Friday, October 19, 2012

LLM Programs are “Popular” Due to Desperation Among Recent Unemployed JDs

Jack CriTTenden’s Rag Spins This as a Positive:

In the October 2012 edition of the NaTTTional Juri$TTT, Owen Praskievicz published an article entitled “Standing Out: Why LL.M.’s Are More Popular Than Ever.” Take a look at the following $elf-$erving quotes, from this publicaTTTion:

“In the past 12 years, LL.M. programs in the United States have more than doubled, bringing the number of students seeking a Master of Law to more than 10,000. There are more than 300 programs in the U.S. today, compared to just 110 in 2000. While a large part of that growth is an increase in international LL.M. offerings, the larger factor is a move toward specialization for domestic J.D. students.” [Emphasis mine]

This reeks of desperation, not a move toward “specialization.” When JDs cannot find legal employment, many of them foolishly decide to enter a foul LLM program – in the vain hope that the “credential” will make them more marketable.

"Employers value and recognize that when they want to hire someone for their tax department, they want someone who has a tax LL.M.," said Michael Friel, director of the graduate tax program at University of Florida, Frederic G. Levin College of Law.”

This is coming from the very pig who heads the LLM program at the University of Florida Frederic H. Levin Commode of Law. What do you expect the swine to snort?

In a pathetic fluff/sales piece, here is one telling excerpt:

“I think most of the schools that have started programs after 2000, or have expanded dramatically, have largely been driven by the financial pressure,” said Joel Paul, director of the global LL.M. program at University of California, Hastings College of Law, noting that tightening budgets are especially prevalent at state schools that have lost funding. “A lot of schools use the LL.M. program to subsidize their J.D. program.”

Dean Raymond Nimmer of the University of Houston Law Center agreed, but stressed that not everything is black and white.

“There probably are some law schools that are using LL.M. programs to offset declining J.D. revenue, but we are not one of them,” Nimmer said. “We have intentionally reduced our J.D. class size. It is the new shape of a great law school.”

The dogs and pigs always portray their schools/commodes as innocent participants in this scheme. Of course, they point out that other schools may be using their LLM programs to increase revenue. There is no honor among academic thieves and financial criminals.

Small Sampling of Putrid LLMs:

“Why Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law?

Space industries are a $250 billion/year global market and growing rapidly. The telecommunications industry is a $1.4 trillion/year global market with continued strong growth anticipated. Both industries are global with the United States being the single largest actor. The space and telecommunications industries share an overlapping legal regime to an extent and increasingly share concerns over common problems, including space traffic management and security and risk management of space assets.” 

Yes, you can earn an LLM in Space Law from the University of Nebraska! Imagine how many law firms will wet their pants upon seeing your "impressive" resume!

“Food, Farming & Sustainability: The LL.M. Program in Agricultural & Food Law

The University of Arkansas School of Law offers the only advanced legal degree program in agricultural & food law in the United States, with a curriculum specializing in the law of food and agriculture.”

A Food Law LLM will certainly lead to gainful employment, in a big-ass firm or agency, right?!?! Who knows? Maybe you will become head of the USDA, with this credenTTTial. At least, the University of Arkansas Sewer of Law has the highest ranked agricultural law LLM in the nation.

Other Coverage on This TTTT Development:

On October 18, 2012, Paul Campos posted an entry labeled “LLM Programs.” Look at the following statement:

“Nevertheless, it appears that, in these days of sharply declining applicants to JD programs, LLM programs are coming to be considered something of a godsend by cash-strapped schools. Here's a bemusing quote from a two-year-old NLJ article:

Administrators point out that per-student costs tend to be lower for advanced law degree programs because the curriculum largely consists of classes already offered to J.D. students - meaning there is little need to hire additional faculty. "Are these programs a cash cow? Yes and no," said Indiana University Maurer School of Law - Bloomington professor Carole Silver. "The school gets a year of tuition and the LL.M. students fill in the seats in classes that would otherwise be empty." [Emphasis mine]

Conclusion: Anyone with a brain stem – and a basic understanding of the law school cartel – recognizes that the ABA-accredited toilets produce FAR TOO MANY GRADS each year. Now that various “professors” and the mainstream press have picked up on this message, prospective law students have discovered that law school is a terrible financial and career decision. As a result, the trash pits have been forced to reduce their class sizes. The schools are not going to willingly give up tons of federally-backed student loan funds. Since the commodes pump out too many grads – into a shrinking U.S. lawyer job market – MANY desperate JDs are now pursuing another worthless academic “credential.” Of course, the law school pigs are happy to “come to the rescue” of these desperate, unemployed fools - by offering yet another degree.  Remember, more "education" is NOT the answer.  Quit digging yourself a bigger hole, and pass on this worthless "Master of Laws" program.


  1. LLM in space law? Get the fuck outta here.

  2. As a seasoned practitioner of over 20 years, let me tell you what I think of the LL.M. degree and how well this "credential" will serve you in your job search.

    First, the only LL.M. worth obtaining is one in tax from NYU or Georgetown. There are no exceptions to what I just said. An LL.M. in bankruptcy from St. Johns is not going to impress a bankruptcy shop such as Weil, Gotshal & Manges. An LL.M. in "Space Law," "Food Law," "International Law" or any other non-existent specialty is only going to make you look like an idiot who was taken twice by the law school scam (yes, I agree at today's tuition rates, law schools are no better than boiler room operations with the veneer of legitimacy provided by Sallie Mae and Uncle Sam).

    Many attorneys are misguided about the value of a top flight LL.M. program. For example, I once interviewed a candidate who had an LL.M. from Harvard, which he highlighted in bold letters on his resume but a JD from a third tier law school (surprise, surprise the JD law school was not in bold). The candidate carried on in the interview about life in Cambridge and the academic rigors of Harvard. He was a poser, plain and simple. He thought his Harvard LL.M. would erase his earlier failure of having attended a third tier law school but it didn't-he did not get an offer.

    Also, employers are keen on what an LL.M. truly represents. To me, it represents desperation. I see people who graduate from the NYU LL.M. program in tax who had no prior accounting or tax background. Let me tell you, loving tax law is not something you develop--you pretty much have to be born hugging the Internal Revenue Code to be taken seriously. Employers will know whether you enrolled in the tax LL.M. program as an unemployment gap filler or a poor effort to enhance your resume.

    Final analysis: An LL.M. degree is primarily for foreigners to take the bar in NY and CA. Law schools will begin aggressively marketing the LL.M. as JD enrollment rates continue to decline. Expect the law school deans to prop up the LL.M. as an "essential" or "standout" credential to supplement your already worthless JD. As the old saying goes "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." You have been forewarned. Proceed at your own peril.

    NYC Hiring Partner

    1. You sound old and bitter. As the not-so-old saying goes: "Better love something eventually, I guess, than never love anything--or be loved by anyone--at all!"

    2. I have a bankruptcy LLM and am an associate at a AmLaw 100 much for what bitter NYC Hiring Partner thinks...

    3. Whose nephew are you, 5:50 pm? I'm just kidding, Bitch.

      In all seriousness, who did you blow to supposedly get that job, cockroach?!?! Make sure to carry breath mints with you, so that the taste doesn't linger in your mouth.

    4. I understand the point, but tax law too? Tax is just so boring and complicated that it seems like a reasonable play: I can't get a job in law; fine, I'll make myself an expert in a difficult and shitty specialty and try again.

    5. With all due respect, the legal profession does not consist solely of large defense firms filled with highly intelligent and overworked folks, disillusioned to begin with and verging on nihilism. In addition, graduates of American law schools do not consist solely of folks who had the misfortune of studying law when the national supply and demand curve foreclosed their opportunities, or who started law school cynical and rudderless and only got worse, or who are obsessed with status and hierarchy so they consider a number of available law jobs beneath them and then assert there are no jobs. This blog draws on the nihilistic big firm folks and the unemployed-for-whatever-reason folks to assess the value of an LLM. How about this reason for doing an LLM? Despite what Mr. Tax Man wrote, people in my specialization really like to work with lawyers who have gone out of their way to get a more specialized knowledge of the field. Some people work in a field but want the opportunity to get a firmer intellectual footing in the law they work with every day. These posts presuppose a limited set of motives for completing such a degree, and their argument proves too much: any academic program serves in part to make money; any academic program carries with it the risk of unemployment later; any area of academic inquiry contains outliers (e.g. space law); any profession contains people who are unhappy because they based their decision whether to enter the profession, what area of law to focus on, and what type of practice to enter on considerations that were out of sync with their own temperaments and what benefit to society the chosen specialization and practice offered. Working yourself to death, getting into alot of debt, and then finding that you might not like being a lawyer and that, even if you did, you can't find a job are all awful things, and I wouldn't wish them on anyone. But ranting about pigs and dogs and everything being worthless and awful makes readers want to talk you off the ledge, get you some good medication, and sponsor you to go into a forest and rediscover yourself in peace. You have persuaded folks of nothing. Your message does convey something useful, however: scrutinize both the J.D. and L.L.M. degrees carefully; scrutinize your own reasons for pursuing one of these degrees carefully; weigh the cost carefully. But the ranting and the broad brush strokes dismissing all of these programs with bitter assertions avail you of nothing. People who work in specific fields can tell anyone whether a specific LLM will yield them benefit and will define "benefit" in a broader way.

    6. You guys still gave him an interview, which is pretty remarkable in today's market.

  3. Several of my classmates had MBAs before going to law school. And none of them had a Business or Accounting degree before that. And they didn't have any experience in running or managing businesses. They wanted to impress employers with the MBA. No one took 'em seriously and then they went to law school. Reeeeaaal smart.

  4. Get outa here, in a LLM rocketship.

  5. Just throwing in my two cents with regard to what NY Hiring Partner noted--when there are hundreds of people going for the same position, hiring managers will use any excuse to level the playing field out. Since this is such a poor market for those who are searching, hiring managers can wait it out until super candidate walks through the door.

    Be wise with your money. This field has become very, very bitchy, mean spirited, and the number of opportunities has shrunk considerably. I'm not an attorney (I'm a paralegal) and I thank God that I didn't take the law school plunge. It's bad enough convincing potential employers that I can work as an Office Manager in a non-legal environment, it's 1000x worse convincing hiring managers that your JD and LLM is just a foot note on your resume.

    BTW: good friend of mine I reconnected with on FB last night had graduated from St. John's ten years ago and the firm she worked for had merged and she lost her job six months ago. Despite her solid experience as a trial attorney, and graduating in top percentile of her class, she can only find P/T work (and yes, she is still paying off her student loan!). Save your the money--additional degrees really don't work in a tight job market.

  6. As an addendum to what I already mentioned, it should be noted that the law schools, the ABA and NALP DO NOT KEEP EMPLOYMENT STATS ON LL.M. programs. Therefore, any claims made by law school deans as to employment outcomes of LL.M. graduates are either lies or at best, baseless speculation. I don't mean to beat a dead horse here but if you obtain an LL.M. in Equine Law or some other non-existent specialty, you will look like a horse's ass to your interviewer.

    NYC Hiring Partner

    NYC Hiring Partner

  7. Here comes the COlonel Sanders wit' sum knawledge fo' ya.

    Whens LLMs submits applicayshuns to work at one a mah menny chickin 'stablishments, da managers done be directed ta automatically deny da applicant. Nobody done wants a LLM workin' da grease traps o' da cash regista. Shit, when I was a youngin' I was a lawyer. Y'alls can look dat up.

    And alls I done had was a muthafuckin' sixth grade educamation. Maybe I oughtta try 'n open up mah very own law school 'n shit. Shit, da cafeteria would be da best ranked outta all of da law schools.

  8. I thought at least an LL.M. in food law would be able to secure a position within management at McDonalds or KFC.

  9. "Final analysis: An LL.M. degree is primarily for foreigners to take the bar in NY and CA. Law schools will begin aggressively marketing the LL.M. as JD enrollment rates continue to decline."

    Interesting because I am starting to see that some colleges, which so happen to have law schools, have now jumped onto the paralegal certificate bandwagon. In fact Pace, Touro, and St. John's have added paralegal programs to its con't ed, and even grad school programs. GWU has even went as far as adding (get this) a masters degree(!) in paralegal studies.

    Four years ago, paralegals were the first on the chopping block during the big law blood letting when the Recession just started. Even insurance companies, one of the biggest employers of paralegals, are not hiring legal staff. I have close to 15 years of experience doing grudge work for attorneys, and I can't even find a job. NYU charges close to $20K in tuition for its paralegal certificate program (although that program is one of the oldest, dating back to 1972). It's just shameful what higher education has evolved to.

  10. Lets look at the facts:
    1) An LLM gives you no more privledges above a JD, e.g.; you don't need a LLM in Family LAw to practice Family LAw.

    2) The ABA says flat out that they do not accredit LLM programs. The ONLY LLM program to be reviewed by the ABA is the US JAG school at Fort Lee Va.

    3) The above comment is correct, 10 years ago you could slip into BIGLAW with a LLM from a T1 irrespective of you TTT JD. Today no!

    4) Most Law school faculty do have LLMs. Most Law School faculty have also had either BIGLAW jobs and or Federal Judicial CLerkships. Read into that what you will.

    5) LLMs are required for board certification in some states. Sure get board certification and watch your malpractice insurance go up!

    Some people just have time and money to burn on a LLM for the pure intellectual pursuit, irrespective of future returns. But, most of those people don't read TTT truama boards.

  11. When are these assholes gonna offer a PhD in Legal Studies?

  12. Dumbass thinking:

    "I went to law school and I can't get a job. I know! I'll go back for more law school! And then I'll get a really really good job."

  13. I have a question for NYC Hiring Partner. I realize *that* an LL.M is worthless unless it is in Tax; however, I am confused as to *why* it is worthless. In particular, why is it that an LL.M From (to continue our example) Harvard not considered evidence of worth when on the same resume as a third tier JD.
    Is it that a third tier JD taints everything that a person might do from then on out? Is it that LL.M programs are not particularly rigorous, even at the most prestigious schools? Is it a mark of being scammed and or desperate? Or is it some other reason?

    1. Great questions! The NYC Hiring Partner is an insecure person.....who wants to believe that his JD from Harvard makes him a superior lawyer.

      It does not.

  14. This is what I mean when I say that ILSS is posting about things far afield from the original premise of the original scamblogs and is providing a shoulder to cry on for the HYS flunkies, and those that claim that biglaw is so unfair afer 10 or 20 years out.

    Kind of surreal and you figure it out.

    I thought the scamblogs were about 3rd and 4th tier reality and about people being nipped in the bud and forget about the LLM hypothetical.

  15. I mean, just look at the most recent Campos abstract post: "Getting to Two"

    What is wrong with this whole picture?

    Campos (DJM) is on the verge of swallowing up the entire scamblog movement, and then will most likely fold and leave a complete void as far as any human rights protest against the law school scam conducted by the lower tier law schools.

    What does Campos care? He earns while he learns, and can post about anything that his well student loan paid mind can whip up such as what he is doing now.

    And the really harmed people by the lower tier toilets will go on suffering in unremediable lifetime debt with all of the consequences of such debt, and Campos will continue to draw approving comments from his many highly successful commenters that cluck their thick tongues over how badly the lower tier ruined lives are getting on.

    Can we say gross Hypocrisy by now? And Campos even had the audacity to quote Voltaire not too long ago.

    I would bet that Brian Leiter would say no soap to it all.


    On January 11, 2012, Elie Mystal posted an entry labeled "Value of the LL.M. Degree? Still Low?" Take a look at the following meaty portion:

    "The National Law Journal made that EXTREMELY OBVIOUS point yesterday (again)….

    As we mentioned in Morning Docket, Karen Sloan of the National Law Journal reported on a panel at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting last week, during which a recruiter from the prominent firm of Major, Lindsey & Africa told the room that not only do LL.M.s have a limited value to job seekers, but listing the degree may actually hurt job applicants:

    In fact, [Steven John, a managing director at Major Lindsey] said, advanced degrees in law — with the exception of LL.M.s for foreign-trained attorneys and tax LL.M.s — can actually hurt job candidates, because they may signal uncertainty about their career paths or attempts to avoid the reality of a difficult job search. Also suspect is when candidates study in areas that do not dovetail with their practice experience.

    John said he asked his fellow recruiters at Major Lindsey whether they ever had a client specifically request candidates with advanced degrees — with the exception of tax LL.M.s — or whether a candidate ever secured a job because of an advanced degree.

    The answer to both questions was no.

    “The market has never demanded it,” he said during a panel discussion. “Advanced degrees never come into the conversation.” In fact, he added, some of his colleagues advise job seekers to leave LL.M.s off their resumes."

    Did you see where the managing director at the legal recruiting firm said that an LLM can HARM an applicant’s job prospects? Should you take the word of $elf-intere$ted “law professors” and worthless CDO pigs over that of a legal recruiter?

    Lastly, does anyone with an IQ above room temperature believe that toiletlaw firms give one damn about desperate some ass-clown with an LLM?!?! In the final analysis, where you earn your JD means more to legal employers than where you attend an LLM program.

  17. L = Loser
    L = Loser
    M = Moron

    This is why law firms don't want to hire you if you have an LLM.

  18. Response to 10/20/12 @3:08PM:

    As others have already mentioned here ad nauseum, you don't need an LL.M. degree to practice law in the U.S. unless you are a foreigner. Thus, a U.S. earned J.D. already renders the LL.M. a superfluous degree unless it is in tax from NYU or Georgetown and you are working in the tax law department of a law firm or company.

    The LL.M. degree doesn't make sense in any other scenario and in my opinion the LL.M. degree is no different than a certification diploma. I have noticed in recent years that my alma mater keeps sending me literature to enroll in the "Executive MBA" program which can be completed in 12 months (if you enroll during the summer as well) or 18 months. I consider this a certification rather than a real MBA degree. Harvard is notorious for offering these meaningless certificate diplomas, which I am sure candidates believe will help them enhance their career or job search. Harvard is reaps a lot of cash from these certificate programs.

    LL.M.s are worthless and here is why. Take for instance the "Transition to Practice" LL.M. which was instituted by UCLA and Northwestern (please google "Transition to Practice LL.M."). The program was designed by a crafty law school dean (I believe it was Dean Michael Schill-now at U. of Chicago Law) to kill two birds with one stone: 1) bring additional revenue to the school and 2) provide a vehicle to manipulate the employed at 9 months statistic since LL.M. students are counted as employed rather than unemployed (I never understood the crooked concept of why grad students are counted as employed since they are not working and earning wages). I am afraid law schools will become more proactive and aggressive in marketing their LL.M. programs to generate more cash and to hide their abysmal employment stats.

    Twenty years ago, lawyers enrolled in Tax LL.M. programs 2-5 years after obtaining their J.D. since it would help their specialization in tax. Today, J.D. grads that enroll in LL.M. programs with no legal experience and straight out of law school are seen as people who are avoiding a tough job search or are desperate in thinking that the LL.M. will be the game changer (it won't be).

    To answer your question, an LL.M. from Harvard doesn't move me unless the lawyer has had significant legal experience or has a book of business. If the lawyer came from a lower tier 1 school (my firm does not hire 2nd or 3rd tier law grads), this would be overlooked if the lawyer has a proven track record. When a J.D. grad from a third tier school gets an LL.M. from a T-14 school with no legal experience in between, it is obvious to me that the grad is trying to understate the third tier stigma on his/her resume.

    Look, you don't have to take my word for it. I am just someone who has seen the legal market drastically change in the last 20 years and has yet to see a non-tax LL.M. degree bolster someone's legal career. If you want to double down and enroll in a Harvard LL.M. program because you want to rid of yourself of the third tier stigma of your J.D., you are in for a rude awakening.

    NYC Hiring Partner

  19. This is in response to 10/20/12 @ 3:08PM:

    As others here have stated ad nauseum, you don't need an LL.M. to practice law in the United States unless you are a foreigner and have an LL.B. (yes, in most countries a law degree is equivalent to a bachelors' degree) from abroad. The only time an LL.M. makes sense for a J.D. is if that person is already working in a tax legal department for a law firm or a company and is seeking the Tax LL.M. from NYU or Georgetown. I repeat, all other LL.M.s are useless and worthless, even the ones that are conferred by "prestigious" schools such as Columbia, Harvard, et al.

    LL.M. programs are designed for two purposes from a law schools' perspective: 1) to generate more cash at $50K per student; and, 2) to provide a vehicle that facilitates the manipulation of the "employed at 9 months after graduation" stat since LL.M. students are counted as employed despite that they are not working and are not earning a wage. Read that again. Only in the universe of a law school dean is an LL.M. student counted as "employed." Given that law school enrollment is declining for J.D. programs and law schools are coming under fire for fudging the employment stats, expect the LL.M. programs to be marketed aggressively to J.D. candidates who struck out at OCI and have walked the dry Sahara during their last year of law school.

    Take for instance the "Transition to Practice" LL.M. that was (or is) offered by UCLA and Northwestern Law. Here are two highly ranked law schools that offered (or are offering) students to enroll in a made up LL.M. program taught by law professors who haven't practiced law. I can assure you that an LL.M. in Transition to Practice will not make you more practice ready for the profession than a simple plain J.D. So, yes I stand by my original statement that an LL.M., even from a prestigious school (unless it is in Tax from NYU or Georgetown) is worthless and useless.

    The LL.M. certificate (it is not a degree in my book) is akin to those "Executive MBA" or "Corporate Compliance" certificates that are offered by most schools such as Harvard, Yale et al. The schools are banking on their "prestige" to lure unsuspecting students who want to erase the stigma of having obtained a J.D. or other degree from a second or third tier school. The problem is, it won't work.

    Years ago, it was common to see lower tier 1 grads get into biglaw and then obtain a tax LL.M. This was acceptable because the associate usually pursued the LL.M. 2-5 years after getting a J.D. By that time, the associate had proven him/herself to the firm or company. What has a J.D. straight to LL.M. candidate proven without prior legal experience? NOTHING.

    Look, I am just trying to be helpful here. If you choose to act like a lemming all over again and double down on an LL.M. degree, be my guest since it is no skin off of my back. However, you have been warned over and over again. Don't be surprised if you can't find employment since your resume reveals what an idiot you were in being scammed twice by the law school business.

    NYC Hiring Partner

  20. Doubling down on a bad bet is beyond stupid.

    1. Tripling down on a bad bet:

      1. Went to undergrad for political science, history, psychology, et al.
      2. Went to a TTT law school in the hope of actually gaining practical skills resulting in employment.
      3. Attended an LLM program since law school didn't provide you with a job or any practical skills.

      What makes you think that getting an LLM is going to be any different?

  21. This article echoes what the hiring partner said and it was authored by another legal recruiter:

    Here are some telling excerpts:

    1) "Surprisingly, an LL.M. can actually hurt a candidate's chances of getting an interview when his or her resume is heavy on education but light on experience."

    2) "Except for LL.M. degrees in tax and international law (where Georgetown and NYU are viewed as having the most prestigious programs), law firms generally view LL.M.s with suspicion and have a perception, fair or not, that LL.M.s are for those lawyers who are more comfortable in the classroom than the courtroom. This perception is especially strengthened when the candidate is a junior attorney who has not been practicing law for a significant amount of time. Jumping back into school too quickly can cast a shadow over a resume because it raises the question of whether the candidate is seriously committed to practicing law."

    3) "Firms that are paying anywhere from $160k to $180k for a third-year attorney want to be confident that their new hire will be able to withstand the rigorous pressures of private practice. One method firms use for making this judgment is to see whether a candidate has demonstrated an ability to withstand these pressures at a previous law firm. An LL.M. is no substitute for this type of experience."

    4) "In fact, when we are screening potential candidates with whom we may work, one of the categories that we have for rejecting candidates is "LL.M." While this may sound harsh, the reality is that the firms we work with often pass on resumes where the educational component outweighs practical experience."

    5) "If you think that an LL.M. degree will make you more marketable to firms, this is simply not the case. When it comes to practicing law, the best experience comes from practicing, not studying."

    6) "LL.M.s are a business. Just like law schools, LL.M.s are focused on creating revenue. While it is flattering to be accepted to a prestigious program, be mindful that you are paying for the compliment."

    7) "LL.M.s are largely unnecessary, even for those lawyers who wish to teach. Again, over 98% of United States lawyers, including those practicing in the areas of tax and international law, do not have LL.M. degrees."

    So who are you going to listen to? The law school deans and professors who are making cash hand over fist by peddling the limp LL.M. degree or hiring partners and legal recruiters who know what the fuck they are talking about with respect to the job market and the utility value (or lack thereof) of the LL.M. degree?

  22. MBAs are the same way. Guys that have been in business (as managers or owners) have a leg up on someone with an MBA. Companies prefer to hire someone with actual experience. Sometimes, you'll see business professionals go back for the advanced degree but only after they have shown they have what it takes in business.

    Those guys won't have a strike against them. The strictly academic MBAs end up washing dishes or editing children's books for peanuts. A bunch of academic credentials also reads This person can't function outside of a university setting. Catch 22.

  23. LLM = Lemmings Losing More

    Kids, employers are looking for experience, not more doctrinal or theoretical knowledge. The bar requires a J.D., not an LLM (except for foreigners wishing to take the bar in NY and CA). Getting an LLM is like hooking your clunker 1977 Ford Pinto with a $10K Bose stereo system. A "prestigious" LLM will not expunge your TTT JD. Throwing more money to get an LLM is more foolish than making a bet on black at the roulette tables.


    Read the 10:00:23 PM comment from “tax guy” on Paul Caron’s October 11, 2012 blog entry - with the unoriginal title “Why LL.M.’s Are More Popular Than Ever:”

    “An LL.M. is a Credential NOT a Cosmetic product.

    Bad grades from mediocre school + LL.M. does not give you gold plating. Although this is a tax website, tax people will be the 1st to tell you that tax is the only LL.M. that matters if you are not an international law student. Tax LL.M.'s are part of the culture. The main programs (NYU, Georgetown, Florida) are well established, with long histories, and many alumni.

    I am unaware of any other field of law that values an LL.M. The LL.M. is so valuable in tax that even AFTER people have full-time jobs without one they will go and get an LL.M. in Taxation anyway. Just look at the part-time programs in NYC and DC and you will see what it means. Many law clerks at the U.S. Tax Court complete their LL.M. during their clerkship going to Georg[e]town part-time at night. Federal judicial clerks, who are clerking in their specialty, are still going to get the Tax LL.M. Need I say more?

    And law schools open more and more of them because they are cash cows. Period.”

    The commenter should have stated that a JD from a non-elite school will not be overlooked due to earning an LLM. This is regardless of grades during law school. Legal employers view the JD-granting in$titution as more indicative of an applicant’s aptitude than where one receives a “Master of Laws.”

    Furthermore, if you receive an LLM in Environmental Law from a trash pit such as Lewi$ & Clark Law Sewer, then law firms and agencies will see you as a simpleton:

    “Joint J.D./LL.M. Program Environmental & Natural Resources Law

    General Information

    Lewis & Clark Law School offers a joint J.D. /LL.M. degree program in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. The joint degree is designed for Lewis & Clark law students who would like to obtain both a J.D. degree and Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree.

    When the J.D. and LL.M. degrees are pursued separately, it generally takes a full-time student two to three years to earn the J.D. degree, and one additional year to earn the LL.M. degree (26 credits). The joint degree program will allow Lewis & Clark law students to receive the LL.M degree in just one additional semester beyond their J.D. studies. Students are allowed to apply a portion of their Lewis & Clark J.D. credits to the LL.M. degree.”

    Yes, such a TTT credential will open so many doors to you, right?!?! Do not double down on a lousy bet. Know when to walk away. Hell, the law school pigs claim to bestow "critical thinking" skills on their students. Don't be a dumbass, i.e. do not throw more money at the cockroaches.

  25. Does it make any sense how a Master of Laws is higher than a Juris Doctor?

  26. October 20, 2012 3:08 PM Here again. Thank you very much NYC Hiring Partner for answering my question. Let me see if I understand you correctly.

    I'm guessing that the T14 'prestige' applies only if for J.D's issued by T14 law schools, not for LL.M's or whatever. (I see advertizements for something called Harvard Extension on the Metro here in DC. Sometimes I'm even taken in by the prestige; However, I'm imagining that in reality this bares a distinct similarity to the programs that your Alma Mata sponsors. My School, George Washington, is actually in much the same racket)

    Furthermore, an LL.M is treated at best as a youthful indiscretion if seen on the resume of a otherwise good lawyer and on average evidence of having no useful skills, of no direction in life, of having to hide out from the economy, or of even being twice or thrice scammed.

    LL.M's in Tax are useful to enhance a career in Tax law; however, in order to derive benefit a lawyer must first have a career in Tax law and get their LL.M from NYU, Georgetown, or perhaps Florida, or else the Tax LL.M has the same 'worth' as any other LL.M.

    So an LL.M student is a Lawyer Losing. Money.

  27. Someone mentioned getting an LL.M. as tripling down on debt.

    That's something I hadn't even thought of. When firms and other employers see "BS Political Science Michigan State, JD Wayne State and LLM NYU" they're not going to be fooled. They'll see you as someone that had to take shelter from the job market. Putting a bandaid on a broken leg doesn't do shit. And neither does getting an LLM when your career path is already set.

  28. Check out this thread started by a recent JD grad who cannot find a job and is contemplating going into a bankruptcy LL.M. program but can't decide between St. Johns or UCLA:

    The recent JD grad states:


    I am wondering if anyone familiar with Bankruptcy LL.M. programs knows how St. John's compares to UCLA. From what I've been able to uncover, the St. John's bankruptcy program is tops in the country. However, I am concerned that UCLA has more "brand recognition" and potential employers may (incorrectly) place more weight on UCLA's JD ranking over St. John's.

    Productive responses only, please! Thank you!"

    Fortunately, the people responding in the thread know the real deal about LL.M. programs as evinced by these replies:

    "LL.M's are a waste of money unless you get one in tax from one of the top three programs (NYU, Georgetown, Florida).

    The other programs are simply cash cows for the schools that won't pay off for most students."

    and this reply:

    "I agree with the above. LLM's (with the exception of the programs listed) are not prestigious, and do not give you any additional relevant experience to actually practice in the field. If you are willing to be revenue negative for a whole year, why don't you intern at a firm that does bankruptcy, volunteer at legal aid or another organization that does bankruptcy defense, or get involved with a program at the bankruptcy court in your area. Instead of dropping $35k on another year of being in the law school bubble, it would probably be more beneficial to get some experience that might help you make money."

    NEVERTHELESS, it would appear the recent JD grad proceeded to ignore the wise advice provided since he apparently needed the student loans to pay his rent since working pro bono for a bankruptcy firm would not provide shelter or food. So there you have it, the LL.M. is a tripling down on a bad bet. Yet, this miserable soul will likely take the plunge out of the desperation that law schools detect like sharks can taste blood in the water. Law school is a business. The primary goal of the business is to allow the dean, professors and administrators to line their pockets at the financial expense of future JD grads. The fact that this recent JD grad was talking about the brand recognition of UCLA shows how little he knows about the legal market. Most bankruptcy shops are not fooled by "brand recognition" as the poor recent grad mistakenly believes they would. By the way, the St. Johns bankruptcy LL.M. program is considered better than UCLA's but the degree only serves senior associates and partners who have amassed years of bankruptcy experience and pick up the LL.M. because either the firm pays for it or because it helps obtain board certification with the American Bankruptcy Institute, which can be a big deal for certain clients. Getting the bankruptcy LL.M. from St. Johns immediately after picking up a JD will render the former worthless and useless.

    This is worth repeating although the message of this post is clear: You already most likely threw away 3 years and are $150K in the red. Why on God's green earth would you waste another year in the law school scam and throw another $40-50K for a credential that is recognized more for being an albatross than a helpful resume credential.

  29. Funny, it was only last week that a non-lawyer asked me about the LLM. This person has been accepted at three flagship state schools - nothing special. Anyway, he seemed to have a lot of respect for the LLM. I told him that it was a waste of money. It's just like the stock market, really - you should never send good money after bad.

    If you MUST get an LLM, wait until you have a boss who is willing to foot the bill for it. There are a few who will, even today. If your employer is willing to pay for you to get this degree, that's a good sign that it might actually be worth something. Otherwise, you should just save your money.

  30. Lawyers Love MasochismOctober 23, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    I don't even understand why some of these LLM programs exist.

    Bankruptcy is a perfect example. Non-lawyers are perfectly qualified to fill out a Ch. 7 form in 90% of consumer cases. A 2L bankrupcy class, a good CLE, and a practice manual will get a capable attorney through Ch. 13.

    The next step is either 7/13 trustee work or Ch. 11 work. The trustee positions are usually only available to attorneys who through practice have shown the court they can handle the code and the local rules enough to protect unsecured creditors.

    Ch. 11 work only really goes to larger firms and people who have actual experience handling Ch. 11. It's not really work an LLM can teach you absent significant real-life experience dealing with Ch. 11 debtor-in-possession issues (like using cash collateral). And I'm sure they have seminars on Ch. 9 and Ch. 15, but it's the same deal.

    It's the same in other fields - what the hell is the point of a Family Law LLM? And that doesn't even begin to go into the "International Law"-type LLMs.

  31. Environmental law is a fucking joke too. The "best" programs are shitholes like Vermont Law School and Lewis & Clark.

    Don't you get it yet? These are scams. They're designed to separate a fool from his (borrowed) money. What's next, an LLM in Left Handed Law?

  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  33. TTTThoma$ M Cooley Law Sewer offers several LLM programs. Who wouldn’t want to earn an advanced TTTT degree from this prestigious in$TTTTiTTTTuTTTTion?!?!

    You can receive an LLM in the following areas:

    Corporate Law and Finance
    Insurance Law
    Intellectual Property

    "Program Overview

    Individuals with a specialized legal passion may customize an LL. M. degree through the Self Directed LL.M. Program. Working with a faculty advisor, the student completes a combination of electives and supplements classroom work with self-directed learning, teaching, and real-world experience.

    Program Requirements

    The Self-Directed Program is focused on Cooley's mission of instilling knowledge, skills, and ethics in its students. To earn the degree, the student must successfully complete 14 knowledge credits, 3 teaching requirement credits, and 7 skills or ethics credits. The student completes an outline in addition to the application and follows it through the course of study. All graduate students must successfully complete 24 credits and have an overall cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 or better."

    Since the school has lower standards than a cheap prostitute, Cooley would likely accept even the mentally deficient cockroach who posted at 7:54 pm into its graduaTTTTe program. When the bitch is still living at home in his mother’s doublewide trailer, at least he can hang that diploma on his wall.

    The pictures of excrement serve a purpose, moron: they provide a visual to the term “third tier toilet.” Plus, the ABA-accredited commodes pump out far too many grads each year. Those JDs have their futures flushed away. Do…you…understand…that, you piece of garbage?!?! Or do I need to draw you a diagram on posterboard with crayons?! By the way, you can kiss Campos's ass all you want. Are you expecting him to give you some dog biscuits or to pat you on the head?! You have no balls and no dignity.

  34. You need to get over your obsession with Painter. I remember that he once mentioned that some New Jersey troll attempted to contact him at his home. If that is you, then head to the nearest psych ward immediately.

    From analytics:

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    If YOU believe that law school is a wise decision for you, then go ahead and take the plunge. Don't have a nervous breakdown because bloggers, judges, bar presidents, "professors," practicing lawyers and statisticians have documented that "legal education" is not worth the cost. Quit cutting your meds in half, loser.

    By the way, waterhead: if you feel or believe that I have violated your 1st Amendment "rights," then go file a complaint at your local courthouse. Go quietly cry yourself to sleep again. Don't make too much noise, or you might disturb your mother and her customers in the next room. Keep in mind that the cow needs to make the rent on that trailer.

  35. It's a great thing that I read enough of these articles and scamblogs, such as this one, that LLMs are a huge waste of money! My dad, who is an MD, was urging me to go because he thought it was a good idea after I just graduated from law school. I flat out told my dad that this is a huge waste of money that would be better spent gambling in Las Vegas or buying Lotto tickets. I guess he couldn't get why getting more an education can be seen as a waste of money, but, as I've seen, it sure is! Thank you for posting this and sharing links on articles about this since the perception that many people have is that LLMs are worth it. I was already scammed into going to law school, so there's no need to get scammed again getting an expensive and worthless LLM!

  36. The benefits of undertaking an LLM program will, of course, be far greater at a top-tier institution such as Harvard Law or NYU Law. The primary motivation for most of our clients who apply to LLM programs is the exposure to international (usually US) legal classes and the opportunity of gaining a reputable degree from a top-tier university, with the aim of gaining a job in the United States after graduating. The competition for places on top-tier LLM programs is becoming more, not less, competitive and - particularly for international students - the value of a top-tier LLM is increasing, not decreasing.

  37. I graduated 20 years ago, top of my class and law review, from a "4th tier, bottom-of-the-barrel" law school. My average income over the entire 20 year period exceeds $22K per year. I live in the South where the money goes farther than D.C.or N.Y.C. This year I will earn in excess of $29K. Go to the best schools you can, do your best and everything else will take care of itself. My daughter just graduated magna cum laude/law review from my 4th-tier law school and now she sucks dicks for a living on the subway. The value of ANY degree from ANYWHERE is what you make of it.

  38. University of Florida Environmental and Land Use Planning Law LLM program turned down environmental activist (that would be me) some five (5) times -- three of the rejection letters were misspelled. The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights is investigation age, disability and retaliation discrimination -- UF's pretexts are not worthy of belief, and it is unwilling to admit me as a result of significant environmental protected activity.



  41. ha. just read this as i see the university of toronto asking people to enroll in their LLM program for non lawyers. what a freaking joke. i suspect the only people who see an LLM as anything of value are those not in the practice of law.


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