The International Jurist magazine has included the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law’s LL.M. for International Lawyers degree program on its lists for best LL.M. programs for academics and law school experience for attorneys outside the United States.
That’s no surprise.
For a small program, UNC’s LL.M. degree offers a big package that includes personalized course advising and hands-on opportunities on the academic side, as well as assistance with housing options, a “magic room” of household items for loan and social events.
The program, which began five years ago, is for students who earned a law degree in another country. Most students finish in two semesters.
UNC’s is the smallest of the 11 LL.M. programs that the magazine cites for academics. Carolina Law students may take graduate classes for free and may pursue one of certain add-on graduate certificates at no extra charge in addition to their LL.M. degree.
LL.M. students are integrated with J.D. students in courses, conferences, presentations and trainings. Students may join the LL.M. moot court team and participate in the law journal’s symposium and conferences.
The program’s biggest strengths are “the caring for, and care of, students by the involved staff, faculty and administrators of Carolina Law, who work to ensure that the students’ LL.M. period of study and life is the best it can be. The potential for experience working in our pro-bono and externship law programs is another major draw,” says Beverly Sizemore, director of international and LL.M. programs.
UNC’s program is among 14 the magazine cites for overall law school experience.
The program “offers very individualized attention to students,” says Sizemore, whom the magazine interviewed.
That attention ranges from airport pickup at arrival and a thorough orientation process to help with looking for employment opportunities inside and outside the U.S. Most students come from other countries and return to their home country when they finish.
Carolina Law offered merit-based scholarships for the 2016-17 LL.M. class—which will have 10-15 students—and Sizemore expects to offer some scholarships for the 2017-18 cohort.