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Should International Law Students Choose an LL.M. or 2-Year J.D.?

Published July 10, 2017

International law students have access to programs that are more efficient and economical than the regular J.D. program. This includes many options for LL.M. programs and an Advanced Standing 2-Year J.D.

International lawyers can apply to both our LL.M. and 2-year J.D. programs. Both degrees are available to international students who already hold a degree in law from their own country. Both help you get a firmer grasp of U.S. law. The biggest difference?

The J.D. is more suited for international lawyers who want to practice in the U.S., while the LL.M. is an economical alternative for those who want to practice internationally.

Advanced Standing 2-Year J.D. for International Law Students

The 2-year J.D. program is specifically designed to teach New York law in a global context. Similar to the regular J.D., it holds more clout if you’re applying for work in U.S law firms.

J.D. programs usually take three years to complete; however, many international law students already hold a law degree from their home country. The 2-year degree assumes a basic understanding of law and jumps into relevant topics on U.S. law.

Master of Laws - LL.M.

The LL.M. program is more flexible in its curriculum. It’s a one-year program (which can be much more affordable for international students) and allows you to choose your own topic of study. Different law schools offer a variety of LL.M programs that very on topic depending on the expertise of their faculty. As an example, UB School of Law offers four LL.M. programs to choose from:

  • General LL.M. - students choose their path of study
  • Cross-Border LL.M. - for lawyers wishing to understand law in a global context, cross-border legal issues, and international concerns
  • Environmental Law LL.M. - specifically designed for environmental law and policy
  • Criminal Law LL.M. - specifically designed for criminal law and policy

For more information on programs for international students, check out Which Program Is Right for You?

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Guest blogger Ashley Wilson-Rew is Content Strategist & SEM at protocol 80, Inc.


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