Monday, May 31, 2021

LLM Specializations: Fulfilling Requirements, Choosing Electives, & a Word of Advice

As an LLM student, I had the option of specialising in a particular field during my studies at Loyola. There is, of course, the Bar Track LLM, but other than that there were also six very different specializations for me to choose from. Personally, I knew as soon as I saw the options that I wanted to specialize International Business Law.

Each specialization has different requirements (all of which can be found on Loyola’s website),; International Business Law in particular required that I take Business Associations, a 4 unit course, and 12 units of electives. These 12 units were to be selected from a list of 22 possible choices.

Being able to select courses was a new experience for me. In the Netherlands (where I had first studied), other than a semester abroad, I was never able to choose what classes to take: a set curriculum already existed, from which there was no deviation. Faced with the ability to choose from so many classes for the first time, I spent a good day agonising the choices (although to be fair, I always have a hard time making decisions). Ultimately, I ended selecting taking Business Associations and International Trade as my courses to fulfill the specialization requirement.

The great thing about the specializations is that despite choosing to specialize in International Business Law, there remain 8 credits for me to choose “extracurricular” subjects outside of my chosen field of study. (Which is why I am also taking Professional Responsibilities this semester.) In short, while there are plenty of options to choose from within the International Business Law electives, it’s great to have “spare” units that can be used elsewhere if I would so wish.

One last thing I wanted to mention is that when selecting courses, I was advised to keep in mind that a course offered in the Fall semester might not be offered again in Spring. Since the LLM program’s duration is traditionally one academic year, if you see a course that you would like to take in the Fall semester, it might be best to sign up for it and not count on it being offered the next semester (or at least ask the university whether the course will be offered in Spring as well).

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