Frequently Asked Questions
What job search services exist for Georgetown Law Master of Laws students?
Graduate Career and Professional Development's services for students include the following:
Starting after the week of Orientation and throughout the course of the academic year, LL.M. students may submit their resume and cover letter for review by Graduate Career and Professional Development as follows:
- If you are a foreign-trained LL.M. student: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are a U.S.-trained LL.M. student: email@example.com
To make the most of your review, visit the Resources section of the Graduate Career and Professional Development Web site to view templates of resumes and cover letters, as well as a checklist for resumes.
When should a Master of Laws student start working on his or her post-LL.M. job search?
The timing of students' job search efforts will vary significantly depending on the type of position that the student is seeking. At Orientation, Graduate Career and Professional Development will provide a calendar of important dates and programs. Even before students arrive, they can begin laying the groundwork for their job search by compiling the names of professional and personal contacts who may be able to suggest other contact names in their professional sphere of influence. Networking is of critical importance to the graduate student’s job search. While an LL.M. student's first priority should be on his or her academics, we encourage graduate law students to build time into their weekly calendars for networking and other job hunting tasks.
Do Master of Laws students participate in Georgetown Law ’s on-campus interview programs?
Georgetown Law’s On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) program is managed by the Office of Career Services (OCS) and takes place during August-October. It is primarily designed to place 2L summer associate candidates. Sometimes, certain employers express an interest in interviewing graduate law students during OCI. Master of Laws students will be apprised of such opportunities directly by Graduate Career and Professional Development and interested students are encouraged to participate.
In addition, Georgetown Law hosts or participates in several job fairs targeted primarily to employers interested in recruiting graduate law students. These include the annual International Student Interview Program (ISIP) each January in New York, New York, and the Taxation Interview Program (TIP) each February in Washington, D.C. Finally, a significant portion of graduate student hiring is done via resume collections, which take place throughout the year. Students will be alerted to resume collection opportunities directly through Graduate Connections.
How do Georgetown Law Master of Laws students typically get jobs?
LL.M. hiring is very different from J.D. recruiting, which relies heavily on the Fall on-campus interview process. LL.M. hiring is much more akin to lateral recruiting, with employers posting available positions as they arise and candidates learning about additional opportunities via word-of-mouth. Networking plays a significant role in most successful post-LL.M. job searches. Further, many traditional legal employers expect LL.M. students to approach them about opportunities. As a result, Georgetown Law’s Graduate Career and Professional Development heavily emphasizes job search and networking training.
Where do most Georgetown Law Master of Laws graduates work upon completion of the program?
Georgetown Law’s LL.M. graduates find legal and law-related positions across the entire spectrum of the legal industry. Students have found positions in government agencies, on Capitol Hill, in large and small private law firms, in accounting and consulting firms, in trade associations, in multinational, not-for-profit organizations and corporations in the U.S. and abroad, and in non-practicing roles.
How is a Master of Laws degree viewed by potential employers?
The Master of Laws degree is an advanced academic credential, but it is only one piece of the “complete package” sought by employers. An LL.M. certainly increases a student’s knowledge in his or her chosen area of study and conveys a student’s commitment to an area of practice. In addition, it allows students the opportunity to network with accomplished faculty, academic professionals, colleagues, alumni, and other members of the Washington-area legal community. In fact, access to the Georgetown Law network can be one of the degree’s most useful attributes.
The LL.M. degree, however, is but one of the many factors employers consider when evaluating candidates. Employers consider most favorably those students with as many elements of the “complete package” as possible.They typically look for excellent work experience, high LL.M. and J.D. grades, and strong English language skills (both written and oral). Therefore, success in the LL.M. program will add to a student’s marketability, but the degree alone will not be enough to find an ideal position. Many employers remain focused on traditional means of recruiting via J.D. summer associate programs.
What are the placement statistics for the International, Tax, and Securities Master of Laws programs?
As is the practice in regard to most U.S. Master of Laws programs, Georgetown Law does not maintain official placement statistics. Most of our information regarding placement is anecdotal.
May a foreign-trained Master of Laws student take a bar exam after completing the LL.M. degree?
Many of our LL.M. students who received their first law degree in a foreign country choose to take a U.S. bar exam (usually the New York bar exam) upon completion of their LL.M. at Georgetown Law. Your academic advisor will help you select the courses needed to qualify for the bar exam as part of designing your overall course of study.
Please note that while bar membership can be a useful credential for many international lawyers, Georgetown Law encourages its LL.M. students to view their year of study at the Law Center not merely as preparation for the bar exam, but as an opportunity to choose from an array of courses which will contribute to the student's long-term professional growth. As is evident from the extensive list of courses which have in the past satisfied the eligibility requirement for the New York bar, accomplishing both goals is generally easy to achieve. Additionally, some students may wonder whether completion of the LL.M. program and admission to the New York bar will qualify them to practice law in the U.S. Students whose primary goal is to become a U.S. lawyer are advised to consider pursuing a J.D. degree, as U.S. law firms and other legal employers generally seek to hire students who have completed a J.D. program.
For more information about the bar exam, visit:
- General information about the bar exam.
National Conference of Bar Examiners -- the National Conference of Bar Examiners offers the most current information regarding bar admissions requirements and includes links to all 50 state bars.
Is Graduate Career and Professional Development able to review my writing sample?
Graduate Career and Professional Development does not review writing samples. As a matter of policy, the samples must be your own work.
A writing sample is a document that demonstrates your research, writing and analytical skills in a technical legal area and your ability to write well in English. You may wish to submit a writing sample that is not in the area of practice to which you are applying, but it should nonetheless illustrate the skill set relevant to the position. For example, if you are applying for a tax associate position, a writing sample on a technical corporate or banking law issue would be acceptable, but a writing sample focusing on a human rights issue is not ideal.
The ideal writing sample is the first six to 10 pages of a research paper you prepared for one of your Georgetown Law classes. If you have a lengthy writing sample, you should select an appropriate excerpt. This needs to be self-contained, and it should generally include some factual background, some legal analysis of case law or regulation and some form of conclusion. Other acceptable writing samples include an expanded and polished take-home exam paper for one of your Georgetown Law classes (you should also include the exam question), and some employers suggest that students could take a question from a recent exam, prepare an answer and present it as their writing sample.
You may also provide a research memorandum prepared by you for your previous employer. If you choose to do this, remember to obtain permission from your previous employer beforehand. You also need to delete names and other identifiers, and should discuss this with your previous employer before you submit the piece as your writing sample. You may also need permission from the client. Just remember that a writing sample should be your own work. Writing samples should appear on regular heavy bond paper, but we recommend that you print the cover page in stationery that matches your resume and cover letter.
Whatever writing sample you select, remember to attach a cover page, which should include:
- A description of the document's use when you drafted it
- A statement ensuring that it is your own work
- The grade you received for it, if it is a Georgetown Law research or exam paper
- A statement that you obtained permission before providing it and, ideally, the name and contact details of the partner who granted that permission (if it is a research memorandum from your previous employer)
It is important to reiterate once again that all of your written materials serve as "writing samples" for prospective employers. Your resume, cover letter, reference list, thank you letters and formal writing sample should all be carefully drafted, edited and proofread. Typographical, spelling or grammatical errors in any of these materials will often result in rejection.
For more information about writing samples, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions Guide distributed at Orientation.