What Countries Award LLM Degrees?

LLM degrees are traditionally associated with English language law systems, the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

However, nowadays you will find that Master of Laws programs are increasingly offered around the world, as they are a popular and highly transferable qualification. 

Let’s take a look at what countries award LLM degrees.

Historically countries with English-speaking law systems

LLM programs are historically offered in English-speaking law systems and originally existed to further academic research into the law. For some LLM courses – such as the one at Harvard University – this is still the aim of the course. They were initially offered in English speaking countries but now are offered around the world.

Now offered worldwide

Many countries in Europe offer Master of Laws programs including Finland, France, the Netherlands and Germany. These courses are mostly taught in English, apart from some courses offered in the Netherlands, which are for those students who are looking to practice in Dutch Law, so are offered in in part in Dutch – like this one at the University of Amsterdam. The law schools in countries which have an English-speaking legal system, for example Australia, New Zealand and the USA, obviously offer LLM courses taught in English, as do countries that have a dual or multi-language legal system like South Africa, Canada and Ireland. 

Increasingly popular in Asia

More and more students are travelling from Asia, particularly China and India, to study abroad and students can study Chinese Law in many English-speaking institutions, such as in Australia. This means that there is an increasing number of law schools offering good quality LLM courses in English across Asia. India, Singapore, Japan and Pakistan all have institutions that offer LLM courses in English. In China, there are options both in mainland China and many law schools in Hong Kong offer an education in English due to its past as a British Colony. 

Highly transferable qualification 

Because the LLM is usually offered in English, students with an excellent command of English have opportunities to study around the world. Most law schools require an excellent result in standard English proficiency tests or an undergraduate degree from an English speaking institution in a majority English-speaking country to gain entry to the course. If you have these, then you have an excellent chance to grow your knowledge and experience with study abroad. Not all English speaking countries have the Common Law system that is traditionally associated with England, so those students who come from Civil Law countries can study abroad as well. 

Top 25 Law Schools in the World

Here is a table of the top 25 law schools in the world* – as you can see the majority of them are based in English-speaking countries.


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