LL.M. Career Advising


LLM Career Development Introduction

Given that Yale’s LL.M. Program is intended for students who are committed to careers in law teaching, the vast majority of Yale’s LL.M. students engage in academic pursuits immediately after completing their degrees. These pursuits include additional academic degree programs; academic research; postdocs; academic fellowships; and law school teaching. The Graduate Programs Office supports LL.M. students in pursuing these opportunities.

On occasion, LL.M. students explore post-graduate opportunities in legal practice, rather than in academia. These legal practice opportunities tend to be time-bound, often relate to LL.M. students’ areas of academic interest, and are located both in the U.S. and abroad. They can be particularly attractive to LL.M. students in whose home countries law professors frequently practice law.

Legal practice opportunities for LL.M. students fall both in the private sector (most commonly at private-sector law firm offices in the U.S. and abroad) and in the public sector (most commonly through post-graduate public interest fellowships at international organizations, tribunals, and courts, as well as on occasion at domestic U.S. non-profit organizations).

U.S.-based private and public sector legal practice positions are particularly difficult for LL.M. students at any U.S. law school to secure, due to numerous structural barriers in the U.S. legal job market. In recent years, only a small percentage of Yale’s LL.M. students interested in legal practice positions have successfully obtained them within the U.S.; a somewhat larger percentage have obtained legal practice positions in their home countries or in third countries outside of the U.S.

CDO offers career counseling, programs, and resources to LL.M. students who are interested in exploring legal practice opportunities. Its attorney-counselors provide LL.M. students with information and advice about practice-oriented career choices and trajectories, and assist with the creation of U.S.-style application materials, preparations for U.S.-style interviews, and other aspects of the candidacy process.

CDO also organizes a variety of law school programs during the academic year on topics including interview training; specialized panels on particular areas of legal practice; and post-graduate Public Interest Fellowships. While some CDO events are specifically for LL.M. students, many are for all YLS students. LL.M. students also receive CDO’s weekly term-time email newsletters, which announce career-related programs and other events and opportunities that may be of interest to students. In addition, CDO cosponsors an annual LL.M. Interview Program with six other top U.S. law schools that is a main vehicle for private-sector law firm hiring of LL.M. candidates.

LL.M.s who wish to pursue legal practice opportunities in both the private and public sectors are encouraged to speak with a CDO counselor in the fall semester.

Career Advising for LL.M.s

Academic Positions:
Graduate Programs Office;
Law Teaching Program;
individual Yale Law School faculty
advisors and mentors

Academic Fellowships:  
Graduate Programs Office
Yale University Fellowships and Funding Office

Bar Exam:
Graduate Programs Office;
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Monica Maldonado;
Career Development Office (Alison Hornstein);
(See also the New York Board of Law Examiners
instructions, information, and deadlines
for LL.M.s
whose primary legal education was outside the U.S.)

International Public Interest Fellowships:
Specific YLS Public Interest Fellowship Administrators
(see here at the “YLS Fellowships tab”
for a full list of YLS-sponsored Fellowships
and their individual Administrators)

International (non-Fellowship)
Public Interest Opportunities
:
 
Schell Center (Director Professor James Silk;
Executive Director Hope Metcalf);
International Law and Gruber Programs
(Director Mindy Roseman);
Career Development Office (Norma D’Apolito)

Judicial Clerkships: 
Career Development Office

Legal Opportunities in the Private Sector,
including Law Firms: 
Career Development Office (Alison Hornstein)

Non-Legal Opportunities in the Private Sector: 
The Leadership Program Chae Initiative (Mary J. L. Herrington)


U.S.-based Public Interest Fellowships: 
Career Development Office (Norma D’Apolito)

U.S.-based (non-Fellowship)
Public Interest Opportunities
:
 
Career Development Office (Norma D’Apolito)

Visa-related Topics: 
Office of International Students & Scholars;
Graduate Programs Office

LL.M.s & VISAS


LL.M.s interested in pursuing employment in the U.S. upon graduation must address issues relating to the status of their visas.

Fortunately, LL.M.s who are in the U.S. on F-1 student status are eligible to work in a “practical training” job directly related to their field of study for a total of 12 months either during their studies or starting within a specified number of days after the completion of their studies. These students are therefore eligible to be hired by a U.S. employer for a short-term internship opportunity.

Students seeking permanent positions in the U.S. will have to look into the option of having an employer sponsor them for an H1-B visa which would enable them to work for up to six years in the U.S. The government imposes a cap on the number of H1-B visas available, and often the slots are quickly filled.

Students should work directly with the prospective employer to assess this option. Students may also wish to consult the website of MyVisaJobs.com, which among other things may be helpful in determining what employers have previously filed for H1-B visas.

Visa questions can be directed to the Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) in person, via their website, or by speaking with Maria Dino, Director of Graduate Programs, in the Law School.  In addition, the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services website site provides information useful to LL.M. students.