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Encyclopedia > Master of Laws

The Master of Laws is an advanced law degree, commonly abbreviated LL.M. (also LLM or LL.M) from its Latin name, Legum Magister. (For female students, the less common variant Legum Magistra may also be used.) The LL.M. degree is generally earned in a course of specialized study in law. For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing a program of study. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... In linguistics, natural gender refers to biological sex, i. ...


Background on legal education in English-speaking countries

In order to become a lawyer and practice law in most states and countries, a person must first obtain a professional law degree. While in most countries a Bachelor of Laws degree is required, the U.S. requires a post-graduate Juris Doctor degree to practice law, which is equivalent to the former American LL.B. A professional law degree is a generalized course of study that exposes students to a wide range of legal subjects. It is designed to provide the basic skills and knowledge needed to become a lawyer. As there are many required courses, it is hardly possible to focus on a particular area of law in the course of study leading to a Juris Doctor degree. The degree of Bachelor of Laws is the principal academic degree in law in the majority of common law countries other than the United States, where it has been replaced by the Juris Doctor degree. ... “J.D.” redirects here. ...

If a person wishes to gain specialized knowledge in a particular area of law, he or she can continue his or her studies after an LL.B or J.D. in an LL.M. program. The word legum is the genitive plural form of the Latin word lex, which means "law". When used in the plural, it signifies a specific body of laws, as opposed to the general collective concept embodied in the word jus, from which the words "juris" and "justice" derive. Lex or LEX may be: The latin word for law Short for the name Alexander Lex programming tool, in computer programming, a lexical-analyzer generator Lex Records, an independent record label The algebraic syntax developed by Michael Brame Persons Lex (Fire Emblem), a character from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the...

The highest law degree, coming after the LLM, is the JSD (or SJD, depending on the law school in USA and it, the SJD or JSD, is equivalent to the Doctorate of Philosophy in Law (PhD or DPhil depending on the law school in UK). Most schools require an LLM before admission to a JSD or a PhD in law degree program. Like the PhD, the JSD degree generally requires a thesis that is graded (often times by two graders), orally defended (by an exam known as Viva) and then often published as a book or series of articles.

International situation

In most countries, lawyers are not required to hold an LL.M degree, and nearly all choose not to obtain one. In fact, the education systems of most countries did not traditionally include LL.M. programs.

Historically, the LL.M. degree is an element particular to the education system of English speaking countries, which is based on a distinction between Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Over the past years, however, specialized LL.M. programs have been introduced in many European countries, even where the Bologna process has not yet been fully implemented. A bachelors degree is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three, four, or in some cases and countries, five or six years. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The purpose of the Bologna process (or Bologna accords) is to create the European higher education area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe. ...

Types of LL.M. degrees

There is 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. Another developing area is bankruptcy 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 and insurance law. Some LL.M. programs, particularly in the United States, focus on teaching foreign lawyers the basic legal principles of the host country (a "comparative law" degree). Moreover, some programs are conducted in more than one language (e.g.LLM in Europa-Institut in Saarbruecken, Germany). Tax law is the codified system of laws that describes government levies on economic transactions, commonly called taxes. ... Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay their creditors. ... Environmental law is a body of law, which is a system of complex and interlocking statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies which seeks to protect the natural environment which may be affected, impacted or endangered by human activities. ... Human rights law is a system of laws, both domestic and international which is intended to promote human rights. ... Commercial law (sometimes known as business law) is the body of law which governs business and commerce. ... In law, particularly in common law jurisdictions, intellectual property is a form of legal entitlement which allows its holder to control the use of certain intangible ideas and expressions. ... Information technology law (or IT law) is a set of recent legal enactments, currently in existence in several countries, which governs the process and dissemination of information digitally. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Admiralty law (usually referred to as simply admiralty and also referred to as maritime law) is a distinct body of law which governs maritime questions and offenses. ...

An LL.M. can also be achieved through legal research, often after completion of a single dissertation, rather like M.Phil post-graduate research degrees. This article is about the concept. ... This article is about the thesis in dialectics and academia. ... In the usage of the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand and some other countries, the Master of Philosophy (M.Phil. ... Degree ceremony at Cambridge. ... This article is about the concept. ... A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing a program of study. ...


LL.M. programs are usually only open to those students who have first obtained a professional law degree (exceptions: London School of Economics and Europa-Institut in Saarbruecken, Germany). Full-time LL.M. programs usually last one year and vary in their graduation requirements. Some programs require students to write a thesis, others do not. Some programs are research oriented with little classroom time, while others require students to take a set number of classes. Mascot Beaver Affiliations University of London Russell Group EUA ACU CEMS APSIA Universities UK U8 Golden Triangle G5 Group Nobel laureates 14 Website http://www. ...

LL.M. degrees are often earned by students wishing to develop more concentrated expertise in a particular area of law. Pursuing an LL.M. degree may also allow law students to build a professional network. Some associations provide LL.M. degree holders with structures designed to strengthen their connections among peers and to access a competitive business environment.

The Australian approach

In Australia, the LLM is open to law graduates. However, while the majority who enroll are legal practitioners, this is not a pre-requisite for entry. The shortage of graduate program/articles places has resulted in some LLB graduates proceeding directly to an LLM course prior to seeking graduate employment.

The United Kingdom approach

In the United Kingdom, where a degree in law is only the first step in a multiple steps process of becoming a lawyer, the LLM is also open to law graduates who are not yet a solicitor or barrister. In some institutions, the LLM Programme is even accessible for non-law graduates as well. For instance, the University of Edinburgh offers LLM degrees via distance learning[1] as does the University of Leicester [ http://www.le.ac.uk/law/pg/index.html ]. In addition, the University of London External Programme has been offering LLM studies to both LLB and non-law graduates since 1925 [2]. The Queen's University in Belfast offers an LLM suite, accessible to legal and social science graduates, leading to specialisms in sustainable development, corporate governance, devolution or human rights. A solicitor is a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and in a few regions of the United States. ... // Artists impression of an English and Irish barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... The University of Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: ), founded in 1582,[4] is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... Distance Learning is learning carried out apart from the usual classroom setting; in an asynchronous setting. ... Website http://www. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The United States approach

In countries including the United States, the LL.M. can be a post-J.D. advanced degree for persons who are already lawyers, but also for persons wishing to become lawyers prior to enrolling in J.D. studies. The J.D. requires, according to ABA rules, the accrual of 90 credits, while the LLM requires only the accrual 24 credits, with or without a thesis, while the doctoral-level J.D. has a legal writing component equivalent to a thesis. Sometimes other professional degree-holders, such as accountants, seek a LLM, such as in the specialization of tax law.

With regard to admitting foreign-educated lawyers to state bars, the United States has disparate rules. The two major states for legal practice, New York and California, take different paths. New York allows foreign lawyers to sit for the New York bar exam once they have completed a minimum of twenty credit hours (generally, within an LL.M. program, but not necessarily) at an ABA approved law school involving at least two basic subjects tested on the New York bar exam. In addition, foreign lawyers from civil law countries have to present that they attended at least three years of law studies in their home countries. Lawyers from common law countries face more lenient restrictions. California, on the other hand, allows students who have not completed a three-year legal degree program in American law (or, in very rare circumstances, an apprenticeship) to sit for its bar exam after completing an LL.M. in Comparative Law from an ABA approved law school. The culmination of the two must equal four years of legal study. Other states are similar to California in requiring an LL.M. to be taken by foreign lawyers in order to take the bar exam. This article is about the state. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ...

In the United States, the professional law degree discussed above is called the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Persons in the United States who obtain an LL.M. do so after they have received their Juris Doctor degree. Thus, they receive a doctorate degree first and their Master of Laws degree second. This is due to the fact that the professional law degree in the United States was originally called the Bachelor of Laws, abbreviated as LL.B. Although some United States law schools had granted a Juris Doctor degree to graduates holding a bachelor's degree, it wasn't until the late 1960s that the American Bar Association approved the change for all of its affiliated law schools to better represent the academic standing of those holding law degrees. However, the LL.M. name was never changed, resulting in a situation where a Master of Laws degree is actually a more advanced degree than a Juris Doctor degree for United States-educated lawyers. “J.D.” redirects here. ...

However, a general LL.M. degree is often sought by foreign lawyers who wish to practice in the United States. An LL.M. degree from an ABA-approved law school allows a foreign lawyer to become eligible to apply for admission to practice in certain states, such as New York.

LL.M. Related Links

  Results from FactBites:
Master of Laws (LLM), University of Otago, New Zealand (404 words)
Master of Laws (LLM), University of Otago, New Zealand
The Master of Laws (LLM) degree requires at least one year of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.
Applicants must have a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB(Hons)) degree, or alternative qualifications and experience acceptable to the University.
Master of Laws - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1085 words)
The Master of Laws is an advanced law degree that allows someone to specialize in a particular area of law.
This degree, called a Juris Doctor in the United States and a Bachelor of Laws in other English-speaking countries, is a generalized course of study that exposes students to a wide range of topics.
In addition foreign lawyers from civil law countries have to present that they had at least 3 years of law studies in their home countries.
  More results at FactBites »



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