Interested in Business Law? 4 Reasons to Pursue Your Master of Laws Degree

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Law students who have begun their own practices or who have recently graduated with a law degree may want to continue their education, especially if they plan to practice international law. Professionals can graduate with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in as few as three semesters through the University of Southern California (USC) Online Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program.

Pursuing a business law-related degree could offer several benefits. If you plan to earn your business law certificate simultaneously, your advanced education may open doors to further opportunities in business law.

If you are interested in the world of business law and are not certain if you should pursue a Master of Laws degree, consider the following four potential benefits:

Take Advantage of Advanced Training with a Specialized Law Degree

A gavel.

Image via Flickr by gentlehorizons

Attorneys who work for or with large businesses may need more training than they receive in law school, particularly in technology. Writing for Above the Law, attorney and legal technology expert Nicole Black reported that law firms have begun to embrace automation. Whether they need to prepare documents, collate resources, or research case law, modern technology solutions can allow attorneys to save time and money. Pursuing your LL.M. degree online can immerse you in technology during your studies and help you find new ways to apply technology to your practice.

Attorneys may also need advanced training to fully take advantage of technology in their practices. Professionals with backgrounds in technology and experience with online learning could enjoy an advantage over their peers as they find new ways to help businesses resolve legal problems.

The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) describes 14 legal specialties that students can pursue upon graduation. Since law school programs may not cover each area in as much detail as a specialized degree program, students can expand their business law knowledge by obtaining a business law certificate as well as a Master of Laws.

Gain Global Credibility for Your Practice

In addition to detailing different legal specialties, the LSAC differentiates the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. One primary distinction concerns the latter’s global credibility. Since attorneys from other countries as well as the United States can pursue a Master of Laws degree, the program generally covers legal issues from around the world.

According to USC educators, international trade and business have become increasingly based on U.S. law. Professionals from other countries who want to receive education in U.S. law may pursue a Master of Laws degree to better understand their options and to apply what they learn to their future careers.

Andrew Guzman, Dean of the USC Gould School of Law, said, “The online program allows international students to pursue a graduate degree focused in American law while meeting their professional and personal obligations in their home countries. Classes offered online mirror those taught in the residential program.” Students who learn advanced law techniques and strategies may discover that they get their credentials faster with an online program, no matter where they live and work.

Additionally, a Master of Laws degree program can attract international professionals. You may enjoy the diversity you find among your fellow students. If you choose an online Master of Laws degree program, you can enjoy unique interactions with diverse students and your instructors.

Help Protect Businesses That Expand Abroad

A Master of Laws degree can offer benefits for professionals who practice in several areas of business law. For example, Forbes contributor Bryan Pearson revealed that U.S. retailers, in particular, have continually crossed borders to open franchises overseas. In fact, one-fifth of all U.S. companies that opened offices in foreign countries were retailers.

Pearson noted, however, that even large chain stores, such as Walmart and Target, have struggled to keep their doors open. If companies do not understand the local law, culture, and business practices overseas, they may struggle to keep their businesses profitable.

Based on Pearson’s observations, international attorneys with a Master of Laws degree may become useful when helping international companies conduct business with U.S. companies. Since these attorneys may have knowledge of both foreign and U.S. law from their first law degrees and their LL.M. degrees, they could help businesses avoid common mistakes that may otherwise result in failure.

Communicate Your Specific Focus to Potential Employers

Even if you do not intend to seek employment with a U.S. business, you may want to look for a job with a law firm, non-profit organization, or other entity instead of establishing your own private practice. Attorney Kathryn Hazelett suggests that a Master of Laws degree in your chosen specialty can improve your resume by communicating your specific focus and motivation to potential employers.

A company may receive thousands of resumes for a chief counsel position, for example. If you have a Master of Laws degree as well as a business law certificate, your resume could become more attractive to a hiring manager.

Hazelett further adds that a Master of Laws degree allows legal professionals to study law in another country. If you’re interested in learning U.S. law, for example, you may want to consider a Master of Laws degree program after you earn your law degree in your parent country. You can also earn the business law certificate simultaneously, which might improve your acumen when practicing international business law. According to Hazelett, a Master of Laws degree combined with a specific certificate offers “focused expertise” for both international and domestic law professionals.

If you already have a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in the United States, you can practice law domestically and earn a business law certificate. A business law certificate could help you advance in your career faster, according to the USC Gould School of Law, by expanding your knowledge of contract negotiation and financial reporting and adding more credibility to your resume. Additionally, the demand for U.S.-based legal study has continued to grow among many types of legal professionals, from judges and prosecutors to government officials. Knowledge of U.S. law could benefit both international and domestic attorneys.

If you’re interested in earning your Master of Laws degree or your business law certificate, USC offers an attractive opportunity to expand your education. Visit the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law Online Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program website to learn more about your options.

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