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Beyond Basic Law: Career Options for LL.M. Degrees

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If you’re ready to further your law career, there are some pretty interesting LLM career options waiting for you once you complete your degree. Master of Laws degree can take you all the way to the top of the legal professions, including overseas career opportunities. In fact, there are several foreign leaders and U.S. diplomats who hold Master of Laws degrees, including the former vice-president of the Republic of China.

Here are five top possibilities that might be waiting for you.

Judgeships

This is the pinnacle of the law profession to which many lawyers aspire. Current members of the European Union’s Court of Justice and U.S, State Supreme Court judges are LL.M. degree holders. This gives you the potential to put your keen legal mind toward adjudicating cases at all levels of the court system.

Private Banking

You wouldn’t normally associate the financial sector with law, at least not in a good way. However, many investment firms choose professionals with advanced legal degrees to keep them in compliance and due to their wide breadth of knowledge. An LL.M. degree will provide you with a deep understanding of international banking law and corporate finance.

Partnership

This is another career rung that aspiring lawyers hope to climb one day. Competition in many firms is tough, so only the best and brightest needs apply. There are two types of law partnerships, and having an advanced degree could make the difference with you’re whether you’re asked to become a full partner or not. An LL.M. degree shows your commitment to furthering your career and enhancing your firm’s reputation. As a partner, you’ll have say over the firm’s management and direction, and an equity partnership will be within reach.

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CEO

Another position you wouldn’t normally associate with the legal profession. However, more and more corporations are actively seeking leadership with with advanced law credentials to fill top spots. This option allows you to choose your industry and bring passion to your job in a different way.

Politician

You don’t need to be a lawyer to become a politician, but many of the best ones are. This is the ultimate way to put your education to use as a public servant, but with a much higher pay grade than a public defender. An advanced law degree is invaluable when you’re shaping policy, crafting new legislation and understanding issues that are up for debate. In fact, more than half of all U.S. presidents have been lawyers.

Many top law schools, including USC, are offering an online option for working adults who still want to further their education. Online classes can be completed in your own time, and many programs offer a more concentrated curriculum to help students get more out of their studies. Best of all, you’ll still benefit from the close associations with faculty and alumni that build networks.

To find out more about online masters degree programs, check out the website of any accredited college or university that offers distant learning courses. Some are only accredited regionally, so find out how that might affect you. However, this option also eliminates geography as a factor when choosing a school.