Lateral Attorney Report
How Valuable is an LLM Degree?
By Katy Anderman
Frustrated job seekers frequently ask me if they should put their job search on hold to go back to law school to “master” in a certain area of the law. My advice to them is – don’t waste your money. Unless you are a foreign trained attorney or plan on getting an LL.M. in tax from NYU, Georgetown or Florida – an LL.M. degree is not going to help you land a new job and it might actually hurt you. Employers find it suspect when a candidate leaves his or her job to return to school. Often employers will automatically assume you were fired and couldn’t find another job so you ended up enrolling in an LL.M. program with the hope of jump starting your career post graduation. With the exception of a tax LL.M., I have never had an employer request that a candidate hold an LL.M. degree.
If you are having a hard time finding another position you may need to change your strategy. Target smaller or mid-sized firms, work your professional connections and join professional organizations. If you are a litigator, I would suggest trying to apply for a federal clerkship. A clerkship will enhance your resume (as well as your legal skills) and make you more attractive to future employers. Keep in mind that clerkships are competitive – so work your connections and personal networks.
- Two-Year Law Degree?!!
- Is the Versatility of a Law Degree Just a Myth?
- Will a Clerkship Enhance My Marketability?