Talk:Master of Laws

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LL.M in Comparative Law[edit]

The comparative law LL.M is offered in many leading US law schools, but only one is listed and that too a specialist degree in International and Comparative Law. Please add other law schools such as UCLA and Miami which are known for their Comp. Law LL.M's. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

New York[edit]

"New York allows foreign lawyers to gain admission to the bar once they have completed their LL.M."

If the above statement is accurate, the article should at least be complemented with further information on the relevant provisions and their construction:

From Part 520 of its Court Rules,, it seems that (at best) NY State allows some foreign lawyers (in particular from Common Law jurisdictions) to sit the NY bar examination. Direct admission of foreigners to the bar seems restricted to exceptional cases for those holding high legal office.

Unfortunately, does not currently provide the required details.

The previous version,, also contrary to the above line from the article, spelled out a requirement that the degree be a U.S. LL.M from study including courses in American Law. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:22, 12 June 2005 (UTC)

Qualifications of Foreign Trained Lawyers[edit]

"LL.M. degrees in the United States are often earned by foreigners who have previously obtained a foreign law degree abroad. U.S.-educated lawyers, before proceeding to obtain an LL.M., generally have a total of seven years of education: four as an undergraduate and three to obtain a J.D. Foreign lawyers (who may have been trained in undergraduate institutions, giving the traditional name for the basic law degree, the LL.B.) generally have a total of five years of education: four in their home country, and one in the United States as an LL.M. Although foreigners may obtain an LL.M. after fewer total years of academic training than their U.S. colleagues, it represents a greater degree of achievement in legal education."

My understanding and experience is that most european lawyers have five years of preparation: three at the bachelors level, and two at the masters level. The LL.M. offerred by US institutions is often a crediential required for foreign-trained lawyers who want access to the various state bars or who do work for US clients in their home countries and want to develop an understanding of US common law and various aspects of US commercial law.

However, the last part of this discussion gives me pause. Having studied law in Europe, I noticed marked differences in the course load, the quality of teaching, the intensity of the program, the age and maturity of the students in each program, and the different attitude of each region's students to their work. I would be prepared to state that a three-year legal education in the US is quite comparable to the five-year european course of study, if not actually superior.

I would correct the academic requirements for the foreign lawyers by listing the home country education period at "four to five years in their home country" and strike the last sentence suggesting that US trained lawyers are somehow underprepared. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lawtaxecon (talkcontribs) 04:14, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

US centric[edit]

The opening paragraphs are very US-centric. In England (and most Commonwealth/Commonlaw countries) the degree of LLM is not a professional qualification. In order to practise (note the UK English spelling) one generally completes another year of vocational study. The course names vary from country to country but generally contain the word Vocational. I think this page would benefit from an overhaul that makes explicit those elements that pertain to the US and then to other jurisdictions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:15, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Addition of European LL.M's[edit]

I agree(d) with the previous comment, as such I have added a heading LL.M. Programs in Northern Europe by area of Coverage and added all Dutch LL.M programmes I know of. Next to that I have added separate sub-headings for Germany, Spain and the UK as there were a number of LL.M programmes from these countries added under the heading 'LL.M. Programs in North America by area of Coverage'. Garenthus202 (talk) 22:00, 23 March 2009 (UTC)


"However, California's position has come under fire as of late regarding its unfair educational requirements for foreign lawyers and the four year requirement, especially when ABA law schools are becoming less and less credible than some foreign institutions."

-I think this needs some substantiation. ABA law schools are becoming less and less credible? According to whom? Top-tier employers in Botswana? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:21, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

- I agree, this DOES need substantiation. Garenthus202 (talk) 06:51, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

LSE not listed[edit]

Please also note in the 'Academic Degrees - Law Degrees' part that one can actually obtain an MSc in Law from the London School of Economics. This isn't listed —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:46, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Master of Legal Studies[edit]

Should it have its own article or be mentioned in this article? -- Robocoder (t|c) 13:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Academic Status of the J.D. Degree[edit]

The article states that law students in the US "receive a doctorate degree first and their Master of Laws degree second. "

I find the statement above odd given that the prevalent opinion, at least in academic circles, is that the J.D. is not a doctoral qualification. In fact, in the academic order of precedence, a J.D. ranks lower than an LL.M. 11:21, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Then why is it called a Juris Doctor, why are J.D. holders university presidents, and why do J.D. holders wear doctorate robes? In which "academic circle" are you standing? ;) Zoticogrillo (talk) 17:12, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

The J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree was formerly known as a LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) degree, as was derived from its English common-law origins. Some decades ago, it was changed to the J.D. so as to be reflective of the fact that in the States a J.D. is a second degree. The original order of degrees was an LL.B., LL.M, and LL.D. In the States, that is now a J.D., LL.M., and SJD (or equivalent). A J.D. is most certainly NOT a doctorate degree; it does not entitle the receipient to claim a doctorate nor is it ever viewed as such in North America. A doctorate in law is the terminal (usually fourth) degree that a recipient will receive. The LL.D. in the States is now usually a honorary degree; the usual academic doctorate is a S.J.D. or similar. Rabidemu (talk) 15:34, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

How should the following be interpreted in light of Rabidemu's assertions?

2. J.D. Degree - Ph.D. Degree Equivalency: WHEREAS, the acquisition of a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree requires from 84 to 90 semester hours of post baccalaureate study and the Doctor of Philosophy degree usually requires 60 semester hours of post baccalaureate study along with the writing of a dissertation, the two degrees shall be considered as equivalent degrees for educational employment purposes;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that all appropriate persons be requested to eliminate any policy, or practice, existing within their jurisdiction which disparages legal education or promotes discriminatory employment practices against J.D. degree-holders who hold academic appointment in education institutions.

( (talk) 08:08, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

The Juris Doctorate or Doctor of Jurisprudence is the terminal degree of the legal profession. It is a professional degree (like an M.D.), unlike an LLM and the SJD, which are more research oriented. So a J.D. is the terminal professional degree for attorneys, while an SJD would be the terminal legal research degree. They're different degree tracks, kind of like getting a medical degree and getting a PHD in Orthopedic surgery or something. Jpenven (talk) 20:31, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Just to make it clear... The fastest way for an American lawyer to invite derision would be to insist upon being called "Doctor." I am a law professor, and have been at several universities, and know the culture at innumerable others, and I can say without fear of the slightest contradiction that at no university in the United States are law professors who have only JD degrees ever referred to as "Doctor." They are always called "Professor;" the term "Doctor" is only used for people who hold a Ph.D., S.J.D., M.D., and a few other specialized doctoral designations (for example, Ed.D.). Nobody takes that ABA resolution seriously, not even law schools and law professors. (Rlsusc (talk) 18:23, 13 November 2008 (UTC))

Agreed. Lawyers with a JD would never refer to themselves as "Doctors". Its technically a doctoral level degree but still, it would a pretty obnoxious attorney or law professor to refer to themselves as a Doctor, unless they held the other degrees which would entitle them to the moniker. Its just always has been that way and there's not much the ABA can do about it. Jpenven (talk) 20:31, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

However, some lawyers do refer to themselves as "Doctor." E.g.: University of Montana School of Business Administration. Profile of Dr. Michael Harrington. University of Montana, 2006. Zoticogrillo (talk) 04:48, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

To me, "PhD in law" sounds contradictory. It is a doctorate in "philosophy", full stop, in which "philosophy" is an old-fashioned word for science (including the humanities) in general. In Dutch law, there is just one "PhD" title, without qualification of the discipline. A practial corollary of this is that PhD candidaties working on a legal subjectdo not have to concentrate on just the legal aspects of their subject, but may also involve economic or even techncial aspects - unlike for instance in Germany, where a "Doktor Juris" shoud strictly concentrate on the law. Rbakels (talk) 09:35, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Can someone go to a non aba approved school, get an LLM and be able to sit for the bar ?[edit]

[1] Armyguy11 (talk) 23:26, 8 December 2007 (UTC) University of Montana's business school's associate dean goes by doctor harrington and only holds a JD

LL.M. / J.D. and J.D. / LL.B.[edit]

The LL.M. and LL.B. are generally academic degrees, while the J.D. is a professional degree (including no study of history or theory). Therefore, comparisons are tenuous and not useful. Zoticogrillo (talk) 17:16, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by academic vs. professional degree, but while getting a J.D. you do study both history and legal theory. The extent to which a J.D. student is exposed to theory and history may vary greatly between law schools and depend on which courses a student chooses to take, but every J.D. student will be exposed to both history and theory. My understanding about the differences between a J.D. and a LL.B. is the country that you are educated in (U.S. vs. the rest of the world). The difference between a J.D. and an LL.M. (at least in the U.S.) is the level of indepth study that one undertakes in a particular area of law. While there is the potential to study more theoretical aspects of law by pursing an LL.M., there is also the opportunity to study a specialized area of law (such as tax or bankruptcy) that J.D. students are usually not exposed to in any great detail with a emphasis on the practice of law rather than the theory. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:37, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

The LLM, at least in the U.S., is what most schools would call a certificate or a license. There is nothing academic about it. In fact, most of the schools that offer an LLM recognize this as their curriculum consists of classes that don't even merit a three credit hour status. Most of the LLM holders I've encountered have a very flimsy research background. I think there should be real considerations in awarding a "masters" degree for a mere 24 graduate hours. Most masters programs require 36 hours. And, if these are to be deemed comparative law degrees, they should be far more rigorous and require a thesis or an extensive research project at the end to test the academic prowess of the recipients. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:55, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

I just consulted Wikipedia to learn about the difference between LL.M. and JD, since we do not have that distinction in The Netherlands, and, as far as I know, in the rest of continental Europe. And I did not get an answer. The text is actually contradictory: here it says that LL.M. is more academic, there it says the opposite. In The Netherlands, lawyers first get a university degree ("meester", which means "master", you guessed it!) and then they possibly are further educated as attorneys or judges, typically in "on the job" training programs. There is also a (lower level) professional education in law (HBO, comparable with German "Fachhochschule"), but it has the disadvantage that it does not give admission to the bar admission courses, nor to a position as a judge. Only a tiny percentage obtains a PhD, which is really a research qualification. In sum, I can not map this to the LL.M/JD dichotomy. Rbakels (talk) 09:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)#

A J.D. (a three-year course) gives you the entitlement to sit for a Bar Exam - whereas an LL.M. (a one-year course) usually does not, some graduates from foreign jurisdictions being exempted from this rule. (talk) 18:12, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Several concerns[edit]

This article needs some serious revision. This list of concerns will evolve as time permits. First, in the second paragraph of the "The United States Approach": "On that note, few ABA accredited law schools even offer structured LL.M. programs.". I would point the author to the following link I did not count them, but it appears that LL.M programs exist at many ABA approved schools. Second, the fifth paragraph of the same section lists the two primary States for practice as NY and CA...clarification is needed. If the statement is meant to imply that these two are the States where the majority of foreign lawyers reside in U.S. practice then the author should make this clear and cite the support. If another meaning is intended it should be identified and cited. Thanks75.68.192.62 (talk) 07:55, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I am getting to the point where I would recommend that this article be subject to a more or less comprehensive rewrite. I hate to just complain about it and not help, but I also don't want to step on anyone's toes prematurely. That said, the following items should be addressed immediately if this article is going to survive because it is fast becoming a hodge podge of conflicting form and information.

(A). All instances of the improper usage and inconsistent construction of academic titles and degrees should be corrected according to the following guidelines, which I will reference properly if I can remember where I layed the source.

1. Ph.D or PhD...we need to decide periods or no periods. This goes for all degree abbreviations in the article. I suggest the following: Only place a period after genative plural or enclosed lowercase letters (e.g., LL.M and LL.D-but-BCL and JD --- Ph.D and Ed.D-but-JSD and MBA).

2. Doctorate versus Doctoral. Example: Rosa will receive her doctorate in June.--not--Rosa will receive her doctorate degree in June. The correct way to phrase the latter is: Rosa will receive her doctoral degree in June.

(B). This article has three citations, and they're all in the same sentence!

I will try to find a good citation to a guide to grammar and usage in academia, hopefully soon. until then...--Respectfully, (talk) 00:55, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

I am removing the following part of the article because it is misleading. It is interesting, perhaps the author could rephrase a bit. He or she can reference the material found at the following link:

Beginning in the summer of 2007, Chapman University School of Law, in Orange, California, began offering an LL.M. in Prosecutorial Sciences. Open only to active prosecutors with at least five years experience, the ABA certified program is the first of its kind in the United States.

Respectfully, (talk) 03:48, 26 June 2008 (UTC)


In many non-English-speaking countries, people are confused about the original words that are abbreviated "LL.M."

If it is the abbreviation of "Master of Laws", people may ask why it is abbreviated "LL.M." instead of "M.L." (like "Master of Arts", which is abbreviated "M.A.")

If the original word is the Latin "Legum Magister", people may ask why its abbreviation is "LL.M." instead of "L.M."

Those who understand Latin grammar may know the answer. Latin singular words are abbreviated using a single character, where as plural ones are abbreviated using double characters. The word "page" (which is "pagina" in Latin) is abbreviated "P.", whereas the word "pages" ("paginæ") is abbreviated "PP."

"Legum" is the plural of "legis". Accordingly, it is abbreviated "LL.", so "Legum Magister" is abbreviated "LL.M.", not "L.M.", since "L.M." is considered to be the abbreviation of "Legis Magister".

The plural may refer to the initial universities to offer law degrees (Oxford and Cambridge etc.) always taught both civil law and canon law (i.e. Church law) to all law students, and the plural was intended to refer to "both" laws, and not just to a singular "law". As very few universities teach canon law anymore, there may be justification to removing the plural.

In Indoneisa, to avoid confusion, "LL.M." is regarded as the abbreviation of "Lex Legibus Magister", which literally means "Law of-Law Master", of which the abbreviation is also "LL.M."

Yoseph Suardi Sabda (Indonesia) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:02, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

LL.M. as a prerequisite for a J.S.D. or S.J.D.[edit]

I removed the following line from the "U.S. Approach section" - "An LL.M. is a prerequiste to receiving a S.J.D. which is the . . . blah, blah, blah." This is not true. For example, see Columnia University School of Law -, under the section LL.M. for J.S.D. candidates. See also Yale University Law School -, which states that an LL.M. from Yale would satisfy their residency requirements, but it is not a "prerequisite." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Ukrainian LLM diploma[edit]

The image has been removed a few times because it is claimed that it is irrelevant, ugly and non-verifiable. However: The source of the image has been made clear on the image's page, and there has been no dispute raised by the image editors on that point, therefore it appears that it has already been vetted for verifiability, and that it's not an issue. The image is relevant, as it is a solid example of the diploma for the subject matter of the article, and the degree is commonly found throughout the world, with only minor variations. Whether or not the image is aesthetically pleasing is not a valid criteria for inclusion or exclusion. In addition, the image is the only example made available of a LLM diploma, and wiki policies specifically bias inclusion over exclusion when subject matter minimally conforms with the policies. Therefore, because this image is verifiable, relevant, useful (informative), unique, and in every other way conforms with wiki inclusive policies, this image should be included in the article. Further disputes on this matter should be submitted to some form of third party mediation/intervention. Zoticogrillo (talk) 19:49, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

To begin with, this image has a shaky license at best. It is an image of a two-dimensional object and, if it is an authentic degree, means the user does not own the image. Rather, the institution which conferred it does or the Ukrainian government if the school is state-run. See Wikipedia:Image_use_policy#User-created_images. Moreover, there is no way to prove that this is an authentic degree or a degree at all. It's certainly not appropriate as the article's lead image regardless. As an image solely of a diploma - whether or not it is one rests solely on whether or not the reader trusts the uploader on his word - adds nothing to the substance of the article. It should also be noted that the user who uploaded the image has a bad history of copyright violations. [2] --Ave Caesar (talk) 23:19, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
There are editors which specialize in reviewing new images, and none of them have raised any of the issues you have raised. Why do you think that the image is not of a real degree? You can't just say that it's not authentic because you suspect that it's not. Do you have any way to prove that it's not, or can you show that we should doubt the authenticity? The editor who posted the picture does not have a history of copyright violations for pictures, but seems to have made some mistakes in understanding the wiki policies, as almost all of the violations happened in one day, and which appear to be the editor's first contributions to wikipedia. Of course it is not logical to assume that because the individual has done so in the past, it must be the case now as well. Zoticogrillo (talk) 02:11, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Third Opinion[edit]

Hi everyone. I'm here from WP:3O. I have a question that might be very silly: has anyone asked someone who reads Ukranian to look at the image? roux ] [x] 02:07, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Conflict in "International situation"[edit]

The first sentence in that chapter says, quote: No country requires an LL.M degree to become a lawyer, and many lawyers choose never to obtain one. But the last two sentences in the same chapter say: Denmark as well as Switzerland requires a masters with an additional two years to become a lawyer. A person with "only" a LL.M is called a jurist. But if that's true, then the first sentence must be wrong. Who knows what's true?? (talk) 02:42, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I believe these questions are answered with the Law degree article. Zoticogrillo (talk) 21:03, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

In Switzerland you need both a BLaw and an MLaw degree + a subsequent apprenticeship period in legal practice in order to qualify for practising law. The information given in the "Law Degree" article is outsdated as far as it relates to this country. Don't know about Denmark, though.-- (talk) 11:46, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Legum Magister or Juris Utriusque Magistrum[edit]

My LL.M. degree parchment from the University of Glasgow is in Latin and is rendered as Iuris Vtriusque Magistrum which I believe means Master of Both Laws (Canon and Civil). The English translation is LL.M. or Master of Laws. I wondered if this was a widespread practice in other Institutions or just peculiar to Glasgow, and perhaps the other Ancient Scottish Universities? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ScotsDaddyintheUSA (talkcontribs) 00:33, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

LLM as an abbreviation[edit]

LLM is UK usage I believe (just do a Google search on "LLM" and use "" as the site modifier). Hence the claim "also LLM or L.L.M, though these are technically incorrect" is not itself quite correct, at least as regards the first abbreviation. The comment should instead note that the abbreviation is a local preference.

UK English typically does not use periods quite as freely as US English – note e.g. "Mr" instead of "Mr.", and so forth. Hence, for degrees, BA, MA and of course LLM. Nrubdarb (talk) 06:16, 25 July 2011 (UTC)


Why is Palau mentioned under the United States section? Allens (talk) 15:58, 20 October 2011 (UTC)


Why is it 2 "l"s? This needs to be included. (talk) 12:36, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

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Situation in China for non-legal Masters of Law[edit]

In China Political Science is regarded as a subfield of Law (法学) and therefore anyone who is awarded a master degree in Political Science or in International Relations will get a Master of Law (法学硕士) title. Now, it would seem wrong to use LLM in cases where the Master of Law is in a non-legal field. Does anyone know what the convention is here? Qense (talk) 06:28, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

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