International Trade Law Degree and Certificate Program Info

A Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Business and Trade Law program equips students with the technical knowledge needed for legal practice involving international trade and investment laws.

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Essential Information

A Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Business and Trade Law positions attorneys, both domestic and foreign, for international legal careers. Generally, LL.M. candidates must have graduated from a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), though state bar membership is not a prerequisite. Some programs admit law students who are pursuing a joint J.D./LL.M. degree. These programs generally require about 24-27 credit hours of study. Graduates apply their expertise to legal issues such as settling trade disputes, conflict resolution, enforcing legislation, and ensuring compliance with labor and environmental rules and regulations. Some graduates also use their newly acquired knowledge by teaching.


Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Business and Trade Law Degree

Many LL.M. degree students are experienced attorneys seeking to expand their practice. Foreign students must take special U.S. legal research and writing classes and complete introductory coursework in American law. Students must often complete a thesis requiring comprehensive legal research and analysis. They might enroll in classes such as:

  • International banking and trade law
  • International taxation
  • International and European antitrust law
  • International secured transactions
  • Chinese investment and business law
  • U.S. customs and import law

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Precise income figures are difficult to calculate in light of diverse employment opportunities, although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the May 2015 mean annual wage for attorneys on a national scale was $136,260 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

A certificate in International Trade and Business Law acknowledges that a J.D. graduate has taken certain courses during law school pertaining to this field of study. Some certificate programs emphasize interdisciplinary coursework which includes studies in the international monetary system, or the United Nations' role in international trade. Whereas some graduates earning a certificate will have this recognition entered on their transcripts of grades for the J.D. degree, other schools' programs provide a certificate without noting the certificate or concentrated fields of study on the student's official transcripts.

Degree studies in international trade law are available to students at the master's level. The specialized courses and research component of LL.M. programs help students to develop expertise and prepare them for a career in the field.

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