LLM in IP Law from Abroad: Will it Get You a Job in the Foreign Country?

Karan Gehlot asked the below question on Prof. Dr. Shamnad Basheer’s career page here.

Question: I am planning to pursue LLM from abroad and I am very confused as to what will be the chances of my job in a law firm after LLM.

Answer: The LLM abroad in IP is the worst route to a job there.

It may enhance your job opportunities in India, but the chances of landing a job abroad (particularly US) after an LLM there is rather remote.

You may as well do an JD if you’re keen on a job in the US.

For an LLM is treated as inferior to a JD and is seen mainly as a cash cow for US Universities that dole out the same courses (as they have for JD students) to poor unsuspecting foreign students that land up doe-eyed wanting to test the waters of an allegedly superior legal education system.

The best aspect of a foreign LLM is the cultural experience and the educational experience of course—and the fact that it really widens your mind and perspective and worldview.

So I would suggest that if you really want to make the most of an LLM, do it for those reasons, rather than a job.

This is not to dissuade you from looking for a job abroad after an LLM. If you’re keen and you hit real hard, and you’re lucky, you will land one.

But be prepared for the fact that the probability of finding an easy job abroad after an LLM (particularly in IP) is not a high one.

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  1. Medha Singh says:

    I would add on to the question here. I’m pursuing the 5 year integrated B.A.LL.B (hons.) course and want to pursue higher education in US. I think of giving the GRE for universities there but i am clueless about whether that is the right path i should purse this with. I’d really appreciate some guidance or law career counselling and ideas to help me out. Thanks

  2. anusha kaushik says:

    what about doing an llm in international trade laws or investment laws from europe> would i be able to land a job after completing the course?

  3. I do not completely agree with this analysis. Law schools like University of New Hampshire School of Law offer LLM to even students who do not have JD or LL.B. prior to the LLM. They usually accept engineers and pharma graduates who have some experience in the IP Laws prior to LLM. These students get an LLM degree and I know few students (Indian) personally who are practising as IP Lawyers in the US after their LLM. Somewhere, technical or science background has an edge for those aspiring to do IP Laws.

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