Thinking of pursuing a master's degree in law? You may decide to pursue a general LLM, or you may choose to pursue an LLM with a concentration or specialization. We have curated some specialized LLM which you can consider and highlighted the top schools that offer these programs. This article focuses on International Law, Air and Space Law, Maritime Law, Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, Business Law, Tax Law, Human Rights Law, Environmental Law and Oil and Gas Law.
1. International Law
Geneva is home to many international organizations, and also one of the leading institutions for LLMs in International law. The Graduate Institute Geneva offers an LLM in International Law which is profoundly committed to arming its students with the transferable skills necessary to succeed in the professional world. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.graduateinstitute.ch/programmes/llm-programme-international-law
University of York offers six specialized LLM courses which include an LLM in International Corporate and Commercial Law. During the programme, the student will take a look at the key areas of corporate governance and corporate and commercial law, exploring the differences in laws and governance in countries around the world, and the way they respond to economic and social pressure, economic stability and crisis. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-taught/courses/llm-international-corporate-commercial-law/
The EUI offers a one-year LLM in Comparative, European and International Laws. It is a predominantly research based program and focuses on the acquisition and practice of research skills and on the preparation of a dissertation. The programme examines the challenges facing European law, public international law and private law, looking within cultural, political and economic topics. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.eui.eu/ServicesAndAdmin/AcademicService/MasterofLaws/LL.M.Programme
UCLA also offers a specialized LLM in International and Comparative Law. The University ranks among the top schools in the United States for its International law LLM, among others. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.law.ucla.edu/llm-sjd/llm-program/degree-specializations/
The Oxford Law faculty boasts of being a major centre for International law study for over 400 years. The programme affords students the opportunity to benefit from allied fields in the faculty of Law, such as environmental law, human rights law and legal philosophy. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/content/public-international-law-0
2. Air and Space Law
McGill’s LLM programs offer a distinct approach to law as a pluralistic, social and interactive discipline. Students are exposed to the opportunity to participate in cutting edge legal research, engage with a broad range of research networks, and experience a strong sense of community and collegiality. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.mcgill.ca/law/grad-studies/masters-programs/llm-air-and-space-law
The LLM at Leiden combines public air law, private air law, and space law. It has a clearly defined European and international dimension, making it unique. The one year LLM, is one which curriculum promises to be exciting and enlightening. You may find more information on their website at: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/education/study-programmes/master/air-and-space-law
The University of Mississippi School of Law is one leading college in the United States in air and space law education. The programme is open to both US and foreign-trained law school graduates. For more information, please visit the website at: https://law.olemiss.edu/academics-programs/llm/
The LLM program is also open to foreign-trained students. It is a highly competitive programme and only enrolls 8-10 students every academic year to ensure that each student receives quality attention. For more information, visit the website at: https://catalog.unl.edu/law/space-telecommunications-llm/
3. Maritime Law
Swansea University has arguably, one of the world’s best Maritime Law programmes. The programme outline is filled with several activities and courses geared towards developing seasoned 21st century lawyers with specialist and in-depth understanding of international maritime law. One unique thing about this university is that it offers two options for Maritime Law enthusiasts, there is the specialized LLM in International Maritime Law, and there is a broader combined one, which is the LLM in International Commercial and Maritime Law. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.swansea.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/law/llmininternationalmaritimelaw/
Southampton is another great place to study for a Master’s in Maritime Law. The programme is taught by globally-renowned experts who are versed both in national and international law. The degree also has a flexible structure which allows students to select modules which best suit their interests and ambitions. You may find more information on the programme at https://www.southampton.ac.uk/law/postgraduate/taught_courses/courses/llm-maritime-law.page
Tulane Law School has an Admiralty and Maritime Law Programme that it is known for internationally. The programme gives the students access to a variety of activities such as the Maritime Law Journal, the Maritime Law Society, and others. For more information, visit the website at https://law.tulane.edu/content/llm-areas-study
IMLI offers a specialized LLM in International Maritime Law. The programme entails courses in all areas of International maritime Law, and is open to lawyers, legal advisers, judges, and legal draftsmen and women whose duties encompass maritime issues and who are seeking specialization as well as law graduates of any country who intend to pursue a legal career in the field of maritime law whether in the public or private sectors, whether in practice, administration or academia. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.imli.org/index.php?q=programmes-and-courses/llm-programme
4. Health Law
Georgetown has a Global Health Law LLM which trains lawyers to apply their specialized legal skills to improve population health in the United States and globally. For more information, visit the website at: https://curriculum.law.georgetown.edu/llm/llm-llm-programs/llm-global-health-law/
The University of Manchester offers an LLM in Healthcare Ethics and Law. The programme is constructed to develop the student’s knowledge of medical law, and how medical law is shaped by ethical arguments and concerns. For more information, visit the website at https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/masters/courses/list/09213/llm-healthcare-ethics-and-law/#course-profile
McGill has one of the best Bioethics programmes in the world. The Master’s Degree Specialization in Bioethics is an interdisciplinary academic program that emphasizes both the conceptual and practical aspects of bioethics. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.mcgill.ca/study/2018-2019/faculties/law/graduate/programs/master-laws-llm-law-thesis-bioethics#llm-law-t_law4_bie_concentration_lw
The University of Toronto is one of the leading Universities in Canada and offers an LLM with a Concentration in Health Law, Ethics and Policy. The curriculum of this programme is very wide and there is a variety of courses students may choose from. The faculty is home to internationally respected scholars in Health Law, Ethics and Policy. There are many opportunities for graduate students including seminars and conferences. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.law.utoronto.ca/academic-programs/graduate-programs/llm-program-master-laws/llm-concentration-in-health-law-ethics
5. Intellectual Property Law
The George Washington University has a great International Property Law LLM with a rich and diverse curriculum. For more information, visit the website at: https://www.law.gwu.edu/courses#ip
Georgetown University also has one of the best Intellectual Property Law programmes. For more information, visit the website.
The Queen Mary University of London has a one year full time Master’s programme which allows a student to study introductory and advanced intellectual property and technology law and to scrutinize the policies affecting intellectual property and technology law under the guidance of leading scholars in the field. For more information, visit the website.
The LLM at University of Manchester is geared towards providing professional training for a career in intellectual property and patents. For more information, visit the website.
6. Business Law
Columbia has a Vanguard Executive LLM in Global Business Law which is designed for high-achieving experienced lawyers ready to advance their careers, build a global network, and take the lead in complex cross-border transactions. For more information, visit the website.
Apart from a strong International Business Law programme, LSE has several opportunities for interdisciplinary work relevant to international business law, with strong departments in Economics, Industrial Relations and International Relations. For more information, visit the website.
Stanford offers an LLM in International Economic Law, Business and Policy. As an Ivy League university, Stanford offers rigorous academic and professional training in subjects relating to international economic law, business and related policy issues. The programme welcomes applicants with law degrees from universities outside the USA with two years working experience. For more information, please visit the website.
The University of Southampton offers an LLM in International Business Law. The LLM offers the freedom for students to design their course by choosing from a range of optional modules covering topics relating to both private commercial trade and country-to-country agreements. For more information, please visit the website:
7. Tax Law
The Taxation programme at LSE offers a wide range of options, providing students with a solid foundation in the fundamentals of taxation, as well as an interest in taxation. For more information, visit the website.
Kings College has an International Tax LLM which was designed to equip students with the legal framework and intellectual tools needed to understand cross-border tax. You may find more information on the website.
The LLM in Tax Law at QMUL is widely regarded as one of the leading tax programmes in the world. Students also have the opportunity to participate in tax law programmes organized by the university. For more information, visit the website.
8. Human Rights Law
Oxford, one of the world’s renowned universities offers a distinctive LLM in International Human Rights Law. The programme is conducted on a part-time basis over 2 years and includes 2 periods of distance learning over the internet as well as 2 summer sessions held at New College, Oxford. The programme was designed for lawyers and human rights advocates who may wish to pursue an LLM alongside their jobs and other commitments. For more information, please visit the website.
The University of York also offers an LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice which is distinctive because the student will:
-work on real human rights issues in partnership with international and local NGOs, UN mechanisms or governmental bodies;
-undertake fieldwork in Kuala Lumpur or York and acquire valuable socio-legal skills;
-learn from the experiences of human rights defenders based at the Centre for Applied Human Rights and from the interactions with an international student body; and
-benefit from the interdisciplinary expertise of staff at the centre for Applied Human Rights and York Law School.
For more information, visit the website
This one year LLM provides advanced, comprehensive and practical training in international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international criminal law, as well as the interplay between them. The programme allows students to tailor their studies to suit their particular interests from a pool of diverse courses. For more information, visit the website.
Leiden University offers an advanced LLM in European and International Human Rights Law. The course was designed for persons who are interested in actively working to protect the human rights of people across the globe. For more information, visit the website.
9. Environmental Law
The University of California offers a specialized LLM in Environmental Law. Students may decide to go with a traditional LLM, which is practically a taught LLM, or toe the thesis line, which is a taught LLM, with a twist of research. More information can be found about this on the website.
The LLM programme at UCL provides a platform for students to develop expertise in specialist subject areas. One of such areas is Environmental Law and Policy. For more information, please visit the website.
The Vermont Law School offers an LLM in environmental law with over 50 courses in the programme outline. Students are allowed to further specialize in areas like climate change, land use, natural resources and water resources. You may find more information on the programme.
University of Calgary offers an LLM with specialization in Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental law. The programme is designed so as to give students a Canadian perspective of environmental law. For more information, please visit the website.
10. Oil and Gas Law
The University of Dundee offers an LLM in International Oil and Gas Law and Policy. The course was designed to give the student an understanding of the legal and regulatory environment and processes in the international energy and resources industries. More information may be found here.
Aberdeen boasts of a programme at the heart of the energy industry. The University’s Oil and Gas programme is highly rated and regarded and forms a strong base for development and acceleration of careers in oil and gas law across the globe. More information may be retrieved here.
Swansea University is a globally recognized school, with a thriving academic environment, committed to excellence in teaching and research, and offering an exceptional student experience. The LLM degree also provides students with the opportunity to learn from academics who are industry experts, with a wealth of academic and practical experience. For more information, kindly visit the website.
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Of course, the foregoing is not an exhaustive list, but this compilation can definitely get you started as you make decisions on where to pursue your LLM degree. For more information on admission periods, processes and scholarships, please visit the websites as provided in the body of the text.
Special thanks to our associate Olo Egbokhare for this compilation.
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