Boston University School of Law

The Impact of BU Law’s LL.M. Programs


BU Law has offered a post-graduate legal education leading to the Master of Laws degree for more than 125 years. In this BU Law podcast, host David Yas, a BU Law alum, former publisher of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and a V.P. at Bernstein Global Wealth, welcomes John N. Riccardi, BU Law’s assistant dean for Graduate and International Programs and director of the Office of Graduate and International Programs, to take a look at the School’s graduate programs for international lawyers. Later in the program, David is joined by former student Johan S. Ellefsen, who talks about his experience with the LL.M. program and where he is today.

  • Raghav Aggarwal

    When everyone’s sharing, I thought that my participation would be equally appreciated. Indeed, BU law’s LL.M. Program has worked really well for me in terms of excellent academic knowledge. I say with pride that coupling my honed skills with academic knowledge from BU law makes me an excellent arbitrator, mediator, business (legal) due diligence specialist, contract maker & critique; in short, an accompalished business lawyer on the global front. I am thankful to BU’s LL.M. Program for catering me friends in professional community around the globe. It sure helps in referrals.
    However, I will also give the down side. The program didn’t work at all in terms of career advancement. No job, no platform to network for referrals. I wouldn’t say more.

    • admin

      The following reply was prepared by John N Riccardi, Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs at Boston University School of Law:

      Thank you for these comments on your BU Law experience and for sharing your assessment that the academic experience you received was indeed an excellent one — an experience that, when combined with your professional skills, you describe as turning you into an “accomplished business lawyer on the global front.” That’s the purpose of our program: to give students the best academic experience possible so they are prepared to rise to the next level of their careers as international lawyers. Graduates who return to their home countries to resume their practices or seek new opportunities frequently tell us that the learning they acquired and the BU Law credential they obtained made a huge difference in their professional standing back home — and was an integral part of their career advancement. Without knowing more, it is difficult for me to address your disappointment over not having a job, as I do not know where you are looking to work. It is indeed true that foreign lawyers who want to stay and work in the US face many challenges finding permanent (or even short-term) employment. This is true today and was true even before the financial crisis tightened up the legal job market in the US (not only for LLM graduates but for JD graduates as well). Our LL..M. program has never been designed to lead to work in the US. Our advice to LL.M. candidates is that if they want to work in the U.S. permanently or for a significant period of time, the J.D. degree is the most appropriate credential. Still, we are passionately committed to supporting students achieve their goals — we pride ourselves on the level of personal professional development support and advice we give our LL.M. students to help coach them through developing the most effective self-marketing campaigns, no matter where they seek to work upon completing the program, in the US or abroad.

      John N. Riccardi
      Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs
      Boston University School of Law