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Domestic Students Travelling Out Of State To Study Their LLM In The USA
There are many reasons why American LLM students choose to study in a US state other than their home one – and there are both advantages and disadvantages of doing so. Generally speaking the tuition fees of a Master of Laws program at law school in the United States can be slightly lower if you are studying in state – but the cost comparison is nowhere near as extreme as it is for undergraduate degree programs.
Reasons to study your US LLM out of state
Studying out of state could be a great way to develop personally. Maybe as an undergrad student you lacked the financial resources and/or personal independence to move out of state. Now, as a postgraduate student, you’ve got a great opportunity to move away from home without it being too comparatively financially disadvantageous.
Different Climate, Different Surroundings
Postgraduate study can provide you with a great opportunity to experience a whole new location. Living somewhere chilly? Maybe you want to experience a warmer climate… Are you based in a rural environment? Then why not go for city living for a year and see if that’s where you want to be based for your future – and let’s face it this could be particularly advantageous if your future career is in law. Your Master of Laws program will probably be one year long (if studying full time) and this is the ideal length of time to experience living in a whole new place to see if it’s something you want to do on a more permanent basis.
Think about your future career plans and see how the location of your preferred law school can help you do this… Law schools often have networking opportunities with nearby lawyers, law firms and businesses. So if your career plans are to be a hotshot lawyer in Wall Street – then it may well be worth your while upping sticks and studying your LLM program at a laws school near New York City. However if you are interested in a career in the field of oil, gas or energy law – moving to the state of Texas could mean you can study a relevant LLM course while getting the right contacts for your future career.
Obviously only certain LLM specialisations are available at certain US law schools. This means that if you need to travel out of state to find the right LLM program for you then you should definitely consider this. It is important not to let location stand in the way of studying the right Master of Laws for your future.
Tuition Fees For Domestic Students Studying Their LLM Out Of State
As a rule in the United States the public universities charge lower fees for students from within the same state compared to those from out of state including international students obviously. For example the tuition fees for an LLM program at the University of Iowa in 2015-2016 is around $4,000 more expensive for an out of state student – with Iowa residents paying $22,179 versus $26,249 for out of state students. But if you consider the fact that studying an LLM program is an investment in your career and future – an additional $4,000 is a worthwhile investment. Private universities in the US usually have one set fee for everyone.
However, tuition fees for LLM programs do vary significantly from university to university in the United States. For example while the 2015-16 tuition fees for out of state LLM students at the University of Iowa in the Midwestern state of Iowa is $26,249, whereas the cost of studying an LLM course at Harvard Law School in Boston Massachusetts is $57,200.
There are some good funding opportunities available at law schools in the United States – so make sure you do your research to see what funding your chosen law school has on offer to out of state students.
Other Costs Associated To Being An Out Of State LLM Student In The USA
As well as funding your tuition fees, as an out of state student you will also have to find yourself somewhere new to live. Some US law schools provide on-campus living accommodation – the cost of this varies from university to university – but expect to pay at least $15,000. Other costs associated with your studies will include books and academic supplies (around $3,000), health and dental insurance, and travel costs. Plus, as an out-of-state student you may also want to factor in the costs associated with travelling back home for the holidays and to visit your family.