It is well known that enrolling in an LLM program is a time consuming and extremely expensive endeavor. In selecting programs to apply to, prospective applicants often look for LLM rankings in an effort to determine which programs are most desirable to them on the basis of the programs’ appeal to a broad survey audience. Unfortunately, there are no such official rankings for LLM programs and, conceptually, there cannot be. As we explain in this LLM Guide, selecting the program to attend is ultimately dependent on the question of why a particular applicant is interested in obtaining an LLM degree. There are at least three separate possible motivations for obtaining an LLM degree in the United States that we address in the LLM Guide:
1. Improving one’s resume by adding an LLM degree.
2. Obtaining specific professional skills through the LLM degree.
3. Becoming eligible to take the bar exam in the US.
A common misconception that we can try to correct is that official law school rankings are applicable to LLM programs. While it is true that US News rankings are relevant to some applicants, they certainly should not be the authority for all. In this LLM Guide we provide ides for selecting an LLM program suitable for different types of applicants.