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Posted May 7, 2019

10 Niche LLM Specialisms That You Should Consider

5 niche LLM specialismsThere is more to LLM specialities than Human Rights Law or Taxation Law – nowadays there is an abundance of different LLM paths that you can follow, and some of the more niche ones could really help increase your job prospects.

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Choosing an unusual LLM specialism could be the key to career success and happiness.

Here we take a look at ten niche LLM specialisms that you might want to consider. 

1. Space Law 

The final frontier, Space Law is a look at the complex rules and regulations governing space exploration. Who will be in charge of the Moon when the time comes? All very exciting stuff, but Space Law has been around since 1919 with the introduction of Airspace Law and the laws governing the control of the airspace directly above each country. Leiden University has a highly respected Space Law LLM course, as does McGill University, Bond University, University of Mississippi and the University of Nebraska. 

2. Admiralty Law

Admiralty Law differs from Maritime Law, in that Admiralty Law concentrates on the private law governing the sea and shipping, whilst Maritime Law concentrates on the public international law governing the sea and shipping. Admiralty Law can trace its links back to the 6th Century AD and Rhodian Law, which is the law of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Southampton University offers an LLM in Admiralty Law as does University College London in the UK, and the University of Miami in the US offers an LLM in Admiralty Law as well. 

3. Gaming Law

Gaming Law is a very limited LLM speciality as the only place in the world that offers an LLM in Gaming Law is in Las Vegas. The state of Nevada has complex gambling and gaming laws, and if you fancy living and working in Nevada, then you should definitely consider heading to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

4. Canon Law

Canon Law or Ecclesiastical Law are the rules and laws that govern a religious organisation and churches like the Catholic Church or the Church of England, and these are often complex ancient laws. LLMs in Canon Law are aimed at those lawyers who are involved in the administration of the Church of England or the Catholic Church and how the laws of the state impact on their work. In the UK, students can study an LLM in Canon Law at Cardiff University. 

5. Energy Law

The diversification of oil companies into other areas of energy production means that LLMs in Energy Law now often encompass all types of energy production. It might seem obvious, but areas where energy production is a large part of the local economy have law schools that offer LLMs in Energy Law. In the UK try the University of Aberdeen or the University of Dundee if this is your field of interest, in Norway at the University of Bergen has a good option, whilst in the United States the University of Texas offers a selection of Energy Law courses.

6. Maori/Pacific and Indigenous Peoples Law

The University of Waikato in New Zealand has an amazing LLM program for those lawyers who want to understand the law of the indigenous people of the Pacific Islands and the Maori people of New Zealand. The LLM program looks at how the law operates across the Pacific and the interaction of Pacific Islanders and international organisations like the United Nations.

7. Polar Law

For those students who are interested in how the law operates in the Arctic and the Antarctic, the LLM in Polar Law at the University of Akureyri in Iceland, studies this fascinating area of the law. The Arctic is home to different groups of indigenous people, as well as being shared between several countries. The Antarctic has different legal challenges and both parts of the world are suffering from the environmental impacts of global warming.

8. Tribal Law, Policy & Government

Arizona State University offers students the chance to look into how the state and federal laws impact on Native American Tribes and people. Students learn about the difficulties Native-American-owned businesses have in interacting with different levels of government, and the problems that many Native American people have in accessing sufficient health care.

9. Fashion Law

Like any other area of business, the fashion industry has its own specific needs and requirements. Intellectual Property Law and Corporate Law are both areas covered in Fashion Law courses, along with the difficulties of using trends and artistic inspiration as part of a fashion company's collection of clothes and accessories. Consumer Rights and Protections are different depending on the country the fashion business operates in, this means that lawyers with specialist knowledge are popular advisors for these businesses. 

10 Sports Law

Focusing on Sports Law is a great LLM option for those with an interest in this field. The University of London has an interesting course on the legal issues and regulations governing international and national sports fixtures. The sports industry has many large multi-national companies involved in both the playing of sport, the distribution of broadcasting rights and sponsorship deals. These are worth millions of dollars and require lawyers who are proficient in both Business Law and the more specialist aspects of Sports Law.

Where to study them

Here are the locations of law schools that offer some of the more unusual LLM specialisms.

LLM Program




LLM in Fashion Law

Fordham University


LLM in Indigenous Peoples Law (American)

Arizona State University

University of Oklahoma

University of Washington


LLM in Māori Law

Auckland University of Technology

University of Waikato

New Zealand

LLM in Polar Law

University of Akureyri


LLM in Sports Law

De Montford University

Nottingham Trent University

Sheffield Hallam University



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