Many attorneys spend tens of thousands of dollars to obtain an LL.M. in a particular discipline after they have graduated from law school. Some enroll in LL.M. programs immediately, and others practice for a given length of time before getting their LL.M.'s. There is no question that an LL.M. degree in a particular discipline can be quite prestigious, but let's tackle the issue of whether obtaining one will meaningfully increase your chances of obtaining a better position.
A. LL.M.'s and Foreign Attorneys
LL.M. degrees are not for everyone, but they can be beneficial to some attorneys. For foreign lawyers who have obtained their law degrees in other countries, obtaining LL.M. degrees may be the only way that they will be able to get licensed in certain states. We have seen a marked increase in the number of foreign attorneys who have come to the United States hoping to find meaningful work opportunities here once they have received their LL.M. and passed the bar in a particular state. Sadly, not all of these attorneys have fared well in the job market here. However, without question, if they are interested in returning to their native country with their U.S. LL.M. in hand, these attorneys are likely to be highly regarded and may even have a strong shot at being hired by a U.S. firm doing business with an office in their own country.
B. LL.M.'s in Various Disciplines
For attorneys in this country, an LL.M. degree may or may not be a suitable choice, depending upon the practice area.