American Law Studies

Are you fascinated with historical and political issues? Do you want to gain additional experience to your law degree, particularly in American law? If so, American law studies may be right for you. Keep reading for more information on this specialization and how it might be something for you.

Is American Law Studies For Me?

Career Description

American law studies is designed to introduce students to the U.S. legal system, including theories and practices, the common law system, case analysis and jurisprudence. A background in American law studies can help foreign lawyers who wish to receive in-depth training in the American legal system, and in some cases qualify them to sit for the American bar exam. If you're a lawyer already practicing law in the U.S., you may benefit from enrolling in an American law studies program if they're interested in research positions or teaching at the university level.

Employment Information

If you're interested in a career related to American law studies, you should expect increased job opportunities over the next several years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for lawyers is expected to grow by 10% over the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). However, because of the popularity of this field, keen job competition is expected. The BLS also reported that lawyers earned an average annual salary of $130,880 in May 2012.

How Do I Start My Career in American Law Studies?

Postgraduate Education and Specialization

Master of Law (LLM) in American Law Studies programs are postgraduate degrees pursued primarily by international law students and professionals who seek to obtain proficiency in American jurisprudence fundamentals, like constitutional law and civil procedure. If you're a prospective LLM student, you're required to hold a professional law degree, such as a Juris Doctor, and to have passed the bar or corresponding exam in other countries prior to enrollment.

Coursework

American law studies degree programs last approximately 24-credit hours. An introductory course in U.S. law is often supplemented with coursework in subjects like legal writing and research for international lawyers, common and civil law, property law and health law. Advanced course offerings cover a wide range of topics, including contracts, criminal law, evidence and intellectual property. Some law schools might even encourage you to take courses in American litigation and advocacy. Most colleges and universities that offer a LLM degree program in American law studies allow students to be flexible in their selection of academic topics so that they can focus on their primary areas of interest.

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