Wednesday, September 29, 2010
In the last two weeks, LLM programs have come under scrutiny (See here, here, here, and here). The general consensus seems to be that the master of law degree is valuable for aspiring tax attorneys and graduates of foreign law schools looking to work in the US. What about the real property-based LLM? At least four U.S. schools--John Marshall, Miami, Pace, and New York Law School--offer an advanced degree in Real Estate. Shelby Green, Director of Pace's program, promoted the LLM as a solution to the growing complexity of Real Estate law (see here, pdf). If I'm reading Prof. Green correctly, she's arguing that real estate practice--like tax--has become so complex and sub-specialized that an extra year of study is merited. I think you could also argue that law schools do a rather poor job of teaching transactional skills and, thus, a year of focusing on negotiating and closing deals could give a student an edge in the job market.
Does our audience have any sense if these programs are worth the cost and time? Does having a real estate LLM give applicants a significant boost in hiring? If an aspiring real estate attorney couldn't find work, would they be better off working for free in a real estate practice?
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