LLMs for people with US JDs: a waste (except for tax or prestige)

I was recently thinking about my own law school decisions, years ago. I considered doing a joint JD/LLM program at one school, or only a JD degree at other schools. I chose getting only a JD.

Now that I have been practicing for years, I see no point whatsoever in getting a JD and an LLM except:

  1. NYU’s tax LLM program.
  2. If you go to a law school that doesn’t give you the placement you want so you get a separate LLM from a higher-ranked school to improve your job prospects.

The program I had considered- a joint JD/LLM from the same school at the same time- seems to me to be harmful:

  1. I would have paid extra tuition and had fewer opportunities to be a summer associate in a law firm. Being a summer associate pays well and having been a successful summer associate is critical in interviewing while in law school.

  2. The additional classes with the LLM program are useless (as what classes you’ve taken in law school matters little once you’re practicing).

So for anyone who is considering a joint JD/LLM program: don’t do it!

Instead, if you have specific interest in a field that is covered by an LLM program, get a job or volunteer in that field. If you like entrepreneurship, do a short-term job in a startup. If you like international things, volunteer abroad for a summer before law school. Work or volunteer experience would be much more valuable than an LLM.

I welcome disagreement, but I wanted to give the advice that I didn’t get decades ago, but that I wish I had gotten.