Agents of Globalization in Law
Posted: 17 May 2009
Scholarship on the U.S. legal profession has excluded international students who earn the popular one-year graduate degree offered by many U.S. law schools, the LL.M. This might have made sense when LL.M. programs were marginal in terms of size and the relationship of their graduates to the practicing bar. But today’s LL.M.s occupy a more substantial position in U.S. legal education because of sheer numbers, as well as their importance both to the global identities of their U.S. law schools and to their home country legal markets. At the same time, the global expansion of legal practice lends significance to international legal education and LL.M. programs as an aspect of such a movement. The absence of information about LL.M. graduates and the role of the LL.M. in their careers no longer makes sense. This paper begins to fill the information gap. It describes the results of a survey of LL.M. graduates of 11 U.S. law schools that provide insight into questions about the identities of LL.M.s and their motivations for studying in the United States. The survey is part of an ongoing research project investigating the LL.M. experience and its role in shaping the careers of LL.M. graduates. This paper examines the value of the LL.M. experience and credential and its relation to globalization of the profession.
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