Career Info for an International Business, Trade & Tax Law Degree

International business lawyers require a significant amount of formal education. Learn about the necessary degrees, job duties and licensure information to see if this is the right career for you.

International business, trade and tax law is an area of specialization that can be pursued by those who have graduated from law school with a Juris Doctor degree. A Master of Laws program in international business, trade or tax law prepares these individuals to work in the international business field.

Essential Information

Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree programs in international business, tax or trade law can provide an attorney with advanced knowledge in a specialized area. This training may allow a lawyer to practice solely in the field of international business or another related field. LL.M. programs are typically completed after the J.D., though some concurrent programs are available.

Required Education Juris Doctor and an LL.M. degree
Licensure Required in all states
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for all lawyers
Median Annual Salary (May 2015)* $115,820 for all lawyers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Degrees in International Business, Trade and Tax Law

LL.M. degrees are generally 1-year degree programs available to individuals who have graduated from an accredited law school. These programs can focus on many different topics, including international tax, trade and business law. It is uncommon for a single program to focus on all three legal subject areas; however, there are LL.M. programs in international business that cover trade law issues, as well as international tax LL.M programs.

Some LL.M. programs are available to law students while they are completing their law degree studies, while others are offered separately as post-law-school programs. Combined law degree and LL.M. programs may only require three years of study, which is generally how long it takes to complete studies for a law degree. However, these programs may also include mandatory summer sessions.

International business LL.M. programs include a variety of courses, such as international business transactions, trade law and European Union law. International taxation LL.M. programs include courses covering topics like international tax planning and policy. Other related courses in LL.M. programs include taxation of business, wealth transaction taxes, financial products and income tax procedures. Most LL.M. programs also have clinic and internship opportunities available to students.

Career Information

Business lawyers may work on labor and employment law, intellectual property, business transactions, and contracts. They may also work on community development issues, aviation or transportation issues. An international lawyer concentrates their practice on international contracts, tax and business transactions. Typical job tasks of these lawyers include negotiating and drafting contracts, interpreting laws, securing financing for projects and representing clients.

Lawyers in these areas can work in private practice, for government agencies or non-profit organizations. They can also work for accounting firms, banks or as management consultants.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2014 that there were nearly 778,700 lawyers in the nation ( The BLS also stated in the same year that the median salary for lawyers was $115,820 as of May 2015.

Master of Laws programs can be completed in one year of study following graduation from law school. As part of these studies it may be possible to gain experience through an internship. International business lawyers can work for companies, government agencies or non-profit organizations.

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