Should I get an LL.M. before law school (hear me out)?

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welcometothefamily
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Should I get an LL.M. before law school (hear me out)?

Postby welcometothefamily » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:51 pm

Hey everyone. :)

So, I'm just about wrapping up my B.A. I was supposed to graduate last year but realized I missed one class--oof! I'm living abroad but completing my last class via an online program through my home state's school. Currently, I am living in a country where education is very affordable and tons of really interesting, really reputable LL.M.s are offered (the Netherlands). It's been years now that I've wanted to specialize in securities and capital markets, and many of the LL.M.s here are in European and international banking or finance law with a ton of pertinent classes.

Would it be worth it for me to do one before I return to the U.S.? My husband is Dutch, so we're here on his work contract for another year and then we're free to go back to the U.S. I have not yet taken the LSAT, though I have been studying for it as a hobby for the past year (seriously, logic games are now kind of fun for me...). My one concern is that I will be 32, possibly 33 by the time we go back to the U.S. If we wanted to, I could forego the LL.M. and my husband could put a request to return to the U.S. earlier, meaning I would be 31 or possibly 32 instead. So I guess this thread has devolved into two questions:

1. Is an LL.M. a good choice? Will it help me to get into a better school, or can I expect to be able to specialize more when I'm actually in law school by taking different electives, and then further on actually learning on the job (instead of doing the LL.M.)?

2. Will my age hinder me in any way? I am not in need of employment right away as I own my own business and make a good living--for me, law school and becoming an attorney will supplement that, not replace it. I am also not against seeking employment as a U.S. attorney abroad and returning to the EU one day. I speak Italian, French, Spanish, and Dutch fluently (before doing all this, I worked as a professional interpreter by trade--why do you think it took me this long to decide on law school? :lol: )

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RCSOB657
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Re: Should I get an LL.M. before law school (hear me out)?

Postby RCSOB657 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:12 pm

I honestly don't know about use for you, but afaik llm is either concurrent or post U.S. JD. do you mean a European master of laws, which by itself is after the European llb?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Should I get an LL.M. before law school (hear me out)?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:15 pm

Your age won't remotely be a problem - law is pretty forgiving to career-changers, and you've had a pretty substantial one, so I wouldn't worry about that. And there's no measurable difference between 31-32 and 32-33 for admissions/job purposes.

I don't know much about European LLMs, but I strongly doubt doing one would be worth paying any significant sum of money. If it's not going to cost you anything (or nothing that you'd miss), and you're going to be there anyway, it's not going to hurt you and might be interesting. And if you do want to go back to the EU after getting a JD, getting a local LLM might be a good way to make useful contacts who can help you out when you get back.

With regards to working in the US, you won't need the LLM in that the American JD is a generalist degree, and while people do tailor their degrees somewhat, mostly they specialize/learn on the job. Specializing early can also be a little polarizing - the risk is putting all your eggs in one basket; if that field doesn't pan out, or you change your mind, you can struggle to convince other employers you don't actually still want to do the specialty. However, the more eggs you have in a basket, the, um, better omelet you can make?? okay, the metaphor breaks down, but specialization can help get you into a field, if you have a good understanding of the field and how helpful specialization might be.

welcometothefamily
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:25 pm

Re: Should I get an LL.M. before law school (hear me out)?

Postby welcometothefamily » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:56 am

Thank you! That makes sense. I think I will do it, as the cost is really low (2,000 ish euros for the whole year).




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