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Application Advice and Strategy

You have decided to apply to an LLM program or even multiple LLM programs. Or, you are wanting to apply but are unsure of a reason. Maybe you have multiple reasons. An LLM must definitely be pursued with some clear goal in mind. Simply because it is a year of your time and a decision that has serious financial implications not just for yourself but also for your family members!

Having said that, it is not necessary to have a very clear idea when you open up that LSAC account. Some people sit on job offers or even lucrative jobs and want to “assess” where they will stand. This is perfectly normal and acceptable as long as you can justify spending those hefty application fees (thank you law schools with fee waivers!).

And this could be a perfectly legitimate reason for applying. You are either a student in your final year of your studies, wanting to see at the beginning of your academic year which law schools you can target. Or you are a professional wanting to know if you can leave the workforce the following year. But once this initial period is over, the reason must be something stronger. It has to have the power to make you WANT to go and study. Simply because you need an additional three letters after your name isn’t good enough. Or because you think it will help you get a job outside your home country.

Do your research. After you open up that LSAC account, find out from alumni and people in your network and see where people have ended up after graduating from that law school.  If you are on Linkedin, you can search for the law schools’ name and see who all shows up in your search. You can even see their career trajectories to see if their career graphs match up with your reason(s) for going. Due Diligence, my friends!!

But you could just want to go because you need a break from your job. That is also acceptable. You could want to go because there is a professor you have been dying to take a course under. Or become a research assistant under. Or there is a set of courses you want to learn that will add a comparative element of knowledge to your practice. Or because you have been dying to work at the UN and studying at Columbia, NYU or Fordham will make it easier for you to keep meeting people because you will be in the same city as them. Or that you want to do entertainment law and working for a year post the LLM in Los Angeles will be the panacea to all your problems. Whatever the reasons, keep them to yourself. Write them down on a piece of paper and then forget about them. Dont expect others, family members or friends, to understand why. They won’t get it. For example, some family members think I should have gone to the UK instead of the US for an LLM. I did apply to Oxbridge, but I didn’t make it. I tried justifying my choice to them in terms of the added advantage of the NY Bar Exam but over time realized it was pointless. My reasons were my own and I could not convince them. They would keep questioning my decision even after the program is over, and I would just have to get used to it.

Life advice alert: like other things in life, your decision to pursue an LLM can please some people but not all of them. If they think you should have gone to X school v Y school, or A Country v B Country don’t get frustrated. Say a silent prayer for their ignorance and move on. Trust that your decision is based on some solid reasons and stick to it. Socrates certainly left behind some mimics.

Let’s explore your reason for pursuing an LLM together. Contact us at LLM Guru at