LL.M

You could make an entire Olbermann-like career just exposing the ridiculousness of legal education… I think.

A couple of days ago, we talked about how law schools are trying to increase revenue by offering “master of laws” degrees of questionable value. These programs are just the latest attempts by law schools to charge people for something without assessing their value in the marketplace for jobs.

The more traditional way for law schools to jack revenue out of students who want “extra” credentials is to offer LL.M. programs. We’ve talked about the low value of these programs before. In fairness, there are a couple of useful LL.M. programs. If you can match the degree with a specific employer who wants it, some programs can help. Note: you’ll want to ask the employer if it’s worth it for you to get the LL.M., not the law school administrator trying to get you to sign up and cut them a check.

But one of the scam bloggers has put together a list of LL.M. programs that you should almost certainly avoid at all costs. That seems more useful than arguing whether NYU or Georgetown has a better tax LL.M. program….

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Every so often, people ask us about the “value” of getting an LL.M. degree. Our answer has remained pretty consistent. Is it a tax LL.M. from Georgetown or NYU? No? Then save your money and buy something valuable like gold or drugs. See this graphic (click to enlarge):

Photo credit: some dude on TLS.

But still, people ask: “Is it worth it to get an LL.M. degree?” And obviously, there are a bunch of people who put down good money chasing an extra credential that has little to no impact on their job prospects.

Why? Well, the simplest answer is that LL.M.s are extremely valuable to law school budgets. LL.M.s are so lucrative for law schools that law school deans are willing to lie or become willfully ignorant as to the employment opportunities generated by an expensive post-law school degree.

The National Law Journal made that EXTREMELY OBVIOUS point yesterday (again)….

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Last week, we asked if there was any value to getting an LL.M. The upshot seems to be that law schools have no idea whether or not their LL.M programs are any good.

In lieu of information from the schools or the ABA, we turn to where we always turn: a magazine. The New York Law Journal has stepped into the rankings fray to rank New York-based LL.M programs.

The results are somewhat surprising. NYU Law has long been considered, by U.S. News and others, to have the best tax LL.M program in the land. But that’s not how the NYLJ sees it.

Of course, there’s a big flaw in the NYLJ’s methodology. Let’s take a closer look — and also find out the winners in the other LL.M. categories….

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