How much should the cost of your LL.M. degree influence your decision to apply?
LL.M. degrees are soon becoming an uncircumventable part of pursuing a legal career. In fact, according to a study, over 98% of lawyers in the U.S. practicing tax and international law have LL.M. degrees.
So how much should you factor in the costs of these precious diplomas in your decision to undertake one? The short answer is not very much. Your decision to pursue or not to pursue an LL.M. degree should not merely be influenced by its cost. Instead, you should focus on what your career objectives are and whether an LL.M. degree will help you achieve them.
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A Master’s of Law will provide you with increased knowledge in a specific area of law. You will become an expert in your subject. Researching and writing a thesis is an enriching time educationally. Being a published writer will also give you bragging rights. All jokes aside, however, an LL.M. is a stepping stone towards a career in academia. If this is something you are considering, an LL.M. degree is indispensable.
Undertaking an LL.M. will also be a great chance to build a strong network of professionals. You will find this more resourceful than all the gold in the world.
There are also solutions to cost-related issues. Most universities offer scholarships and have disposable funds to help students pay their tuition fees. Sometimes firms offer to pay for their employees’ LL.M.s, so their associates will bring additional expertise to the firm.
However, you must also keep in mind that an LL.M. is not the answer to all your qualms. Law firms tend to favour professional experience. That being said, during your LL.M. you could be given the chance to gain invaluable work experience. All in all, LL.M. degrees are expensive and of course this can be a little off-putting when application deadlines come rolling in. The experience and expertise acquired through such programs, however, outweigh the negativity of high fees.