LLM after JD: who and why?

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LLM degrees for US JDs are

(a) worthless
9
31%
(b) worth it (if you want to teach)
0
No votes
(c) worth it (if you want tax)
14
48%
(d) (b) and (c)
6
21%
 
Total votes: 29

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megaTTTron
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LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby megaTTTron » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:23 pm

Right, so. If you're not going into tax, and you're not from a different country, what's the point? I hear a lot of people talking "considering" getting an LLM after they graduate because they're "considering" teaching. My first thought is, why aren't you clerking? I don't know am I missing something? Yale and Harvard offer LLM's to US students, but why? Is there any purpose I'm missing. These students aren't going to get deferments from their firm offers, are they? I don't know. Sounds like another 60K down the drain.

Also, a poll.

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megaTTTron
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby megaTTTron » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:33 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:I actually think a LLM would be a strike against you in the teaching market. I can't recall any of my profs having one, aside from a tax prof I had. So it might stick out in a weird way. LLMs are, for whatever reason, pretty normal in the tax world. You would be better off using that year to do a fellowship, VAP (visiting associate professor) program, clerkship, or PhD program. Hell, sitting at home and publishing might be better.


I totally agree. And it would be faaar less expensive.

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nealric
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby nealric » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:59 pm

I have a Tax llm. I can't fathom why a US student should get any other type.

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:11 pm

If you leave law school and have a career, and then want to come back and teach, getting an LLM will help convince people who have spent their entire careers in academia that you want to teach.

Will you learn anything? No.

Would it help you do anything else? No.

But it would a plus next to your name - and considering how hyper competitive the legal academia job market is, you need everything you can get. To put this in prospective, everyone who wants to teach at a law school sends their resume to the AALS - which binds all of them and sends EVERY single one, bound together, to all of the law schools. Law school hiring committees then go through EVERY single one before deciding who will make the initial interview. Ignoring all of the other relevant requirements (academic fit, publications, pedigree, etc.), an additional degree in an area the school is looking to hire someone to fill is quite relevant.

Also, Environmental law LLM's are popular with people going into the federal and state government for environmental law. I guess you could say that getting an LLM in a particular topic would convince at least one or two people to give you a look (of course, none of these people would be big firms or anything like that - but like government).

sbalive
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby sbalive » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:26 pm

Aberzombie1892 wrote:If you leave law school and have a career, and then want to come back and teach, getting an LLM will help convince people who have spent their entire careers in academia that you want to teach.


This. Also, it's a way of boosting credentials if your JD isn't from a top school. (Interestingly, a lot of LLMs are foreign students who want to teach back home, and in Canada an LLM is certainly a teaching prerequisite, and increasingly also a PhD in Law.)

From what I've heard (and I've been thinking a lot about legal academia), it's better to get a fellowship. You're paid (not very much, but at least living expenses) and then get hired, or sometimes people will move on to another fellowship or VAP (Visiting Assistant Professor). I've heard this is a complicated decision, since you can often get a higher paid visiting position at a lower ranked school than where you can get a fellowship that is lower paid -- but apparently law reviews pay close attention to the law school on your letterhead, so to get the high impact positions needed to teach, you need to boost your law school.

Actually, writing this makes me wonder if maybe some people do LLMs because that way they can have a more prestigious law school identity for publishing... (Also, there are fellowships for LLMs, especially the ones that are more academically oriented, so some people are doing it for free.)

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megaTTTron
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby megaTTTron » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:13 am

sbalive wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:If you leave law school and have a career, and then want to come back and teach, getting an LLM will help convince people who have spent their entire careers in academia that you want to teach.


This. Also, it's a way of boosting credentials if your JD isn't from a top school. (Interestingly, a lot of LLMs are foreign students who want to teach back home, and in Canada an LLM is certainly a teaching prerequisite, and increasingly also a PhD in Law.)

From what I've heard (and I've been thinking a lot about legal academia), it's better to get a fellowship. You're paid (not very much, but at least living expenses) and then get hired, or sometimes people will move on to another fellowship or VAP (Visiting Assistant Professor). I've heard this is a complicated decision, since you can often get a higher paid visiting position at a lower ranked school than where you can get a fellowship that is lower paid -- but apparently law reviews pay close attention to the law school on your letterhead, so to get the high impact positions needed to teach, you need to boost your law school.

Actually, writing this makes me wonder if maybe some people do LLMs because that way they can have a more prestigious law school identity for publishing... (Also, there are fellowships for LLMs, especially the ones that are more academically oriented, so some people are doing it for free.)


Wouldn't people see through that? Like, right away.

BeautifulSW
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby BeautifulSW » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:11 pm

I have heard from a few different sources (translation: this is just short of pure speculation) that if you want to be a law professor these days, you should have an HYS J.D., several publications, and a Ph.D. in some more-or-less law connected academic field. An LL.M. is essentially irrelevant outside of tax. This is because the basic, qualifying degree for a tenure track law teaching position is the J.D.

Take this, if at all, with several pinches of salt.

Aqualibrium
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:20 pm

BeautifulSW wrote:I have heard from a few different sources (translation: this is just short of pure speculation) that if you want to be a law professor these days, you should have an HYS J.D., several publications, and a Ph.D. in some more-or-less law connected academic field. An LL.M. is essentially irrelevant outside of tax. This is because the basic, qualifying degree for a tenure track law teaching position is the J.D.

Take this, if at all, with several pinches of salt.



I've seen with my own eyes new professors who do not take that route. There are a variety of paths to take to becoming a professor. The easiest is of course to go to HYSC. It's not the only way though...I've seen a Yale UG/Harvard Law prof candidate get passed over for a UF ug/UF Law candidate because the UF candidate had published something like 30 articles.

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AreJay711
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:22 pm

Aqualibrium wrote:
BeautifulSW wrote:I have heard from a few different sources (translation: this is just short of pure speculation) that if you want to be a law professor these days, you should have an HYS J.D., several publications, and a Ph.D. in some more-or-less law connected academic field. An LL.M. is essentially irrelevant outside of tax. This is because the basic, qualifying degree for a tenure track law teaching position is the J.D.

Take this, if at all, with several pinches of salt.



I've seen with my own eyes new professors who do not take that route. There are a variety of paths to take to becoming a professor. The easiest is of course to go to HYSC. It's not the only way though...I've seen a Yale UG/Harvard Law prof candidate get passed over for a UF ug/UF Law candidate because the UF candidate had published something like 30 articles.

See this thread if you are interested in academia: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=137145

It is a law prof taking questions as the title would indicate.

amorfati
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby amorfati » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:34 pm

I'm curious about this too, but specifically with regards to combined JD-LLM programs in international and comparative law. I've applied to a few of these, though I've wondered in the back of my mind if it's really worth it... everyone mentions tax, but no one talks about the many international/comparative programs. I'm thinking that if both can be done in three years (or perhaps three and a half), then it couldn't hurt... or could it? I'm not interested in academia, but I would potentially like to work abroad and/or with a large international/multilateral organization. Also, I already have a MA in international development & human rights policy, so I'm not sure how many more degrees I need (or can afford)! ...thoughts?

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patrickd139
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Re: LLM after JD: who and why?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:00 pm

IAT LLMFlowchart

Image

In general, it appears to be largely a waste of money from an investment in career standpoint if you're not looking to be a tax attorney. Even then, it seems to be a questionable proposition if you don't go to one of the "big 3" (NYU, GULC or UF). Although NU's tax program seems to be on a meteoric rise, given its relatively young age. I'll be interested in following its progress in the future.




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