LLM in International Business Law: Degree Program Information

International business law is the study of the laws, regulations, theories and policies that govern international commerce. The Master of Laws (LL.M.) in this field is an advanced degree for business lawyers.

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Essential Information

Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs in international business train students to provide services for governments, nongovernmental organizations and multinational corporations. Prior to graduation, students must submit a master's thesis. Most programs take one to five years to complete.

In order to apply, students need to have earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an American Bar Association-accredited institution. They must also submit academic transcripts, and if they are from outside the United States, they must submit English fluency exam scores.


Master's Degree Programs in International Business Law

LL.M. programs in international business law train lawyers to analyze the benefits and drawbacks of business regulations, negotiate contracts and other transactions such as mergers, litigate for changes to specific laws and policies, resolve trade disputes, and interpret environmental law. Students also learn about laws governing trade in the U.S. and other nations, as well as the features of international organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO) and transnational commercial pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Students in these programs can expect to pursue advanced studies in global finance, securities regulations, and international bankruptcy. They may also be required to take a core seminar in U.S. corporate law. Possible course titles include:

  • Antitrust law
  • Corporate finance
  • Dispute resolution in international commerce
  • International business transactions
  • Investment law
  • WTO and NAFTA regulations

Career Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that employment growth of lawyers was expected to grow by 6%, or about as fast as the average for all occupations, from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). Job competition in the field is likely to remain strong, as there are more students graduating with law degrees than available positions in the field.

Lawyers earned a mean annual wage of $136,260 as of May 2015, according to the BLS. Salaries vary by employer, with lawyers employed by the industrial machinery manufacturing industry earning the highest salaries.

Continuing Education and Licensure Info

If they have not done so already, aspiring lawyers with LL.M. degrees in international business law who wish to practice within the United States must pass their states' written bar examinations, which usually cover topics in law and ethics. According to the BLS, most states also require practicing lawyers to participate in continuing education courses at either law schools or local bar associations.

Beyond the LL.M., a lawyer may obtain the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.), which is a terminal degree. Graduates of these programs typically work as law professors or scholars.

To summarize, law students who want to pursue intensive studies in international business law can enroll in an LL.M. program. From there, they can go on to international legal careers or S.J.D. programs.

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