resources available through the program. You will want to look at things like the experience of the instructors, the support offered by the school for distance learning students and the online library.
  • Admissions Requirements – Each LLM program has its own admission requirements. But if you are considering a distance learning LLM program based in the U.S., you will want to make sure you meet the school’s English language proficiency requirements as well as the prior education requirements.
  • Cost – Attending a distance learning LLM program can save you a significant amount on the overall cost of attendance because you won’t incur expenses associated with relocating. However, tuition, fees and books can still be rather expensive in distance learning programs and you should carefully consider the costs.
  • Immersion OpportunityMany students wish to expand their understanding of the law and culture by studying in the U.S. While a distance learning program will not require you to relocate to study, it may offer a short-term immersion program that will allow you to live and experience the U.S. legal system. If you would like to travel abroad during your studies, be sure to select a program that offers an immersion option that works with your schedule.

How is Distance Learning Different than On-Campus Learning?

LLM programs require students to live near their chosen law school for a year or more to attend lectures and classes in person. Distance learning LLM programs allow students from around the world to participate in courses and complete their program without relocating. Distance learning programs are now able to mimic in-class learning by connecting students using modern technology, including video conferencing, collaborative document editing portals and online meet-ups.

What Are the Benefits of Distance Learning?

  • FlexibilityDistance learning programs are often available for full-time and part-time study, allowing students to continue to work and meet their personal obligations while pursuing an LLM
  • Lowered Costs – Online LLM programs may cost less than traditional LLM programs. Students also do not have to incur relocation and travel expenses to attend online LLM programs.
  • Diversity – Because online LLM programs do not require students to relocate, the student body is often more diverse that traditional law schools. Students are able to connect from around the world and learn from one another without leaving their country.

Is Distance Learning Right for Me?

In addition to evaluating a school’s online LLM program, you will want to consider whether or not distance learning is right for you. We encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can I hold myself accountable without physically being in the same room as my instructor or classmates?
  • Can I effectively carve out my classroom and study time if I don’t have to leave my house to attend classed on campus?
  • Do I have or can I create a dedicated work space where I can eliminate distractions and focus on my studies?

If you answer to these questions is “yes,” an online LLM program may be a good fit for you.

What Are the Top Distance Learning/Online LLM Programs?

Selecting an LLM program is often a very personal decision but some of the top ranking law schools with online LLM programs are:

LLM in U.S. Laws at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

LLM in International Tax & Financial Services at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

The John Marshal Law School offers four online LLM Programs

LLM in Taxation from Boston University School of Law

We encourage you to look at the resources and benefits of each school you are considering before you make a final decision. Often, the best online LLM program is the one that will help you meet your career goals and will fit with your current lifestyle.