Study Law Major in USA


Analysis of American Study Abroad Law Major

Law is a typical long-term major with first bitterness before sweetness. A few years before graduation, I have to endure all kinds of pain, memorize the thickest books, take the hardest exams, and endure the lowest employment rate. If there is no firm determination, do not enter easily. Students who graduated from law majors will be engaged in high-status and high-income professions such as judges and prosecutors. Therefore, many parents and classmates prefer law majors.


Content Table

1. Introduction to American Law Major

2. Employment prospects for American law majors

3. U.S. law major application requirements and suggestions

4. Analysis of key U.S. law schools


Introduction to American Law Major

In the United States, Law School (Law School) is different from the other two elite schools (business school and medical school) in the application: there is no undergraduate degree in Law School, even if it is a kind of pre-medical school.

There are very few Medical (pre-medical) courses, so the application for Law School is only for graduate students, not for undergraduates. There are three main types of American law degrees: JD, LLM, and JSD.


What is LL.M Degree in education?

LL.M. is the Master of Law, which lasts about one year. Applicants must be a law major or have a legal background. LSAT scores are not required. It is suitable for Chinese students who have just graduated.

LL.M. can be divided into 2 types:

General program and specialized program. Most schools only provide a general program, which is relatively easy to apply. A small number of schools will provide specialized programs, but applicants need to have a relevant work background, and there is no advantage when fresh students apply.


In addition, some schools such as the University of Chicago, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Virginia, etc. can also accept LL.M. transfer to JD.


What is Juris Doctor?

J.D. (Juris Doctor) translates to a doctor of law, but it is not a doctor in the true sense. This degree is more employment and practical. It lasts about three years. It requires LSAT scores and does not limit professional background.

Applicants can come from various majors such as physics, chemistry, biology, accounting, management, journalism, and sociology. Many American students choose this degree, but for international students, visas are difficult and tuition is expensive. However, JD has a higher gold content and is more accepted in the United States


What is J.S.D/S.J.D?

The degree of J.S.D./S.J.D (Doctor of Juridical Science) is a doctor of law in the true sense. It is guided by academic research and is suitable for students who aspire to engage in legal research.

The school system is 3 to 4 years, and applicants usually must submit a research plan. After that, the school will decide whether to admit the applicant based on whether the professor has the willingness to guide and the committee review.


Whats is LL.M course setting?

The LL.M degree is divided into General Program (general course) and Specialize Program (specialized course). The school system is one year and adopts the credit system. The general law school requires 24 credits.

The degree courses such as General Program are the study of the basic laws of the United States. Undergraduates are free to choose courses, including Constitutional Law, Contract Law, Tort Law, Criminal Law, and Corporate Law (Corporation Law, Bankruptcy Law, Family Law, Legal Writing, etc.).


Specialize Program (specialized course) is a course set up for specific research directions, providing specialized legal research and learning, such as the International Taxation Program (International Taxation Program), Comparative Law Program (Comparative Law Program), International Law Program (International Law), intellectual property law, environmental law, etc.


Employment prospects for American law majors

The employment situation of LL.M. in the United States is not good, because the gold content and recognition are not as good as JD, but the employment prospects of returning to the country are good.

China’s recognition of LL.M. is relatively high and it is easier to find a good one. jobs. The JD degree is very valuable in the United States, and it is easier to find a job and stay in the United States.

As for students studying JSD or SJD, they can consider sticking to the academic path, and they can choose to teach in American universities or return to domestic universities.


One thing that needs to be reminded is that the United States adopts the common law system, which is different from the domestic civil law system. If you learn too deeply, it may not be applicable after returning to your country.

So in summary, if you plan to go back to China, then don’t study JD, LLM is more affordable and economical, and the knowledge learned in LLM is definitely enough in India and China.

If you plan to stay in the United States for the rest of your life, you must choose JD. And generally speaking, only JD can test the Bar in the United States, but some states also allow ABA-certified LLM to test the Bar in that state, mainly California and New York.


Employment fields for American law students


1. a civil servant

Mainly include prosecutors, judges, and civil servants of administrative agencies. For law graduates, the traditional “professional counterpart” should be to enter the public, procuratorate, and legal agencies.

2. Lawyer

Lawyers are not as difficult to enter as civil servants, but they are also the counterpart of the legal profession, and they are the main choice for many young graduates. However, lawyers are an experienced industry with uneven income.

The income structure of lawyers can be divided into two calculations. One is wage-based, where the firm pays wages and the lawyer is responsible for litigation; the other is that lawyers do not receive wages, but are affiliated with a law firm and rely on lawyers to find clients. Commission.


3. Company judicial officers

Company legal personnel are also the most concentrated part of the current employment of law graduates, mainly serving the legal affairs department, legal consulting department and intellectual property department of the enterprise. For example, all major state-owned enterprises, banks, foreign companies, and some large private companies will have a legal department within the company to deal with legal matters involved in the company.

4. Other related fields

In addition to the above main employment directions, most law students may eventually face the choice of changing careers. However, legal talents with “complex knowledge structure” are highly valued in other fields of society.

For example, auditing, management and other positions in enterprises have a great demand for talents with both economic and legal expertise. Many law graduates will work as accountants, auditors, securities industry personnel, and real estate consulting.


U.S. law major application conditions and suggestions

Hardware requirements


1. GPA is another quantifiable criterion for admission. The average GPA of applicants is around 3.5, and the average GPA admitted by many top law schools is between 3.6-3.8. The competition is fierce.


2. TOEFL applicants in China need to take the TOEFL and LSAT exams and have a TOEFL score of at least 100 (IBT) points. In fact, Chinese students who have been admitted to the top 10 law schools in the United States have TOEFL scores above 110.


3. LSAT: LSAT scores are the key to admission, because law schools need work experience, so the ability to distinguish applicants can only be based on GPA and LSAT scores.

As the undergraduate GPA standards vary among countries and schools, LSAT is particularly important as a unified test score. The basic bottom line for the LSAT score requirements of law schools is 150 points, and the average score for the top 10 law schools is 165 points or more.

Most of the applicants who have successfully entered the TOP 10 law schools in China have scores of 170 or more. Admission to the law school requires both a legal professional knowledge background and legal or other work experience.

If your LSAT score is not very satisfactory, then you must show your energy, ambition, sound judgment and high ideals perfectly in your application essay. But LSAT is an extremely important hard indicator.

Background requirements

Applicants must be a bachelor of law or an equivalent degree graduate, and a student with a legal background.


Analysis of American Law Schools

Yale University

Yale University (Yale University) is a private research university located in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. The school is a member of the Ivy League. It has the same reputation as Harvard University and Princeton University and has competed for American universities and graduate students over the years. The first three positions in the yard. The school’s professors, academic innovation, curriculum and venue facilities are top-notch.


Yale Law School has been rated as the “Best Law School in the United States” by various rankings for many years. It has several programs, including MSL and PhD programs in addition to JD, LLM, and JSD. LLM is a General project that only accepts JD or law graduate students.

JSD only accepts graduates of the Yale LLM program. MSL is the abbreviation of Master of Studies in Law. The school system is one year. It is open to those who have no legal background but are interested in law.

The applicant is required to graduate with a doctorate or be a journalist who has worked for many years. The PhD program lasts for three years and requires applicants to have a JD degree from an American university.

Harvard University

Harvard University (Harvard University), located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a world-renowned private research university and a member of the famous Ivy League.

There have been 8 presidents of the United States of America. Hundreds of Nobel laureates have worked and studied here.

They have a lofty academic status and extensive influence in many fields such as literature, medicine, law, and business, and are recognized as It is one of the top higher education institutions in the world today.


Stanford Law School has five law programs including JD, LLM, JSD, JSM and MLS. The LLM project has four research directions: environmental law and policy, international economic law, and business and policy.

Applications for these four directions require applicants to have more than 2 years of work experience. JSM is established by the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS).

The application of this program is independent of LLM. Therefore, international students can apply for both JSM and LLM programs. JSM is inclined to academic research in law, and its graduates are engaged in teaching, research, judicial and government official positions.

JSD focuses on legal research, and only graduates of the SPILS program can apply. MLS is aimed at students who have no pre-requisite legal professional background and no desire to enter the field of law after graduation, but their work content requires a certain legal knowledge background requirement. It is designed for such students to enhance their legal education.

Columbia University

Columbia University (Columbia University in the City of New York) is a world-renowned research university located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is one of the eight private Ivy League schools. A total of 82 people in the school have won the Nobel Prize. Three American presidents, including Obama, came from the school.


Columbia Law School only offers three law degrees: LLM, JD, and JSD. Columbia’s LLM offers the General project, with a lot of elective courses, and students can choose the courses they are interested in.

Although the JD program does not require work experience and a graduate degree, about two-thirds of the admitted students have a graduate degree or work experience.



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