Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Making the Most of an LLM

So I'm aware of the reputation of LLMs as being "Lawyers Los bellyslater02/08/17
I don't say this to disparage you, but if you're not working sjlawyer02/08/17
The SAUSA ship has sailed, I've already talked to the office bellyslater02/08/17
LLM questions will by similar if you ever try to do anything sjlawyer02/08/17
The only LLM that matters at this stage in your career is th dingbat02/08/17
Sounds like you are pretty committed to this idea. If I was trollfeeder02/08/17
I have an LLM from a T3 school. It is a useless degree. massivemissive02/08/17
The LLM might not get him a gig as an AUSA but his vet statu retard02/08/17
Thanks - that's why I posted... it's a VERY nontraditional s bellyslater02/08/17
Although I agree with dingbat in substance, the specifics of mtobeinf02/09/17
you mean that Roosevelt Money dingbat02/09/17
More like my tax dollars. isthisit02/09/17
When I said T3 I meant HYS. Just saying so you have the con massivemissive02/09/17
Actually, the OP's position for LLM isn't bad. imoothereforeim02/08/17
I appreciate that - as I mentioned above, it's pretty unique bellyslater02/08/17
Sounds like a win for OP. Get free LLM while wife does 1 isthisit02/08/17
If you want to do trial work, take all the performance orien e36m302/08/17
What about another master's degree? Maybe in a different fi soupcansham02/09/17
Naw, trading one worthless degree for another won't help unl isthisit02/09/17
Why would another master's be worthless? He could pick almo soupcansham02/09/17
Really? So an MFA, MSW, non-elite MBA, etc would be better t isthisit02/09/17
EE for Patent? dingbat02/09/17
Does OP sound like he wants to be a patent attorney? He' isthisit02/09/17
EE takes too long. Maybe one of them CS programs. imoothereforeim02/09/17
If he didn't want to be a lawyer and was going to looked for soupcansham02/09/17
Even a no-name MBA can convey some useful finance/business s onehell02/17/17
You could also use your time as an LLM student to secure int blackholelaw02/09/17
I'm generally not in favor of LLMs (except for tax as others hairypalms02/09/17
NDAA prohibits OP from applying to DOD positions for 180 day clocker102/15/17

bellyslater (Feb 8, 2017 - 3:10 pm)

So I'm aware of the reputation of LLMs as being "Lawyers Losing Money," but for various personal and family reasons, I've enrolled in one next year and I'd like to make the most of it. Specifically, it's free for me b/c of military service and my spouse is doing a 1-year medical fellowship at a nearby institution. We don't plan to stay in the area beyond 1 year. It's also a far better school than the one I attended for my JD (from a top 50 to a top 20) and gives me ties to the coast where we prefer to live.

I've got a ton of military trial experience and I'd like to use the LLM to "bridge the gap" to civilian law practice. My career goals are: 1) AUSA (criminal), 2) AUSA (civil), 3) Plaintiff's firm or other trial-focused civil litigation practice, 4) law school faculty.

My school lets you custom-build the LLM according to your interests... any recs on courses/scholarship I should pursue in order to make myself as marketable as possible?

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sjlawyer (Feb 8, 2017 - 3:14 pm)

I don't say this to disparage you, but if you're not working, you are going to gain more by simply working a job, any job, over this LLM. Time might be better spent interning/working or receiving "special" status with an AUSA.

Generally, the only decently valuable LLM is tax and that doesn't fit your goals. With a JD, experience is king.

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bellyslater (Feb 8, 2017 - 3:25 pm)

The SAUSA ship has sailed, I've already talked to the office about it. They weren't interested several months ago, and with the hiring freeze, everyone's on lockdown until more guidance comes down from the new AG. That said, the point is taken: I can pursue an externship for credit in Jan. 2018.
I should also add that Uncle Sam will also pay me while I'm a full time student. It's not much, but it helps when you've got 3 mouths to feed.
WRT experience: I don't want to close doors by accepting a job I'll leave after just one year. I think it also raises a lot of questions: "Why'd you leave?" "Were you fired?" "Couldn't hack it?" Plus, I won't be licensed in the new state until at least April.

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sjlawyer (Feb 8, 2017 - 3:34 pm)

LLM questions will by similar if you ever try to do anything else. Those questions sound easily answered by your family situation. I'll be honest - stuck between choosing a non-tax LLM and avoiding paying for daycare by staying home w/ the kid, I'd pick day care. You'll save some cash and also have a good reason for a gap.

YMMV

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dingbat (Feb 8, 2017 - 5:48 pm)

The only LLM that matters at this stage in your career is the tax LLM from NYU. The rest are just a waste of money.

Further down the line, some lawyers may choose an LLM to further their knowledge in their chosen field, and use it as a marketing tool. Other than that, don't ever bother with one

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trollfeeder (Feb 8, 2017 - 7:56 pm)

Sounds like you are pretty committed to this idea. If I was wasting a year in an LLM, I would probably hound career services to start setting up interviews. Unfortunately, an LLM is not taking you down any of your preferred pathes.

Wanting to do ausa crim or plaintiff work or being a law professor is a bit broad, you should probably be a bit more realistic about your short term goals.

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massivemissive (Feb 8, 2017 - 8:02 pm)

I have an LLM from a T3 school.

It is a useless degree.

It will not get you a position as an AUSA.

It will not get you a law professor position.

You are wasting your time.

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retard (Feb 8, 2017 - 10:04 pm)

The LLM might not get him a gig as an AUSA but his vet status might. It's free, in a place where he is temporarily located, will allow him to an allowance from the USGov, and he has a good "excuse" a la bridging the gap into civilian practice.

In fact if he doesn't take it he is leaving government cheese on the table and might also not qualify for a stipend for living expenses from Uncle Sam.

He is remarkably more well situated than most here

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bellyslater (Feb 8, 2017 - 10:40 pm)

Thanks - that's why I posted... it's a VERY nontraditional situation. So I aim to make the most of it: by taking courses in advanced civil litigation and trial procedure, and then billing the LL.M. as such. Any advice or cautions with that?

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mtobeinf (Feb 9, 2017 - 7:54 am)

Although I agree with dingbat in substance, the specifics of this situation render the above (retards) appropriate advice. Spend that Obama money!!!!!

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dingbat (Feb 9, 2017 - 1:15 pm)

you mean that Roosevelt Money

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isthisit (Feb 9, 2017 - 1:21 pm)

More like my tax dollars.

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massivemissive (Feb 9, 2017 - 7:21 am)

When I said T3 I meant HYS. Just saying so you have the context.

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imoothereforeim (Feb 8, 2017 - 8:49 pm)

Actually, the OP's position for LLM isn't bad.

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bellyslater (Feb 8, 2017 - 10:41 pm)

I appreciate that - as I mentioned above, it's pretty unique. That said, I want to make the most of it, and it's nice that I can custom-build the program and not be limited to the "Underwater Basketweaving" track.

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isthisit (Feb 8, 2017 - 11:31 pm)

Sounds like a win for OP.

Get free LLM while wife does 1 year medical fellowship AND get a stipend from my tax dollars! Go for it.

I guarantee you that it won't get you an AUSA job. But the pros seriously outweigh the cons IMO.

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e36m3 (Feb 8, 2017 - 11:49 pm)

If you want to do trial work, take all the performance oriented classes you can - advanced trial ad and the like. Anything that gets you on your feet and evaluated.

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soupcansham (Feb 9, 2017 - 8:28 am)

What about another master's degree? Maybe in a different field that has better job prospects.

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isthisit (Feb 9, 2017 - 8:46 am)

Naw, trading one worthless degree for another won't help unless it's a medical related field but it seems like OP wants to stay in law.

I agree with blackholelaw that he should look for a student internship/externship. That could possibly set something up for OP after graduation.

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soupcansham (Feb 9, 2017 - 12:15 pm)

Why would another master's be worthless? He could pick almost anything and it'd be more useful than an LL.M. If he wants to stay in law, though, that's fine.

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isthisit (Feb 9, 2017 - 1:11 pm)

Really? So an MFA, MSW, non-elite MBA, etc would be better than a LLM? I think they're all equally worthless.

But true, OP wants to stay in law so the free LLM is probably his best bet. As opposed to getting a masters in fire fighting or whatever.

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dingbat (Feb 9, 2017 - 1:17 pm)

EE for Patent?

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isthisit (Feb 9, 2017 - 1:23 pm)

Does OP sound like he wants to be a patent attorney?

He's Perry Mason or Clarence Darrow.

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imoothereforeim (Feb 9, 2017 - 3:49 pm)

EE takes too long. Maybe one of them CS programs.

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soupcansham (Feb 9, 2017 - 7:06 pm)

If he didn't want to be a lawyer and was going to looked for white collar employability, maybe accounting or computer science or something specialized. Not every master's degree is crap.

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onehell (Feb 17, 2017 - 4:29 pm)

Even a no-name MBA can convey some useful finance/business skills, depending on concentration. Take enough accounting credits and you could even become a JD/CPA. From a no-name school it likely won't get you into Big 4 or whatever, but you could still use it to carve out a niche. Heck, in a lot of ways (particularly at small firms) a JD/CPA could be more effective marketing themselves as a "tax lawyer" than a guy with a tax LLM from just about anywhere that isn't NYU/Georgetown/Florida.

An MSW, meanwhile, can lead to clinical licensure if you can get the requisite experience hours, which grants you a scope of practice similar to that of a psychologist. i.e. you can diagnose and treat mental disorders and bill insurance but can't prescribe meds. Combined with a JD you could do a lot of stuff in healthcare with it, or perhaps get retained for low-end expert witness stuff like family court custody evaluations. Or you could even change careers entirely as there is a nationwide shortage of mental health professionals.

Not saying such degrees are a goldmine or anything but out of the examples you gave, MSWs and MBAs are likely more useful than a non-tax LLM. The only good reason to get an LLM that isn't NYU Tax is if you're a foreign-trained lawyer who wants to sit for the bar in a state like NY that allows it.

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blackholelaw (Feb 9, 2017 - 8:39 am)

You could also use your time as an LLM student to secure internships that are only available to current students. State government has a lot of these, non-profits... just something to add to the resume.

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hairypalms (Feb 9, 2017 - 5:24 pm)

I'm generally not in favor of LLMs (except for tax as others have already noted), but it sounds like OP has to kill a year while his SO finishes up medical residency/internship. In this isolated case, it sounds like a good idea. You don't burn any bridges with a firm, you have an excuse to tell a prospective firm what you did for a full year instead of sitting on the couch watching soap operas and eating bon bons. Just don't expect much, if anything, from the degree in the way of a job. Possibly it will provide some connections. Use the time to start looking for a job in your preferred destination and start studying for the bar.

For what it's worth, when I see an LLM on someone's resume, I stereotype as follows: (i) an uppity, elitist pinhead that I don't want to hire (or work with); (ii) someone who couldn't find a job post-JD; or (iii) a foreign LLM.

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clocker1 (Feb 15, 2017 - 2:34 pm)

NDAA prohibits OP from applying to DOD positions for 180 days. Federal government is currently in a hiring freeze. LLM will take a year. I assume he has post 911 benefits. So, he could just go to school and start applying for federal positions. Freeze will most likely be over when degree is complete and it takes an inordinate amount of time to receive interviews or go through the federal job hiring process. So, not a bad option. Personally, I would rather look for a job and transfer my education benefits to the kids.

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