I am a second-year associate at a mid-sized firm in litigation. The practice is fine, I guess. The money is pretty good. My boss is an ass-hat, and if I am being brutally honest, my future here is probably not the brightest. I can probably make better money somewhere else doing something that I would enjoy more. (Probably for another ass-hat boss.)
The questions is: I am thinking about leaving after I finish this second year to get an LL.M. (Master of Laws) in a focus area I really want to practice. Also, I am thinking of doing it in London. What are your thoughts? Bad Idea? Not worth making my already absurd loans, well, more absurd? Need to stay stateside?
To me, LL.M. degrees are pretty much a joke. No one really cares. Why would you want to go to school again to develop a specialty, when you could develop one on the job—and get paid doing it? I guess if your dream is to become a tax lawyer, an LL.M. couldn’t hurt. Other than that, it seems absurd. Unless you just want to regress for a few years, become a student again and party your ass off. That I get. But don’t kid yourself, getting an LL.M. won’t magically open new doors for you—and your new bosses won’t be impressed.
As for the London part of the equation, I feel the same way. It doesn’t make sense, unless you just want to hang out and have a good time in London for a year or two, which I can completely understand.
So, bottom line: Don’t get an LL.M. because you think it’s going to change your career prospects (with the possible of exception of a Taxation LL.M.); do it because you want to escape the real word for a while and have some goddamn fun.
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