Choose the Best Masters of Law Online (LLM) Program For You

Online Master’s of Law Background

Universities typically offer a combination of full-time, part-time and online LLM programs, also commonly referred to as master’s of law programs. Depending on whether you want to specialize in a specific field of law or transition your law career from another country to the United States, some programs might fit your preferences and schedule more than others.

Choosing to pursue an LLM is the first step. For the average working professional, it may not be plausible to suspend your life and your career to pursue a law degree in-person, full-time. For these individuals, a large percentage of LLM students, gaining an LLM degree online may be the best option. Online LLM programs offer more flexibility, can be cost effective, and, because of recent advances in educational technology, some online programs feature an extremely hands-on and collaborative learning environment. Although some may be weary about enrolling in an online program, considering these factors, as well as many other benefits of online education, making use of distance learning is an extremely viable option.

Advantages of Pursuing an Online LLM

Evaluating and selecting the right LLM online program for your needs is the next step, and must be done so carefully - some online learning platforms are well-designed and, simply, superior to others that rely on out-of-date technology. Our goal at is to provide you with the information you need to properly evaluate the masters of law online programs available to you and, ultimately, help you select the law program that best fits your needs.

Learn more about an LL.M. online with our partner @WashULaw

Keep the following things in mind as you evaluate the different distance learning LLM programs:

  • Reputation: the reputation of both the school and the program are extremely important for both on-campus programs and distance learning LLM programs. To learn more about how your prospective law school ranks, you can take a look at the U.S. News & World Report Law School Rankings.
  • Program Resources: in addition to the program’s reputation, you should look into the resources available through the program. You will want to look at things like the experience of the instructors, the support offered by the school for distance learning students and the online library.
  • Admissions Requirements: each LLM program has its own admission requirements. But if you are considering a distance learning LLM program based in the U.S., you will want to make sure you meet the school’s English language proficiency requirements as well as the prior education requirements.
  • Cost: Attending a distance learning LLM program can save you a significant amount on the overall cost of attendance because you won’t incur expenses associated with relocating. However, tuition, fees and books can still be rather expensive in distance learning programs and you should carefully consider the costs.
  • Immersion Opportunity: many students wish to expand their understanding of the law and culture by studying in the U.S. While a distance learning program will not require you to relocate to study, it may offer a short-term immersion program that will allow you to live and experience the U.S. legal system. If you would like to travel abroad during your studies, be sure to select a program that offers an immersion option that works with your schedule.

Is Distance Learning Right for Me?

In addition to evaluating a school’s online LLM program, you will want to consider whether or not distance learning is right for you. We encourage you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can I hold myself accountable without physically being in the same room as my instructor or classmates?
  • Can I effectively carve out my classroom and study time if I don’t have to leave my house to attend classes on campus?
  • Do I have or can I create a dedicated work space where I can eliminate distractions and focus on my studies?

If you answer to these questions is “yes,” an online LLM program may be a good fit for you.

Factors to consider when choosing your online LLM program

Online LLM Concentrations and Specializations:

The first issue to consider is your area of study or concentration. As LLM online programs become increasingly popular, the options students have to choose from are extensive. Students can select from a wide variety of concentrations within masters of law online programs - from taxation or environmental law to green energy and mediation (alternative dispute resolution).

To help you select the appropriate course of study, we encourage you to carefully consider the type of career you want to pursue after completing your LLM online. Students interested in working for a multinational corporation may find that an LLM in International Law or an LLM in International Environmental Law may fit their needs, whereas students who wish to work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to further women’s rights in developing nations may wish to pursue an LLM in Gender and the Law. While these are just some a few examples, as you can see, the possibilities are endless. Online legal studies masters exist in almost all facets of law, in most cases there is a concentration or specialization to fit everyone’s interests and career goals.

The Cost of an Online LLM:

The cost of an LLM programis a consideration that is often closely linked to the location of the LLM program. Some students may find that pursuing an LL.M. locally is more affordable than pursuing an LLM abroad. On the other hand, students studying abroad may find that additional funding sources or opportunities are available to them if they pursue an LLM internationally. Clearly, for those with location restrictions, the easiest option would most likely be an online master’s of law program. Although the cost of most online LLM programs mirrors the on-campus counterparts, in enrolling in an online program you are saving money on transportation and other costs that go along with on-campus programs. Regardless of what type of program you wish to pursue, encourages you to look at the total out of pocket cost of the LLM programs you are considering:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and supplies
  • Travel expenses
  • Cost of living

As well as the programs available to offset these out of pocket expenditures, including:

Looking at the whole picture, you will be able to more clearly determine whether or not a program is affordable and what the total out of pocket cost will be for you.

Paying for the LLM of Your Choice

After you have been accepted into an LLM program, online or otherwise, and you have accepted the school’s offer of admission, you will want to make sure you have your financial resources lined up to pay for your LLM. For many students paying for an masters of law will involve a combination of financing avenues including:

Budgeting and planning for your online LLM ahead of time will allow you to focus on starting this new chapter rather than worrying about finances during your studies. Many students find that the right LLM creates more opportunities than they originally anticipated. Taking the time to research, select, apply for and pay for the right LLM is time well spent.

Start Applying:

Many schools accept applications and make admissions offers on a rolling basis. This means that it is extremely important to submit your completed application as soon as practical after the online llm program you are interested in begin accepting applications. While every school has its own application requirements, most schools will require the following documents in addition to the school specific application:

  • Previous Educational Transcripts
  • Personal Statements
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency (for international students)
  • LSAT scores for U.S. based students
  • Letters of Recommendation

Which LLM Program is Right For You?

Over 50 universities, including online and on-campus programs, offer masters of law degrees. Each of these programs offer unique advantages and disadvantages, with some being offered by some of the most prestigious schools in the United States. Whether you choose to pursue a standard LLM degree or an online LLM degree is up to you.

LLM, Dual LLM and MLS programs from Washington University of St. Louis

Though there are many viable online LLM options to choose from, there are some programs that are clearly superior to others - whether because of their innovative platform, name recognition, or top-tier faculty. With the online program at Washington University of St. Louis, students from anywhere in the world can pursue LLM and Dual LLM and MLS degrees from a top-ranked school - without leaving the comfort of their home. The innovative program, @WashULaw features a curriculum that caters specifically to lawyers of foreign countries seeking to expand their knowledge of US. Law. The best part of @WashULaw? Students can pursue their greatest career ambitions without having to put their career or life on pause to complete the degree.

Learn more about an LL.M. online with our partner @WashULaw

Regardless of the type of program you wish to pursue, in an effort to make all of the relevant information more accessible, has compiled a list of LLM programs across the country. Explore the university offerings that interest you the most!

Types of LLM Degrees

The great thing about a master’s of law degree online is that it is highly customizable to meet your needs and career interests. Types of LLM degrees are widely varied - with specialities covering almost all areas of law and the legal system. From environmental law, to tax law, to corporate law, degree concentrations exist that will allow you to explore your primary field of interest with practical and in-depth coursework. To learn more about a specific type of online LLM degree, explore the featured concentration areas below: