What to look for in a Master of Laws Program?

Suyesha Sengupta

Law is perceived as one of the most challenging fields considering its consistent demand for time, money, attentiveness, and the ability to understand complex law matters. Despite it being a complex domain, many aspirants are desperate to embark on a bright career in this field. For them, possessing a qualification from a leading law school is insufficient to guarantee a decent job in the law domain. Pursuing a Master of Laws (LLM) degree can be a step closer to accessing outstanding career opportunities. A Master of Laws degree equips you with the advanced skills and knowledge to help you efficiently work in the speciality area of this domain.

Obtaining an LLM from any leading institute will open doors to many lucrative opportunities for you. The salary offered by law firms in India varies from INR 25 to 30 lac/year. On the other hand, fresh graduate lawyers can obtain great job opportunities in law firms with salaries ranging from INR 5 to 10 lac/year. The average salary of an attorney/lawyer is INR 5.7 lac/year in India. The LLM graduates’ average salary can range from INR 4 – 10 lac per annum in India, which is likely to increase up to INR 45 to 50 lac based on skills and experience.

 Let’s go through the following guide to learn how to choose the right Master of Laws program.

1) Duration of the program

The conventional LLM degree includes one year of study, but the duration of the existing LLM programs can differ based on the factors like the university, number of credits, etc.  Certain universities provide full-time offline classes, due to which their program’s duration is just one year or less than that. But few other universities provide online and part-time options for students who want a longer, flexible schedule.

2) Area of specialisation

The choice of a Master of Laws program significantly depends on the area of specialisation you wish to obtain it is vital to focus on your interests right from high school.

If you are fascinated by working in federal/state/local law, crime and punishment, etc., then criminal law is a decent area of specialisation to consider. Dispute resolution is another important area of specialisation you can consider if you have powerful communication skills. You can pursue the Master of Laws (LL.M.) – International Business and Finance Law program offered under Golden Gate University and learn various aspects of International Business and Finance Law.

Remember, all areas of specialisation under the Master of Laws will need a unique set of skills, irrespective of your interests.

3) Research on the program’s curriculum

It is vital to have background research and understand the program’s curriculum. Certain Master of Laws programs may boast specific requirements that you may not fit. You can first shortlist a few programs you would like to pursue and then carefully study their curriculum. This will mentally prepare you for what you must know before choosing a Master of Laws program.

For example, research the required coursework, test scores, and work experience (if demanded). Evaluating these factors gives you an exact idea of what to expect before pursuing a specific law program. Moreover, it gives you an idea of how to prepare and move further with your career.

4) Deciding career paths

The legal career paths and work environments can vary based on your specialisation. If you have a career plan in mind or certain organisations you prefer to work for, then you need to consider which specialisation can help you embark on the most suitable career path.

For example, the career path for becoming a tax lawyer is different from a compliance officer. This is because the latter needs specialisation in healthcare compliance or corporate compliance. Moreover, Master’s in Compliance Programs are also available to opt from. Pursuing a Master of Business Law will not help you if you aim to become a compliance officer. By selecting one of those options, you can obtain compliance certificates that prove beneficial for your career.

The typical settings for embarking on a career in law include government agencies, private sector businesses, nonprofit organisations, educational institutions, law firms, and more. For example, a lawyer can work in law firms or legal offices, whereas a compliance officer can work for a healthcare institution. Determining which career path and work setting best suits you will help you to choose a Master of Laws program easily.

5) University’s credibility

Evaluating the law programs’ specialisation is not enough. You also need to research the credibility of the universities you wish to apply to. Ensure comparing the law university’s credibility based on your chosen specialisation. Certain universities are highly renowned for certain law programs. Choosing one of them can help your resume appear to stand out from the other graduates. Thus, it can give you more credibility while entering the law industry you aspire to specialise.

If you want to pursue a Master of Business Law, assess the corresponding university’s credibility. If the university you shortlisted is not renowned in that specialisation, then you can’t make the most of your investment.

6) Seek advice

You can approach your network to get advice. Occasionally, the people in your network have genuine answers to many of your queries regarding the selection of a law program. You can approach graduates in your field, academic advisors, or friends/family members who have already worked in this field.

Your advisor can assist you in framing a plan for your desired law specialisation. Even after discussing with them, if you are still uncertain about your choice, they can assist you by evaluating the pros and cons of all Master of Laws programs available. Moreover, they evaluate your preparation for the particular program. Graduates in the law field are quite experienced with the academic journey. So, they can provide great insight into what you can expect in your chosen program’s curriculum.

7) Industry growth forecasts

It is better to choose a Master of Laws program after evaluating the existing and future job demands in that area of the legal landscape. For instance, tax law is one of the best career options because it will be ever-demanding as long as tax exists. So, it can provide great earning potential and career growth in the future.

For instance, international business and finance law is one of the best career options in India because it assesses legal issues impacting the operation of business organisations.

The Indian legal profession has significantly developed within a span of 50 years to come up as the world’s biggest branch of the profession. In India, there are more than 1.4 million registered advocates.

You can work as a financial specialist, an accountant, or a financial manager if you possess a tax law specialisation. The aforementioned occupations are projected to realise above-average job demands from 2019 to 2029.   

Note that each law specialisation boasts its unique benefits. It is vital to research each of them to obtain a clear perspective of job trends and an estimation of where you might stand in the future. You can pursue an online LLM to benefit from learning flexibility and have easy access to broad network opportunities.

Get Started With Your Law Journey at Golden Gate University (GGU)

If you want to learn international business and finance laws with all its in-depth topics, the Master of Laws (LLM) program offered by San Francisco’s leading University, Golden Gate University, can be the right pick for you! 

This 12-month program provides exhaustive coverage of specialised domains of international business law. It highlights the interaction between the business and legal activities of the different parts of the world. It equips students with the knowledge of the basic principles of Finance and international business laws. GGU is WASC/WES accredited and recognised institute which imparts skills like drafting, researching, negotiating, and staying up-to-date with international laws in the corporate domain.


Choosing a Master of Laws program is not intimidating if you carefully assess your area of interest, job trends in this field, your skills, and more. Taking account of the above-discussed factors can streamline your decision and help you to choose the most relevant law program.


Q1. Is an LLM degree worth it?

A. Earning an LLM degree imparts in-depth knowledge and experience competent enough to offer you an edge over other professionals who don’t possess this degree. This degree provides extra career options, outstanding networking opportunities, and admirable salary packages. It fine-tunes the research skills that let you extensively analyse the law, draft legal documents, and present your findings. Moreover, it allows you to pursue a 1-year course dedicated to a specific area of law. So you can explore new career options.

Q2. What’s the difference between an LL.M. and LLB degree?

The fundamental difference between an LLB (Bachelor of Law) and an LLM (Masters of Law) is the course’s level. LLM is a postgraduate course for those students who have already finished their graduation, whereas LLB is a graduation-level course.

Q3. What are the benefits of online LLM?

A. Online LLM presents a dynamic online learning platform accessible from anywhere you own an internet connection. It provides you with a two-way online classroom experience aided with interactive student-faculty interaction. It offers a wide scope because it lets you study specialised courses depending on your interest.

Q4. Does an LLM degree provide career change opportunities?

A. If you aim to change your career, an LLM degree is a wonderful opportunity to obtain legal knowledge. Those professionals who have worked in a different industry for several years, for example, engineering, can benefit from a new career experience with great opportunities. They can pursue an LLM degree followed by a Graduate Diploma of Law (GDL) degree to practise as a lawyer.


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