The Master of Laws is an advanced academic degree, or research degree (as opposed to a professional degree in law, such as the Juris Doctor), and is commonly abbreviated LL.M.
Types of LL.M. degrees
There are a wide range of LL.M. programs available worldwide, allowing students to focus on almost any area of the law. Most universities offer only a small number of LL.M. programs. One of the most popular LL.M. degrees in the United States is tax law, sometimes referred to as an MLT (Master of Laws in Taxation).
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Other developing areas are bankruptcy law, banking law or financial services law, and environmental law. Some law schools allow LL.M. students to freely design their own program of study from the school's many upper-level courses and seminars, including commercial and corporate, international, constitutional, and human rights law. In Europe, LL.M. programs in European law are recently very popular, often referred to as LL.M. Eur (Master of European Law). Other common programs include environmental law, human rights law, commercial law, intellectual property law, information technology law, estate planning (as a sub-specialty of tax), international law, maritime law, law and economics, litigation and dispute resolution, Trial Advocacy and insurance law. Some law schools offer practitioner focused LL.M.s in concentrated courses such as criminal law, prosecutorial sciences or trade law. Space and Telecommunications Law is one type of LL.M. offered and is only offered by one school in the United States.
Some LL.M. programs, particularly in the United States, and also in China, focus on teaching foreign lawyers the basic legal principles of the host country (a "comparative law" degree).
Mercer University in Macon, Georgia offers the LL.M. in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure which is the only program in the U.S.A. designed for law school graduates seeking to prepare themselves for federal criminal practice as a prosecutor, Federal Defender, or private defense counsel.
Moreover, some programs are conducted in more than one language, give the students the opportunity to undertake classes in differing languages. Many LL.M. programs require a thesis.
Law is a popular field of advanced study among Centre students. About 7 to 10 percent of each class goes to law school immediately upon graduation and a similar percentage will attend after several years of work experience.
English, government, history, philosphy and economics are the majors most often selected by Centre students who pursue law, but there is no such thing as a rigidly defined pre-law major. Students from every academic major are accepted into law school.
The broad-based skills that law schools emphasize—effective writing and speaking, analytical ability, and a general exposure to the social sciences—are essential goals of Centre’s liberal arts curriculum. For this reason our graduates have a solid record of success in gaining admission to law schools.
At Centre, a faculty pre-law advisor works with students from their first year on to help them explore law as a profession and to assist them in the application process during their junior and senior years. This advisor also works with interested students to make volunteer work and internships available on an individual basis. In addition, Centre has a Law Society composed of students interested in careers in the legal field. This organization meets regularly, sponsors field trips to places such as courtrooms and law schools, and brings experts in the legal profession as well as representatives from law schools on campus to speak with students. Centre also hosts a law school fair each October