USC Gould Search

What Can You Do with an LLM Degree?
USC Gould School of Law

Monday, November 28, 2022

The University of Southern California’s Master of Laws (LLM) focuses on the United States legal system, with a flexible and impactful curriculum that prepares international lawyers for leadership roles in the increasingly globalized marketplace.

From global trade to corporate governance, privacy regulations, dispute resolution and more, specialized knowledge in U.S. law can help to advance your career and reach a variety of career goals.

USC’s LLM degree provides in-depth coursework in business, compliance, education, entertainment, finance, health care, human resources and more. Upon completion of the program on the bar track, international attorneys may be eligible* to sit for the bar exam.

Through the LLM degree law courses, you will develop:

  • Practical knowledge in the theories, history and use of U.S. law and understanding of the U.S. legal system, government, historical context and foundational values.
  • Insights into how the U.S. legal system differs from other legal systems around the world.
  • Fluency with advanced legal terminology through exposure to substantive texts, cases, statutes and memoranda.
  • The ability to perform legal research and analysis necessary for work in a variety of legal settings.
  • Understanding of legal professionalism and ethics, and the responsibilities required of representatives of clients and officers of the court.

*Note: USC Gould School of Law cannot determine your eligibility to sit for the Bar exam since each applicant is reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the State Bar. Therefore, we recommend verifying your Bar eligibility prior to enrolling.

*LLM in PLCS, LLM in ADR, and LLM in IBEL graduates may be eligible to sit for the bar exam in New York or California. 1-Year LLM and 2-Year LLM graduates may be eligible to sit for the bar exam in New York, California, Washington D.C., or Washington. Online LLM graduates may be eligible to sit for the bar exam in California.

What Can You Do with an LLM Degree?

The LLM degree enables lawyers to gain international qualifications and legal credentials while studying a specialized area of law, both through coursework in U.S. law and USC Gould’s certificates in areas such as entertainment law, entrepreneurship, business law and more. Familiarity with the U.S. legal system and applicable laws can help you:

  1. Increase your competitiveness as a job applicant by holding a master's degree in law.
  2. Advance your current impact through greater understanding of how the law intersects with your responsibilities.
  3. Enhance your resume by developing a specialization in business law, compliance, entertainment law, financial compliance, health care compliance, human resources law, and compliance, or privacy law and cybersecurity.

While legal job titles or responsibilities can overlap depending on the organization, possible outcomes for graduates of our LLM degree programs include:

  • Attorney/Staff Attorney
  • Chief Counsel/Chief Legal Officer/General Council
  • Data Privacy Officer
  • Director of Business Development
  • Director of Compliance
  • Employment Law Attorney
  • Entertainment Lawyer
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer

LLM Programs at USC Gould

Master of Laws (LLM) Degree
The full-time, one-year Master of Laws (LLM) provides you with foundational skills and knowledge of the U.S. legal system that are immediately applicable to real-world legal practice. Learn more about the LLM degree at USC Gould.

Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (2-Year LLM)
The Two-Year Extended Master of Laws (LLM) at USC Gould allows you to spend one year learning about the U.S. legal system and mastering legal English prior to enrolling in the one-year LLM. Learn more about the 2-Year LLM.

Master of Laws (LLM) - Online
The Online Master of Laws (LLM) program offers a part-time curriculum to meet flexible schedules for those looking to earn their LLM degree online. Increase your understanding through interdisciplinary study and interaction with legal experts, seasoned academics and policymakers. Learn more about the Online LLM.

Master of Laws in International Business and Economic Law (LLM in IBEL)
The LLM in International Business and Economic Law degree teaches the relevant laws, policies and business best practices that shape international commerce and trade. Students receive training in facilitating cross-border transactions and servicing globally engaged clients. Learn more about the LLM in IBEL.

Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR)
Our Master of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution (LLM in ADR) is designed for attorneys interested in developing their skills as advocates in conflict resolution processes. Learn more about the LLM in ADR.

Master of Laws in Privacy Law and Cybersecurity (LLM in PLCS)
The Master of Laws (LLM) in Privacy Law and Cybersecurity degree provides an interdisciplinary perspective to understand and integrate relevant laws, policies and best practices that shape privacy law and cybersecurity. Learn more about the LLM in PLCS.

Is the LLM Right for You?

An LLM degree is designed for students who are interested in expanding their knowledge of U.S. law and representing clients who have global business relationships in the United States or with U.S.-based companies. Before applying, consider whether you are looking to advance your legal career or take the next step in your academic journey. We recommend that you identify a concrete goal for earning this degree to receive the greatest benefit.

Moreover, a degree from a top ranked school like USC can open new opportunities in your profession. Many of our students expand their professional networks as members of the renowned Trojan Family Network, our international alumni network that includes over 14,000 USC law school alumni across the globe.

Read More